Zeedub Bezzies is an ongoing series where I showcase talented authors by goading them into random questioning. It’s good fun, a little weird, sometimes awkward, but always entertaining.
I first met Geoff Habiger at the annual Albuquerque Comic Con. We were both manning author booths, so we naturally exchanged books and pleasantries. What started out as an interesting new contact quickly morphed into an interesting new friendship. He’s a fantastic writer and I trust his judgement, so I’ll just let him take it from here …
“Come in, — come in! and know me better, man!” (With humblest apologies to Mr. Charles Dickens.)
Ever since Zachry posted that he had created a web page that had over 600 different interview questions that you could randomly select I thought that being able to post one question and answer a day would be a fun project to do. It would allow me to connect with readers and writers, and it would allow me to think about myself as a writer and share that with the world. I have managed to post every day for 41 consecutive days so far (as of this writing) and I have loved interacting with everybody who has responded to the posts. (About 5 days in I started tagging five authors to share in the question of the day.)
Here are some of my favorite questions and my responses from the first 30 days of my challenge. I hope you enjoy them, and I thank Zachry for sharing them with you.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Well, so far the average is 5.5 years, but I only have 2 data points. I’m hoping to bring that average down with the next 2 books, though at the rate the sequels are going I’m not sure how well we are doing. One of the difficulties in writing as co-authors is not only finding the time to get together to write but syncing up our regular work schedules (Coy and I both still work real jobs) so we can write. So far that has proven difficult in the past few months as project deadlines have loomed for both of us. (Stupid real jobs!)
What is your advice to indie authors on marketing?
Plan ahead. While you are waiting for the book to be released, you need to be making those connections and plans to get the word out about your book. Setting up interviews, blog tours, etc.
Describe your perfect book hero or heroine.
I don’t think there is a “perfect” hero. Each story calls for a different type of hero within it, and each is unique. That said, if the hero isn’t kind to animals, then they are no hero to me.
What famous author do you wish would be your mentor?
Probably Douglas Preston and/or Lincoln Child. I’d love to have them give me advice or mentor me on my craft. Especially because they work together as co-authors. I think being able to talk to them about their process would be something that Coy and I would like to hear.
Have any new writers grasped your interest recently?
Yes – Ricardo Victoria writes Science Fantasy and his first novel will be coming out later this year. I really enjoy his blend of science fiction with fantasy and Anime style action. A. E. Lowan writes great urban fantasy, and Eric Michael Craig writes wonderful hard science fiction. That’s just three that I’ve discovered in the past year.
Post-event brews with Zachry Wheeler, Eric Michael Craig, and Geoff Habiger
How do you come up with the titles of your books?
They usually just pop into my head. I often get the titles well before I know what the book will be about. Many are puns or plays on the theme of the book. I have titles for about a dozen new books already jotted down (where is that notebook?) and we have the titles for at least 6 books in the Unremarkable series already figured out. I have the basic titles for the next several Reva adventures as well already figured out. Titles is the easy part. Getting the story down is the hard part.
What projects are you working on at the present?
Coy and I are working on sequels to both Unremarkable and Wrath of the Fury Blade. The next book featuring Saul is called Untouchable – of course we had to use that as the title. The second Reva adventure is Joy of the Widows Tears. We have also been working on some new material. We have a couple of short stories featuring some new characters. Both are fantasy and are set in the same world as Reva’s adventures (Ados: The Land of Strife is the setting). One features a Varani sailor (the Varani are a race of lizard-people) who shuns the sea to seek revenge. We are planning it as a series of short stories. The other is an introduction to a new character that we want to write novels about named Flint Dagger – think international man of mystery and spy – the James Bond of fantasy. I also have a short story that will be published in Mavguard Magazine soon.
Did the thought to give up writing ever occur to you?
Yes – a long time ago. I wrote several short stories and a complete novel when I was in college, plus the draft of another novel. But I wasn’t happy with it, and very frustrated – and I didn’t have the sort of support structure I have today. (This was pre-internet days. GASP!). Plus, life just happened. So, I gave up writing for nearly 20 years. It’s only recently that I have started writing again and I am glad I did.
Why did you choose the setting for your book?
For Unremarkable we wanted to do something different with the vampire genre, and blending vampires with gangsters had not been overdone. The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre was the initial prompt, so setting in 1929 Chicago was what resulted.
Wrath of the Fury Blade started with a simple idea – in a world of magic and monsters, how do the police solve crimes? I wanted to blend a police story with a fantasy setting, and Coy and I already had our Ados setting from our RPG game. It was a natural place to set Reva and Ansee’s adventures.
As a writer, what would you choose as your spirit animal?
An otter. One, because otters are cool. Two, they are playful and enjoy having fun. I think having that level of enjoyment and fun is key to getting through the writing of a book or making edits.