"About the Author."

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Fel
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"About the Author."

Post by Fel » Sun Jun 08, 2014 2:34 pm

Someone PM'd me a request to explain a few things about how I write and who I am.

While I don't mind answering some of them in a public forum, there are some I won't answer. Yes, PM, I am a very private person, so the personal questions are out. You're dealing with someone who won't even join Facebook because of their personal privacy policies and track record.

Besides, as my old IRC tagline on my client version used to read: "Fel will remain a mystery to you. What fun would I be if you knew all my secrets?"

But, for those who are curious, here are the questions he asked I'm willing to answer, and obviously, the answers to them:

How long have you been writing the stories ?

--I started the Firestaff series when I was in high school, back in the late 80s. I worked on it sporadically up until about 2003, including completely rewriting the first two books, until a friend on IRC asked to read it. The rest is history. The other stories came mostly after I finished Firestaff, except Subjugation. I worked on that simultaneously with the Pyrosian Chronicles as a "change of pace."

What inspired you to start/write ?

--Nothing. I just enjoy writing.

What is your drive for being an active author of 'FREE!!' works for such a long time ?

--The fact that no publisher ever felt that my work was good enough to pay me for it. After about 100 rejection letters and the ability to just CTCP it out to IRC friends, I decided that writing as a career was never going to happen, so now I just write to write.

What are your educational qualification (just the qualification, NOT from where) ? This has literally been bugging me a LOT !!! :shock: I mean, you write the Tarrin Kael series and it shows that your writing is awesome and you must be a PhD or something in some literature+English fields. AND then you write the subjugation series !! And there you sprout a lot of quantum mechanics and a lot of particle physics like you are a physicist at CERN. And I couldn't even assume you ripped off your science from some other series such as star trek or something because your discussion on the physics in the forums shows you know more about it than you write !!! Damn you, you drive me nuts with curiosity.

--I have some college level education, but it's all simple curiosity. I LOVE to know how things work, I love to know how things happen so I can understand why they happen, so I investigate on my own. I've probably watched more History Channel and Science Channel than anyone within 200 kilometers of my house, and I have nearly an entire bookshelf filled with books on various subjects. If you're curious about something, go find out everything you can about it!

What are your inspirational books ?

--All of them. Read everything you can. Even read the nutritional labels on the sides of your cereal boxes. Read, read, read!

What do you do/enjoy to do in your free time ?

--Sadly, I waste most of my free time playing Warcraft, at least when I'm not writing. It keeps me out of trouble. A Fel with nothing to do is a very dangerous Fel. When not playing Warcraft, I'm reading or watching TV. I'm very much a homebody, because if you're at home, you're not spending money.

When it comes to the things I enjoy, well, let's just say I have very broad tastes. I'm one of those strange people who watches cartoons at the age of 45, often flipping between cartoons and news and sports and documentaries. I'm an unrepetant brony (Twilight is best pony, but Luna is best princess!) and spend much of my time bouncing between extremes like watching cartoons on TV and reading theoretical physics books written by Stephen Hawking and Michio Kaku or history books about times long past. I'm a political junkie, if only to marvel at the stupidity of the human race, and love Through the Wormhole because it never fails to make you think. I also enjoy football (go Man City!), the other football (go Saints!), music (anything but new country and gangsta rap, and I mean ANYTHING), and movies.

My sister always called me the smartest kid she knew who never grew up, and I guess she's right. I'm a 45 year old who likes colorful pastel ponies and theoretical physics. Maybe I should try out for a part on Big Bang Theory....

Yes, I'm seriously twisted, but that's just me.

Is writing a source of income too or do you do it purely for personal satisfaction ?

-I make no money at this, so yes, it's purely my hobby. The paypal account set up for the site pays for the site. But, I can admit, when I first set up the account, there was an initial flood of donations that went upwards of $1500USD. I'd never intended to touch that money, at least until my car more or less exploded. That money paid to fix my car, which saved my job and my livelihood (I live in a very rural area where if you have no car, you literally have no way to do anything, even buy food. It's a 2 hour walk to the closest convenience store). So I was very grateful people cared enough about my writing to save my job when my car went down, even if they had no idea that their donations got my car fixed.

So thanks guys! It's only about 5 years after it happened, but I appreciate it anyway. ;)

Do you use an editor, if so, then to what capacity does the editor help you polish your work ?

--No editor. I "try" to do the editing myself, which doesn't always work out the best. But eh.

How much of your ideas are inspired from your fans, other works and other sources and if you are interested in sharing the info, more specifics regarding them ?

--Most of my ideas are just things that have been rolling around in my head for a long time. I do pay homage to some of my old favorite things within the books, however. If you read carefully, you'll see nods to games, books, movies, TV shows, you name it hiding within the writing. Some are obvious (Kumi, a.k.a. Eleri, my nod to Master or Orion and the Elerians, who were the inspiration behind the Faey), while most are not. I like to be sneaky with my pop culture references.

But I do listen to the readers in a very important way: you guys are more or less my editors and proofreaders. When you bring things up and I see you're right, I fix it, and reader discussion on the forums has more than once caused a revision of a chapter in progress because you bring up valid points that I honestly overlooked. When I make a mistake, someone almost always catches it and calls me on it, and I DO appreciate that. And often, the long debates I've had with people on the forums on various subjects allows me to further deepen my understanding of the way things in my own stories work because you make me look more deeply into subjects I've not spent much time considering. It's like I know how it works, but when someone asks me about it, I have to quantify that understanding by replying in a way that others can understand. This HELPS.

In a weird way, these stories are a community effort. Your feedback can and does affect the story, by keeping me on the right path. It doesn't change the plot, but it does help keep consistency and continuity, and that's very important.

How long does it take to flesh out an idea into a chapter if you already have the whole chapter's synopsis in your mind ?

--That depends. All my writing works more or less the same way: I have a very basic idea of what's going to happen, then I let the chapter write itself. This sometimes lets me write 10-12 pages in a day, sometimes I barely manage a paragraph. Sometimes it goes in unexpected directions, which occasionally requires me to back up and do it again. This method of writing isn't very efficient, nor do I recommend it, because it doesn't always work very well. But it's how I do things, so I stick with it. The example I've used most often about how this works is Miranda from the Firestaff series. She was never meant to be anything more than a faceless background character, Keritanima's maid...but Miranda would have none of that. She clawed her way into the story through sheer force of will and became one of my favorite characters from that series.

I've always joked that the story writes itself...but it does. It really does.

How do you come up with your stories' ideas ? Do you already have a full story initially in your mind as to how it starts, how it proceeds and how it ends and you fleshing out the book wise details on a later stage during its writing or do you just make up the story as you writes it ?

--see up there. I have a very basic framework and the rest fleshes itself out. The story has "landmark" points where certain important things happen, but how I get from landmark to landmark is basically just sitting at the keyboard and letting it go. This style of writing doesn't always work, however, and I'll be the first to admit it. But, it works most of the time, so I stick with it.

Some story ideas I've worked on more diligently than others, and I'm taking a different approach to the work I'm doing on Shifters to try to be more of a "traditional" writer with a more rigid plot outline that goes into more detail, but odds are I'll throw it all out when I start on the series and do it the other way.
_____________________________________

So, there ya go. If anyone has any other questions that don't delve into personal subjects, feel free to post them here.
Just another guy from the shallow end of the gene pool.

Hillybob
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Re: "About the Author."

Post by Hillybob » Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:33 pm

Fel wrote: What is your drive for being an active author of 'FREE!!' works for such a long time ?

--The fact that no publisher ever felt that my work was good enough to pay me for it. After about 100 rejection letters and the ability to just CTCP it out to IRC friends, I decided that writing as a career was never going to happen, so now I just write to write.
Have you ever considered self publishing your ebooks on Amazon (or something similar)? You might not be able to make a living off it but some additional income couldn't hurt. A little bit of editing and some cover art is all it would take. Plus you'd still be able to keep putting them here for free. I know I would certainly purchase your books on Amazon if you ever published them, even though I've read them all.

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Wolfee
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Re: "About the Author."

Post by Wolfee » Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:32 pm

Hillybob wrote: Have you ever considered self publishing your ebooks on Amazon (or something similar)? You might not be able to make a living off it but some additional income couldn't hurt. A little bit of editing and some cover art is all it would take. Plus you'd still be able to keep putting them here for free. I know I would certainly purchase your books on Amazon if you ever published them, even though I've read them all.
I think that is an AWESOME idea... I would love a completely proof-read and edited books of each of Fel's stories available in Kindle format. Yes I know I could turn them into kindle books myself. But I'd pay 3-5 bucks per book to have them proof-read and edited! I for one can't visit either of Fel's sites from work but I can use kindle on my phone! This would be a boon to me and would add another author to my kindle book collection.

It really wouldn't take that long to get it done. We can all re-read the first Sennadar book or Invasion as a single book, post all area's that need work. In 2-3 weeks Fel can just go through, spend 4-5 hours making edits, corrections and clarifications of areas we've suggested and presto-chango converts it from word to kindle format and posts it on Amazon! As we all buy, and vote 5 stars Fel will get more readers as his works climb's Amazon's best sellers lists.

Okay maybe it was a bit simplified but Fel would definitely get noticed.

Who else would be interested in this?? I'm sure this Forum software can be used to take a poll. How many folks would pay 3-5 bucks per book if they where proof-read and edited and for sale on Amazon in kindle format?

Which books would you like first? Sennadar or Karinne series would be my vote!
Last edited by Wolfee on Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Kendog
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Re: "About the Author."

Post by Kendog » Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:51 pm

I also would be very interested and would buy. You could also include "Collections" on the books of the Karinne or Sennadar series that include all of the books up to that point.

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zedd
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Re: "About the Author."

Post by zedd » Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:26 pm

Thank you for sharing that information with us. It's always nice to know a little more about people :)

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Re: "About the Author."

Post by Mizriath » Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:25 am

Thanks Fel for that glimpse about yourself and how you write books.

I never even got anything off the ground..... wrote about 1 chapter and the writing and ideas went sterile. Too much distraction in life. Work, family and other pursuits, games, books, coffee and just like looking at the world go by.
The sea flows as long as Earth exist, Love is alive as long as people exist. I will read Fel's stories as long as my heart still beats.

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Re: "About the Author."

Post by gesit » Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:00 pm

Thanks for being there m8,
love your work,
cheers

Ham

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ilox
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Re: "About the Author."

Post by ilox » Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:54 am

Wolfee wrote: It really wouldn't take that long to get it done. We can all re-read the first Sennadar book or Invasion as a single book, post all area's that need work. In 2-3 weeks Fel can just go through, spend 4-5 hours making edits, corrections and clarifications of areas we've suggested and presto-chango converts it from word to kindle format and posts it on Amazon! As we all buy, and vote 5 stars Fel will get more readers as his works climb's Amazon's best sellers lists.
Great idea... but wait... there's more to it than that... What happens while Fel is taking in all our input and sorting out what he wants to change and include?

What happens is that all the new writing stops. No more Subjugation. No more Shifters. Nothing more from Kit or any of the other ideas bouncing around in Fel's head. Hmmmm, bummer. Can we each wait that long?

So, I think there is a lot of good in the suggestion for a community-edit project. I will even put my hand up to help.

The big problem/s need to be considered. The delay to stories in progress or not yet done. The time that Fel's Real Life intrudes on all the projects he is involved in. The biggest down point is that Creative Fel, the one that his muse works with exclusively, will be put on a back burner while he revisits stuff he started to write in high School. Will he want to go down that path yet again?
Another consideration is will the new-improved-error-free Tarrin Kael be as good, better, worse, than the one we have all read and loved warts-and-all?
Cheers, Ian
"From the moment I picked up your book until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter.
Some day I intend reading it." ~ unknown

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nicolai
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Re: "About the Author."

Post by nicolai » Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:12 am

I have 'proofed' versions of nearly everything Fel has done. Being a proofer, those little errors tend to make my teeth grind, so I usually fix them. I tend to focus on spelling, punctuation, word choice (i.e. there/their/they're) and continuity. I rarely edit.

The simplest would probably be to use "Inception", either the full story so far, or one or two individual chapters. I use LibreOffice and normally work in .odt format, although I can provide .doc as well. If anyone is interested, note me and I'll see what I can do.

My personal corrected versions do not indicate my changes in any way, although I do use 'record changes' when I'm proofing for an author. So if you want to see exactly what I do, you'll have to do a side-by-side comparison of my version versus Fel's. Or wait until chapter 11 comes out and I can do it showing my changes.
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Re: "About the Author."

Post by mjkj » Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:35 am

Fel wrote:Someone PM'd me a request to explain a few things about how I write and who I am.

While I don't mind answering some of them in a public forum, there are some I won't answer. ...
Thank you, Fel, for sharing.

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Re: "About the Author."

Post by konman » Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:49 pm

Thanks for Sharing Fel.
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Some just don't have any film!

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Re: "About the Author."

Post by Sasijade » Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:28 pm

Its good to know more about your writing process fel, Thank you.

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Re: "About the Author."

Post by D.F. Thompson » Sat Jul 19, 2014 11:42 pm

Thank you for sharing. It's nice to know that there is another 45 year old kid banging around out there. Ponys. ehhh but yes Morgan Freeman rocks on Through the Wormhole.
I know that the voices in my head aren't real.
But they do have some damned good ideas. = ~.^ =

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Wolfee
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Re: "About the Author."

Post by Wolfee » Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:57 am

Anyone know if Fel is alright? He hasn't been on in 8 plus days??

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Re: "About the Author."

Post by Catawk » Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:50 am

He's in Maine at his sisters till tomorrow or so his twitter says

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