Q&A with author Andrew Q. Gordon

I was contacted recently about hosting a guest post by law-enforcement official and writer Andrew Q. Gordon, author of fantasy and paranormal books like Purpose and Kings of Lore and Legend. Below is a Q&A with Andrew, I hope you take a look and enjoy it as much as I did! I’m filling in a similar Q&A that will be hosted on his website so look out for that in the very near future.

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  1. Welcome Andrew. Since this is your first time to the Steven A. McKay blog, tell the audience a bit about yourself.

You’d think doing this since kindergarten I’d have a pat answer at the ready, but it hasn’t gotten any easier in the decades since. My husband and I have been together 22 years and married for 3. Our daughter is 5. During the day I work in law enforcement (think the suit half of Law and Order.) I love baseball and am trying to teach my daughter the game by taking her to see the minor league team in our area. I’m also a life long soccer fan—I’ve played since I was 8, refereed since I was 25 and more recently started to coach.

Fantasy and sci-fi—books, movies, comics etc.—are my genre of choice, but I do like historical entertainment as well. Wine more than beer, whiskey over scotch, and coffee not tea. I’m a bit of a tech junkie but more of a second follower than a first adopter.

  1. How long have you been writing?

    I started writing in college. I gave it up when I went to law school. Started again by taking a writing course when I got my first job. Gave it up again when my husband and I moved. Took it up again about ten years ago by reconnecting with my writing teacher and have been going strong ever since.

  2. What was the first story you wrote?

    It was a dreadful fantasy story back in high school. After several years of English and writing courses in college, I wrote a much better one for a writing class. It was written on yellow legal pads and took forever to type using a correctible type writer.

  1. What is your favorite part of the writing process?

Typing “The End.”

Okay, so not really. I enjoy figuring out my characters and what are they like. Sometimes they are Athena, born fully formed from the mind of Zeus, others they are Darwin and take years to evolve. Finding what makes them tick, their quirks, and how they react to things is the fun part of writing. It’s like meeting new people and since I’m immersed in their development and their lives, they take on an almost best friend like quality.

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  1. What is your least favorite part?

I probably should say edits, but that isn’t really true. Rules. Specifically, following them. Use active not passive; don’t use autonomous body parts (I didn’t even know there was such a thing); avoid simultaneous actions; watch out for unintended perspective shifts. Yeah, I get it, doing all that stuff is detrimental to good writing, but why can’t it be easier?

  1. Tell the readers something interesting that isn’t in your bio?

    Not sure if this is interesting or not, but I have a collection of inexpensive yet very old books. My grandfather (for whom I am named after in real life) never went beyond 6th grade. He was the oldest of eight and he had to leave school and go to work in my great grandfather’s bakery to help support them. Despite that, he felt it was very important to keep learning. He used to go to yard sales and buy books so he could read them. He also never threw them out. When he died, he left me his books. Many of them were the equivalent of mass market paperbacks, many are not in good shape, but most are at least a hundred years old. They are in my home office in a hundred year old barrister bookcase.

  2. What have you read lately that most people haven’t read but should?

    I really like Greenwode, by J Tullos Hennig. It retells the Robin Hood vs. Guy of Gisborne tale with a twist. The old ways – druids and the like – haven’t been entirely stamped out and Robin is the new leader of those who follow the old ways. It’s really a well written and interesting take on the legend.

  3. If you could meet any writer, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

    Part of me wants to say J. R. R. Tolkein as he was my first favorite author, but I think if I only got one bite, it would be Roger Zelazny. There is a ton of information available on Tolkien, but Zelazny is really only well know among fantasy readers. Zelazny’s Amber Chronicles, specifically the first five that tell Corwin’s story, are wonderful. What I really loved about the entire series is how when they were written affect some of their content. The first five were influenced by the Sixties and Seventies. The second group, that tell Merlin’s story, was started in the Eighties, after the computer age started to take hold. Getting a chance to have coffee or a beer with Roger would be amazing.

  4. What’s a fun – non-writing – day for you?

Spending time with my daughter. It’s a cliché, but kids do grow up fast. Blink and they’ve moved beyond that toy, or phase. I’m trying to create memories for both of us, though I still could do more. I’m sure the day will come soon when she doesn’t want me around so I’m banking my time now to carry me through after she’s become more independent.

  1. Besides reading and writing, what else do you enjoy?

I enjoy watching baseball and soccer. Lately I’ve been more involved in teaching my daughter to play soccer, but I still like going to the games. I live close to a major university so we take her to see the mens and womens soccer matches when we can.

  1. Last question is all yours – feel free to talk about anything you want your readers to know about you, your book, anything at all.

As geeky as it sounds, I love to talk to other readers about fantasy stories. Which ones they loved or hated. Why they liked or didn’t a particular series. I especially enjoy talking magic. There are as many ‘systems’ as there are readers and its fun to see how different people perceive how magic should work. So feel free to email and we can chat about it if you are so moved.

Thanks for having me today.

Get book one in Andrew’s Champion of the Gods series free here. http://aqgsignups.getresponsepages.com

Andrew’s website – http://www.andrewqgordon.com/

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Footnote – nice little synchronicity I doubt Andrew or his PR people knew about: he has a place called Dumbarten featured in his novels. I grew up in, bought my first house in, and was married in the real, Scottish town, Dumbarton! I even worked as a steward in the castle. 🙂

Q&A with my narrator Nick Ellsworth – James Bond and more!

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Rise of the Wolf is out NOW from Audible, so hopefully you haven’t used your monthly credit yet. It should also be available on iTunes soon. And that’s not all – Friar Tuck and the Christmas Devil is also available to pre-order from Audible, you’ll be able to listen to it on November 13th!

To celebrate, here’s a Q&A I did with my excellent narrator, Nick Ellsworth. Enjoy!

 

Collaborating with someone on a project has to work in more than just the obvious ways. Anyone that’s ever been in a band will know it doesn’t matter how good your music sounds if you just don’t get on with the other musicians!

I’d heard some horror stories when I first started looking for a narrator to produce Wolf’s Head so I was very pleased to find Nick Ellsworth. Someone who not only sounded great but completed the project quickly with very little input needed from me. He’s since produced all of my books (five so far) and has been a pleasure to work with each and every time. If you’re looking for someone to read your novel, check him out on the ACX website, but first, read this…

You’re a busy man – can you list your resume in terms of acting/voice-over work?

As an actor I’ve worked for the RoyalShakespeare Company, The Royal Court, Hampstead Theatre and various theatres up and down the country. I’ve done some TV stuff including a recent episode of The US series, ‘Bones”. As a young actor I had small parts in the movies, “The Spy Who Loved Me’ and ‘Force Ten From Navarone’.

What was your favourite job, ever?

Probably playing a despicable villain in a play called, ‘Heaven and Hell’.

What’s it like doing voice-over work compared to TV or film? Is there much difference?

Voice over work can be much more concentrated as the scripts tend to be much shorter than performing in TV or film, but voicing a TV commercial for example, you can spend up to an hour just working on a few words and getting it exactly how the client wants it.

robin hood booksWhen I’m writing a book I have a file with a list of characters and what they look like, height, hair colour, etc. Do you have similar audio files, with snippets of each voice you do for characters, so they’re consistent?

No, but if a character comes up again later on in a book or a later book in the same series, I’ll refer back to previous voice files to refresh my memory, regarding the voice I used.

Speaking of your accents – are you a Yorkshireman? You do a very convincing version of that one, almost as if it’s natural, which is, obviously, perfect for my books. One listener told me she thought your Yorkshire accent was sexy!

Well, I was born and brought up in N. Wales, but my family on my mother’s side are from the Manchester area, so I grew up around people with strong northern accents.

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FT&XD

You’ve produced all of my books now, including the Xmas novella. Which did you enjoy narrating the most?

I’ve enjoyed reading all of them, but the last one, the Friar Tuck novella, I thought was totally captivating with its blend of religion, folk-lore, courage, humour and adventure. All set around the magical time of Christmas!

Who would you choose to narrate a book you’d written?

I really like Peter Firth’s voice, who was one of the leads in the spy series, ‘Spooks’. I think he has a great reading voice.

Of course you HAVE written books – my own daughter read one or two of them even before we started working together. Tell us a bit about them.

I’ve written picture books for very young children and short stories for older children. I’ve also written an anthology of bible stories and a re-telling of famous fairytales. You can find most of them on my Amazon homepage.

robin hood novelWhat future projects do you have lined up (until my final Forest Lord novel needs your talents)?

I’ve written a comedy series for radio which I’m trying to sell and have a booking for a radio commercial for the ‘Most Haunted’ TV series and am presenting an awards ceremony for the Heathrow Academy. Most excitingly, at the beginning of November I’m heading off to the US for 7 weeks. I’ll be visiting friends in LA and San Francisco, playing a little poker in Vegas, then shooting off to Washington DC to spend Christmas with my brother and his wife. Should be fun! (providing I don’t lose too much at the poker tables!)

Thanks for doing this interview, enjoy your Christmas!

You can contact Nick via his website

New interview with Indie B.R.A.G.

Take a quick look at the new Q&A I did with Indie B.R.A.G. who recently awarded The Wolf and the Raven their coveted medallion! Here’s a little taster of one of the questions:

Tell me a little about Sir Guy of Gisbourne.

Well, everyone has heard of Sir Guy – he appeared in the original ballads (unlike some of the other well-known characters like Maid Marian) as a man who had a fierce rivalry with Hood. I’ve kept that aspect of it alive and made him a charismatic, dangerous swordsman who’s vowed to bring about our hero’s destruction. In the original stories from hundreds of years ago there was a very violent clash between Sir Guy and Robin, where Robin actually killed him and mutilated his dead opponent’s face quite sadistically! I didn’t quite go as far as that, but, as always I do like to stick as close to the old tales as much as possible while adding a few new elements of my own…

http://layeredpages.com/2014/12/22/interview-with-b-r-a-g-medallion-honoree-author-steven-a-mckay/

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Q&A about Wolf’s Head/Robin Hood/Whatever

I’m doing a little Q&A thing over at Goodreads, where people can ask me about my book Wolf’s Head, Robin Hood or whatever else they like. You don’t need to have read the book to join in, some of the questions are more general but I’m enjoying answering them all.

Pop over and join in (I’m not sure if it’s open, but if you want to join in send me a message on Goodreads and I’ll add you to the list).

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1398235-ask-me-something-about-wolf-s-head-or-robin-hood