I recently had the pleasure of interviewing a new author of Young Adult fiction, Jack W. Regan. Previously on my blog I also read and reviewed his book T'Aragam, which is the first of a planned series. To read my review follow the link at the end of the interview.
Jack's Virtual Book Tour started on July 17th and will run through August 10th. Doing a virtual book tour myself in March of this year I know how much time and effort goes into this type of campaign. I am happy to be a part of it and wish him the best in his tour.
Please welcome Jack W. Regan...KC: How long did T'Aragam take to write?
JW: From original idea to finished manuscript...about nine months, mostly because I couldn’t decide how I wanted to write it. It was originally going to be in first person and I wrote about 15,000 words that way, when I realized it just wasn’t working. At one point I just shelved the whole thing, figuring it was a lost cause. Then I saw an advertisement for a novel-writing contest. When I saw the ad, the deadline was a mere six weeks away. I pulled out “T’Aragam” and began working like a mad person. I changed the viewpoint and altered a few other plot points and some how managed to write and rewrite the entire manuscript, finishing a mere two days prior to the deadline. So, from first glimmer to completion, almost a year, although the vast majority of the work was done in the six weeks prior to the contest deadline.
KC: How did you find your publisher and how long did it take?
JW: I published “T’Aragam” myself. I didn’t even try to track down a traditional publisher, not because I didn’t have faith in my book, but because I’m a little anti-establishment when it comes to publishing. I kinda resent the bigger publishers picking and choosing what the public should read. I’m a total sell-out, of course, because if a publisher came and offered me a nice sum to publish this series, I’d be an idiot to refuse, but at the same time I think the industry is changing. There are a myriad of opportunities for authors to make themselves heard. I know there are benefits to being traditionally published, I’m not denying that. Nor do I think less of authors who choose that route. If it works for them,that’s great. For me, I love having complete control of the product, everything from writing to cover and interior design. It’s a heckuva lotta fun and the response has been great.
KC: Where did the idea for T'Aragam come from?
JW: I’ve always been fascinated with time travel and parallel universes and wondered if it will ever be possible to travel between them, whether or not they affect one another, or what it would be like to go back in history with modern day knowledge. That’s how "T’Aragam" started. Obviously, the actual book is far from that and it’s better off for it, but that’s how it began. Shows what a massive rewrite actually took place!:0)
KC: What draws you to write YA Fantasy? Do you want to try other genres?
JW: I’ve tried other genres, most of them aimed for a more adult audience. But I think writing for younger readers suits my writing style more. I don’t like to take things too seriously and I think that hampered my earlier works, which were supposed to be serious and gritty, but always had an undercurrent of goofiness. Yeah. Didn’t work so well. As far as fantasy goes, I think it’s just the escape from reality that beckons me. You aren’t bound so much by the restraints of what people know and are comfortable with. “Hey, I just wrote about a giant horse with wings and the head of a dragon!” “Those don’t exist,” someone scoffs.“They do in my world!” I say smugly.
KC: This question was born out of a Twitter conversation. Do you think the author chooses the story/genre or the story/genre chooses the author?
JW: Simply speaking for myself, I had to play around with genres before I found YA fantasy. As I said, I formerly was writing stuff for a more mature audience: mysteries, etc. I just wasn’t that good at it. Why I thought I had to write those, I’m not sure. I think the story itself often chooses a writer, though. As a writer, I’ve had ideas leap out of nowhere and take my brain hostage, refusing to let it go until I write something about it. I think it works both ways. Even when an idea does “choose” a writer, that writer must still flesh it out.
KC: I read and enjoyed T'Aragam. You left the possibility and the hint of a sequel. How's that coming along?
JW: The title of book two is "Kingdom Heir." It’s underway and is scheduled to be released on Dec. 1, 2009!
To find out more about the book and all sorts of other fun stuff, please visit: www.taragam.comAmazon.com purchase link:http://www.amazon.com/TAragam-Jack-W-Regan/dp/1442114592/
Thank you Jack for your honest and insightful answers. I can relate to the challenge of rewriting. I am facing similar issues with my current book. It is hard to make such drastic changes but sometimes it has to be done. In your case it was a complete success. I love the final outcome of T'Aragam and look forward to reading the next book, Kingdom Heir. Good luck on the rest of your virtual tour.
Also, thanks to all you readers who have stopped by to learn more about Jack W. Regan and his new book. If you would like to read my review of T'Aragam click on the following link.
As always, I welcome your comments and thoughts on this. This is my first author interview and hope that the questions and answers will help other writers find some inspiration and confidence in their own work.
Thanks and keep reading!
Kristin : )