Monday, 4 April 2016

#‎B2BCYCON Interview With Author P.H. Solomon



Today I have another Brain to Books Cyber Convention author feature. Remember, this great event for authors and readers alike is coming to Goodreads this April, on the 8th, 9th and 10th.

Be sure to check out all the details and pertinent links for the event here:


Now on with the main event, our Brain to Books author feature.

Today I have a great interview with fantasy author P.H. Solomon.


Interview With P.H. Solomon




Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

I'm a fantasy reader and author living in greater Birmingham, Al with my wife, daughter and two German shepherds. In my spare time, I ride herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, I enjoy reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, I also have a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone my writing. The Bow of Destiny is my first novel-length title with more soon to come.


Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

The Bow of Destiny is the first book of The Bow of Hart Saga set in the world of Denaria. The main character is Athson who we discover at the beginning of the book as a young adult haunted by a tragic childhood. Events soon begin drawing him into a search for a mythic bow about which he knows nothing even though he's targeted (pun intended) by enemies from his childhood who are seeking the bow. It's an epic fantasy adventure where Athson is never certain what's real or why he's the center of the conflict rising around the bow. Here's the blurb from the book:

Haunted by his past. Hunted in the present. Uncertain what is real.

Athson has seen things that aren't there and suffered fits since being tragically orphaned as a child at the hands of trolls and Corgren the wizard. When a strange will mentioning a mysterious bow comes into his possession, he's not sure it's real. But the trolls that soon pursue him are all too real and dangerous. And what's worse, these raiders serve Corgren and his master, the hidden dragon, Magdronu, who are responsible for the destruction of his childhood home. Athson is drawn into a quest for the concealed Bow of Hart by the mystic Withling, Hastra, but Athson isn't always sure what's real and who his enemies are. With Corgren and Magdronu involved, Athson must face not only frequent danger but his grasp on reality and the reasons behind his tragic past.


Why did you decide to write in the fantasy genre?

I've read fantasy since I was in grade school starting with The Hobbit so the genre is what I'm most familiar with and enjoy (though I do read many books from other genres and non-fiction). At some point, I started having ideas for writing and toyed around with it for many years, this series being foremost in my mind during that time.


What is the hardest part of writing fantasy fiction?

I think that these days, it's important to understand how fantasy fiction has morphed from its earliest forms into more complex literature. Readers demand a higher quality story than simply throwing a good versus evil plot together around exotic setting, magic and special weapons. So it's hard to stay in the bounds of fantasy and yet be original. Since I started this fantasy so long ago, I wanted to cut my teeth on it but it does have older elements within it. So the challenge in completing it was to updating the content and style to appeal to current readers' tastes without compromising the story. In many ways it is a traditional epic fantasy but it is written in a different style with some interesting twists along the way.


What do you enjoy most about writing in the fantasy genre?

I enjoy coming up with all the various settings and characters necessary to create a compelling plot. It gives me a chance to enjoy fantasy as much as the reader (I hope) will. So my goal is to write what I would read and discover the world just like a reader. Fantasy really demands that you be creative in some challenging ways - language, geography, culture, etc. It's intriguing to me to put flesh on the bones and dress it up. When I first see a cover from my artist, it's really surprising to see something tangible that's associated with the book as well as encouraging.


Can you tell us about your writing process? Where do your ideas originate? Do you have a certain writing routine?

Currently, my writing process entails blocking enough time to edit or write in the various projects. I currently have so many on my plate that I tend to hop between them a bit too much rather than focusing on just one - but that's a balancing act.

As far as development, I like to create the details of the setting around the kernel of a plot. I think that the fantasy world is deeply entwined with the plot so this is important to get right first in order to get a plot/setting balance clear in my mind. Then I move onto a creative outline which is fluid in nature. Scrivener helps me with this now more than ever since it allows me to make organizational changes easily. Then it's onto the actual rough draft, structural editing, detailed editing (which also includes line editing) and then engaging some readers for feedback followed by final changes. Somewhere along the way, I develop the blurb and work with my cover artist. I also employ an editor with previous experience in publishing - she's great at hitting all the missing points and guiding me toward focus points as well as finding all my mistakes.

My ideas originate from almost anything I come across. Usually, something grabs my attention in such a way that I it may make a good story of some kind. Then I think about how I can throw it into a fantasy setting. I once saw an old car with a missing lock in the trunk. I thought mothers might see that detail with apprehension for their children and it gave me an idea for an urban fantasy story. At other times, it may be  something from a conversation, history or news stories.


What is your greatest challenge as a writer?

As a part-time author it would be so easy to just say, "time". However, I find that my challenges are a little more complex. There will always be distractions that snatch at my focus. But as I've aged some the accumulated ailments get to be a challenge. I have sleep apnea so anything that interrupts my sleep pattern leaves me grasping for mental energy to address writing. I work hard on keeping bright-eyed each day so I can engage my creativity. The other challenge is that current writers must do much more than just write and being a self-published author means I must spend time on the whole production and promotion processes which means balancing these in order to progress on projects in a timely way.


Are you working on another book?

I'm currently working on the next book in The Bow of Hart Saga, An Arrow Against the Wind, and I'll reveal the cover for that book during the Cyber Convention. I don't have a firm date yet on this release but I hope to have released no later than September. Additionally, I'm also writing the rough draft of The White Arrow which is the final book of the series that I hope to release late this year or early 2017. Also, I'm working on a fantasy short story anthology entitled Doors. I hope to release Doors later this spring and I'm also revealing the cover during the Cyber Convention. I've got lots of other ideas that I hope to begin writing as soon as I complete this current series.


What
’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?

Beyond The Bow of Hart Saga my projects include a series entitled Guardians of the Gate. But there are several series to choose from at that point. With the current series, I prefer to hold my secrets close to the vest so as not to ruin reader experience with the first book. However, it is safe to say that the danger Athson and his companions face will catch up to them and I don't expect any of them to escape unscathed.




The Bow of Destiny by P.H. Solomon




Haunted by his past. Hunted in the present. Uncertain what is real.

Athson has seen things that aren't there and suffered fits since being tragically orphaned as a child at the hands of trolls and Corgren the wizard. When a strange will mentioning a mysterious bow comes into his possession, he's not sure it's real. But the trolls that soon pursue him are all too real and dangerous. And what's worse, these raiders serve Corgren and his master, the hidden dragon, Magdronu, who are responsible for the destruction of his childhood home. Athson is drawn into a quest for the concealed Bow of Hart by the mystic Withling, Hastra, but Athson isn't always sure what's real and who his enemies are. With Corgren and Magdronu involved, Athson must face not only frequent danger but his grasp on reality and the reasons behind his tragic past.




Book Trailer








Author Bio:

P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family's German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required).
Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.




You can find P.H. Solomon at these sites:




Current and Upcoming Titles from P.H. Solomon


Book 1 of The Bow of Hart Saga: The Bow of Destiny can be found at these online retailers:
Barnes and Noble, KoboiBooksAmazon - Kindle and Smashwords.

Prequel short stories to The Bow of Hart Saga:

Trading Knives - Kobo, iBooks & Barnes and NobleSmashwords and on Amazon
What Is Needed - Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iBooks, Smashwords and Amazon

Additional Titles:

The Black Bag - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords and iBooks

Upcoming Titles:

Book 2 of The Bow of Hart Saga: An Arrow against the Wind due out within a few months (schedule pending). It can currently be found for pre-release orders at these select online retailers: Barnes and Noble, Kobo and iBooks.

Book 3 of The Bow of Hart Saga: The White Arrow is due out fall of 2016 (links pending).
Doors: Seven Tales of Fantasy: due out in April or May.

Future Works in Planning:

A parallel series to The Bow of Hart Saga is also in process as three novellas.

There will likely be a sequel trilogy for The Bow of Hart Saga and possibly at least a prequel book.

Guardians of the Gate epic fantasy is also a book/series in development.

The Black Glove adventure-fantasy series is also in development.


I'd like to thank P.H. Solomon for stopping by today, and be sure to check out his virtual booth at the convention this April.







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