An interview with Maer Wilson – author of The Thulukan Chronicles

Today I have Maer Wilson over for a chat. She’s found publication with Crescent Moon Press for her new novel, Relics, the first book in The Thalukan Chronicles.

Q. Where did the inspiration for your book come from?Head and shoulders photo of Maer Wilson

Thank you so very much for having me on today, Chris.

This book actually grew out of the main characters, Thulu and La Fi.

I used to play World of Warcraft and made up the names Thulu and La Fi as nicknames for some friends whose names were similar.

Before I could tell them, the characters started clamouring in my head that these were their names.

I had a really good idea who they were pretty fast, so decided to see what came of it.

Q. Is this a stand-alone book or part of a series?

Relics is Book 1 of The Thulukan Chronicles.

Q. Can you talk about your experience of getting your book published?

I did the almost obligatory stint of trying to get an agent, but as I learned more about the publishing industry and saw how things were going, I quickly realised that traditional publishing wasn’t for me.

Years between contract and publication just wasn’t going to cut it.

So, I chose several small presses, with Crescent Moon Press being my first choice.

When I got that first email from them asking for my full manuscript, I was thrilled.

When the contract offer came in a few weeks later, I was over the moon.

It was the best thing that ever happened to me and I’m very lucky I found them.

Q. Did you have your own personal ’darkest hour’ in the process of getting your novels written and published (for example, a moment you thought it would never happen), and how did you get through it to achieve success?

Surprisingly enough, there was a time just a few weeks before my contract offer.

I’d become convinced my book was awful.

I’d already chosen my small presses and had been working on my rewriting my query again when this happened.

So, I sent several queries to my top picks all at once, figuring to get all my rejections over with quickly.

Within two hours I had the first request for the full manuscript in, which was from Crescent Moon.

A few days later I received my second request. I figured maybe my book didn’t suck after all. 🙂

Q. Which character other than your MC is your favourite? Why?

Hmmm…I vacillate between Jones and Reo because I adore them both.

So today, I’ll pick Jones.

I love how enigmatic he is and can’t wait to see what else he’s going to bring to the series.

He has so many layers that aren’t discovered yet in Relics, but I think he is my most fascinating.

He’s also my biggest challenge to write since he’s over 8000 years old.

Q. Who are your favourite authors?

George R. R. Martin, J.K. Rowling, Anne McCaffrey, Isaac Asimov, to name only a very few.

Q. Can you share a bit about your next project?

I’m working on Book 2 of The Thulukan Chronicles, Portals.

I have one more read-through and revision to do before submission.

Q. What advice would you give to a budding writer about developing their craft, the business of writing, and the career of a writer?

Relics cover image of a sword before a vortex.To develop their craft, they need to read as much as they can, especially in their genre.

They also need to write as much as they can. The two go hand in hand, I think.

On the business of writing, they need to take their time and thoroughly polish the manuscript.

I think too often the excitement of actually finishing gets the better of some folks and they send off a manuscript that should have had more beta readers and more revising.

As for their career, once someone decides they are serious about writing they need to establish their presence online.

They should start a website or blog, build up their social media and join writing groups.

And they should always be polite and remember to keep their PR face on at all times.

That’s a lesson I brought with me from my years onstage, but I think it applies to authors as well.

Chris, thanks once again for having me over.

About Maer: After a successful career being other people, and later teaching others the many tricks of that trade, Maer Wilson has decided to be herself for a while. Turns out she’s a writer. She’s always loved stories, especially fantasy, mystery and sci fi. She has a dragon-themed room in her home, but sadly no dragons in the back yard. When she’s not writing, Maer plays online video games, teaches college and reads. She lives in the high desert of Southern Nevada with her two dogs, a chihuahua and a poodle. You can visit her website at maerwilson.com. You can find Relics on Amazon.

You might also like Maer’s previous guest post: Maer Wilson – Methods to My Madness.

Maer Wilson – Methods to My Madness: Guest Post

Today I have Maer Wilson here to talk about her writing process, a subject I find endlessly fascinating. Her first novel, Relics, is set to be released by Crescent Moon Press on May 1.

Photo of Maer WilsonSo, you want to know about the process I use to write? The methods to my personal writing madness?

You do realise that going into the mind of a writer can be a dangerous thing, right? I mean, I could tell you stories! No, no, not about me, but about my friends.

Me? I’m actually fairly normal. Sorta, kinda. In a writerly sort of way.

My writing space is at my desk on my pc.

That sounds pretty tame, right? And it is; except that my pc is a gaming computer and set up for ultimate comfort. Yes, that means a footstool under the desk and cushions on my executive chair. Anyway, you get the idea.

I read how friends are writing at lunch on their laptops and such and I envy them a little bit. The most I could write on my laptop is notes.

I need to be at my desk, kicked back with feet up as I type away.

Sometimes I don’t type at all, but use Dragon Naturally Speaking to dictate my novel. About a third of Book Two was dictated. Most often, though, I type, as long as my arm and hand will cooperate.

Music is usually on. Not songs. I don’t’ want to start typing lyrics or anything, but film and gaming soundtracks are great background music. Especially the more epic soundtracks help me stay pumped and crank out the words.

When I’m in writing mode, I write fast.

– The first draft for my first novel (97,000 words) was written in five weeks. –

I wrote a few notes, but mostly I just let the characters take over and the story went places I never thought it would.

Book Two took about nine weeks this past summer, but those were broken up into two stints, one during Camp NaNoWriMo in August.

I have a general idea where my book is going to go, but I’m not always sure how it will get there.

Book Two took an unexpected and (hopefully) awesome turn toward the end.

Major confession time – my entire series has gone places I never expected. I thought I was writing some Urban Fantasy mysteries. Turns out it is a much larger story than that.

I keep a cast list of characters, with ages, relationships, names and years.

Since Book One covers about fifteen years and the series is growing, I need to track some things. That list also has the odd note in it here and there. Lines I want a character to say, something that I want to incorporate. That sort of thing. But there are no outlines and few details.

As the series has progressed, I’ve become more sure what happens in each book. Mostly.

Going into Book Three now, I again know where it’s supposed to be going. Not that there’s any guarantee it won’t take another turn and end up somewhere I hadn’t expected.

My characters can be unruly, fun and surprising, which I love.

They each take on their own lives and I let them tell me their stories. Which is fine with me!

Crescent Moon Press "Coming Soon" image.Besides, if I don’t tell their stories, they hammer and yammer inside my head until I let them out. But that’s perfectly normal, right? See? Like I said before: I’m pretty normal.

After a successful career being other people, and later teaching others the many tricks of that trade, Maer Wilson has decided to be herself for a while. Turns out she’s a writer. She’s always loved stories, especially fantasy, mystery and sci fi. She has a dragon-themed room in her home, but sadly no dragons in the back yard. When she’s not writing, Maer plays online video games, teaches college and reads. She lives in the high desert of Southern Nevada with her two dogs, a chihuahua and a poodle. Relics is her first novel and will be released by Crescent Moon Press on May 1, 2013. You can visit her website at maerwilson.com.

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