I had the chance to ask the author of A Cast of Stones a few questions! I hope you enjoy my first author interview as much as I have!
Q1. A Cast of Stones is a fantasy setting. Has fantasy always been an interest of yours and are there any great authors of the genre that have inspired you?
A. When I was a teenager I devoured spy thrillers. I loved reading everything by Fletcher Knebel and Robert Ludlum I could get my hands on. I didn’t’ discover fantasy until I was in college and bought a box set of Stephen R. Donaldson’s “Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever.” It made such an impact that I read everything in the genre I could get my hands on. I went through Tokien, Pratt, DeCamp, you name it. They’ve all had an impact on me but I would have to say that in addition to Donaldson and Tolkien, the biggest influences have been David Eddings and Robert Jordan, both of whom, unfortunately have passed on. They were brilliant.
Q2. Your site says that you are a teacher. What made you decide to write a book and have it published?
A.I’ve been a teacher for about six years now. Before that I was a consulting engineer. It was about ten years ago that I stated writing in earnest when I drafted a story using my four kids, all boys, as the protagonists. I let a few people read it and a couple suggested I take a shot at getting it published. That effort, or the two following, never made it to the bookshelves, but my fourth attempt did. That’s “A Cast of Stones.”
Q3. As a person that dabbles with writing down her dreams, I’ve always wanted to ask this question. How does your story come to you? Do you dream about your story or do you generally tend to daydream and then turn those thoughts into stories?
I’m definitely a huge daydreamer. I use to get called out in middle school a lot for not paying attention. Sometimes those daydreams become story ideas and sometimes they don’t. If I’m in the middle of a project, I try to channel my daydreams into my work-in-progress. It’s a great way to come up with plot twists.
Q4. Do you listen to music as you write or have any quirky habits that puts you into an inspirational mood?
If I’m working in creative mode, which usually means I’m laboring over the first draft, I like to listen to instrumental music, usually something like soft jazz. I also like to have a hot drink handy, tea or coffee works well. The people at several Starbuck’s around Nashville know me by sight.
Q5. As a busy family man and teacher, how do you find the time to write?
I try to make use of what would be downtime for most people. My sons do a lot of extracurricular activities like youth group, band, or orchestra. If I’m doing the driving, I park at the closest coffee shop and get in a few words until they finish up and then take we go home. I also try to be diligent at getting in some writing time every day. Producing a novel is kind of like eating an elephant.
Q6. If there is one thing you would like your readers to know about your story what would it be?
That it’s not what it appears on the surface. I hid things within the characters and the structure to say something. It won’t be apparent until they’ve read the series, but there’s some fun stuff in there. I tried to write a story that would be fun to read more than once.
Q7. Along the lines of the question above. Do you have a favorite character in your story and is there anything about them that you would like to share? Maybe a secret quirk or pattern of speech that you imagine as you write about them?
I used the likeness of my oldest son as Errol, but after that they’re nothing alike. What I did do that was a lot of fun was some research on what to name the main character. I finally settled on Errol. His name describes well what happens to him. I did that with a few of the characters.
Q8. I see this is the first in a series. When can we expect the next book? Anything you can tell us about the plot or characters?
The publishing schedule for “The Hero’s Lot” is to release in July of this year. For the final book, which still doesn’t have an official name, we’re looking at Feb. of 2014. I don’t want to give anything away, but I will tell you that before everything is done, Errol will know the truth of his parentage. It’s not what most people expect.
I would like to take this time to thank the author for answering my questions and I truly hope that you all decide to pick up this book and keep your eye out for my review of A Cast of Stones coming later today!!! Also be sure to drop by and check out how you can win a $10 Amazon giftcard!
Author Patrick W. Carr was born on an Air Force base in West Germany at the height of the cold war. He has been told this was not his fault. As an Air Force brat, he experienced a change in locale every three years until his father retired to Tennessee. Patrick saw more of the world on his own through a varied and somewhat eclectic education and work history. He graduated from Georgia Tech in 1984 and has worked as a draftsman at a nuclear plant, did design work for the Air Force, worked for a printing company, and consulted as an engineer. Patrick’s day gig for the last five years has been teaching high school math in Nashville, TN. He currently makes his home in Nashville with his wonderfully patient wife, Mary, and four sons he thinks are amazing: Patrick, Connor, Daniel, and Ethan. Sometime in the future he would like to be a jazz pianist. Patrick thinks writing about himself in the third person is kind of weird.