Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Author Interview **Connor London**

An interview with the author of Angry Robots, Connor London!
Where are you from?
I'm was born on the east coast of the United States. Since then, I've been all over the map. Arizona, California, the D.C. area. I don't like staying in one place for too long because it makes me feel complacent.
What inspired you to write your first book?
It all started as a bit of a dare. One of my friends and I picked a topic and debated over who could write up something within a day. He got to around 1,000 words and I got to 10,000 words. Granted, his 1k effort was way better than my 10k offering, but mine was funnier. I was hooked. I found that writing was a blast and so I kept with it.
Do you write full-time or part-time? How do you balance your writing life with your family/work life?
I write part-time. Evenings and weekends mostly. The only family life I have to worry about is my dog, and he seems fine with my sitting at the computer for countless hours as long as I remember to give him kibble frequently.
How did you come up with the title?
"Platoon F" came about because I wanted to write something to do with a space marine contingent, so I liked the sound of "Platoon" for that. I'd tried "Squad" and "Company" and a few others, but "Platoon" had the ring I was looking for. The "F" stands for, well…let's just say there are three silent letters following that "F" and leave it at that. As for this particular book's title, "Angry Robots," that due to the story being about a bunch of angry robots. Creative, eh?
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
That my books are intended to be goofy and irreverent. There is no deeper meaning or agenda, really. It's just a quick, fun read that will hopefully give readers some chuckles and possibly even a number of face-palm moments.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
God, I hope not.
What books have most influenced your life most?
That's a tough one. I don't know that there's any single book that really stands out. I would argue that it's the culmination of them all, good and bad, that have shaped my particular brand of idiocy.
What book are you reading now?
"The Truth" by Terry Pratchett.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Plenty! One of the guys that I've been following is Joel Bresler. He's written a couple of books under the "Sunderwynde" title heading that are pretty funny. Also, my fellow authors at Crimson Myth Press have some great things going on.
What are your current projects?
Other than sticking with "Platoon F" I'm also working on a new series called "Naughty Wizards" that follows a band of, well, naughty wizards. It's probably going to be a bit racier than "Platoon F" in some ways, but it's still kind of unfolding, so we shall see.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My fans, definitely. I get emails daily saying that "Platoon F" made them laugh and they ask for more. What else can I ask for? Of course, I'd be lax if I didn't also thank my critics. I was having such a hard time explaining what kind of genre to fit my book into (aside from the obvious space marines) until one critic reviewed the book and called it "sophmoronic drivel" or something like that. I thought, "Yes! This guy gets it!" Shame he hated the book, but *great* description, Mr. Critic!
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
It's not really up to me what happens in the books. I put my characters in a place and they take over from there. Every now and then I'll push them a bit, or throw in a wrench that they didn't see coming, but for the most part I let my characters be who they are, which gives them the freedom to tell their own stories.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Since I've just completed "Angry Robots" I'm now getting into the first tale in the "Naughty Wizards" series. The concept is that while the wizards are planning to eventually take over the world, they recognize that baby steps are in order, so their first adventure will be to take over a small village. I have a feeling that may prove more challenging than they think!

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Finding the right balance of humor and story. While I'm not writing high-brow stuff here, I still want there to be a story line. Something where the reader can get some giggles but also a tale that will move from point A to point B and wrap things up properly. My editor says that I also care about my characters too much. If that's true, then I feel sorry for any characters that I dislike because the ones I do like are walking around in a vat of sewage in "Angry Robots."
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Terry Pratchett. He's the only guy I know who can write in God mode and I don't notice it while I'm reading. Everyone else I've ever read that's tried God mode pales in comparison. Hell, I've tried countless times to write in this POV, but I fail miserably every time.
Who designed the covers?
Jake Logsdon (www.jakelogsdon.com). He's been doing a lot of the art lately for Crimson Myth Press books. He's got reasonable prices and he works to make sure I'm happy, even when I'm being particularly persnickety.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Second drafts. I know that's where the meat and potatoes of writing really is, but going back over something that's "complete" in my head is a struggle. From the other authors I've spoken with, though, I'm not alone here.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
That sewer rats on Segnal Prime are the size of small dogs and that you have to make sure that what you think is a book club isn't really a political rally…it's sometimes hard to tell!
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write. I know that sounds simple and it's borderline cliché, but the fact is that if you want to write, then write. If you spend all of your time setting up your station, thinking of ideas, jotting notes, and never sitting down to actually write, then you're really a planner, not a writer. If you want to be a writer, do what writers do: write.
Another thing I'd say is to be true to yourself. If you want to write literature, then do that, but if you want to write "sophmoronic drivel" like me, then do that!
Finally, don't worry so much about what everyone thinks about what it is you write. No matter how good your stuff is, someone is bound to hate it. You can't please everyone, so don't try. Just do your thing. They may be hard to find at first, but do know that there are readers out that fall in with your particular brand of writing, and they'll stick with you. Value those people and keep writing your stories for them…they'll (mostly) love you for it.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thanks for reading the nonsensical ramblings of my mind. I highly appreciate and value each and every one of you because I know that you have a sense of humor that is as odd as mine. That makes us, for better or worse, kindred spirits in some out-of-this-world kind of way.
What do you think about e-publishing versus technical publishing?
I think there is value in both, but I find that most people flock to Amazon for a Kindle read, especially for books of the size I write. Now, if I suddenly get inspired to write up a 300-500 page tome, maybe I'll hit up Create Space or something to go the standard route on top of the eBook route, but for now I see little sense in doing anything outside of the digital realm.
Do you have an agent or publisher? How did you go about finding one?
In a manner of speaking, yes. I 'm with Crimson Myth Press ( www.crimsonmyth.com ), which is really just a bunch of authors who happen to be friends who help each other out where we can. We point to each other's books in the back of our books, we tweet about each other's work, etc. So it's not exactly a formal "publisher," but rather more like a support group.
I get asked all the time if Crimson Myth Press is accepting new authors, too. If there is a person who fits the group and we can see that bringing them in will bring value to the rest of us while also allowing us to bring value to them, and that person is easygoing and hardworking, then there's always the possibility of inclusion, but it'd have to be a perfect fit. But again, it's not really a publisher in the traditional sense. There are no contracts or payouts or anything like that. You still have to put your own books up, manage your own processes, and handle your own marketing and distribution. That said, we do get a lot of referral sales of our titles because we're listed on that site and we're listed in the backs of each other's books, so it's definitely been a worthwhile venture.
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
A space ship, and not one of those crappy slow ones either. I want one that has tons of power and looks cool. I'd take the one from Comsos, for example.
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
To have money whenever I reached into my pocket. They'd call me Wealthy Man! Obviously, I already possess the super power known as "silly." Alas, we're never happy with the gifts we've got, ya know?

Thanks for stopping by! It was a pleasure interviewing you.

More About Connor London:
Connor London is somewhat of a duplicitous fellow. He has ties in both the east and west coast of the United States, though he also seen his fair share of Europe and the Caribbean.

He writes naughty/goofy fiction and prides himself on being irreverent.
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