Brandon, welcome to Lavender Lass Books. Thank you for agreeing to this interview and best of luck in the competition!
Shoreseeker is the first book in The Farshores Saga. Here’s the blurb:
The #1 Epic Fantasy in Japan
It was supposed to keep them safe.
For six hundred years, Andrin’s Wall protected the remnants of humanity from a scourge that devastated them: beastly monsters called the sheggam. But centuries of relative peace have relegated the sheggam to myth and superstition.
Tharadis, the Warden of the independent city Naruvieth, must protect his people and their homes from threats more immediate than ancient legends. The Council of the Wall aims to finish building the Runeway, a magical construct spanning the whole of the Accord, no matter who gets in their way.
But after a knight with sheggam magic flowing through his veins seeks protection in Naruvieth, Tharadis uncovers a menacing secret: the Runeway itself is built from sheggam magic, magic that isn’t supposed to exist on this side of Andrin’s Wall.
Not only must Tharadis confront scheming politicians, rogue knights, and ominous prophecy, he must draw his blade for the greatest battle humanity has ever faced.
For the sheggam are already here.
And now to the interview:
1. Is this your first time entering #SPFBO? Why did you decide to enter this book?
Thanks for the interview! It’s a pleasure to be here. Yes, it is my first time. Shoreseeker is the first novel I’ve finished, so it’s the only one eligible for SPFBO. I’ve known about the contest for a little over a year, and it definitely seems like something worth entering. I’m really glad to finally take part.
2. Why do you write in the fantasy genre? What make this genre particularly appealing to you?
For the first 22 years of my life, I was a sci-fi snob and sneered at any book having to do with swords or magic. But then I actually decided to read one, and I realized that I’d been missing out on the best genre there was. I’d been writing since I was in high school, so it only seemed natural for me to switch to my new favorite genre.
3. Why did you decide to self-publish?
There are a number of reasons, but foremost among them is timing. I was actually sending out query letters for Shoreseeker for a while, and all that time it was sitting on my desk collecting dust. One response came about nine months after I queried, and it was a rejection. I knew Shoreseeker was a good book and would eventually find someone willing to represent it, but that search could take years. It simply wasn’t worth it anymore. I wanted to see it published before I died. It took a lot of work to get it to where I was happy with it, but after that I uploaded it, and then it was available. And I hadn’t even aged that much!
4. Are there advantages to self-publishing? What about the challenges?
Besides the fact that it’s much faster, I also had a lot more control over the layout and cover art. The interior I did entirely myself, and it was a chore, but still satisfying. The three main challenges of self-publishing are financing everything, marketing everything, and having no one to blame but myself if it’s terrible. I don’t mind the third one so much, but the first two are certainly challenging for me.
5. As a reader, and now author, how has the fantasy genre changed over the last several years? How has it stayed the same?
I haven’t as much time to read as I would like these days, so I’m mostly catching up on later volumes of series I started years ago. But I do try to read newer books, too. One trend I’ve noticed since I fell in love with the genre is that books are getting shorter. I tend to like bigger books, but I have read some shorter ones that were really good, too. I don’t know how much it’s stayed the same. I think it’s always changing, and indie publishing is a huge mover of that change.
6. Do you write (or plan to write) in any other genres?
I had a post-apocalyptic alien invasion unicorn story published in an anthology a few years ago, and I have another more straightforward sci-fi short that’s under consideration for another anthology with the same publisher. So I like dabbling in sci-fi, but after switching to a pure fantasy diet, I’m pretty far removed from it, so it’s hard to get back in that mindset. One sci-fi subgenre I’d really like to try is time travel. One of my hobbies as a kid was picking apart the bad logic of time travel movies.
7. What do you look for in a story? Especially in the fantasy genre? (Original ideas, plot lines, character development, world building, etc.?)
Two things are key for me: immersion, and pacing. I love detailed worlds, detailed characters, and detailed stories, because I crave the experience. If a book doesn’t work for me, it’s likely because the author is summarizing rather than letting me experience. I’m all about that “show don’t tell.” As for pacing, there has to be a good balance between all those lush details and the story moving forward. Any author who can pull off both of those things at once is a winner in my *ahem* book.
8. Are you working on a new book? Can you share any details?
I’m hard at work on the sequel to Shoreseeker, called Drawingpath. It’s a pretty big book like the first one, but judging but my crude outline/first draft, I’d wager I’m over halfway through it. I’m hoping to finish it this year, but that really depends on how well I juggle work/family/writing. My writing group has said that my best writing is in this new book, and there are some scenes in it that they’ve wanted since book one (Patterner battles!), so I’m really excited to get it out there.
There are writers who are far more well-versed in publishing and marketing than I am, so I guess I’ll have to offer some craft advice. Voice and POV are the two most important skills you can master. That immersion I mentioned? That’s only possible if you’ve got a clear POV. Regarding plot and character, take your favorite, most sympathetic character and ask, “What’s the worst that could happen to them?” Do that to them. Then figure out something even worse, and do that next. Keep doing that until the suffering is unbearable, and have them find a way out of at least some of those problems. If you do that, you’ve got yourself a story that I’ll want to read.
You can find Brandon M Lindsay’s book on Amazon! https://www.amazon.com/Shoreseeker-Farshores-Saga-Book-1-ebook/dp/B07XCWYRW7