For my most recent novel, Servant of Memory, I was asked some questions by a fan:
What inspired you to write “Servant of Memory”?
The genre of my work is mythical fiction and I believe that as a writer, one should try and stay as much within a particular genre as possible so as to build a strong following. The foundation of SOM is based on the myth of the Primordial Stone, a mystical talisman believed to have come from the river Pishon in the Garden of Eden. Reincarnation is also another strong, underlying theme and one that I included in the story. As with all of my novels, I am inspired to write stories that are different from the norm, that invoke one’s imagination and push the envelope.
Did you have a specific audience in mind when you started writing it?
I write based on a lot of credible research and then inject a dose of fiction so as to create intriguing stories that appeal to almost anyone. I intentionally omitted swear words and sex scenes so as to appeal to the YA market. My protagonist, Elijah Levy, is also fairly young.
What took you the longest to write, the non-fictional characters or the fictional characters?
The fictional characters were easier and quicker to write because everything came out of my imagination. The non-fictional characters, but more so, the non-fictional events, were harder to write because they were based on a variety of different sources and I tried as best as I could to keep them authentic.
You made a lot of use of dialogue, which brought out your character’s personalities and emotions. What was your key to writing effective dialogue in “Servant of Memory”?
I enjoy writing dialogue the most because I often draw on personal experiences when doing so which enhances my storytelling.
You also put a lot of thought in building the worlds of different times over many centuries. If you could travel back in time, which century would you have wanted to live in and why?
Out of all the periods that I wrote about, the 19th century would be the one that I would choose to live in because of the sheer number of inventions over this period – electricity, light, telephone, cars etc
What do you think are your defining strengths when writing a book?
My ability to write stories that include a strong spiritual element as well as a strong and original storyline.
Are you hopeful for the future of book shops?
I am hopeful as all writers would be, but the rise and growth of e-books has dented the physical book market quite substantially. Most readers will tell you that they prefer the feel of a physical book, but the main reason for the growth of the digital book market, simply comes down to cost.
Three books you’d pass on to the next generation?
There are so many across so many genres! The first has to be the Old Testament. Next is Lord of the Rings (Trilogy) because I read it as a teenager and it really defined the fantasy genre I was into at the time. Lastly, I’d say Perdido Street station by my favourite author, China Mieville. He paved the way into a new genre of fiction he calls ‘Weird Fiction’. I admire him most for his originality. This is something that I try and emulate in my storytelling.