“Not psi-quotient, diamond head–psi-bond, Hankura. If she were that strong, I would feel her in my dreams, too. But, you’re the only one who feels her.”
Chris Myers, the author of The Aldean Series has given me some time out of her busy schedule today so that we can kick around ideas on all things writing, reading and publishing. Chris, so the readers know where your writing experience lies can you tell us about the Aldean series.
The Aledan Series books 1-4 is a science fiction romance series about two telepaths who connect by chance as children. Hankura is an Aledan boy passing by Earth in a star ship and Michelle “Chelle” Marlow is the little girl alone and afraid on Earth. Her desperate fear reaches out and grips Hankura in a connection so profound he promises to come back for her when he grows up. When he does that’s only the beginning.
And what inspired this beginning?
Moody Blues music had a great deal of influence on the development of the love story. A couple of my favorites allude to wanting to feel and understand what their lover was feeling.
Was that the connection between the lovers a strong factor in the method that you used to develop the characters? How did the method of character development work within this book?
It’s an internal process that usually starts with a scenario and a main character. Because most of my stories are romances they start with a female lead or male lead. As I imagine them interacting with each other they become more developed. Additional characters develop and grow as the story unfolds.
And how did aspects of the story unfold? For instance did you intentionally set out to cover any specific ideals or concepts as part of the story?
Not really. Stories come to me in scenes and or daydreams, that are probably subconsciously influenced by themes in music, historical and current events, and other stories.
You mentioned that some of these scenes were coming to you in daydreams. How did these daydreams play out? Were the daydreams centered more on the plot of the story, or the characters?
A combination. I dream about the characters in the context of their storylines quite often, especially when I am trying to work out the plot.
And how did you get ideas for the plot? Was research essential?
I did quite a bit of research for the series on science, paranormal theory, and medicine. It was pretty interesting.
Research is always a good excuse for more reading :). When you were writing how did you try and develop more interest for your characters to explore from aspects of your own life?
I think you always draw on life’s experiences in one way or another. While I haven’t experienced half the things my characters have, I can imagine how they might feel or act in a given situation based on something I’ve experienced.
As these books are set in a futuristic sci-fi setting, I wouldn’t expect for you to have much direct experience of the situations the characters get in, so I’m assuming that you’re really using your personal life to draw out those emotions and character interactions. Do you think that the daily interactions from your professional or day job has helped you work through these interactions?
I’ve done secretarial work in business, law, and medicine and those experiences help me develop characters and plausible plot situations.
So it really is an amalgamation of both the relationships and plot that really fuse together for you. If you could prise on or a few of your characters out of their world and into ours, would you like to socialise with them?
Perhaps if they were real. Lol. I’ve always been fond of Delmran and of course Hankura.
Would you pick Hankura as your favourite character?
Hankura and Chelle are my favorite characters from the beginning. They appear in all five books in the series but are not always central in the story. The fifth book is a work in progress.
Another book! Can we talk more about it?
Yes, The Aledan’s Children is the fifth book in the series. They are introduced in the fourth book Psi Factor.
Now that you’re onto your fifth book you must have improved you approach to writing. What do you typically do on a consistent basis to keep yourself motivated to write?
I try to write every day, but sometimes life has other plans.
Indeed it does :). How has life affected the timeline of the first four books in the series?
It’s taken a few years to write the series. Generally a novel fill take a few months to draft initially.
And after that?
I generally distance myself from the work once it’s drafted and work on a new project for awhile or read others’ books then go back to it with fresh eyes and edit for content.
Do you find the editing process helps you keep on track? Is this an aspect of the writing process that you deal with yourself?
I’ve done most all the editing of my books. When I can I get people to beta read it for me.
Beta readers are worth their weight in gold :). So once you had the novel to a publishable standard how did you go about the cover design?
I designed the book cover using a royalty free photo I purchased and cover creator on kindle direct publishing.
That seems like a fairly straight forward process to get it all online.
Publishing is the easy part. Marketing is the bigger challenge.
I agree, marketing really is the bigger ballgame, but there’s alot of great resources to help authors work through the marketing minefield. Do you have an overall best tip that you could share with others so that they don’t get caught in any writing, publishing or marketing minefields?
Learn the craft and write often.
Was this process of learning and improving your craft the most rewarding aspect for you of writing the first four books of the series or did you feel like some else impressed a greater reward on you?
It was getting drawn into the stories as they unfold, like going to see a movie on the big screen that pulls you into the characters’ lives. When its over you feel satisfied that it was time well spent.
Do you feel that your first review helped you confirm that it was time well spent?
I wished it had given more detail, but I was glad to have it.
I can’t disagree there, reviews are great :). Do you feel like your position as a reader has impacted your writing positively? For example who is your favorite author?
I am a long time Robert Heinlein fan, and have read many of the old science fiction masters Isaac Asimov, Frederick Pohl, Arthur Clark, Pohl Anderson, Andre Norton, Ann McCaffrey, and CJ Cherry etc. Recently, I’ve been reading Ruby Lionsdrake, KD Jones, and Cheryl Brooks.
There are some great choices there. Do those great choices extend to your current reading selection?
Vash by Elyssa Ebbott an Alien Romance.
I haven’t read that but I will have to check it out. Finally to round out today’s interview I’d like to set you up with some rapid fire and response questions to see if we can divine any unknowns in less than 2 minutes. We’ll start with:
What was your favourite book as a child?
The Black Stallion by Walter Farley.
What is your favourite quote from another author?
I’m making it up as I go along.
Who is your favourite literary character?
Lazarus Long of Robert Heinlein’s series.
Do you have any philosophies that you live by?
I think if everyone would try to do what is good and just and right the world would be a better place.
Is there a book that you wish that you would have written?
Anything by John Grisham.
What is your favourite word?
What is your zodiac sign?
Can you stand on your hands unassisted?
Which are cooler? Dinosaurs or Dragons?
What is your favourite quote?
The best and most beautiful things in life can not be seen or touched, but are felt with the heart – Helen Keller
That is a great reminder. Chris, thanks again for joining me today. Best of luck with your promotion of the first four books in the Aledan series along with your progress bringing the fifth instalment to life.
Want to find out more about Chris? Connect here!
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thealedan
- Twitter: @Crisanne1
- URL: http://aledanbooks.com
- Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_ebooks_1?ie=UTF8&text=Chris+Myers&search-alias=digital-text&field-author=Chris+Myers&sort=relevancerank