Meet the talented and slightly off-beat
It’s my great pleasure to introduce a talented new author in the world of Sci-fi! Branli and I met a few years ago at a Twitter New Years Eve party and he’s been making me smile ever since. His debut novel Splinter didn’t disappoint, with its fast-paced action and mystery that begs the reader to get to the end, but even then you’re hitting the refresh button on Amazon to see if the next book is ready yet.
Take a moment to get to know Branli and Phoenix Splinter!
~ ~Splinter Synopsis~~
Nineteen-year-old Keith Groenewald is an escaped experiment from Area Fifty-One. Harbored by a secret society, Veluz, Keith develops his telekinetic abilities, making him a key weapon for their covert missions. While working as part of an elite mercenary force, Keith is unsettled by rumors that Veluz may have orchestrated the experimentation that gave him his powers.
With each passing mission he learns his purpose goes far beyond that of a corporate pawn or mercenary-for-hire. His very existence is other worldly, not just alien, but something far more profound.
As he delves deeper into Veluz and the truth about the society’s sinister goals of worldwide economic and political dominance, he takes another step away from friends, family, and his hopes for a normal life—only to discover that every truth has its price and this one may cost him everything.
~ ~Meet the Author~ ~
1) What obstacles have you face with self-publishing? What’s kept you going in spite of the challenges?
(I can’t help but remember how this question was originally worded; why haven’t you given up? Along with our talk about wording it; how can you live with yourself?)
Every new challenge presents a new opportunity. Yes, it’s incredibly cliché and you have no idea how long I wrestled with this question 😛
The fact is, I love learning new things. It keeps my mind busy, and for most projects that simply require ‘learning’ a new skill, I take on the challenge. It comes down to, why should I pay someone else to do it, if I can learn how? Granted, there’s the whole experience factor, and reputation, but with enough confidence, know-how, and general can-do attitude, you can do anything. It’s all a learning experience and last I heard they no longer stone authors/self-publishers. :: crosses fingers ::
2) Are you a plotter (prefer to plot out your books before you write), or a pantser (prefer to write by the seat of your pants), or somewhere in between?
Ah, this recently came up in a post with Jeffe Kennedy. I even guest blogged there and briefly mentioned it.
I’m a plotter. I can’t imagine writing as a pantser. The thought scares me. It boggles my mind. That’s like saying you’re going to drive blind-folded. Alarms immediately sound! But, I must admit that I’m incredibly jealous of those that have the ‘muse’ to such an approach. They must spend a lot more time writing, and a lot less time stressing over an outline. Kudos.
The closest I come to punster-status (did I just make that up?) is on projects that don’t have a definitive end. I’ll have the beginning, middle, and then a vague idea on the end. The overall story arc is there, the theme of the book, but I do somewhat let the end iron itself out. I guess the best way of putting is that the end is only vaguely defined. It gets clearer as I write.
3) Many writers do their own editing because they can’t afford a professional. In what ways do you feel that a writer can best create a readable manuscript and maximize his/her chances of success?
:: winces :: Editing and cover design are just two areas I chose not to skim on. I went through a few editors, not settling for one or even two set of eyes. Each pass is important, and each editor brought in their own two cents to the project. And in general, listening to the advice—even if not followed—is immeasurable. Really. The advice will sit tucked away, dare I say acting as a counter-weight when you least expect it; making sure you don’t fall.
4) If you got offered a big publishing contract with a traditional publisher, would you take it? Why or why not?
Gah! This has come up a few times. At first I couldn’t answer, but after feeling the thrill of it all, and getting this far on my own, I’d have to say no. I learned too much throughout this whole project to just sit back and let someone else take the helm.
I like to think of it as building your own car or house from ground-up. You put many years in getting the right supplies, hiring the right contractors, dreaming up the perfect model. Just mulling over things with the designers sends you dreaming of future-days. You break ground, construction finally starts and you start seeing the skeleton of your project. Soon it has its own arteries and complex inner workings. Perhaps you have a section built, a livingroom in this new house or at least drivable car but no stereo or even windshield wipers—depending on the example you’re going with here. Then someone comes along and tries to convince you to abandon all that. Could you do it?
5) If I have 10 ice cubes and you have 11 apples, how many pancakes will fit on the roof?
6) If you had to live forever in one book, which would it be and why?
Replay by Ken Grimwood. The character is in this almost endless loop of dying and living again. Not reincarnating, that assumes one comes back in another life. In this book, the character goes back to a prior point in time, and then continues to die on the exact same date and time later on. Then, it starts again. It sounds torturous, I know. There’s nothing romantic in it, but I can’t help but think what I’d do differently, given the opportunity to go back in my own timeline. I just can’t give it up. There are so many possibilities!
~ ~Where can you pick-up a copy of Phoenix Splinter today?~ ~
US Site: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008R9DICI