Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Interview of Author Edward L. Cote!!!

Displaying VioletSkies-EbookFrontCover-6x9-300dpi.jpgAW: Tell us about yourself…

I'm a nontraditional student at the University of Kansas. I've lived in Lawrence for years. I learned to read when I was four, read Dune when I was twelve, and finished high school in three years. I've dabbled in writing all my life but only recently started to seriously pursue it.

AW: What genera do you write and why?

Ed: This project is YA fantasy but I'm interested in a wide variety of genres and media. My next project will probably be a movie, unless you count the games from the Violet Skies license as their own project. This one became YA early on because the prose was very simple and easy to read, its moral stance was relatively clear, and that's where the market for this story is. Too much of what's being marketed as YA these days just isn't. I think there's demand for something a little more positive, "clean" as I've heard it called.

AW: Tell us about your book….

Ed: Violet Skies is the first book in a series of the same name. Each book is a novella around 40,000 words. The series is the story of Taya Mindaerel, daughter of the Oracle of the Prairie Winds. They live in a world divided into city-states, each ruled by a powerful immortal wizard known as a Magus. Their ruling Magus happens to be the most benevolent of them all, but that's not saying much. The Oracle foresees that they are being hunted by a man on a flesh-eating horse, so they flee to seek the aid of their Magus, Olbinaar. On the way they meet the other main characters, all teens. Alex is a charming scoundrel with secrets and regrets. Brand is an honorable master swordsman with no secrets and even more regrets. Ogger is a wild creature, innocent but feral. Olbinaar helps them, at least at first, but ultimately only for his own reasons . . .

AW: What was your inspiration for this book?

Ed: There were several. The series is highly allegorical so current events and culture would be one. Others range from anime to Zelazny. I wanted to play with reconstruction of sorts- getting back to Good vs Evil, throwing out a lot of the conventions of the past 25 years or so that I think have become somewhat cliche and the more recent trends (paranormal romance, sci fi dystopia) that I felt have kind of become fads. Twilight and the Hunger Games were successful in large part because they were different. I hope that Violet Skies can succeed because it is just a little different.

AW: Do you have a favorite character and why that one?

Ed: Taya would be the obvious choice, because she's the protagonist and I feel a little like she's the daughter I never had. Also people (both characters and readers) keep underestimating her and that can be interesting to write. Ogger can be challenging and he often stirs things up. Alex is charming without Dibian's malice. Brand is so simple, yet so conflicted. There's more to all of them than meets the eye. Dibian and Der'aevis are just plain fun I must admit, each in his own way. Der'aevis is a jolly psychopath and it can be fun to ham it up a little if I do it sparingly. Dibian is a selfish liar (who knows that the best lies are half-truths) and manipulative rat bastard who just does not understand the very concept of anyone else's rights or even personhood. He's clearly a sociopath, but the OCD? That he hides, fairly well. Usually. I love them all to varying degrees, except Arvis. He can go die in a fire. He's the only character in the whole series whom I actually despise. When you meet him you'll understand.

AW: Did you find anything particularly difficult in writing this book?

Ed: Just getting started really. Both in terms of starting to write and starting the series. That and all the technical difficulties. Formatting alone is a real bear, the ebooks at least. Now I have to promote and learn how to do that. This is my first book. It was never going to be easy.

AW: What project(s) are you currently working on?

Ed: I'll be working on Violet Skies for the next five years at least. I might take on side projects as time permits but this is my main one for now.

AW: Do you have any interesting writing quirks you want to tell us about?

I kind of hate the term "pantser", it just sounds like a juvenile insult. I much prefer Martin's analogy of "architects and gardeners". I do tend to make things up as I go for the most part though. I create the best characters I can and then I just sort of turn them loose. One will act and another will react and it all just snowballs from there. I know generally how things will go because I know the characters and their situations very well, but there are always surprises.

AW: Do you have any advice for writers out there?

Ed: Yes, discipline. You have to learn discipline. You have to be able to sit down and make yourself read, research, promote and of course write even when you don't feel like it. You have to manage your time and make the most of it. This is the single biggest thing holding me back at this point. Discipline is the most important trait for any artist or anyone who is effectively self-employed to have. It's even more important than luck and talent. Stephen King writes at least something every single day, even Christmas. Joe Konrath writes almost every day, even having largely given up convention appearances and such. That's how they're so prolific and successful. How do you break the 20 book mark? By writing every day.

It also helps to read a lot. Call it market research if you need an excuse.

AW: Where can we find you? 

Ed: My blog is the hub of my presence on the web: and I try to get on Twitter at least twice a week: @EdwardLCote I keep my blog professional and I'm actually fairly proud of it. My Twitter feed has a lot of political stuff though, and retweets from Jim Gaffigan etc. Zach Galifianakis is probably the funniest guy on Twitter. I kind of wish he'd tweet more often.

AW: And of course we have to know, where can we find your book? 

I have started a page on my blog where I'll keep all the links to where my work is for sale: that way it will always be available and readers can just check back there in the future as it is updated. I'm pretty sure I've covered most of the major formats but let me know if I've missed anything.


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