Author Interview with Eldon Farrell
I was lucky enough to run into Eldon when I first got back to writing. Over the years, he's been a mentor and a friend, and GREAT shoulder to cry my Amazon woes to. But more than that, he's an amazing writer in his own right! I've fallen in love with his "Singularity series", but even more so with the edge-of-the-seat action he writes! And today, we're lucky enough to have him join us for an author interview. Without further ado, check it out below!
1. You've been writing now for a while. What made you start writing, and consider publishing in the first place?
I started writing so I had a place for my thoughts. Back then, it was just about me and the paper. Once I heard about the whole self publishing revolution, I had to take a chance on it. No question about it.
Looking back though, I wish I had known then what I know now. Amazon has done a LOT for writers. They created the world’s biggest marketplace and allow us to hock out wares, if you will. But I wish they would stop telling people (myself included) that you can publish for no cost in less than five minutes. (Given their server speed, five minutes is a stretch, but that’s another matter.)
While you can publish without cost, you really shouldn’t. You only get one chance to make a first impression and the internet is not written in pencil. We don’t get a do-over. I published The Descent series without editing and have to live with the reviews that point that out. I’ll never know how many sales those reviews have cost me. I’ve had them edited now, but the damage is done. If you’re thinking of tossing your hat into this ring, do yourself a favour and spend money where it’s needed, so you can make a splash for all the right reasons.
2. How would you classify your genre of writing, or is it more outside of the box?
I wouldn’t. Genre is a funny thing. You ask me, more often than not, it gets in the way of a good story. Genre is a classification method developed so booksellers would know where to shelf books. In the digital age, I think this has run amok. We now have so many sub-genres and sub-sub-genres, that I fear creativity is lost while trying to adhere to the tropes found within each.
I grant you, readers like to know what they’re getting before they buy, but I refuse to believe they want more of the same all the time. I believe in story over genre. My tagline is Unbound by Genre. And, I mean it.
3. A lot of these interviews tend to be on the positive side. We won't disappoint the readers, but I'm going to ask something a bit tougher. Name me a conflict/issue you ran into through your writing journey, and how you came out of it? (it can be writers' block, or a particular bad review, or something)
Best example I can think of is way early on when I realized I sucked. Quite the issue, huh? I think every writer has that moment though. We all start out believing we can do no wrong—that we’re going to be the next big thing. Our friends and family tell us how good we are and we wrap ourselves up in the adulation. Completely ignoring the fact that our writing is horrid.
Fear not though, because once you admit you suck, you can start to not suck. You can get better. Work on improving your craft. Study how a story is put together. Recognize the beats and flow of narrative. Writing seems easy, and crap writing is. Anyone can write badly. But it takes real effort and desire to push through the crap and get better at this. Keep reading, keep writing, and keep learning. That’s how most authors get better. There really is no overnight success.
4. I'm a huge fan of your work! Singularity's rogue cop character Nathan is my absolute favorite :) Who/what was the inspiration for him?
Nathan is a polarizing character for sure. I know you absolutely love him, but I’ve been told by other readers they preferred Alexis to him. I take both as compliments. Engendering a response from readers is what great characters do. The inspiration for Nathan likely came from Vic Mackey, the bad ass cop Michael Chicklis played on The Shield. I loved how his character was this vicious, basically crime lord type, yet his motivations were pure. I strived for the same dichotomy with Nathan.
5. What about your Descent series? They follow some rather gripping plots, with tons of twists and turns! DId you draw inspiration from something in particular, or is your mind generally a dark place of thriller reads hehe?
The original concept for Stillness—the book that launched the series—was a sweeping adventure story centered around our hero locating ancient relics to save the world. Standard adventure fare, basically. To keep it short, the concept didn’t work for me. Upon retooling to what it is now, I took inspiration from research. Richard Preston wrote a chilling narrative—Demon in the Freezer—about Smallpox and its near eradication. That was the genesis of the outbreak story. As for the more gruesome addition of The Toymaker, probably came from the dark recesses of my mind.
6. You're a fan of comics. Marvel or DC, and why?
You’re trying to get me in trouble here, right? Let me break down my thoughts on this divide. When I was growing up, I was pure Marvel. Spider-man, in particular. But I was known to read Fantastic Four, Hulk, and X-men, too. Keep in mind, this was back before the mainstream success of the properties. It may be hard for people