Q & A with Leeland Artra

Please give a warm welcome to my next victim! —-Leeland Artra!

*****

Leeland-Author-180What would your bio say?

Here lies a great liar. Oh wait you said bio not eulogy. Well my bio is mostly that I couldn’t make up my mind. I started with college, tried the Navy, tried consulting, tried door to door sales, tried working for large corps, tried working for little corps, and am still trying. Yet through all that I loved fantasy and sci-fi. I read books all the time and also enjoy doing some fantasy roleplaying games. And now I have added author to the long list of jobs. Except Author seems a really good fit for my personality, I think I will be doing this for a long time to come.

When did you start writing and why?

I started writing stories in the early 1980s. Most of them were for roleplaying modules of my own design. I wrote a lot of side plots for games I was the game-master for. Later I wrote stories for friends based on little known side plots of our lives (all of it fiction of course). None of these were ever published and most were under a thousand words. I got serious about writing professionally in 2012. I took a series of stories I had written and weaved them all together to make my debut trilogy Golden Threads Trilogy which started with Thread Slivers (a bestseller), will continue with Thread Strands and will end (yes the trilogy will have a real ending, I like those) with Thread Skein.

If you are a parent how does being a parent affect your writing and writing habits? Or does it?

Oh that is funny. If you’re a parent it affects everything. And, yes I’m a parent I have a marvelously busy six year old son and an adult daughter. My daughter thinks it’s cool. My son thinks it’s annoying because I spend so much time working on the books, and marketing them. At six the world should and does revolve around playtime and how long until the next playtime. Some of the stuff my son does ends up echoed in the books. I hope when he is older he’ll be proud of me and the works I have done.

Who is your favorite author and why?

This seems to be a favorite question and most authors I know claim to be unable to nail it down to one. I’ll go out on a limb and say I have a long list of authors I love and would recommend to someone based on what genre they love. For fantasy I have to say I love Roger Zelazny. For Sci-Fi that is a hard toss between Philip Jose Farmer and Timothy Zahn. If you want more current writers then I love Lindsay Buroker, Lois McMaster Bujold, Mercedes Lackey, and Trudi Canavan. Why I like all of these authors is easy, they spin great stories that I can dive into and lose hours at a time. The worlds they create, the characters all have meaning and stick with me.

What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?

I am writing the kind of books I love to read. I want to be able to go back in a few years and read my own books and be in love with the worlds and characters again like drinking fine aged liquor. I wanted to see if I liked writing professionally, if I could do it, and if it was a feasible career change for me. So far all it all looks positive. If I can get on a few thousand people’s favorite authors lists I will call this a win-win!

Traditional or Self publishing? Why?

Right now I am going with self-publishing (aka indie author). My main reason is I want to know how all of the publishing industry works. I need to learn all the channels, distributions, methods, marketing, and how much it all costs in time and money. Why? So I can be a knowledgeable negotiator should a traditional publisher choose to pick up my books. My first book has already passed the golden “publisher pay attention” sales figures. The question is will my second, third, and forth books do the same. If so I might get some very covernice offers. Based on what I am learning about the marketing and production costs in time, effort, worry, and money I might take up the offer. It’s not a sure thing in any direction, I might be a one hit wonder, or I might actually be a regular bestselling author. All I can do right now is make sure I’m doing my very best on all aspects and measure the results.

Talk about your journey into the wide world of publishing.

It has been a very interesting journey. I spent 20 years building up the worlds and story materials. In 2012 I spent about four months reading everything I could about how to be a good author. I also spent a few months learning the marketing aspects while pulling together the initial manuscript. I had to find editors, artists, typesetters, and much more. It was all very interesting. As a result the second book I believe is going to be even better. Writing the story was very hard, but editing that and getting it turned into the book was even harder.

Tell us about your book (s).

My unique spin on things is that at some point in our future a rather unexpected event takes place causing the races of our galaxy to merge and work with races of another galaxy in a massive effort to save some of their cultures. Ours was a galaxy of science and technology, the other was one of what we would call magic (but really it is just a different kind of technology based on a radiant power source capable of being used at a distance). The result was a new world that had entirely unexpected issues, causing a degradation back to an Elizabethan level of knowledge and technology for all the races involved. Yet some science and technology from both prior galaxies still exists and is still known. So in 20,000 years from today we end up roughly at the beginning of book one. A young strong female mercenary warrior named Ticca gets hired by a young not-so-strong junior mage named Lebuin and the two of them cause a lot of headaches for all involved. Yet they are joined by some unusual individuals and manage to learn enough to stay alive and maybe even stop a rather large disaster.

What inspired you to write these books (or in this genre)?

These books are using ideas I came up with in the 1980s and have been slowly building and correcting as I learned more over the years. I wanted a rich full world for my games and stories and I built one that could be both fantastic and yet hauntingly familiar. As I love sci-fi as much as fiction I wanted to mix them together. With that said I have a 20,000 year time line of high science, high magic, and a mix of both to play with for all of my future books. I think I can find plenty of stories in that time to keep my fans and myself very happy.

Chapter-13Tell us why we should love or hate your main character?

You should love Ticca because she is at heart a farm girl that wanted to be more. She worked very hard and earned the right to carry her dagger. She is smart and resourceful, and her naivety takes a lot of hard knocks in the first book. I think most readers start out hating Lebuin, he is a real pompous idiot, pampered and self-indulgent. But, he grows and learns about the real world. By the end I think most fans will like him too. Duke, well, Duke is Duke as one reviewer pointed out he is a pretty finished character, always has been in this world. But, the sci-fi series I’m writing about his origins we’ll get to see why he is the way he is. Dohma, is your typical honest policeman that got made into a king and he is learning a lot of lessons about that. So I feel a lot of sympathy for him personally. There are dozens of other characters I’d be happy to chat about given the time.

Do(es) your book(s) have a soundtrack?

Oh that a serious spoiler alert! Who told you? Even the beta readers don’t know this yet! Oh wait, this is probably a general question you ask. Do many books have a sound track? I thought I was being clever. Yes, there is some musical aspects to the second and third books which is being done professionally. I won’t say more at this time! I need my marketing thunder if you don’t mind. The first book has a fabulous trailer you can watch on Ganxy at http://bit.ly/X1TtFJ

*****

Thank you so much for taking the time out to answer some questions so we can better get to know you! 🙂 You can follow Leeland on his website or Facebook.

 

And you can pick up this book at any one of these fine places!

Thread Slivers eBook available via Viewbook.at:  http://bit.ly/Ym1TUy

Thread Slivers print available via Viewbook.at: http://bit.ly/12PRjZX

Thread Slivers on Ganxy: http://bit.ly/X1TtFJ

Thread Slivers preview link on Amazon: http://amzn.to/Y1RrjB

Thread Slivers on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/Yye0QY

Golden Threads Trilogy on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/UQV9Sz

Mailing list: http://eepurl.com/woxIX

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