In case you weren’t aware, we are meeting many of these new authors in our Facebook book club. We did in fact met today’s author there, and we are delighted to share him with you. Introducing author Craig A. Price, Jr. Enjoy!
Name: Craig A. Price Jr.
Latest Release: The Crimson Claymore + Undiscovered Origins
Genre: Epic Fantasy / Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance
Craig A. Price Jr. is the author of The Crimson Claymore, an Epic Fantasy adventure novel that has garnered millions of reads, was featured in fantasy, had more than 18,000 votes, and more than 1,200 comments/reviews on the social networking platform for readers and writers, Wattpad.
- How long have you been writing?
Since the first grade. My teacher at the time folded construction paper with lined half-lined paper inside and told all of us to make books. Since then I’ve always known I’ve wanted to be a writer.
- What kind(s) of writing do you do?
I primarily like writing fantasy. Though I did start by trying to write a mystery book similar to The Three Investigators. I also dabble in a few other things, included a Biography of my move from Washington state to Mississippi that I’m currently working on.
- Why did you choose that particular field or genre?
Fantasy is fun for me because it allows you to explore all genres. You can have Mystery, horror, romance, angst, thriller, action, and any other genre inside of fantasy. Therefore, it doesn’t limit me in my writing. I also find it enjoyable to create characters and worlds.
- What inspires you?
Reading and listening to audio books. I don’t steal ideas from books, but I do ask questions. Well, what if it was like this instead? Then I write it down and come back to it later. Music inspires, for epic fantasy I tend to like classical and jazz, I feel like I’m being transported into the scene, into the pubs, and the small villages with that style of music. Scenery. Scenery is a big one, I love being in nature, looking at mountains and trees, and when I’m unable to, searching through tons of endless pictures. Ideas spark.
- Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing, etc. come from?
I honestly don’t know. Nobody in my family writes. In fact, hardly anybody in my family reads. But when I was told to write stories in the first grade, something just clicked, and I never stopped. I remember in the third grade I was writing Command and Conquer stories … I kinda wish I still had those.
- How do you find or make time to write?
This can be hard. I was a single father for a long time. Now I’m married and still have full custody of my son. Sometimes you have to stay up late to get a little done, and sometimes you have to get up earlier. Right now, I’m working night shift and my wife has a day job. So I have to wake up early to get a few hours of either writing or editing in before she gets home. Another great thing I do is keep a journal with me at work. If I get an idea, I’ll write it down. If I have time to write a scene, I will.
- Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two? Summarize your writing process.
Intuition. I make a partial outline, as far as I can think in the story’s future. And then I write. Unless I’m under a deadline, I will fact check later. If there’s something I’m unsure of, I mention it and then I add parenthesis. (Then I can just ctrl+F my parenthesis later)
- How did you get to be where you are in your life today?
A lot of hard work. I work a full time labor job, sometimes more than full time. I have full custody of my son. I am remarried. I’ve worked hard to get where I am. I’m pushing myself hard on my writing right now, trying my best to get all my finished projects edited and published, all my half-written projects some closure and then edited. I’m so tired from stretching myself for so long, I’m so tired of working a hard labor job where my life in uncertain each day. I recently had spinal surgery from a work injury, and since I’ve worked at my current job, two people have died from work injuries. More than anything, I want to get to a place where I can leave my job, and I’m working hard to accomplish it.
- What projects are you working on at the moment?
This could be a long list. I just finished my self-edits for The Chronicles of Starlyn (prequel to The Crimson Claymore). I passed it along to a few people to read through and edit. I’m currently working on edits to book 2 in my series, The Obsidian Arrow, which I hope to finish and type up soon, and then I’ll be passing it to people to proofread. I’m also working on my real life Biography Mississippi Road, giving chapters of it to my critique group. Then there’s “The Dove” which I’ve gone through my self-edits, but I need write a few more chapters to conclude the story. I also have Angelic Sins where I only have 13 chapters written and I need to finish it. I just finished a submission for an anthology, but I just received a few more critiques from my critique group, so I’m going to touch it up for when the editing stage comes. I’m also working on a shorter anthology submission that is due at the end of the month. I also have a few chapters written for Book 3 of my series, which I need to continue writing. Um … did I forget anything? Probably so.
- What process did you go through to get your work published?
Let’s see. I went through about 250 query rejections. 2 requested samples, later rejected. During this time I posted my book on Wattpad, where the admins loved it so much that it became 1 of the first 3 featured novels on the website, therefore exposing it to anybody browsing fantasy. By doing so, it acquired more than two and a half Million reads, 18,000 votes, and 1,200 comments/reviews. Through this, I found some fans, people who loved the book, and people who had helpful critiques on the book. Then I began listening to podcasts on writing. I started with Writing Excuses, more on craft, but then I found several on Self Publishing. That’s when I decided to learn how to self-published. I put in more than 500 hours listening to podcasts about it as well as other research to learn how to format and publish my own books. When I had a fan base, people who wanted to buy my books, but a gatekeeper telling me I wasn’t good enough. That’s when I said, screw them. I’ll make it on my own.
- What is the hardest part of writing for you?
The beginning is always the hardest. Once I get the first chapter or scene written and know where the story is going, normally it begins to flow without much difficulty. However, doing a ton of editing will slow you down as well, editing is rough as well, but I found it best to print out your work to edit, and then do a second keyword edit on the computer. (Search for words like: was, that, and, up, down, both, look, walk–and begin elimination rounds)
- What do you enjoy most about writing? Share your favorite work.
Being transported to another world where there aren’t worries. There isn’t this, you must work and make x amount of money to survive in this world. It’s more about the relationships, the characters, and the quest. It lets me escape the chaos of life. My favorite project I’ve written hasn’t been released yet. It is book 2 of my series, The Obsidian Arrow, I really feel I strengthened my storytelling when I wrote that book. I’m also very happy with one of my anthology submissions, which ties into my main series, Heart of Ikchani.
- What is the biggest thing people THINK they know about your subject/genre, that isn’t true?
That it’s about the creatures and the magic. Fantasy is not about creatures and magic. It has creatures and magic. It’s about the relationships of the characters, it’s about the mystery involved, the romance that sparks, and the torment that awaits. Fantasy is a three sided coin, and there’s a lot more to it than creatures and magic. You have to look deeper into the story to see that.Fantasy is a three sided coin. #interview #author @craigapricejr Click To Tweet
- What is the most important thing that people DON’T know about your subject/genre, that they should?
I think this similar to the previous question. People don’t realize how deep the story can be in fantasy, excluding those, of course, who read a ton of it.
- For those interested in exploring the subject/theme of your work, where should they start?
If you’re asking where should you go outside of my work? Then that would be The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan, Game of Thrones by George R R Martin, Codex Alera by Jim Butcher.
Inside of my work, if you want to try me out, I would start with The Crimson Claymore and see if you’d like to become invested in my series.
- What are some ways in which you promote your writing? Do you find that these add or detract from your writing time?
Facebook, twitter, local events, interviews, reading other small time fantasy author’s work–becoming friends with them, and hoping they return the favor in some fashion one day. Building relationships. Mainly, writing. The more books I have out there, the better I’ll be doing. My plan currently, is to get a ton of work out there and published, and all of it to be quality.The more books I have out there, the better I’ll be doing. #interview #author @craigapricejr Click To Tweet
- Who are some of your favorite authors? What impact have they had on your writing?
Robert Jordan, Jim Butcher, R A Salvatore, Terry Goodkind, Brian D Anderson, George R R Martin. The list goes on. Robert Jordan has taught me how to develop a world. Jim Butcher and Terry Gookind have taught me humor. R A Salvatore has taught me battle/fight scenes. George R R Martin has taught me how to make your reader love a character, how to kill them off, but keep the reader so invested in the story that they won’t put the book down.
- What makes your writing stand out from the crowd?
I would have to say my sarcastic wit with some of my characters. Most of my reads love my sarcastic wizard, Karceoles. He kind of reminds me of Zed from A Sword of Truth, but I wrote him well before I read any of that series. I am good at adding humor to parts where the story stands still for a moment before rushing back into heavy plot, and I’m good with cliffhanger chapter ends to keep you reading into the night.
- What is your favorite Pokemon?
Well, this is an odd question to ask. I remember Pokemon when you only have 150 of them, and now, apparently, there are like 650 of them. Kind of crazy since apparently it’s making a comeback. My son is in the second grade and collecting Pokemon cards. So I’ve kind of had to get involved in them again, but I do tell him, all these new Pokemon are dumb, I want the old ones :P. I’d have to say hmm.. Evee. Because that crazy Pokemon can change into three different ones depending on which stone you give it.
- What are you currently reading?
There are so many. Let me see. I’m reading Zirconya: The Sage of Aluh’nehn, Dreams and Shadows by Jeff Collyer, The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander, and Splintered Bones by Carolyn Haines.
- What do you think is the future of reading/writing?
eBooks. Print is fading, sadly. Print will become for mega fans, those who want autographed copies. Most of the rest will be eBooks. Bookstores will collapse, until only a few private ones exist, and a handful of used book stores, because they’ll offer Big 5 books for cheaper than they offer eBooks. Audiobooks will continue to climb, they will be used on road trips and at work or while people do chores.
Thanks for answering our questions today, Craig. We wish you well in your journey.