INTRO: T.S. Robinson is the author of Battle-Chasers, and here youcan read the interview we did with him for the October issue of thesffworld.com – Fantasy eZine.
Q: With degrees in Computer Science and an MBA, how did you getthis fascination for the Fantasy genre?
A: I played a lot of Dungeons and Dragons as a teenager, and myinterest for high fantasy stemmed from there. Gary Gygax,co-creator of D&D, wrote a series of novels in the 1980’s (Gordthe Rogue series), and that’s what shifted my focus from RPGmodules to high fantasy novels. I never really thought aboutwriting for a living until recently, so I pursued an educationin the business arena to make ends meet in the “real world.”
Q: How did you come up with the idea for Battle-Chasers?
A: I was watching the movie: BRAVEHEART, and there was a scenethat pans out over a bloody countryside, where a recent hand-to-hand war had just been waged. They focused in on the aftermathof battle – all the horror and suffering. It was then I had thethought, “I’ve never read a fantasy book that focuses on theaftermath of war.” They all just lead up to it, and afterwards,quickly move beyond it to the next setting. That’s what gave methe idea to write a high fantasy book about what happens AFTER awar has been waged.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about the experience, writing yourfirst book?
A: People say the hardest part about writing a book is just that- actually writing it. But for me, that was the easiest part.I wrote BATTLE-CHASERS over the course of three months, writing1,000-2,000 words a day. To me, writing is like driving a carat night during the fog — you can only see as far as yourheadlights – but you can make the whole trip that way. :o) Ihad a story to tell and it just flowed onto the page everyday -I never had a block.
The hardest part was understanding the critical role thatwriting style plays in getting published. I hadn’t reallystudied style before I began writing – so I found out the hardway that publishers and editors want a great writing style overa great story. I ended up buying a shelf of books on writingstyle and taking some college classes to educate myself on aneffective style, and armed with this knowledge, editedBATTLE-CHASERS accordingly. I had a lot of help from otherwriters, including Piers Anthony who has mentored me over theyears.
One thing you have to be if you want to publish your work ispatient. It’s a constant learning experience, but one that Ienjoy very much.
Q: Has it been an easy way getting published?
A: Not really. I’ve saved all the “nice” rejection letters frompublishers, agents and editors over the years. I believe it’s alot more difficult in this day and age to get published than itever was before. Most publishing houses and agents don’t wantto take a chance on an unknown author when they have a clientelethat’s established and has a following. You just have to bepatient and persistent. Don’t give up!
Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: Well, no matter how BATTLE-CHASERS fairs in the market place,I will continue to write high fantasy novels. I’m passionateabout it, and see myself ending my corporate career if mywriting career takes off. If not, I’ll continue writing in myspare time.
Q: What has the Internet meant for you as an author?
A: It has provided me with a wealth of opportunity, not only tomarket my book but also to learn and grow as a writer. Early onI joined a couple of writers groups and corresponded with a hostof other writers daily, sending and critiquing each others’work. I learned so much! Now, through online publications likethis, I’m able to reach a readership that was once impossible todo on my own, and give back a lot of what I’ve learned andcrafted. I’m hopeful you find my efforts as exciting as I do,and I welcome your feedback. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and theofficial BATTLE-CHASERS website is:http://www.angelfire.com/on2/tsrobinson