Hello, thank you for visiting again.
Today we have the great fortune of having an author of extreme openess, point on logic, creativity and humor.
Meet S.E. Zbasnik.
When did you start writing, and what did you write about?
Kindergarten is the smartass response, but it was an extremely nerdy start that got me into noveling (not a real word, but I’m sure it’ll catch on). I entered a fanfiction writing contest for a video game and won a sword from a weapons replica store. I like to call myself a sword winning author.
“Noveling,” I like that. What is the difference in your perception between now and the time you started writing?
Anyone who thinks writing is easy is either a liar, about to sell you something, or a long lost alien come to eat your brains. Writing is a giant pain in the ass. There are days, sometimes weeks, when I have to bribe myself to put fingers to keys and get a word out. But struggling through scenes you don’t want to write gets you to that really exciting one where everything explodes. Accepting that struggle and breaking through it is a necessary part.
Also, I no longer eat crayons.
Oh my God, you’re too funny. Please share a few lines about the books you have published, and what brought you to publishing each one of them.
With The King’s Blood I wanted to explore the errant boy who will be king trope, but by changing things around. A black girl is tasked with keeping the prince who may be king alive and getting him back to his army. Along the way, she runs into an Asian witch, another Black man, and a slew of traveling historians. In truth, the diverse characters were added because I kept thinking “Why not?” Lilly White fantasy is so damn boring.
Funny enough, it was through winning another contest that brought The King’s Blood to light. In this case, it was Lulu’s Let’s Go Wrimos something or other. It was a disaster for many reasons, but it got the book out the door.
Currently, I’m working on a series called Dwarves in Space. It’s a dangerous combination of science-fiction and fantasy tossed into a blender and sprinkled with jokes. I’d queried it around and got a lot of bites, but no one is willing to take a chance on satire. Publishers seem to be terrified of humor that isn’t a string of fart jokes. Add in defying genre and self publishing was the only way to go. Enjoy an interview with the main character who sat in our chair, earlier today.
What are you writing about now and why are you writing this book?
Right this second I’m actively ignoring my first historical fiction. It takes place in Granada, Spain in the year 1499. It’s been 7 years since the end of the Reconquista when the crown signed a treaty reclaiming the last of Muslim held land. Despite the treaty allowing the Muslims to remain and retain their religion, the city’s boiling over in rage.
Enter my main character, a bandit with a robin hood penchant for stealing from the rich. Except this male bandit is hiding a secret, he’s actually a she.
I wanted to write this because there aren’t many female rogue types, especially the charming and churlish sort. And there are so few historicals that delve into Muslim Spain; it seemed a rich opportunity to mine.
Sounds really interesting. Tell me, how do you go about writing your books? Do the ideas just pop in your head or do you have to plot and plan?
I begin with one scene, typically of two characters interacting and grow off that. Why are they saying what they’re saying, what led to this point, where does it go to? I’ll work out scenes and ideas long before I put down the first word. I never start a book or story unless I already know the ending. I might get lost along the way, but at least I’ll know where I’m trying to wind up.
I’m having a bit of a hard time marketing my books. What are your techniques and do you feel they are working?
Does anyone know how to do this? I fear the best advice I’ve seen is to publish, publish, publish. There are giveaways, deals, twitter, facebook, all stuff that takes time. It’s a game of inches not yards.
You're right. It's a matter of catch readers as you can. So, where can the audience purchase your books?
Amazon is the best spot. You can find my current books here: http://amazon.com/author/sezbasnik
I have a habit of talking (interviewing) to the people in my books. How do you communicate with your characters?
My characters tend to bicker amongst themselves in my head. I feel less like I’m talking to them, more that I’m a fly on the wall overhearing them. This can be a bit more difficult with my introverted characters who don’t like to talk about themselves much. There are many times I have to threaten a character to get them to open up.
If I were to interview one or two of the characters from your novel what do you thing he/she would say about the role you put him/her in? Do you think they would like the book?
Orn would be very pissed that he isn’t considered the star or gets top billing. Pilots are the best after all. He’d also think the book needs even more explosions than the ones it currently has.
What hobby or activity do you enjoy other than writing?
Clearly gaming for me to have won that Dragon Age contest. I’m also huge into Halloween and make a lot of my own props. My basement is literally full of skeletons.
Thank you for your time, S.E. Zbasnik it has been most enjoyable. Find S.E. on Facebook
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