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Author Topic: The Stone Road: Ask the Author!  (Read 12909 times)

Offline G_R_Matthews

Re: The Stone Road: Ask the Author!
« Reply #30 on: June 04, 2016, 01:17:42 PM »
GR - do you have authors that have especially influenced your writing? Do you have kind of "role models"?

Hrm... that's a tough question. I know I have books that I really enjoy and have taken a lot from, in terms of learning  how to write.

Arthur C Clarke - A Fall of Moondust; how to create tension in a confined environment with a restricted cast. (They never leave the moon-ship (always thought of it a bit like a private jet that skimmed the moon surface). And I've read a lot of his other books to.

Michael Kring - Space Mavericks; who the hell is that? Yeah, I know, most folks haven't heard of him apart from on the lists of worst books ever written :) So, part of it may be what not to do, however in Space Mavericks you have a book of imagination (though the main hero is a bit like Wolverine) and great pacing.

R A Salvatore - Drizzit; not the whole series, but the struggle Drizzit has in overcoming his heritage.

L E Modesitt Jr - Recluse; what a great saga. The mix of technology and magic, the conflict between order and chaos, and the grey between.

Louise Cooper - Time Master trilogy; Still on my shelf (in the loft) and I have fond memories of the tight PoVs used.

Elizabeth H Boyer - World of Alfar; That real immersion into a different culture. Books that didn't feel like Medieval England.

Lyndon Hardy - Master of the Five Magics; Having more than one magic system co-existing and all making sense.

Raymond Fiest - Magician; Pug (of the original series) is still one of my favourite characters.

Hugh Cook - Wizards and Warrors etc; Still can't believe more haven't read this series. Totally alien fantasy world, full of great characters.

Lee Childs - Reacher; Almost a blank canvas of a character, yet with enough depth to be interesting and imprint yourself upon.

Clive Cussler - Dirk Pitt; Adventure, historical links, improbable plots and just fun!

Terry Pratchett - All of them; So clever, and such a master of the sentence. His commas meant more than other writers paragraphs!

And so many more... so many...



Staff Writer and ponderer of many things @ fantasy-faction

The Stone Road (4/5* Bookwormblues.net) : myBook.to/thestoneroad
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Offline Kitvaria Sarene

Re: The Stone Road: Ask the Author!
« Reply #31 on: June 04, 2016, 05:29:45 PM »
Ha - I think I might have to expand my TBR somewhat! Thank you :)

Offline JRTroughton

Re: The Stone Road: Ask the Author!
« Reply #32 on: June 04, 2016, 05:41:40 PM »
Questions regarding self-publishing the book and other writerly bits. I know, I know...

1) How long have you been writing for? Like, fiction, with the idea you could sell it / offer it up to a wide audience?

2) Did you try to get the book traditionally published?

3) With the benefit of hindsight, is there anything you would do differently in the book?

This book is certainly as good/better than some traditionally published works I've read, for what it's worth. Perhaps a little less honed, and with a few sentence issues here and there, but the core of the story and style of the prose is all quality.

Offline G_R_Matthews

Re: The Stone Road: Ask the Author!
« Reply #33 on: June 04, 2016, 06:56:56 PM »
Questions regarding self-publishing the book and other writerly bits. I know, I know...
1) How long have you been writing for? Like, fiction, with the idea you could sell it / offer it up to a wide audience?
I've been writing since I could write. With the idea that I could sell it (let others read it), a much shorter span of time. I always wanted to be an author, to write stories that other's could enjoy, but I never got past chapter 4 or 5. Hence the Diploma in Creative Writing - discipline, focus and to see if I could do it. Then, three years ago next week, there was a sudden death in my family. That was the catalyst, the impetus, the kick in the ass of mortality that made me start to publish my work. In Too Short (a short, way too short, collection of short stories which I wrote for DipHE) there is a dedication and acknowledgement of that death and its impact. It made me finish The Stone Road, edit it, have it beta read and get it published.

2) Did you try to get the book traditionally published?
Nope. I went straight with Self-Publishing. There is something about being in control of the whole thing, of taking responsibility, admitting mistakes and success, owning them, that I enjoy. Also the freedom. One or two folks have told me to try and get it Published, get that elusive agent. Some folks know agents and recommended I try... and I did (after the first two books were out)... twice. To no avail. When you send only the first chapters off, and now you've read them, I can see why it was turned down.

3) With the benefit of hindsight, is there anything you would do differently in the book?
Oh lord... I might make it a little longer :) A chapter on Haung's training, a little more on Zhou
Spoiler for Hiden:
(his training)
. And there are always mistakes, sentences that could be honed further (now that I've written 5 books, I can look back and see where things could change... but hindsight is like that). I got the book into the best state I could, to a point where I was happy with it and could do no more without getting caught in endless mobius loop of tweaking.

This book is certainly as good/better than some traditionally published works I've read, for what it's worth. Perhaps a little less honed, and with a few sentence issues here and there, but the core of the story and style of the prose is all quality.

That's worth a lot, and I agree about the honing... If I knew what I know now, when I was younger (the wisest words Rod Stewart ever spoke... though making a living out of playing pool does also sound quite good).

Thanks a lot!
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Offline Raptori

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Re: The Stone Road: Ask the Author!
« Reply #34 on: June 05, 2016, 01:27:02 PM »
Can't help but ask this: am I right in suspecting that the character called "Donnie Yuen" was a nod to a certain actor?  ;D  Will there be more easter-eggs like that for fans of martial arts films?  :P
I wish the world was flat like the old days, then I could travel just by folding a map.

Offline G_R_Matthews

Re: The Stone Road: Ask the Author!
« Reply #35 on: June 05, 2016, 01:40:11 PM »
Can't help but ask this: am I right in suspecting that the character called "Donnie Yuen" was a nod to a certain actor?  ;D  Will there be more easter-eggs like that for fans of martial arts films?  :P

Haha... yep, that is a nod :) And as for others, I can't honestly remember! I know there is an Easter-egg in my latest book (Nothing Is Ever Simple - not out yet, aiming for July) that I hope people will get. In book 3 (The Red Plains) some folks might get the references to a particular type of creature that appears in Kung-Fu horror movies... they might not. I'm trying to think of others, but nothing yet. There some nods to others books, those that had an influence on me and my writing... there's one coming up in The Stone Road that some folks might see.

Spoiler for Hiden:
I'll come back to that later, but it would be nice to see if people got it.

Sammo Hung appears in Book 2 - under a different name :)
« Last Edit: June 05, 2016, 01:57:57 PM by G_R_Matthews »
Staff Writer and ponderer of many things @ fantasy-faction

The Stone Road (4/5* Bookwormblues.net) : myBook.to/thestoneroad
Silent City : myBook.to/silentcity

www.grmatthews.com

Offline Raptori

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Re: The Stone Road: Ask the Author!
« Reply #36 on: June 05, 2016, 02:21:58 PM »
Can't help but ask this: am I right in suspecting that the character called "Donnie Yuen" was a nod to a certain actor?  ;D  Will there be more easter-eggs like that for fans of martial arts films?  :P

Haha... yep, that is a nod :) And as for others, I can't honestly remember! I know there is an Easter-egg in my latest book (Nothing Is Ever Simple - not out yet, aiming for July) that I hope people will get. In book 3 (The Red Plains) some folks might get the references to a particular type of creature that appears in Kung-Fu horror movies... they might not. I'm trying to think of others, but nothing yet. There some nods to others books, those that had an influence on me and my writing... there's one coming up in The Stone Road that some folks might see.

Spoiler for Hiden:
I'll come back to that later, but it would be nice to see if people got it.
Awesome!  ;D

If it's based on the books you listed above, then I won't get it - I've only read Pratchett out of those, and only his first three novels. Maybe someone else will notice it instead...  :P

Sammo Hung appears in Book 2 - under a different name :)
Haha that'll be awesome, even with a different name he'll be hard to miss!
I wish the world was flat like the old days, then I could travel just by folding a map.

Offline Eclipse

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Re: The Stone Road: Ask the Author!
« Reply #37 on: June 05, 2016, 09:35:24 PM »
I'm asking a spoiler question here so don't look until after chapter 31

Spoiler for Hiden:
Dryads, is there tales of them in china or did you just fancy having a Dryad in your story? can't beat a bad ass Dryad I say!
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Offline G_R_Matthews

Re: The Stone Road: Ask the Author!
« Reply #38 on: June 05, 2016, 10:02:21 PM »
I'm asking a spoiler question here so don't look until after chapter 31

Spoiler for Hiden:
Dryads, is there tales of them in china or did you just fancy having a Dryad in your story? can't beat a bad ass Dryad I say!

Spoiler for Hiden:
How to answer this one...
Chinese folklore, like all I suppose, doesn't always transfer easily to a more European setting... there are Chinese Dryad like spirits:
Penghou, an edible dog-shaped spirit in Chinese mythology
Pi-fang, a Chinese tree deity

But I was aware that, as a total unknown and not of Chinese descent (did have an ancestor born there in 1781 apparently), I was writing a niche novel... it wasn't set in medieval Europe and everyone. How far could I take things before people got frustrated and lost... so I made some compromises. The term Dryad being one of them, it is a cultural clue, though the correct Chinese names (Penghou) would have worked too... and, just to confuse you, she's not a Dryad, but you'll have to read Book 2 and 3 to find out what she is.

If you want to find out more (or just be more confused) there is a prequel tale in Tales From the Stone Road. The pertinent story can be downloaded for free here (I hope).
HERE: DROPBOX
Staff Writer and ponderer of many things @ fantasy-faction

The Stone Road (4/5* Bookwormblues.net) : myBook.to/thestoneroad
Silent City : myBook.to/silentcity

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Offline Kitvaria Sarene

Re: The Stone Road: Ask the Author!
« Reply #39 on: June 05, 2016, 11:48:12 PM »
I'm asking a spoiler question here so don't look until after chapter 31

Spoiler for Hiden:
Dryads, is there tales of them in china or did you just fancy having a Dryad in your story? can't beat a bad ass Dryad I say!

You definitely should read that short story GR mentioned if you like that character. :)
I loved a closer look. But it really is short. Was over before I even had settled comfortably on the couch ;)

Offline G_R_Matthews

Re: The Stone Road: Ask the Author!
« Reply #40 on: June 06, 2016, 07:03:59 PM »
I'm asking a spoiler question here so don't look until after chapter 31

Spoiler for Hiden:
Dryads, is there tales of them in china or did you just fancy having a Dryad in your story? can't beat a bad ass Dryad I say!

You definitely should read that short story GR mentioned if you like that character. :)
I loved a closer look. But it really is short. Was over before I even had settled comfortably on the couch ;)

It is a SHORT story :)
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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: The Stone Road: Ask the Author!
« Reply #41 on: June 09, 2016, 08:28:55 AM »
I think that, given the success of this book club (as far as I can see ;D), you guys that have finished and really enjoyed should go get book 2 and continue the discussion here.

For me book 2 is better, hehe, and even though I realise I haven't commented much (at all!), I love reading your thoughts and ideas, it made me look at some things differently that will influence when I re-read :)
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Offline G_R_Matthews

Re: The Stone Road: Ask the Author!
« Reply #42 on: June 09, 2016, 05:18:11 PM »
I think that, given the success of this book club (as far as I can see ;D), you guys that have finished and really enjoyed should go get book 2 and continue the discussion here.

For me book 2 is better, hehe, and even though I realise I haven't commented much (at all!), I love reading your thoughts and ideas, it made me look at some things differently that will influence when I re-read :)

I totally agree... you should read book 2 - you'll get some answers (and it is only a little longer than the first... about 100K?)
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Offline Lanko

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Re: The Stone Road: Ask the Author!
« Reply #43 on: June 09, 2016, 06:14:35 PM »
Speaking about that... do you know the word counts of the books? It's something I'm always curious about the books I read but rarely find out...
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Offline G_R_Matthews

Re: The Stone Road: Ask the Author!
« Reply #44 on: June 09, 2016, 06:52:18 PM »
Speaking about that... do you know the word counts of the books? It's something I'm always curious about the books I read but rarely find out...

I think (with a quick check)
#1 101,000
#2 92,000 (hrm.. it is actually shorter!)
#3 115,000

 :)
« Last Edit: June 10, 2016, 07:23:28 AM by G_R_Matthews »
Staff Writer and ponderer of many things @ fantasy-faction

The Stone Road (4/5* Bookwormblues.net) : myBook.to/thestoneroad
Silent City : myBook.to/silentcity

www.grmatthews.com