You’ve been working on a wonderful fantasy series, Mercenaries, which began in Storm Approaching and continued in Gold and Glory, Resolution, and The Free Lands. Right now, only the start of Mercenaries is available in eBook format. Are there plans to bring the rest of the series to digital formats?
I would like all my books to be available electronically but budget constraints prevent this. (Although theoretically one can download and format books oneself, were I to attempt this with a long novel I imagine I would have a nervous breakdown.) I will have them electronically formatted as I can afford to.
I know these books took a bit of a circuitous path to publication. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
“Circuitous” is a good word for what happened. Others good words are: tortuous, interminable, frustrating. Those interested in a story that began in June 2001 and did not officially end until March 2012 may find it on my blog entry for May 5, 2012, “A Cautionary Tale.” (I certainly disproved the idea that it is harder to get a good agent than to get a publisher. My agent was the same one that Patrick Rothfuss and Tad Williams have, but even fine agents do not always sell their clients’ books. Close but no cigar, as they say. I finally decided to publish them myself rather than risk that they might appear only posthumously.)
You’ve also written a couple of books that aren’t part of your Mercenaries series, And Gladly Teach and Miscellanea. Can you tell us a bit more about these two works?
AGT, my first novel, is a lighthearted look at the workings of a boarding school with some perhaps not-so-lighthearted observations on secondary education in this country. Miscellanea is a collection of humorous and satirical essays on various topics, e.g. education, military history, and films. I also have an affectionate pastiche of David Suchet’s Hercule Poirot series posted at fanfiction.net: “The Adventure of the Surprising Ending” (by ‘Vorbin’).
What are your future writing plans? Are you looking to write more fantasy, or do you want to focus on a new direction?
My plan at present is to concentrate on marketing. After publishing six I sensed—despite my lack of business acumen—that it would be wise to sell more before writing more. I know there is a market for them because I have received very positive reviews and feedback, but now I hope to spread the word before I write more words. I would like to write one or two more works in the Mercenaries series (though I assure prospective readers that the series as it stands is complete, i.e. the first three books are a unit with a definite ending and The Free Lands is a stand-alone. Readers are not left hanging; but “the further adventures of” are a possibility.) I will also add more essays to my blog as I find suitable topics.
I really appreciate your stopping by! Do you have anything else you’d like to say before we wrap up?
Thank you indeed for this chance to say a bit about my literary efforts. With so very many books available today it is optimistic to expect prospective readers to take a chance on POD items. But I hope that many folks will at least take a look at my blog—andiriel.blogspot.com—to find out more about my books, read some essays, and decide if my style and subject matter warrant the investment of hard-earned cash and the time to read my stuff.
Thanks again, Brian!