Andy Peloquin Q&A
Alright everyone, the finale of my months' long author interview spree is here!
I present to you none other than the freaking awesome Andy Peloquin! This man is a serious writing machine with 17 novels already under his belt and several more in the works. I can't even hold a candle to that kind of dedication! Show him some love and be sure to check out all of his epic fantasies, he's bound to have something for everyone!
Author Bio: I am, first and foremost, a storyteller and an artist--words are my palette. Fantasy is my genre of choice, and I love to explore the darker side of human nature through the filter of fantasy heroes, villains, and everything in between. I'm also a freelance writer, a book lover, and a guy who just loves to meet new people and spend hours talking about my fascination for the worlds I encounter in the pages of fantasy novels. Fantasy provides us with an escape, a way to forget about our mundane problems and step into worlds where anything is possible. It transcends age, gender, religion,race, or lifestyle--it is our way of believing what cannot be, delving into the unknowable, and discovering hidden truths about ourselves and our world in a brand new way. Fiction at its very best!
Author Q & A Questions (Bryan Gifford Blog, www.bryangifford.com) ________________________
1) Tell us a bit about yourself. Any personal tidbits you’d like to share?
Oh so many! But if I get into them all, I’ll run out of space—and reader interest!
So I’ll stick with the really important one: I am an author writing with Asperger’s Syndrome (ASD). It’s probably my biggest challenge as an author because ASD is characterized by difficulties with social interactions, emotional connections, and understanding emotional cues. The fact that I’ve been writing with ASD means I’ve had to spend a lot more time digging into the psyches and emotions of my characters so I can understand them myself, thus being able to put them onto the page more clearly. I’d like to think that has made me a better person with a broader understanding of the world around me, and certainly a better author despite my inherent limitations.
2) Tell us about your past and current works. Any future projects you’d like us to know about?
My current series are:
Queen of Thieves – Innocent thief girl turned into hardened criminal and killer by a Thieves’ Guild.
Hero of Darkness --Half-demon assassin with cursed dagger that drives him to kill goes on a journey to find redemption—and in doing so, saves the world from demons and ancient evils.
Heirs of Destiny – A sequel spin-off from the two previous series, starring the younger characters (ages 12 to 17) on their own mission to save a city—and yes, you guessed it, end up saving the world.
All three of these series (17 books currently) are set in the same worlds, and there’s a lot of crossover between them. It’s one smooth, continuous through-flow of story that readers will love!
My next series (nearly done with Book 2) is called The Silent Champions—think a Rainbow Six/Ghost Ops-style team of special operatives, but taken from my Roman Legion-esque military force in my existing fantasy world. There’s magic, alchemical madness, mythological creatures, epic battles, cunning schemes, and so much more!
3) What inspired you to write your current project?
I LOVED reading the Rainbow Six novels and playing video games like Black Ops. I wanted to write one set in my own world, and the idea of bringing characters like that alive just kept tugging away at my brain until I finally sat down to write it. Now, it’s a thrill to see how this force of 7 men and women can defeat armies that number in the thousands, with NO magic and nothing but their courage, determination, and ingenuity to do it.
4) Why did you decide to start writing?
I don’t know if it was ever really a conscious decision. I come from an artistic family, and when I discovered that I could write, it was my outlet for the innate creativity pent-up within me. I wrote off and on for a number of years, until I got married and had a family. But when a publisher showed interest in some of the works I wrote as a teenager, it got me curious to see what I could do as an older, more mature adult. The rest, as they say, is history.
5) Who are some of your favorite authors & why?
Brandon Sanderson’s worldbuilding and the breathtaking scope of his worlds are absolutely staggering. Scott Lynch’s humor, unique characters, and amazing stories and plot twists. The “heart” of Michael J. Sullivan’s characters are what get to me every time.
6) What do you think makes an author successful, and what makes their work resonate with people?
Putting down real people in real situations, and showing readers how those people would react. Then, walking those people through the consequences of their actions and ultimately being better for them. Stories are always fun, but it’s the characters that readers really connect with on a deeper level.
7) What were the biggest hurdles you had to overcome as an author?
I’d say the Asperger’s Syndrome is probably the #1 hurdle. It’s a struggle every day to connect with people around me, as well as the characters I write. It’s why I do so much research and asking questions to try to understand the people I’m bringing to life.
8) This is a personal question so feel free to answer how you want or to not answer. A lot of people in the creative arts suffer from depression, self-doubt, and hopelessness. Can you share a moment in your writing career where you felt these emotions? How did you overcome it? Do you have any advice for those currently struggling?
This is another struggle that I’d say most authors deal with on a regular basis. It’s part of the artistic life, and a burden we all have to bear—and get over in order to keep pushing through it.
I don’t think I’ve ever had any real “make or break” moments, but there’s a point in nearly every book I write that I start wondering if I’m doing it right or totally messing things up. The only advice I can give is the advice I give myself when I start feeling like that: push through! It will get better, and you’ll get to that point in the story where you KNOW you’re doing it right because everything feels right. As long as you keep pushing forward, no matter how hard you struggle, you’ll never fail.
9) What do you feel is the biggest reward with writing?
Aside from being able to pay the bills, I’d say the greatest reward is hearing back from readers who LOVED my characters or who have gotten so thoroughly enmeshed in my world and stories that they almost know more about it than I do.
10) Is there any advice that you can offer new writers?
Push through! I said it above, but it bears repeating. Don’t worry if the story sucks now—you can always come back and make it better later on. And maybe you’ll find it’s actually better than you thought at the time, and doesn’t need improving. But if you get mired down in the part that sucks, you’ll never finish it and turn it into something good. So push through and keep writing, no matter what!