Sunday, June 8, 2014

Author Interview and Giveaway: Lance Conrad

Today we have with us Lance Conrad, author of The Price of Creation and the soon to be released The Price of Nobility.

Blurb on The Price of Creation:
"The Historian chances upon Surac, a land where people's destinies are defined by powerful pendants they have from birth, called Stones. Those whose Stones give them useful skills call themselves Creators, and isolate themselves from all others with a wall that splits the entire continent. When Aric, a Creator blacksmith, has a son born with a Stone that marks him for violence and destruction, they find themselves in danger from those they called their friends.
When the boy, Sadavir, is ultimately banished, he discovers secrets far darker than the villagers' petty prejudices. On the far side of the wall, he learns the origin of the Stones' magic and a war that dates back centuries. As he uncovers the true power locked in the Stones, he must find a way to unite ancient enemies in order to save his family. To stop a genocide, Sadavir must face his own destiny of violence." - Goodreads

Lance was kind enough to answer the following questions for us, interesting for readers and writers alike.
What inspired this novel?
Believe it or not, The Price of Creation was originally written as an allegory for third world poverty. Nobody got it, they just thought it was a fun story, and I’m ok with that.

Are you a planner or a panster when it comes to plotting your books?
I’m something of a hybrid. I like to have a vague storyline put together before I get started. Then I have a few scenes that I feel define the book. These scenes are vivid in my mind and are planned out in the extreme. Everything else is really fluid. I know I’ve got a good book going when it takes on a life of its own.

Have you ever been surprised by a book you were writing?
Oh bloody heavens, yes! I actually cried at the end of The Price of Loyalty (due out the end of 2014). The characters really took off without me. If I wanted to know what happened next, I had to type faster.

How long did it take you to write this book?
The Price of Creation was my first book and I was writing as a hobby, so it took me about eight years. I think I’m still caught in that loop, I don’t think I’ll ever consider that one truly “done.”

Who designed the covers, and did you have any input?
Noel, a wonderful graphic designer at Dawn Star Press, designed all the covers. On each cover in this series, there is a symbol just below the eyes, and I got to pick that. For The Price of Creation: a hammer and anvil. For The Price of Nobility: a roughed-up crown. For The Price of Loyalty: fire.

The self-publishing market is becoming widely lucrative and now a path that many writers choose. What’s your take on traditional versus self-publishing?
The whole industry is in flux, both traditional and self-publishing. Both formats are currently untenable. Traditional publishing is bulky and adapting too slowly to the digital revolution, both with e-books and the effect the internet has had on their marketing.
Self-publishing has been deluged with low-quality books to the point where it now has a stench to it. Bookstores, libraries, reviewers, and even bloggers don’t want to touch self-published books, which cuts your marketing off at the knees.
There is a third classification that will evolve over the next five to ten years that will take over the industry, but I feel I am already taking too much time on this question. Suffice it to say, it will satisfy the quality requirement for the booksellers and libraries, while still putting a lot more responsibility on the writers themselves for the marketing of their books.

What advice do you have for future writers?
Get out there and live. The glory days of writing, when an author could sit at home writing and the world would eagerly wait for their books, is over. We need to up our game, so to speak. We need to have adventures of our own, so we can make our books personal and powerful. We need to be able to meet new people and make friends so we can network in our industry. We need to be able to speak and present and sell ourselves so people want to buy our books.

Who would you choose to play Sadavir in the movie version of your book?
That’s a hard one, you’d have to take an actor who has proven himself with the deep emotional stuff, then turn them into an action star. Maybe someone like Dev Patel or Aaron Tveit would do well.

What advice would you give to your younger self?
“Believe in your writing. You’re going to waste a lot of time mucking around with a lot of unsatisfying jobs before you give in and give yourself a shot.”

If today was your last day on earth, what would you do?
I would go for a run, so I felt fit and alive. I would write something powerful, so I felt important. I would spend time with family, so I felt loved. Having done those things, feeling alive, important, and loved, I would face death with a smile on my face, because I would feel triumphant.

Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?

Absolutely. The Price of Nobility comes out at the very end of June. I will always remember this book as when a supporting character stole the show. The core of the book is two brothers who decide to kidnap their king. They do it to show him what his people are going through under his selfish rule. To pull it off, however, they join up with a dark creature of a man named Asher. He has his own agenda and reasons for getting involved.
While I didn’t mean for it to happen, Asher became one of the most compelling characters in the book. He’s the one all the alpha readers talk about. I actually had to do a full rewrite to try and get a bit more focus on the king.

One lucky reader has the chance to win a printed autographed copy of The Price of Creation. Enter below (U.S. only).
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Adam Hansen said...

I really appreciate Lance's opinion of work. To truly work on your goals and to not muck around wasting time. Lance is an amazing individual. I have actually had the pleasure of working with him, and becoming good friends. I love The Price of Creation and cannot wait to peer deeper into Lance's mind. Thank you!

Jenna and Ashley said...

Lance, thanks for joining us! I really liked your answer to how you would spend your last day on earth. It gives us a sense of what you're like as a person and what you value.

Daenielle said...

Captivating and original plot. Congrats Lance Conrad. :D

Daenielle said...

Captivating and original plot. Congrats Lance Conrad

karin said...

great interview, I really loved your advice for new authors

Nupur Dua said...

Really good. Nice interview. I am excited for the book.

Ashfa said...

Awesome interview!!! Love the cover and the second one is even better!!
And I can totally see Dev Patel in this role! :D

Lance Conrad said...

I wanted to say thank you to the lovely ladies of Fans of Fiction for hosting me on your blog. You were great to work with!
Also a big thank you to everyone else who commented. I appreciate your support and I hope you enjoy The Price of Nobility when it comes out!