Interview with J.A. White

Welcome back to You Heard Write! A place where writers and fans can hear from their favorite authors as they discuss aspects of the craft, up and coming publications, and personal experiences.

Today we welcome a very special guest, award-winning author of several grim and spooky books, J.A. White!

About the author:

J.A. White writes creepy books for children.  The four novels of his Thickety series have received numerous starred reviews and other accolades, including a Children’s Choice Award for Best Debut Novelist. His most recent novel is Shadow School: Archimancy, the first book of a trilogy.

Born in Staten Island, New York, J.A. White now resides in New Jersey. Other than being an author, he is a father, husband, short film maker, Mets fan, and a public school teacher. His book Nightbooks is being adapted by Netflix.

J.A. White’s books:


CN: The list of books you’ve authored are filled with the creepy, the dark, the witchy, and with the things that go-bump-in-the-night. What advice would you give to writers who may be writing, or planning to write, a scary tale?

JAW: I tend to think of all my creepy books as realistic fiction with the spooky parts sprinkled in for flavor.  When I’m coming up with a new story, I always start with the characters at some crucial juncture in their lives.  In Shadow School, for example, Cordelia (the protagonist) has just moved to a new school and is having trouble adjusting.  Hopefully this arc helps the reader connect with Cordelia, as well as anchoring her character in reality. Now, her school happens to be haunted, which–in my mind, at least–makes things a lot more interesting, but Shadow School is still the story of a girl learning to adjust to a new phase in her life.  After I construct this main arc, I have fun adding the creepy details–which now hang a lot better, since you have a human, relatable structure in place.  I can’t say for sure if this is the best way to write a spooky story, but it’s the way that works for me.   


CN: Not only are you an author, but you’re also a teacher, parent, husband, and a short film maker. Clearly that’s a very busy schedule, so when does most of your writing happen? And how can writers with similar schedules stay productive with their stories?

JAW: Up until a year ago, I did most of my writing very early in the morning.  I’d wake up around 4:30 and write until 7:00, then head off to work. However, the traffic on my commute has gotten ridiculously congested, and now it’s hard for me to leave any later than 6:15 if I want to get to school at a reasonable time.  For that reason–and the fact that I’m now 45 and getting up early is not as easy as it used to be!–I’ve been working at night, after my kids go to sleep. I also go to the library straight after school on some days and lock myself in the basement for marathon writing sessions on the weekends.  It’s a tough schedule, no doubt about that, and I’ve had to give up a lot of things. I barely watch TV, and I don’t read as many books as I’d like to. Any free time I do have I spend with my family. I think the best way for a writer to stick with a crazy schedule and remain productive is consistency.  If you can’t find the time for a full writing session, make sure you squeeze in at least one hour a day, every day. That’ll keep the story fresh in your head, and it’s like the traffic I sit in every morning: it may take longer than you’d like, but if you just keep tapping the gas pedal, you’ll eventually reach your destination.  And don’t forget: Coffee is the sweet elixir of life! 


CN: For many traditionally published authors, the abbreviated road to publication involves producing a publishable story, landing an agent, then finding the right publisher / editor who wants to acquire your book. Not one of those comes easy, but out of the three stages listed, which one did you find the most difficult to achieve? Which one was maybe easier than expected?

JAW: There are no easy paths to becoming a published author, for sure, but in my mind producing a publishable story is by far the most difficult part.  My first published novel took me about two years to write, but before that I had spent literally thousands of hours honing my skills on short stories, bad novels, and film articles.  A great portion of my life has been dedicated to learning the craft of writing, and I’m absolutely still learning, every day. For the sheer time commitment required, I think completing a publishable story is the most difficult piece of the publishing puzzle.  On the flip side, finding an editor and/or agent can be easier than expected, because there is such a degree of luck involved. It’ll hopefully just happen out of the blue one day. 


CN: ( Fun One)  Your book, Nightbooks, was recently picked up by Netflix. If you were to make a cameo in the film, and had complete control as to what scene you would appear in, where would you pop up at and what would you be doing?

JAW: Haha! Well, I certainly wouldn’t want to give myself a speaking role, because I want the movie to be good, and as soon as I open my mouth I’ll ruin the whole thing with my horrible acting.  Oh! I know! If they film “Lost Dog,” which is one of the stories that Alex tells the witch, I’d love to be someone riding the roller coaster at the end of the story. I can’t act, but I’m good at screaming in horror.


CN: What can your fans expect from the next J.A. White books(s)?

JAW: Right now I’m working on the third Shadow School book, which is turning out to be a lot of fun. I think with a series it’s important to change things up with each book, so this one is a lot different than the first two.  I’m not sure what will be next, though I do have plenty of ideas. It’ll definitely be a standalone book, not a series. Also, I haven’t written a fantasy since The Thickety, and I’m missing that genre, so I think that’s on the horizon.  And at some point I’d like to write something for an adult audience–it’s just a matter of finding the time.


CN: Any last advice for writers?

JAW: This is very much a cliche, but that’s because it’s true: focus on the work, not the outcome (being published or not).  I’m fortunate enough to have written a few books that have enjoyed success, but I’ve also written novels that will never see the light of day.  I’m not sure I necessarily enjoyed creating one more than the other–the process was basically the same. My guess is you’re reading this interview because you love writing, so just do your thing and don’t worry about what you can’t control.  Chances are, if you work long enough, and hard enough, good things will happen.


Myself and J.A. White want to thank you all for stopping by You Heard Write! We hope you had as much fun reading the Q and A as we did making it, as well as furthering your knowledge on the craft of writing. And be sure to check out J.A. White’s work next time you’re looking for a great book to read! (You will get chills. . . . Trust me!)

You can connect with J.A. White through social media and his website by clicking the links below:

J.A. White’s website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram


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Interview with Cornelia Funke

Welcome back to You Heard Write! A place where writers and fans can hear from their favorite authors as they discuss aspects of the craft, up and coming publications, and personal experiences.

Today we welcome a very special guest, international bestselling author Cornelia Funke!

About the author:

Cornelia Funke was born in 1958 in Dorsten, Germany. After she graduated from college, she worked as a social worker with children from difficult backgrounds. She returned to school three years later, this time to study book illustration at the Hamburg State College of Design. As an illustrator, she designed board games and illustrated children’s books. But she soon became frustrated. Disappointed in the way some of the stories were told and wanting to draw fabulous creatures and magical worlds rather than familiar situations of school and home, she was finally inspired to write her own children’s books! Her books have found international success, making her one of the most beloved authors of the century.

Some of Cornelia’s most known works:


CN: Being a lover of dragons, I’m dying to know where the inspiration for Dragon Rider come from?

CF: The book goes back to some ideas I used for my very first book “Die grosse Drachensuche” (The long search for the dragons), which has never been translated into English. Someone wanted to make a series out of it and asked me to make the story a little longer. Well, you can’t just make a story longer and so I decided to write it anew and in a slightly different way. While I wrote that new story I didn’t feel like turning it into a TV series anymore and so now there’s just the book.
And there was one more reason to write Dragon Rider. I wanted to draw dragons and all the strange creatures that live with them.


CN: What should aspiring authors expect if they wish to have their stories traditionally published? 

CF: I would suggest sending a summary of your story and a strong excerpt that can stand alone to a publisher. If the editor likes the idea and the writing style, he/she will contact you and ask for the complete text. But: please be patient and do not be disappointed, if it does not work at first go. Wait. Getting an answer—any kind of answer!—takes a long time. Most publishers and/or agents have to go through hundreds of submissions each week. Be patient…


CN: If you could go back in time and give your pre-published self one piece of advice, what would it be?

CF: Structure! I print out each chapter I have rewritten, and put the working sheets on each chapter with notes on what I’d like to put in the drafts. Then they’re organized in sets of 10 chapters, since there are so many chapters in the books, like the Ink trilogy. Each time I do a rewrite, there’s a new color for each draft. That way I know how many drafts I’ve done for the book. With big books like those, you have to be really organized.
Besides, you have to have patience and collect ideas about something you’re really passionate about. Characters you want to talk about and that readers would want to read about. Then collect ideas for places in the book — look at photos and books about different places for inspiration. Then start collecting little things about the story and background… until you have a chest full of ideas. Then you can start writing the plot of the story, based on your ideas.


CN: (Fun One) If you could live inside any of the fantasy worlds that you have created, which one would you chose and why?

CF: I would read myself into MirrorWorld and be a shapeshifter like Fox.


CN: What can your fans expect from the next Cornelia Funke book(s)?

CF: Hopefully as much joy as they found in my other books 😉


Myself, Cornelia, and her sister, Insa, who was wonderful in delivering the answers to me, want to thank you all for stopping by You Heard Write! We hope you had as much fun reading the Q and A as we did ourselves, as well as furthering your knowledge on the craft of writing. And be sure to check out Cornelia’s work next time you’re looking for a great book to read!

You can connect with Cornelia on social media and her website by clicking on the links below!

Cornelia’s website

Facebook

Twitter


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Interview with Corey Ann Haydu

Welcome back to You Heard Write! A place where writers and fans can hear from their favorite authors as they discuss aspects of the craft, up and coming publications, and personal experiences.

Today we welcome a very special guest, Corey Ann Haydu!

About the author:

Corey Ann Haydu is the author of YA novels, OCD LOVE STORYLIFE BY COMMITTEEMAKING PRETTY, and THE CAREFUL UNDRESSING OF LOVE, as well as the middle-grade novels RULES FOR STEALING STARS and THE SOMEDAY SUITCASE. A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and The New School’s Writing for Children MFA program, Corey has been working in children’s publishing since 2009

In 2013, Corey was chosen as one of Publisher Weekly’s Flying Starts. Her books have been Amazon Book of the Month Selections, Junior Library Guild SelectionsIndie Next Selections, and BCCB Blue Ribbon Selections.Corey is also on the faculty of Vermont College of Fine Arts’ MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program.

In January 2020, Corey’s first chapter book series will debut with HAND ME DOWN MAGIC: STOOP SALE TREASURE. Later in 2020, her next YA novel, EVER CURSED will hit shelves.Corey lives in Brooklyn with her husband, her daughter, her dog, Oscar, and a wide variety of cheese.

Corey’s Books:


CN: Writing a middle grade story that features addiction and how it affects a family is something that needs to be handled with precision  and care in order to keep the story suitable for younger audiences. In Rules for Stealing Stars you did that beautifully. So what advice would you give to authors who may be struggling to address such topics in their stories intended for younger readers?

CAH: Thank you so much! As the child of an alcoholic myself, I knew writing about this topic was really necessary, and that young readers deserve stories that reflect their real lives, and often those lives are filled with things that people don’t think they are “ready” to actually talk about. For me, it’s important to write both honestly and with hope. But I think hope is a broad term that can be defined in so many ways, so it doesn’t have to be a really idyllic version of hope. I truly believe that there’s no topic that is off-limits for kids, but you adjust the HOW of writing about a certain topic. I would tell writers to remember that kids are from many different kinds of families and circumstances, and to treat their stories with care, clarity, and to keep their value front and center. If kids know they have value, that they are important and deserving of love– that’s where hope lies. I want to add that Sesame Street just this week has introduced an addiction narrative into one of their character’s lives, proving that there really is a way to talk to every age about addiction, even if it feels impossible and scary. 


CN: Finding an agent who is interested in your work is no small task. What can writers do to stand out in the crowd and get more manuscript requests?

CAH: I think my best advice is to just do your best work. Finding the right agent really is a two way street. Your agent is your partner, so you need to find someone who you work well with and who understands your vision for your work. There’s no fancy trick to finding one. Just do your research and come to them with your best possible, most complete work. Find trusted readers to discuss your work with you before you send it out to agents. Make sure you’re querying agents with something that really reflects who you are as a writer, something you feel confident and excited about. And make sure your list of agents also reflects the kind of writer you are– look for agents who represent the type of books you are interested in working on, follow their guidelines, and stay open to their feedback! You want an agent who is truly excited about YOU, so be patient and persistent in finding that person. 


CN: With your background in teaching, as well as doing manuscript critiques, what are some of the most common issues you come across in manuscripts?

CAH: The number one lesson I can teach any writer is the value of staying In Scene. This means that instead of going over what happened in a general way, or telling the reader what “usually” or “always” happens, choosing a specific, grounded time and place and really digging into what that moment feels like. A lot of writers veer out of scene in moments when we really want to be right next to the main character, experiencing things for ourselves. Readers want to have the opportunity to make their own judgments on what’s going on– and the only way they can do this is to give them the opportunity to experience things for themselves. Instead of saying “my friend is really mean”, give us a specific scene, a contained moment of cruelty with dialogue and behavior and sensory details so that the reader, after reading the scene, knows for themselves that the character is mean. Be relentless in looking in your work for moments when you are in and out of scene!


CN: ( Fun One)  In Rules for Stealing Stars, your host of characters find magic in their closets. If your closet was magical like theirs, what do you think you’d find in it?

CAH: What a beautiful question! I think my magical closet would be sparkly and filled with flowers. My wardrobe is filled with floral patterns, so I imagine if my closet was magical all my floral dresses and shirts and sweaters would come to life and it would be just a fantastical world of a billion different flowers growing all over each other! 


CN: What can your fans expect from the next Corey Ann Haydu book(s)?

CAH: I have a lot of books coming out over the next year or two! They all feature magic, characters who struggle with not being perfect, and complicated friendships. Next up is my chapter book series for readers age 6 and up, HAND-ME-DOWN MAGIC. It is about a part-Puerto Rican family inspired by the family my daughter is growing up in, who owns a second hand shoppe filled with maybe-magical objects. It follows two best-friend-cousins and their adventures with their family, the shoppe, and the possibility of magic that hangs around them. The first two books in the series, STOOP SALE TREASURE and CRYSTAL BALL FORTUNES come out June 9, 2020.I also have a new YA novel coming out in the summer, July 14, 2020. It’s call EVER CURSED and it’s a feminist fairytale about five spellbound princesses, the witch who placed the spell upon them, and the secrets their kingdom has been hiding. I will have another middle grade novel out in 2021, that is about friendship and family expectations, and what happens when you don’t live up to your destiny.


CN: Any last advice for writers?

CAH: Keep writing, and try to find ways to make the process joyful– at least sometimes! Maybe that means writing at a cafe or only writing 100 words at a time. Maybe it means going on a writing retreat or doing nanowrimo or making sure you’re working on projects that mean something to you. But for me, finding joy in the work is what keeps me going and makes it all worth it!


Myself and Corey want to thank you all for stopping by You Heard Write! We hope you had as much fun reading the Q and A as we did ourselves, as well as furthering your knowledge on the craft of writing. And be sure to check out Corey’s work next time you’re looking for a great book to read.

You can connect with Corey on social media by clicking on the links below!

Twitter

Facebook

You can also check out her website–Corey Ann Haydu. And if you’re a writer looking for some professional help, she does manuscript critiques! (Couldn’t ask for a better author to critique with!)


*To stay up to date with the future featured guests on You Heard Write!, click the subscribe tab below.

Interview with Alison Goodman

Welcome back to You Heard Write! A place where writers and fans can hear from their favorite authors as they discuss aspects of the craft, up and coming publications, and personal experiences.

Today we welcome a very special guest, award winning and New York Times bestselling author Alison Goodman!

About the author:

Alison Goodman’s most recent novel is The Dark Days Deceit, the third and final book in the Lady Helen trilogy of supernatural Regency adventures. The first book in the series, The Dark Days Club, is a 2017 CBCA Notable Book for Older Readers, a 2017 Bank Street Library Best Book and an NPR Best Book of 2016. The second book, The Dark Days Pact, won the 2016 Aurealis Award for Best YA Novel. Alison is also the author of the award winning and New York Times bestselling duology EON and EONA, Singing the Dogstar Blues and her very adult thriller, A New Kind of Death. Alison can dance a mean contra-dance, has a wardrobe full of historically accurate Regency clothes and will travel a long way for a good high-tea. She lives in Australia and is currently working on her PhD at the University of Queensland.

Alison’s books:


CN: One of the many aspects of Eon and Eona that had me under “your spell” was the way you were able to blend the elements of politics, culture, identity, magic, and DRAGONS, of course. What tips can you give about the process of creating such a vivid world that allows the readers to be swept away by the fictional universe?

AG: My best tip for building a seamless fantasy world is to remember that everything is being filtered through the point of view of your characters. For example, if you are writing from only your protagonist’s point of view, then start with whether the “magic” in your world is a secret or is part of everyday life. As soon as that decision is made, then move on to whether or not your protagonist is a practitioner, and whether she (or he/they) has knowledge about it or is naïve. Keep in mind, also, that when your characters moves through their world, they won’t be noticing the everyday, just as we don’t really note all the things we see and use everyday. A character will notice what is important to them in that moment and have an opinion or an emotion about it. In that way the world is slowly built up around them.


CN: Ideas for books can strike writers at any time. But, in the opposite direction, it may take a while to find that special idea that captures your heart and mind enough to begin the writing process. What seems to help your creativity in terms of coming up with ideas for future books you want to write? About how long do you “circle” the idea mentally before you begin plotting/outlining?

AG: I find that just about everything I do helps me find material for my writing: reading, watching movies and TV, listening to my friends tell stories, trying out different foods, going to festivals and conferences, looking at art in museums, drinking coffee in a new café, walking my dog, listening to music, singing in the shower. . . it all helps. Fiction, like life, is rooted in the physical, the emotional and the intellectual, and just by living life a writer is gathering resources to write their fictional worlds. In terms of circling an idea, it can take me quite a while to come to the time when I want to start writing. I generally spend quite a while thinking about the plot and its structure, sometimes up to six months, and have most of those elements worked out before I start writing. Of course not everyone writes like that and I know a lot of great writers who just jump in – it’s all about what works best for you as an artist. If it is a novel that requires a lot of research, then I will work on that alongside the structural work. For the Lady Helen series, I researched the Regency era for eight months full-time before I began to write the first novel. In that way, I was able to know that when Lady Helen walked into a Regency ball room, it would be lit by a certain kind of candle, that the floor would be chalked to stop people slipping when they danced, and the moon outside would most likely be full because balls were held on full or near full moon nights so that people did not have to travel home in complete darkness. Not all of the details I discover make it into a novel, but my intense research helps me build up a more complete picture of everyday life for my characters.


CN: If you could go back in time and give your pre-published self one piece of advice, what would it be?

AG: I would tell my earlier self to read and learn as much as I could about story structure. As it was, I was lucky enough to study structure reasonably early in my career, but I now think it is the number one thing to study if you want to be a writer. If you can build a strong structure for your story then you are well ahead of most other emerging writers out there. I recommend Save the Cat Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody, and Story, by Robert McKee. The McKee book is more about script writing but much of what he talks about can work for fiction writing too.


CN: (Fun One) I know you do tremendous amounts of research and traveling to make your work authentic in terms of culture, mythology, setting, and so on. My question is if you could travel to any foreign land that you’ve yet to visit, with only one character from any of your books for your companion, where would you go? Who would you choose and why?

AG: I’m going to be a bit cheeky here and class the past as a foreign land! I would like to go back to 1700’s England and experience the rambunctious Georgian era and the age of Enlightenment. In regards to which character I would choose as my companion, I would go back with Mr. Hammond–from The Dark Days Club series–who I wrote as a very resourceful man with a dry sense of humor and a lot of experience living at the edges of society and the law. Mr. Hammond is probably not the character most people would think I would choose, and it surprised me a bit too, but he is one of my favorites in the Dark Days Club series and I think we would have a ball carousing through Georgian England.


CN: What can your fans expect from the next Alison Goodman book(s)?

AG: I have three projects in progress. First is another Regency series called The Benevolent Society of Ill-Mannered Ladies that I am going to publish as novellas. It is a rip-roaring, funny adventure/romance series. Second is a contemporary urban fantasy/comedy that is a total hoot to write. Finally, a secret project that is going to take a lot of research so I’ll keep that quiet until I actually start writing it.


CN: Any last advice for writers?

AG: My top three pieces of advice are:

1. Read as much as you can: great stuff, not so great stuff, books, scripts, and stories of all genres. Don’t read them just as entertainment; think about why something works as a story for you or why it doesn’t. Think about the techniques and how you—as a creator of stories–might be able to use them.

2. As I mentioned before, learn about the craft of constructing stories. Read some books about structure and character and dialogue or, if you have the resources, take some writing classes. Write. Get in front of that screen or page and write, write, write. Practice is essential. Don’t be too hard on yourself in the first draft; just let the words and ideas flow.

3. Then, when it comes to rewriting (and all serious writers rewrite their work) bring in the craft that you have learned from the books or classes and your own ideas about what makes a good story.


Myself and Alison want to thank you all for stopping by You Heard Write! We hope you had as much fun reading the Q and A as we did ourselves, as well as furthering your knowledge on the craft of writing. And be sure to check out Alison Goodman’s work next time you’re looking for a great book to read.

You can connect with Alison on social media by clicking on the links below!

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook


*To stay up to date with the future featured guests on You Heard Write!, click the subscribe tab below.

Interview with Lou Anders

Welcome back to You Heard Write! A place where writers and fans can hear from their favorite authors as they discuss aspects of the craft, up and coming publications, and personal experiences.

Today we welcome a very special guest, middle grade fantasy author Lou Anders!

About the author:

Lou Anders is the author of the the middle grade fantasy adventure series Thrones & Bones, as well as the novel Star Wars: Pirate’s Price.

He has always been a fan of fantasy adventure stories. Frostborn and its sequels was his attempt to write the kind of story that would have excited himself as a kid (and still as an adult). He wanted to introduce young readers to fantasy fiction in a book that parents and kids can enjoy together (or each on their own).


He’s done a lot of things before becoming an author. He wrote and directed plays in Chicago. He was a journalist out in Hollywood once upon a time, where he hung out on the sets of a lot of science fiction television shows talking to actors and directors and crew. He wrote movie scripts too, a few of which he even got paid for! He worked for an Internet start up in San Francisco. And he worked as an editorial director and art director in publishing, and wound up winning the Hugo and Chesley awards for editing and art directing!

These days, there’s not much Lou would rather do than write, but when he’s not writing, he enjoys playing video games, running Dungeons & Dragons games for his family and friends, reading, television and travel. He’s been fortunate enough to have visited many countries around the world ─ including countries in Great Britain, Europe and Asia.

Right now he lives with his family in Birmingham, Alabama.

Thrones and Bones series

Star Wars: Pirate’s Price


CN: World building is one of the most important aspects in terms of writing a great fantasy book. What were some of the techniques you used when you created the world for Thrones and Bones?

LA: Whenever I’m inventing a culture, I light to look to real world and mythological examples. For the country of Norrøngard, I was obviously heavily inspired by real world Norwegian history and Viking myth. But for something like the Calderans of Thica, I was looking at the real world Spartans and combining them with the historical Greek notions of the Amazons (as opposed to modern notions). I will research a lot of history and mythology, watch lecture series on the periods I’m interested in, and source as much photo reference as I can. But I also have another technique that’s a bit odd, which evolved by accident. After Frostborn sold, and while we were still in rewrites, I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to Norway. While there, I was struck by how unique the landscape is. I worried that I would have to do a description pass on my manuscript, because I didn’t see how I would have gotten it correct before my visit. But to my surprise, I’d actually nailed the look and feel of Norway, the only exception being that I had to add the red berries that are all over the hillsides. I couldn’t figure out how I’d managed to pull it off until I remembered that I was over one hundred hours into Skyrim. And Bethesda has obviously spent millions on duplicating the look of a Norse environment inside their game. So now when I am creating a new culture, one of my techniques is to see if I can find an historical videogame that takes place in an analogous real-world land. Playing the game helps me internalize the experience of walking around inside a historical space. So… long, dry lectures plus video games = research!


CN: How do you handle the times when your inspiration to write seems to be on an extended vacation? Do you muscle through, or do you have a process that gives you that extra oomph?

LA: Well, these days with two kids and a dog demanding attention, the impediments to writing aren’t so much writer’s block as external claims on my time. But there have certainly been times when I wasn’t “feeling it,” or my mood was coloring my output. I learned to remind myself that I’ve spent decades honing a craft, and that “my talent exists irrespective of my mood.” Some material that I wrote under very trying temperments–where I just absolutely hated the process of writing–ended up being some of my favorite bits of the Thrones & Bones series in retrospect.  So I’ve learned to just sit and type and know that my fingers know what they are doing, even when my brain thinks otherwise!


CN: If you could go back in time and give your pre-published self one piece of advice, what would it be?

LA: Writing, like everything, is a muscle. It only improves with usage. I wish I’d started sooner. I’d be that much better now if I had! 


CN: ( Fun One) Given your love for video games, if you could write a story about any video game character, who would you choose and what kind of story would it be?

LA: I’d be torn between writing about the Dovahkiin from Skyrim or Arthur Morgan from Red Dead Redemption 2, with Lara Croft as a close second. I suppose the world of Skyrim appeals to me more than writing a Western or that of a modern day treasure hunter, but really what I’d rather do is work on a videogame for Thrones & Bones! I’m also a very big pen and paper RPG player, so a Dungeons & Dragons Thrones & Bones supplement would be grand.


CN: What can your fans expect from the next Lou Anders book(s)?

LA: Well, my first Star Wars novel, Pirate’s Price, came out this past January. It ties in with the main ride, Smugglers Run, at the new Galaxy’s Edge attraction at Disneyworld and Disneyland, so that’s made a bit of a splash. Then my next original novel will be out from Penguin Random House in Summer 2020. It’s not public yet, though I imagine it will be very soon (we’re through copyedits and the cover is done). It’s not a Thrones & Bones novel. Instead it involves new characters in a different location of the world. I’m not going to say much about it now, except to say that it’s very different for me, a whole lot of fun, and definitely involves unicorns.


Myself and Lou want to thank you all for stopping by You Heard Write! We hope you had as much fun reading the Q and A as we did ourselves, as well as furthering your knowledge on the craft of writing. And be sure to get your hands on a copy of the Thrones and Bones series!

Don’t forget to follow Lou Anders on Twitter @LouAnders. You can also visit www.louanders.com to stay up to date with his work!

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