About Andy Graham:
I’m a British born author now living in the heart of Europe. Writers I enjoy reading include: George Orwell, Hugh Howey, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and G.R.R. Martin. Outside of writing (and chasing after my two young kids), I’m an award winning bass player, osteopath, and teacher.
‘The Lords of Misrule’ is the culmination of a long held (and well-hidden) ambition to write. It’s a dystopian story set in an alternative version of 21st century Europe. It has a large cast of characters, and pulls in various interests: science vs. belief, myths & legends, pain, political intrigue, and deadlifts.
What inspires you to write?
The big thing for me when writing is the chance to create something. I enjoy building the story, puzzling out why my characters do what they do (or don’t do), and trying to make the linguistic jigsaw fit.
I get my inspiration from any number of sources. I may see something, or hear a fragment of conversation that sticks in my mind. I have no idea why some things stand out to me more than others, but they usually end up in the story in some form or another.
Writing is also a way for me to ‘put the world to rights’. It’s a way of focusing and trying to understand a lot of what is happening around us today.
Mainly, though, writing is what I’ve always wanted to do.
Tell us about your writing process.
I plan my novels. I wing my short stories.
Once I have an idea for a novel, I let it brew for a while, and then try and get down an outline. The outline is a guide and changes as the story develops. For example, existing characters develop a mind of their own and other characters appear from nowhere (one character changed name half-way through one book without telling me). This usually means that once the rough draft has finished, it needs several re-writes to make the beginning match the end.
Once this current series of books is finished, I’d like to try writing a whole novel from start to finish with no plan. It’s not the way I generally do anything in life (I’m prepared to the point of boring), but it would be a good experience.
I write in Scrivener/ Word. I send myself countless emails with ideas of things to add/ descriptions. I do a little research while I’m thinking things through, but try and leave any major research for later.
I prefer editing my work to writing it. I find it easier to mould the words into shape than create them.
As for when I write? When I can. I have two young kids (aka time/ energy vampires), and a day job. As a result, I squeeze the words in when I can.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I eavesdrop on my characters rather than listen to them. They don’t get much privacy, but then, they are inside my head.
What advice would you give other writers?
Read. Write. Repeat.
Get a good editor.
Have fun – if you don’t enjoy it (and you don’t need to enjoy every single moment, there are moments which have been hair-tearingly frustrating), either adjust your expectations or do something else.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I went for self-publishing. I’m not against the idea of trad publishing, but for me self-publishing:
has fewer hoops to jump through
means I have more control
I get a better percentage split.
means I get the satisfaction of having done most of it.
The downside of self-publishing is that it is up to you to do everything. I’ve been self-employed all my (adult) life, but still struggle with the business side of things, especially self-promotion.
Unfortunately, business skills are essential for success in any field. There are outliers who ‘get lucky’ or who are talented. But for most people, I think it needs a lot of hard, consistent work. The idea of just writing words (as if by magic), hitting publish, and then watching the acclaim (and film deals) pile up on the doorstep is a nice one, but for most people, that is fiction.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Think where we were a few years ago – trad pub or die. Now we have a virtual sea of ebooks.
The ebook boom is still a baby. There is so much more potential to come, so many markets that are untapped. Life has always been hard. Business has always been competitive. But authors/ readers have so many more possibilities now than ever before.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Political thriller/ Dystopian fiction/ General Sci Fi
What formats are your books in?: eBook
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.