We're talking today to C.G. Ayling, author of the fantasy novel, Malmaxa I. Beltamar’s War.
Thank you for this interview, Charles. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
I started composing poetry in my mind about forty years ago, soon discovering that unless I wrote it down I soon forgot it. For years, I kept journal - that ended the day I had a premonition of my death during my military service. I’m sorry to say I lost the journal during an inter-country move. Only recently, about five year ago, did I take up the pen again – it is so much easier now, as the unforgiving pen has been replaced with a most forgiving word processor. I believe that like most writers, every sentence I write, reveals a little of me.
Can you tell us briefly what your book is about?
Beltamar’s War is the first novel of a likely five in the series Malmaxa – I once described it as crucible in which characters are shaped and formed. As with most things in English, a nuance of this is that Malmaxa is about personal development – how and why people become as and who they are. I enjoy Fantasy, and it fit well with the series since I believe readers more readily accept difference when they are far from the security of everyday life. With Beltamar’s War, I try to invest readers in the characters inhabiting a strange world. I envisioned a world stripped of material comfort, but rich in a believable culture, filled with imperfect, real people. A world where what you are, is of greater worth than who you are. A world, utterly unlike our own, yet ultimately filled with characters just like you and I.
Who is your intended audience? Have you been able to crossover into other audiences as well?
In reality, I wrote Beltamar’s War for myself. It is as emotional journey of expression that I hope has broad appeal to two types of reader. First, those who enjoy escapism, and wish to immerse themselves in a different world than that of their everyday lives. Second, for the reader who reads between the lines, enjoys prose written from the heart, and is willing to entertain ideas foreign to the norm.
Why did you choose your particular genre?
Fantasy? It is a genre I personally enjoy, and it allows me to encourage experimental thought in the minds of readers.
Do you ever experience self-doubts with your work?
Constantly. I’m a terrible nitpicker, seldom satisfied with my own words.
Where do you write? Do you have a favorite place?
I compose themes and storyline elements in bed, when I awake in morning’s early hours. I write at my computer, not in a coffee shop, not on a train – at my desk, where my kids can interrupt me, and my wife often does. J
What kind of research did you have to do during the writing process?
Fantasy allowed me to skip part of this, however I constantly utilize the internet to investigate and validate ideas. My desktop has two displays, one is for the internet, the other for the document I’m editing. Frankly, without access to the internet I doubt I could manage.
Who is your publisher and how did you get accepted by them? Did you pitch your book yourself or go through an agent?
My publisher, if you wish to call them that, is CreateSpace, a division of Amazon. I also publish through Amazon directly for the Kindle, and via SmashWords for multiple platforms including Apple, Nook, and PC. I pitched my work to multiple agents, and directly to multiple traditional publishers before deciding to use CreateSpace.
How are you promoting your book thus far?
Truthfully, I am not. I started using Twitter, with the intent of utilizing it as a promotional platform, however I soon discovered that Twitter is… shall we say, oversubscribed… With that discovery came liberation from the chore of selling my work. Now all I do is share bits of myself – and yes, I truly mean bits of myself. The bio I submitted at the start of this interview, is part of my Twitter Biography – the missing part is my website address.
If you could give one book promotion tip to new authors, what would that be?
I can’t, as I’m simply not qualified to so.
What’s next for you?
I’m working on an entirely different type of novel – a current times apocalyptic thriller. Hopefully, I’ll be ready to release it soon – unfortunately experience proves it takes significantly longer than anticipated before I’m satisfied enough for that.
Thank you for this interview, Charles. Can you tell us where we can find you on the web?
My blog is a good place to start:- http://cgayling.com/malmaxa/
To interact, Twitter:- http://twitter.com/CGAyling
FaceBook, to see my Tweets:- https://www.facebook.com/cgayling
Multiple Web links:- http://cgayling.com/malmaxa/links/