Interview with Andy Peloquin.   1 comment

Today’s interview is with Andy Peloquin. Welcome to the blog.

Thank you, Lela! It’s a pleasure to be here!

 

Andy Peloquin Author Pic.pngTell us something about yourself.

I’m quite the oddball: born in Japan, Canadian citizen, French mother, American step-father, living in Mexico. I write freelance and teach English for a living, but I’m slowly making the transition to becoming a full-time author. I just need about 1 million people to buy my books, and I think I’ll be good. Hehe…

 

 

You and me both, man. At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer?

That question always makes me smile. I wrote my first story (short, and a total piece of garbage) at the age of 10–a piece called “Tally the Tigermaster”. Very Christian/religious story about a tiger-trainer who has a religious epiphany/moment of self-discovery after nearly getting eaten by his tigers.

At 15, I had lots of free time and no internet access, so I began to write the adrenaline-fueled, martial arts-packed, shoot-em-up thriller every young boy wants to read. After six chapters, the computer crashed and I lost it. Probably a good thing!

Throughout my later teen years, I competed in various online writing competitions, even winning one with a piece of prose I’m still quite proud of to this day. I began work on a full-length novel at the age of 17, but by 19, I had only finished 60% of it. Life got in the way, I got married soon after, and I stopped writing.

I always kept my written works on my computer, and told myself I’d write a book (I was certain I’d go the non-fiction route) if I ever came up with a good idea.

At the age of 24, someone I greatly respect loved a piece I had written, and it encouraged me to keep writing. I actually spent the weekend of my 25th birthday hammering out a classic fantasy comic book script, and loved every minute of it. From that moment, I knew I wanted to write, and I haven’t looked back since.

 

What is your favorite genre … to read … to write?

I’m a HUGE fan of fantasy–anything set in another world. I’m not real big on paranormal or urban fantasy, but I love worlds like Lord of the Rings, Mistborn, and The Gentlemen Bastards. Grimdark is a particular favorite of mine. Something about the grim, gritty, gloomy tone of the grimdark worlds makes it feel so grounded and realistic. Far more pragmatism than heroism! It’s a genre I love to read and write.

 

What is something you cannot live without?

Coffee. I’m not one of those cliché coffee-addicted writers. I have coffee two or three times per week due to its addictive nature. But if I go for more than a week without the rich liquid magic that is coffee, I feel like something is missing from my life. I’ll have a cup of decaf or even an instant coffee just so I can enjoy the incomparable flavors of a good cup of Joe.

 

When you are not writing, what do you do?

Thinking about writing. Heh…

My subconscious mind is often mulling over some writing-related concept, plot hole, or twist even when I’m not working. I’ll usually figure out important book elements as I’m lifting weights, playing video games, watching TV, walking to and from the gym, running, or driving. More than once, I’ve had to pull over to the side of the highway and sit with my blinkers on as I type out important ideas. Thank the gods for dictation software!

 

 

Andy Pelquin Bucelarii 2 SmallHave you written any books that made a transformative effect on you? If so, in what way?

I’ve found the story of the Hunter (The Last Bucelarii series) has given me a better understanding of myself and my emotions. The Hunter, a half-demon assassin, is far more emotionally stunted than I am, so as I write his journey through life, it helps me to better understand my frustrations, happinesses, irritations, and failings. If you could see inside my head, you’d realize that a lot of the Hunter’s thoughts in certain situations are exactly the way I’d feel in those same situations. By understanding what makes him tick, I can understand myself better.

 

 

If someone who hasn’t read any of your novels asked you to describe your writing, what would you say?

A look at the darker side of human nature.

The Hunter is half-demon, a killer, and a victim of the voices in his head. It’s amazing how many serial killers, murderers, and assassins in real life have also been driven by their own internal voices.

The Hunter meets people with split personality disorders, bipolar disorder, sociopathic and psychopathic tendencies, and many other mental disorders. By reading the Hunter’s story, you can understand these people better and see how truly f*****d up the human brain can get!

 

 

Do you find yourself returning to any recurring themes within your writing and, if so, are you any closer to finding an answer?

One odd theme that I find in my writing is “a sense of home”. None of my characters grow up in a happy home environment. For example:

  • The protagonist of my self-published novel In the Days: A Tale of the Forgotten Continent is uprooted from his home at a young age and taken to live in the capital city of Atlantis.
  • The Hunter has no memory of his past, much less any recollection of any place he could call “home”.
  • The protagonist of my secret side series is sold by her father to a thieves’ guild at a very young age.
  • The protagonist of a soon-to-come comic book series is also uprooted from home and sent to the palace to work as a servant.

Growing up in Japan and living as a missionary kid meant I never really had a place to call “home”, and that’s somehow reflected (subconsciously) in each of my stories.

 

Are you a plot driven or character driven writer? Why?

I find you need both to make a good story, but it’s the character that really makes the plot worth reading. I hate character studies, as they usually lack good plots. But a plot, no matter how good, will get boring unless I’m invested in the character. My job is to get readers invested in my characters as quickly as possible, and they’ll feel the highs and lows of the plot twists and turns.

 

 

Do you write from an outline or are you a discovery writer?  Why?

I’m a beautiful hybrid of both!

I do need some sort of outline or structure to write from, but I hate limiting myself to following a very strict set of scenes and happenings. I will have a rough plot before I sit down to write, but I may not know where the book ends or how the character gets to the ending. I like to discover important elements as I go, but having the framework/outline in place makes it easier to focus on brainstorming specific “discoveries” instead of trying to come up with the whole plot off the cuff.

 

 

 

I’m going to drop you in a remote Alaska cabin for a month. It’s summer so you don’t have worry about freezing to death. I’ll supply the food and the mosquito spray. What do you do while you’re there and what do you bring with you? If you’re bringing books, what are they?

My computer, absolutely. With nothing to do but write and relax, I would have all the time I wanted to finish my series and work on those side projects I never seem to have time to get to.

Of course I’ll have plenty of books on hand. I’d have David Weber’s Safehold series (sci-fi/fantasy meets historical fiction of sorts), all of Brandon Sanderson’s works, and a few of those 6-to-10-book fantasy series I’ve wanted to read but never had time to.

 

Talk about your books individually.

The Last Bucelarii series follows the half-demon assassin known only as “the Hunter of Voramis”. He has become a legend in his city, as he is ruthless, relentless, and immortal. Everyone fears him, and no one alive has seen his face.

Yet beneath the legend is the man…and the demon. His accursed dagger, Soulhunger, drives him to kill, which is why he has become an assassin in the first place. He is an outcast, with no place in the world and few friends.

Book 1 (Blade of the Destroyer) introduces the Hunter, the city of Voramis, and the threats to the Hunter’s world. Loss, betrayal, death, murder, mayhem, and demons abound!

Book 2 (Lament of the Fallen) follows the Hunter on his flight from Voramis in the aftermath of everything that happened in Book 1. He is running from his pain, yet he is also traveling in search of his forgotten past.

 

 

What do you want readers to think or feel after reading one of your books?

I want them to feel excited at the fast-paced book they just read, then I want them to feel sympathy for the Hunter. He is as much a victim as the people he kills, driven to terrible deeds by the voices in his head. I’ve written to make people laugh, cry, gasp, scream, and hurl the book away, only to pick it up and keep reading. My goal is to make it a book you want to devour in one sitting, sleep be damned!

 

If you write speculative fiction, do you find that the Christian reader community is accepting of that genre?

I found that all but the staunchest, most rigid of Christians can enjoy even fantasy, science fiction, and speculative fiction. There are a few that believe fiction revolving around other gods and belief systems are a bit “heretical”, but most are simply readers who love to explore something new, even if it’s not in line with their beliefs. Coming from a Christian background myself, it still sometimes feels odd to talk about “the gods” rather than “God”. And yet, part of being an intelligent person is being willing to consider other perspectives. Save for a few close-minded individuals (here’s looking at you Westboro Baptist Church), most Christians I know and interact with love a good story as much as the next non-religious person!

Buy Links:

Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Last-Bucelarii-Book-Lament-Fallen-ebook/dp/B01JJ5CKOU/

Amazon Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Last-Bucelarii-Book-Lament-Fallen/dp/1535388668/

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Last-Bucelarii-Book-Lament-Fallen-ebook/dp/B01JJ5CKOU/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30973111-lament-of-the-fallen

 

Book Launch Event:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1756560507952924/

Join my Thunderclap:  https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/44830-the-hunter-rides-again

Andy Peloquin Author Pic.png

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One response to “Interview with Andy Peloquin.

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  1. Reblogged this on Daermad Cycle.

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