About Stryker Nileson:
A business analyst and psychologist by education and entrepreneur by profession, Egyptian-born S. Nileson embeds his background and hobbies, which include history, mythology and philosophy, into his writings.
S. Nileson is also a veteran and experienced the world beyond the world (as he calls it) from both civilian and military lenses.
What inspires you to write?
The first inspiration for me to write was military. I wanted to share my experiences and thought that writing would be the best way to do so, especially since I believe that many of the historical books I read contributed to my personal development. Then again, I had some other experiences I wanted to share and thoughts I wanted to develop – writing helps me self-reflect.
Finally, it is a great way to foster your imagination, especially writing fantasy, and keep you from thinking inside the box. Everything is connected with one another, you just have to keep an eye on the subtleties and look at the greater picture.
Tell us about your writing process.
First of all I keep an eye open for new events or ideas I want to develop further. Once I find an idea that is big and complicated enough to have an entire story written revolving around it (I call it the golden idea), I start thinking of the setting, so far I have placed all of my stories in the fantasy world I created – the world of Kayal, Kayal meaning imagination in Arabic – yet the timelines shift considerably from story to story.
Then I start thinking about the characters and outline them very briefly. I think about their appearance and their personality with a hint of history. I usually base them on mythological or historical characters – and sometimes on their dominating attribute/character trait or skill – and they develop as the story progresses, according to their experiences. In one story (Strength of Unity – independently published) I named the protagonist Ganis (developed from the Arthurian Saga) and in another (Grieving Flame – work in progress) I named the protagonist, a fire-enhanced warrior, Shola (meaning small flame/spark in Arabic).
Finally, I make an outline to guide the story from beginning to end and write brief summaries of the events I envisage the story to cover. While I write, however, I keep changing the outline subtly as I gain a clearer picture of where I want the story to go and what end I believe would be the best to explore my Golden Idea. Each book goes through multiple drafts and stand to be entirely re-written depending on how clear the events lead to the conclusion.
I usually tend to document my thoughts and writing progress on my blog (see below).
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I try to feel them and give them different motivations and a different voice. It is very difficult for me to have them each talking and acting as different characters, and I need to constantly keep a check that they don’t end up sounding the same.
What advice would you give other writers?
Keep writing for the sake of writing and always set yourself a goal. Personally, I have a goal of 1 million words of fiction with a minimum of 100k a year, this year I already passed my minimum and still have about a half-year to go. Also it is critical to read a lot in all genres. I find it easier to work in public spaces and listen to classical music to exclude myself from the noise. In short, establish your goals and habits away from the marketing/money element of writing. Everyone starts somewhere and those who make it are those who practice enough to be good at it.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I tried traditional publishers, but it was a hassle for me living in Egypt away from all the English publishing market. Although for the past two years I lived in Turkey and in the US, I had little time to write seriously and couldn’t take advantage of my location. I would always go the the traditional publishing option if I had it, but I don’t intend to be a full-time writer and would not consider it a career development, just a personal one.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think open source will take over and that the physical market for books will all but disappear. Physical books will be kept for collectors or as decoration, even though I am a person who prefers having physical books rather than e-versions. The industry will go through a major change in how content will reach the audience, but writing will always be the main source of recording and sharing information. Yet again, I don’t have a crystal ball.
What genres do you write?: Fantasy, Sci-fi
What formats are your books in?: eBook
Stryker Nileson Home Page Link
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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.