I recently began reading the first book in the Red Proxy series by Keith Ward, ‘The Blood King’, which Keith ever so kindly sent me for free. We began talking back and forth to each other through email. I was asking him about any advice for writing, as I would like to become an author myself and long story short, we both agreed to a Q&A session.
I have to mention first of all, that he was very polite and showed great enthusiasm for the idea. The questions were sent and within 30 minutes, he had answered. For the sake of transparency and reliability, Keith himself checked this post and gave permission for this article to be public. He made sure all of his answers were correct and unedited by me in any way.
Below is the list of questions that were sent (in Bold) and his answers (in Italics). At the end of the document will also be links to his Good Reads page and his Amazon page if you would like to check his work out further. If you have any questions or comments, please do leave a comment on this article and start the discussion.
Also, book 3 of the Red Proxy series will be out very shortly. It is currently in the last editing stage and is called ‘The Anointed’. It will expand on the world of Greyfelle adding new characters locations!
Keith Ward ~ Q&A
1 ~ First and foremost Keith, the classic question, what or who inspired you to begin writing?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, starting in elementary school, when a classmate and I wrote (and performed!) a weekly script about being new army recruits. I also wrote screenplays for years before turning to novels.
2 ~ If you could live in any fantasy world, what would that be and why?
Middle-earth. Near Brandy Hall in Buckland. That way I’d be near both Hobbiton and Tom Bombadil, and not too far from Rivendell.
3 ~ Do you have any inspiration outside of writing? Perhaps a sportsperson or musician for example?
I admire people who show courage in the face of disaster, so I’m a big fan of Lincoln and Churchill.
4 ~ Could you give a brief insight into your process of writing for any aspiring creators out there?
The most important thing of all: It’s not magic! Sit in a chair and write. What you write will be bad, and probably for awhile. Keep writing until you’ve worked through the bad and the good starts working its way in. Stay with it; patience and perseverance are the whole ballgame. Nothing else will do.
5 ~ Do the characters you write about in any way, reflect who you would want to be or who you would want to meet in real life? (Perhaps not the Blood King, Lord Fathim!)
Not for me. I like exploring the good and bad in people, and asking “What if…?” types of questions. Fantasy, my primary genre, is a unique way to explore those questions.
6 ~ A couple of favorites for your readers to know, what is your favorite: movie, book, theater production, sport, food and country?
Movie: Back to the Future. A perfect script and story.
Book: Lord of the Rings (probably obvious by now)
Theater show: Man of La Mancha (I love musicals). Dream the Impossible Dream.
Sports: Football and Basketball
Food: Filet Mignon
Country: The Shire
7 ~ With a little research, I can see that Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit is a joy for you. What is it that attracts you to these books and its world? Were these works a major reason for you to begin writing?
I love the world more than anything. For me, LotR is more about the place and people than the plot (although it’s great). There’s an innocence and basic decency and goodness that I think the modern world has lost, to a degree. I can’t say that the books inspired me to write — I was writing before I read them — but they profoundly impacted me as a wee lad. And I can feel their influence when I write. I like to say that Tolkien is the father of all fantasy writers. My books are much different than his, but he essentially invented the genre.
8 ~ What is the most important thing for you as a writer in terms of marketing and being noticed? What can your readers do to help? Amazon reviews, good reads etc.
Reviews! Reviews! Reviews! That’s the most important thing in building a career. Goodreads is a different type of community, I’ve found; I have to say that I don’t quite understand it, but they are passionate. Readers can also tell their friends that they love the book; word of mouth can be powerful.
9 ~ Do you have a place where you like to write?
I have a home office with a beautiful view. When I can’t stand being in the house any longer, I often wind up in Starbucks, working on my laptop.
10 ~ Lastly, what tips can you give aspiring authors who will perhaps stumble upon this blog post?
It’s never been harder to break into traditional publishing, and never been easier to *be* published, i.e. the self-published route. If you go self-published, make sure your work meets the highest standards. Write your best stuff, and no shortcuts. Then get professional editing and a professional cover. To me, the difference between traditional publishing and self-publishing is disappearing; it’s now about professional publishing vs. unprofessional publishing. Be a professional!
Thank you all for reading and I hope this interview will help in any way.