Today my interview is with Benjamin Patterson author of the Fantasy Novel “The Shadow of His Hand”. His book launch will at the Townsville Greek Community Centre on 13th of June 2017 at 7 pm. (RSVP email@example.com)
What is your favourite childhood book?
I’ve got to be honest. I didn’t like reading as a child. In fact, I don’t remember reading a novel for enjoyment’s sake until I was 19 – It was ‘Wizard’s First Rule’ by Terry Goodkind. I remember seeing the map on the inside cover and knew I had to read it.
What were you good at English in school?
Yeah, I was a straight A student. I preferred speaking to writing, though.
What is your genre and what draws you to it?
I love fantasy, coming of age stories. I’m a bit cliché really and prefer the older fantasy tales. I love books about destiny, duty and love. I’m not really drawn to modern fantasy where the characters all seem to be fighting to see who can be the nastiest and most evil.
Do you have a special time/day to write?
I work full time and have four children. I write whenever I can, usually that’s at night once the little ones are snoring.
How long did it take to write your book?
I started ten years before it’s publication. It took ages because I kept giving up – literally every time I went back and read what I had written. It wasn’t until I turned 30 (4 years ago) that I decided I would put my head down and finish it. My wife and friends were the ones who convinced me not to give up.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I’m not very good at planning. Instead, I have key scenes and finish points in my head that I’m always writing towards.
Did you proofread/edit your own book or did you get someone to do it for you? If someone else, how did you choose them?
I used a few people to help me proofread and edit. My wife, for one, and her mother who is a magazine proofreader. I also paid for a professional assessment of my novel and a professional proofread just before publication. I chose them based on how helpful their websites were.
Where did you get your information or ideas for your book?
That’s a tough question. I did a fair bit of research about old-school sailing ships, just to make sure my terminology was correct. Other than that, I have no idea where my ideas come from.
What is your writing Kryptonite? Do you believe in writer’s block?
I’m a terrible procrastinator. Unless someone else gives me a deadline, I’m likely to take my time. If writer’s block exists, I’m yet to experience it.
What did you edit out of this book?
I didn’t edit out any plot lines or characters, but I did cut a lot of over-explaining that I had in earlier drafts.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
My main character is reluctant prison guard called Fredrick. He doesn’t do anything special, which is the way I like it. He’s in way over his head, has a loose tongue, and loathes responsibility. His special power, if you could call it that, is that he’s the only person in the whole kingdom who can get a certain infant to stop screaming. (hint: the infant is a pretty important person)
How do you select the names of your characters?
I don’t really think long about names. As I write, I usually pick the first name or two that comes to my head.
Who/What was your favourite character to write?
I really enjoy writing from Jaithe’s perspective. She’s quite cynical and not backward in coming forward. Her dialogue was fun.
What was your hardest scene to write?
Wow. Tough question. They were all pretty hard in some way or another.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
You don’t get any prizes for starting something. You have to finish it.
Do you think that giving books away free works and why? What other marketing strategies have you used?
I’m launching my novel next month (June 13) and am definitely going to be hosting some giveaways on goodreads. Whilst I’d like to be a full-time writer one day, I’m happy to lose money on my first novel. I just want it to be read.
If your novel was turned into a movie, who would you like to be cast in the main roles?
Fredrick (Main Character) – Maybe a young Chris Pratt. He has a bit of humour in him.
Princess Kathryn – Kate Beckinsale, maybe. I don’t know. I never really thought about it.
What scene would you most hate for them to cut from the movie?
That’s easy. I have a scene where the High King gets to choose his bride from among any willing woman in the Realm. They come from all over the place and line up for him. It doesn’t go to plan. It’s a favourite scene of mine and of those who’ve read the book so far.
How can people purchase your book?
It will be available on every digital and print platform known to man… but for the moment, pre-orders can be made here.
Thanks so much for your time.