1. What is the hardest part about being an author?
I think most authors will tell you that they took up writing because they love to create. Then they discovered that they had to learn to be promoters and designers and all sorts of other things. I’m learning to promote my books, and it’s tough, because I don’t naturally put myself forward. To give you an idea, I work in the theatre and film world, but I direct and do backstage work. That’s the kind of person I am. I take pleasure in the act of creating, and I don’t care that much about saying, “Look at me, aren’t I great?” Which is a good character trait, but it doesn’t sell very many books.
If it wasn’t for people like Elise, here at the Single Librarian, I’d be in trouble.
2. Can you give us a short synopsis of your book?
I’ll try to give something different from the blurb on Amazon. This is the story of someone who is of mixed parentage and uncertain social class in a highly structured medieval society. She tries to solve her lack of position through loyalty. However, early in the book she discovers that you can’t base your self-image on external factors, because when those factors change you can be placed in a difficult situation. So she goes back to the place she was raised, looking to find who she was. That helps, but it doesn’t completely do the job. So she goes to the country of her heritage. That helps her discover who she is, but there is still something missing. So finally she comes home to discover that she is needed for herself, not for where she came from. She is forced to make an extremely difficult choice that will affirm her own individuality and at the same time change the course of her realm’s history.
3. What inspired you to write this book?
I have always been an avid reader, using imaginary lives to fill the gaps in my own. So I created a set of characters I wanted to know, and turned them loose. I have also worked on Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” and studied it thoroughly, and Macbeth is a favourite character of mine. So one of my characters (and even some of his dialogue, if you really look) is based on him.
3. How many hours per day do you spend writing?
Usually from 4 to 6 hours. I am definitely not a “sit yourself down and write a set amount every day” writer. I’m much too ADHD for that. I have other responsibilities, so some days I don’t write much. On the other hand, if nothing else is going on and the words are flowing, I have been known to sit down and write for 10 or 12 hours at a stretch.
One year I taught ESL in Korea for a month. I dealt with the culture shock by creating my own world to slip into. I would get up, write for two hours, go to school, drop by the market and do my shopping, go home, write for two hours, have supper, then write for another four hours. I worked 6 hours a day and wrote 8 hours a day for four weeks, and finished 70,000 words that month.
5. Name your top five favorite books.
“Dragonsong” by Anne McCaffery. Anything from the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. “The Helmsman,” a space opera you never heard of by Merl Baldwin, “Pride and Prejudice,” by Jane Austen, and whatever book of my own I’m working on at the moment. I mean, if I don’t love what I’m writing, how can I expect you to love it?
6. What are you working on now?
“The Innkeeper’s Husband,” book 5 in the Petrellan Saga, is at the editor’s at the moment. It’s about a minor character from Zoysana’s Choice who becomes important in her battle against the Inari, in spite of the fact that he wants to give up soldiering and become an innkeeper.
I’m also going to publish a stand-alone fantasy, “The Power to Serve,” which joins together the two best-known cattle-worshipping societies in history, the Minoans of Ancient Crete and the Californios of the American South-West. It’s already written, but needs a lot of polishing.
I’m also writing “Queen of Mischief,” Book 5 in my World of Change series. It’s the further adventures of Jameta anDennal, the heroine from “The Trouble with Tents.” It takes place on a paddlewheeler exploring an unknown river, so I’m doing a lot of research about early British Columbia river navigation. That story is about half way through the first draft, so that’s going to take most of my writing time this year.
Title: Zoysana’s Choice
Author: Gordon A. Long
Discovered as a child living alone in the forest and growing up an orphan of mixed parentage, but under the protection of the king’s youngest son, Zoe is appreciated for her own merit by everyone, from the royal family to the lowest kitchen wench. But her secure nest is shattered by conflict in the king’s family, and soon she will have to decide where her loyalties lie.
She flees to her former home in the mountains, where she finds many answers, but not to the questions she is asking.
Then she is offered the chance to visit Kyabra, the home of her grandfather, to learn about that ancient culture.
But all of these travels come to naught when she hears of war at home, and she returns to Petrella to be faced with a decision that could stop a war and change the lives of thousands, but only at the greatest personal cost.
This is the first published work of a 7-book saga of standalone novels tied together by characters and setting. Books 4 to 7 are sequential, and Books 1 to 3 happen 400 years earlier.
Brought up in a logging camp with no electricity, Gordon Long learned his storytelling in the traditional way: at his father’s knee. He now spends his time editing, publishing, travelling, blogging and writing fantasy and social commentary, although sometimes the boundaries blur.
Gordon lives in Tsawwassen, British Columbia, with his wife, Linda, and their Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Josh. When he is not writing and publishing, he works on projects with the Surrey Seniors’ Planning Table, and is a staff writer for <indiesunlimited.com>
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