Welcome to Part II of our interview with the Anumal Empire: Lazarball writer team - Dave & Darren!
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Before we get to the conclusion of the interview, here is a little treat! Check out the book trailer for Anumal Empire: Lazarball, which features some of the awesome graphic artwork that I loved coming across while reading it.
‘Anumal Empire: Lazarball’ is set up for the first book in a series. How many installments are you both thinking of writing and can you tell us a little bit about the upcoming second book?
There are going to be seven books, but we are going to be trying something daring throughout the series. And no, we aren’t going to elaborate on that just yet. You’ll just have to wait!
Book Two, though, is already in the process of being written, and it will move along in the same style as the first book…in that we don’t spoon-feed the reader. You are on a journey and you will sit back and enjoy it. We are in charge of letting you know when you are going to find out information. We wanted it to mirror the society that they have. Wooburn village (the main setting of the book) is isolated from other villages, and any information is slow to permeate, and we wanted to mirror that in the writing style. The second book, though, will have some new characters, and some surprise returns from some old faces, but unfortunately some of my favourite characters will not be in the next books. The plot, though, starts with a bang and continues on from there!
We get asked questions all the time, ranging from, ‘What happened to humankind?’ and ‘Where did anumals come from?’ to ‘Can different species of anumal mate with each other?’ and ‘What are scavengers?’ We always reply by telling them that all of these questions and many, many more get answered and are addressed throughout the saga. Nearly every character and situation written in the book is written for a reason; nothing has been thrown in, and no red herrings exist. This is why it will take seven books. But by the end of the saga, I truly believe the reader will come out of the experience completely satisfied, with all their questions answered…and, hopefully, a few new ones raised :)
Writers are usually avid readers too. What are some of your favorite books or authors?
The Drenai series - David Gemmell (best epic fantasy war writer)
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte - amazingly lonely, and vastly bleak.
The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas (best revenge plot ever!)
I could go on and on…
Wuthering Heights – Awesome novel, gothic and sparks the uncanny in us all.
Candide or Opitimism – Voltaires epic
Lord of the Rings Trilogy – Sheer epicness once again.
Dubliners – James Joyce defines a city.
Star Wars Heir to the Empire trilogy – c’mon, it’s Star Wars J
Ham on Rye – Charles Buckowski’s early years.
The Abhorsen Trilogy
Ok…Ill stop now as well…
How has the writer experience been for you both once ‘Anumal Empire: Lazarball’ was released? Is it anything like what you expected?
We had no idea what to expect; we were just so relieved to get the book out there. But now it is out we have discovered that the next step is incredibly difficult. It’s tricky to get two unknown writers to get their material read by the general public, but we have found that people are slowly starting to read it. We’ve had some great reviews, and some great writers have also looked at it too, and it’s been compared to Harry Potter, the Hunger Games, and Thundercats…so that is mind blowing. But now we just want to get it exposed to a larger audience.
On a personal level it was great when the book was released because my friends were like, “Oh, wow! Congratulations!...That’s amazing news.” And then after they read it they would say things like, “It’s actually really good! I didn’t expect that at all!” Which makes me laugh.
I think we are both very settled in for the long haul on this. After all, we are two blokes from Bradford (Yorkshire) who have taken the plunge into the world of becoming an author…no one knows who we are…yet. That is the most encouraging thing. Very slowly, we see the book being bought, then a review will come out, then a comment will be made etc etc. It’s out there, and people are taking an interest, and we know that when book two, and book three, and book four, and all the others come out, Anumal Empire will grow and grow. Wanting to write a novel was the easy part. Learning how to write a book is the hard part. Promoting the book once you have read it is even harder, and writing your next book while promoting your others has got to be even harder still. But to coin a very cheesy Jack Sparrow saying:
What was the funniest or most memorable reader reaction to your novel?
There have a been a few funny ones. But my favourite was when one reader rated Anumal Empire: Lazarball as the best fantasy book they had ever read. I obviously scoffed at the notion…while simultaneously tweeting it, posting it on facebook, telling all my friends, and phoning my family in the UK to tell anyone and everyone who would listen. :)
I also loved it when you vented your anger at the treatment of Clinton by Galront. That was hilarious. It made me happy that you immersed yourself so deeply within the world we had created. (shucks you are making me blush........ May Galront die a thousand deaths...)
I have to say, your Goodreads progress comments were awesome lol.
(In case you guys are wondering, Dave is referring to the below... I meant every word.)
Damn you David & Darren! (shakes fist!)"
|08/14||85.0%||"I have a feeling I will be left with a cliffhanger... damn..."|
|08/13||75.0%||"HAHAHAHAHA Galront! Karma is a beotch! You deserved it, you nasty, smelly $ssh&le!"|
Another funny reaction was from a friends father. I would never have pegged him as a fantasy reader, let alone a YA book, yet he absolutely loved it, comparing us to Eddings and Tolkien. I don’t think we are quite on par with them, but it was very flattering. Now all I hear from readers is ‘When is book two out?’ Trust us…we are working on it :)
When you are not writing, what are your favorite past times or hobbies?
I’m an actor, and I moved from England to Los Angeles. I’m pretty busy doing auditions and classes and stuff like that, but I love reading. I go to the gym three times a week. Even watching TV is part of my schedule, as I need to follow current TV trends to see how they are changing their styles. I have a very busy lifestyle, but I love it.
I keep myself busy with quite a few things. Primarily I have two children aged 6 and 4, so you can imagine how much time they eat up lol. I am also the singer in a hard rock band called Old School Enemy. We are gigging a lot, and at the moment we are in the studio recording a new albums worth of material. As well as that, I also like to try stay in shape. I do MMA (mixed martial arts) and also a self defence system called Krav Maga….oh, and I also write books as well…did I tell you that part? :)
Many thank yous to Darren & Dave for spending some of their precious time to answer some of our questions!
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