The Compulsive Reader: Interview With J. Eric King, Author of The Byron Carmichael Series

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Interview With J. Eric King, Author of The Byron Carmichael Series

First of all, what are three words that you would use to sum up your first book?

Next Great Adventure.

What led you to write young adult fiction?I got caught up in the Harry Potter series just like many other people.

Through it all, I really appreciated how J. K. Rowling introduced reading to so many children and young adults. She made reading fun for them. I decided to write young adult fiction because I wanted to do my part in continuing this introduction of reading and fun and adventure.

How did you come up with the character Byron?

He came out of a ‘what if’ type question that many ideas come from. “What if after 15 years a boy learns that his father made a break through scientific discovery before disappearing?” From this question, I knew this boy was going to be intelligent, into science, a little insecure and unsure of himself, and a bit sheltered being raised by two elderly grandparents.That was how I saw this boy in this ‘what if’ situation. He evolved a few times over writing and re-writing the story, but to me I see him as the underdog teenager that I can’t help but route for. I really want to see him succeed.

How many books will be in the series?

In my mind today, I see five total books to this series, but I always want to leave my mind open to any unexpected twists that may come along.

What are you working on now?

Right now Byron Carmichael Book Two is working its way around in my head. I have roughly 70 pages typed out and a rough outline to about half the story. Right now I am seeing the story as a large puzzle, the frame put together, but only about 65% of the picture complete. But it is coming together.

You recently founded your own publishing company. What was that experience like?

It has been a learning experience to say the least. It can be difficult at times to balance the job of the writer and the publisher. There are times when you have to remove one hat and put on the other. The writer part of you tends to look at your work as your very own child getting ready to face the challenges of the reading world. Your thoughts are, will it be liked, will it be accepted, did you do a good job raising it? The publisher side of you, however, refers to it as a title and focuses instead on audiences, marketing, budgeting, and distributing to the reading world.

I can say that I am discovering many new aspects of publishing I never knew. I am meeting many new people, and am finding that by wearing both hats, I can give all that I have to introducing Byron to some new readers.

Did you base any of the characters off people you know in real life?

I didn’t base any of my characters off real people. Often times I put myself into my characters. I try to assume all the characteristics that make them who they are, and then I ask myself how I would react if I were them. Sometimes, only sometimes, with my female characters I do the same thing except that I place the characteristics on my wife and ask how I ‘think’ she would react. I should say I am not always right in this case, but it does at least give me another perspective.

Is there a certain ritual that you go through when writing?

Often times I end up writing late at night. For some reason, I’ve had the best moments of writing and the best vision of the story between the hours of 11pm and 3am. As far as ritual, I am ashamed to admit that before I sit down to a writing session, I will usually play a handful of games of solitaire until I either win or force myself to start writing.

Is there anything you would like your readers to know about you?

I guess I would like them to know that I hold their opinion very high when it comes to my writing. Each time I look at a scene, think of a new twist, think of how to end a chapter, or just in my approach to writing in general, I am always thinking of my readers. The focus of my writing is wrapped up in how I can grip my readers, keep them turning the pages, and take them down the path of a great adventure. That is what writing is all about! If I can do just that, then I am successful.

Be sure to snag yourself a copy of The Human Corpse Trade! Click here for the review, and here to purchase it!

1 comment:

Chelsea said...

Great interview! I'm going to be interviewing him for next Wednesday. :)