Saturday, July 20, 2019

Simon Emery, Author of Fallen World

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Today we are interviewing Simon Emery about his new science fiction book, titled “Fallen World: Book 1 of the Dark Enemy Saga.” 

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’ve been a literature and creative writing teacher for over 10 years now. Before that I worked as an editor and wrote for a few different fiction magazines. More recently I’ve been living in Timor-Leste, volunteering my time teaching literacy, mathematics and geography. Some of the people and places in Timor have served as inspirations for this book!

Describe the plot of your new book, “Fallen World,” in a few sentences.
Fallen World follows the journey of Xavier who watched as his world burned, swearing vengeance on the race that did it. But he soon realizes that the war is far more complex than he first thought. Betrayal, deceit and lies reveal hidden factions and buried truths.

In the middle of this great war, trapped between two empires Xavier finds himself with an unlikely crew. With them he must fight to keep alive his family, who are caught on all sides of the conflict. But with powerful figures pulling strings and even his allies chasing their own agendas, the odds truly are against Xavier and his crew as they seek to prevent two races from annihilating one another.

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?
Sci-fi fans first and foremost. Anybody who loves epic space action. But I take inspiration from everywhere. Any fans of video games such as Mass Effect or Knights of the Old Republic, or the Warhammer series would love this book. I also draw ideas from a variety of different genres and authors. 

This book is very character led, with a truly compelling and unique story. 

Tell us about the protagonist, Xavier.
Xavier is a young man who has always dreamt of leaving his sleepy planet and finding adventure. That all changes the day his world is invaded and the action he craved comes to him instead. Beaten, betrayed, grieving and bitter he finds himself at the center of a web of lies and deceit that could destroy the universe. 

The loss of his world and death of loved ones causes Xavier to realize his flaws, but also discover his strengths. He becomes a warrior and a leader of men, but close beneath the surface simmer doubts and uncertainties. Xavier is a man who must find himself soon; or lose himself forever.

In your book, the survival of two races is at stake. What are the two races?
Humanity and a race called the Vruhr. The Vruhr are a thoroughly unique race andthe only sentient species mankind has made contact with… for now.

Your book is set in an imaginative world. Was it difficult coming up with this world?
It’s set in more than one! It wasn’t difficult. There is so much inspiration available to authors these days. I think the beautiful thing about science fiction is the freedom you have with creating. Sci-fi is unrivalled in genre fiction in that regard.

What is your writing process like?
It’s not as complex as the process of many authors I know. I plan it and store it all almost entirely in my head. I love writing, and when you put me in front of a computer all I want to do is get into the story. I set out the book’s skeleton, but much of the story and characters only find their flesh and bones when I’m writing. I lose myself in my work quite easily and when I’m typing away and ‘in the zone’ I’m constantly building the story in my head as I go. 

Are there any authors who have influenced your writing style?
So, so many. The author who really flamed my love of books was David Gemmell. He was a fantasy writer, and I’ve read everything by him countless times. My style has certainly changed since I first started though, and I now draw influences from people like Neal Asher, Alastair Reynolds, Joe Abercrombie, Peter V. Brett and John Scalzi. As well as a lot of smaller authors who are still trying to make their name.

What is your favorite thing about the sci-fi genre?
World and character building. I love to create and sci-fi offers a huge blank space for a writer to build upon. 

Who was your favorite character to write?
Kjeld. Kjeld is an old grumpy brooder. He reminds me a lot of my dog! But he has a history and a mystery about him, and he carries a love that is forcing him to go against his nature. I think it results in great interaction and dialogue with some of the more blithe characters such as Canisio.

How do you think you've evolved as a writer since when you first started?
This is a tricky one as I have evolved so much. If I’m honest, I used to be too blunt when writing emotion, too forthcoming with character. Now I love to play with subtlety, which I think results in a much more engaging story. I also love experimenting with paragraph construction. I think you can build atmosphere and convey so much with simple manipulation of sentence length.

Are there any aspects (e.g. character building, world building) of your writing that you've been practicing?
I practice everything, every day. As an unknown author I think you have to. You owe it to those few people who take a chance on you and your book. I don’t have a publisher and I know I’m going to have to fight for every single sale, so it’s up to me to ensure my writing is deserving. I love to experiment with different styles, which I release into short stories. You can view them on my website— they’re free!

What are your goals as a writer for the next ten years?
To build a world and characters that people love. You know that book you pick up on a rainy night? The one you sit back with after a stressful day, or relax with a cup of tea and a warm blanket? I would love for that book to be mine for somebody one day. I want to receive a tweet from a fan telling me to hurry up and write the next book as they need to know what’s going to happen. I know it’s not the biggest dream, but it’s mine and it keeps me going.

Is there any aspect of writing you don't like?
Not the writing, but the post-writing stage. As an independent it’s so difficult to get yourself noticed. I’m starting to appreciate that writing a book is the easy part. Finding someone to read it is the difficulty.

Have you ever had writer's block? If yes, how'd you deal with it? If you have not had writer's block, why do you think you haven't?
Often. I think it’s important to step away from your writing every now and again. Writers tend to live, breathe and sleep their books. You carry your current novel with you everywhere and having writer’s block only adds more pressure. But that is not, in my experience, conductive of good writing. Step back, take a time-out and find a fresh perspective. Personally I like to bounce ideas and complaints off my dog. He is a very good listener.

What do you have in mind for your next project?
Oh, I have a lot in mind for this current series. It’s going to be amazing; I really think that. But after this saga? Well, I have something equally special but very different planned. However, for that you’ll just have to wait and see!

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
Just give it a shot. It’s free, you have nothing to lose. What I have planned for this series is special. If you’re still hesitant (which I totally understand) you can go to my website and read some samples of my work. 

More Information
Find the book on SmashWords.
Get the book on Amazon.
Follow the author on Twitter.
Visit the author’s website.

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