As part of the blog tour, I had the opportunity to ask the author some questions pertaining to Sunborn Rising. Here’s what he had to say!
- What was your inspiration for Sunborn Rising?
I spent a lot of my childhood playing in the woods, running along fallen trees and climbing a few, and turning over every rock and rotting log I could find. I have vivid memories of slugs, ants, centipedes, earwigs, and salamanders slithering through the soil, and Sunborn Rising certainly pulls from those moments.
- How long did it take to write Beneath the Fall?
For nine months, I wrote and presented chapters, making some revisions along the way but mainly driving toward story completion. Although the editing didn’t comprise the whole of my effort for the following year, I completed three separate full pass edits in that time, including two professional edits, and reading the book aloud to our entire Neoglyphic company for polish.
- Who’s your favorite character from Sunborn Rising?
Wow, soft-served me a couple questions to lull me into a false sense of ease, eh? My favorite character? Buy me a drink first. 😛 But you know what? I like your moxie. Fizzit. Next question.
- How many books are planned for this series?
Three so far. It’s a big world though, with lots of characters and possibilities, so the series will likely grow beyond the foundational trilogy.
- What is the relationship between the book and the videogame?
Neoglyphic Entertainment publishes franchises, meaning that we want to develop stories across many mediums in parallel to provide a richer experience of an imagined world. For Cerulean, we thought it would be fun to fly through the Loft as a Rush — one of the hummingbird messenger puppies 😉 . And it works really well! Especially, in VR. Some game tropes apply.
- Does the videogame have a release date?
Soon! The mobile game has been live in Australia for testing and revision, and the team have been responding to feedback, improving everything from visuals to leaderboards. The version we last played in the office was a ton of fun, and we’re confident it’ll go live everywhere this summer. The sunbornrising.com website is updated regularly with release information.
- Can you explain the related app?
The app fuses the various artistic components of the story into a single experience. With animated illustrations, and an original soundtrack that ebbs and flows in sync with reading speed, the Sunborn Rising app represents our first step toward delivering a new way for audiences to enjoy a novel. The app even represents modern approaches to development with an engineer in Australia, a composer in Ohio, and artists from here to Denmark. Their talents combined — oy, sounds like I’m headed toward a Captain Planet reference. Ouch. It burns a little. Voltron? Well, anyway, maybe we don’t merge into a bleeping amazing robotic protector of the known universe, but the app is still pretty flippin’ awesome!
- How do you overcome writer’s block?
I’ve been asked this question more than a few times, and my answer invariably involves writing 🙂 . I don’t know, I’m not saying I have answers for anyone else, or that I even know for sure what a person means by “blocked,” but whenever I need to work something out, I write. Maybe I’m perpetually blocked and that’s the impetus to write in the first place? I probably should have just seen a doctor instead…
- What did you read growing up? How did this influence what you wanted to write?
Early on, I’d say Encyclopedia Brown, Bunnicula, and the Norby Chronicles give a fair representation of my reading habits. Later, I became deeply, emotionally invested in The Darksword Trilogy, and The Death Gate Cycle, by Weis and Hickman, Madeleine L’engle’s Wrinkle in Time and related works, and the Gunslinger by Stephen King, but also, I enjoyed my literature classes, both canonical works and not. Twain, Hesse, and Voltaire certainly influenced me, though I couldn’t pass a test about their works today 🙂 . Nabokov, Rushdie, and Philip K. Dick played a huge role. Today, Mieville, Abercrombie, and McCarthy keep rising to the top as favorites. Even as I answer this question, name after name pops into my mind, but I’m not sure any answer your question. You know who influenced me most? Mr. and Mrs. Campbell of Traverse City Area Public Schools. The two high school teachers pushed me to develop my own ideas, challenge those ideas, refine them, and state them clearly, all in relation to reading and understanding literature.
- Do you have any other projects in the works?
Other than working on the Sunborn Rising trilogy, I’m eager to complete my portrait series, a collection of short, surreal works characterizing my most personal emotional connections. Also, the novel I started before Sunborn Rising, a work of weird fiction entitled, “Clay.” Both projects need attention, but remain out of focus while I’m caught up in the gravity of Sunborn. Nevertheless, the projects have been defined and have more than a little work in them already, so picking them up again should be — finger’s crossed — easy enough. Wish me luck!