MATT XELL INTERVIEW AND BOOK GIVEAWAY
Today, I am again pleased to welcome Matt Xell, author ofTower of Parlen Min. He has graciously taken time out of his busy blog tour toanswer some questions. He is offering 5 eBook copies of Tower of Parlen Min to5 lucky commenters. Please fill out the rafflecopter form or leave a commentwith your email address so I can throw you in the drawing for the books.
What inspired you to become a writer?
I’d say I’ve always been something of a storyteller or an avid dreamer.I fell in love in fantasy literature and the visual arts at a very young age;in particular YA novels, Japanese comics, action movies and video games. AndI’d like to think that I’ve always been equal parts a consumer and producer ofthe kind of entertainment I love. But it wasn’t until the 9th grade thatwriting became my primary form of storytelling.
What character(s) of your book(s) do you most relate to?
Ves in Tower of Parlen Min, but mostly Ryan from The SilverSun Chronicles which is one of my earlier and unpublished works. Though mycharacters do have some elements of me in them, I don’t like to write aboutcharacters that are too similar to real-life people, events or themes. Andyeah, I have been criticized a lot and am guilty of writing characters a lot ofpeople can’t relate too. I really like unique and eccentric characters and Ireally abhor stereotyped and mediocre characters.
How do you visualize your stories? Dreams? Inner monologue with yourcharacters,etc.?
Wow, mm … no one has asked that before, lol. But,uh, I really let myimagination wander in the creation process. So like with Ves, sometimes itplayed out like a movie, sometimes like an animated series, sometimes likeshort comic strips, sometimes like a music videos, sometimes like a video games… and so it’s all very abstract and mostly incoherent when it’s in the mind,and it’s not chronological which is worse. So I had to write the ideas down onpaper or tell them to my brother or friends to make sense of them.
What is your writing ritual? Music? Silence? Meditation?
Hmm, I don’t think I do have a writing ritual, at least not one I’mconsciously aware of. And I’m not strict on writing environment either. I canwrite anyway so long as I have all the research and material I need to completethe story. Reasonable peace and quietness are only a prerequisite when writingcomplex mystery and suspense scenes. On the contrary, writing the action scenesare actually very loud, with my brother and I storyboarding and choreographingeverything like a movie with vivid and sometimes violent hand gestures, punchesand kicks 🙂
As for the music, I’d say that depends on the scene I’m writing or theoverall theme of the story. With Ves it’s usually alternative rock like Placebo,Billy Talent, AFI and Asian Kung-fu Generation with the occasionalPhillip Glass, Kow Otani, Joe Hisaishi instrumentals and scores for the mellow,emotional and dramatic scenes.
What inspired you to write the The Tower of Parlen Min?
Tower of Parlen Min was inspired by anightmare I had back in September 2006, which was a bizarre mash-up of the Charlieand the Chocolate Factory and House on Haunted Hill movies and wasoriginally meant to be series of mystery/suspense graphic novels. I latermerged the plot with another story I was working on at the time, with Ves andhis Dark Teenage Girl showing up in early 2007 and overhauling theproject which turned out to be a series of speculative fantasy adventure novelsinstead.
If you could be a book genre, what would you choose and why?
I’d be a mystery novel, because I like being unpredictable and I like tokeep people guessing.
What knowledge do you want to share with aspiring authors like myself?
Lol, um, I don’t like giving advice, because I don’t follow a lot of itmyself and I’m usually wrong about a lot of things. But if I had to give someadvice if any, I’d say don’t self-publish unless you absolutely have to,because it’s a lot more simple and straight forward (but not easy) to do ittraditionally. The paradox to this statement is that with the advent of theInternet this may not be true in the next few years. There have been storieslately of self-publishing authors making millions more than they would havemade doing it traditionally. Yes, everything has pros and cons, compromises andsacrifices have to be made, and at the end of it all it’s all about howpassionate and committed you are to your work and which system of doing thingsappeals or works for you (Matt is too wordy, he’s been told, Lol).
I chose to self-publish out of necessity. I knew that Tower of ParlenMin was a book a lot of people would have a hard time getting their headsaround and that it wasn’t a book major publishers were looking for, at leastnot yet (dystopian and paranormal-romance YA novels are the rule of the day people) but I still wanted to have it outthere. And though I might publish with a major publishing house one day shouldthe opportunity arise, it will be a joint-venture agreement of some sort.Having read about some of the traditional publishing deals gone bad, I’m notparticularly comfortable with selling my rights if it’s not in my bestinterest.
if you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things would you bringand why?
1. A bucket of chocolate and vanilla Ice cream.
2. A drum of rum (like any pirate in his right mind, if they ever are)
3. A Nintendo DS with all the Professor Layton games
4. Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy novels because I’m dying toread those books.
5. A satellite phone to call for help when I complete the MillenniumTrilogy, the ice cream melts, the rum runs out and the DS’s battery goesflat 🙂
What other books do you have to write or be written in the horizon?
I’m working on the plot for the second Ves Asirin book which is titled EclipseOver Atuwis Wood. I haven’t had a lot of time to work on it because I’mstill marketing Tower of Parlen Min. I think I’ll start writing it inApril 2012 and it could take me as long as 1 year to complete it. And I’ll bereleasing several light novels or novellas in the months between that’ll alsobe set in the world of Everlon. These include Eslo’s Story, The HuntFor Majis and The Brothers Macullen.
If you could have dinner with anyone alive or dead, with whom would itbe and why?
Christopher Nolan. I’d like to pick his brain about the making and mostimportantly the amazing editing of all his movies, especially Inception.
If you could time travel, what time period would you go to and why?
Italy during the renaissance era, I think anyone who considersthemselves an artist would love to.
How do you write your books? By the seat of your pants? Or is it plottedout in advance?
I always plot my stories with the end first, that way I’m never disappointedwith the climax or conclusion. Yes everything, except some characterinteractions and reactions, is plotted out in advance. Although I do create asort of timeline or template for the events in a book, I don’t write all thechapters in chronological order, this, for me, eliminates any writer’s block.
Here is a twist…10 words or less, what comes to your mind first?
Chaos – My life in 2008
Moon – The one in The Legend of Zelda: Majora’sMask
Fantasy – Surprisingly there isn’t a lot of ‘magic’ in thosebooks is there … maybe it’s just me
Dragon – The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim
Book – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Light – That one topic in physics I can never fathom …
Seethe below social media links for more information on this exciting young adultfantasy
MATTXELL FACEBOOK PAGE
TOWEROF PARLEN MIN FACEBOOK PAGE
MATTXELL ON GOODREADS
MATTXELL ON TWITTER