Good morning, lovelies! I would like to welcome back one of my favorite guests. W.M. Calloway is an amazing author. He has such a way with words! You’ll get pulled into this interview, just like you will with his books! Today, he returns to share even more of his secrets to writing. ;)
So here’s to another day to just sit back, relax, and take it all in…………
1) Readers have been entranced by your writing in this novel. How did you create such an amazing land?
Every author has their sense of inspiration that fuels the creation of their characters, world, and events that occur in the story. This is mine.
The Xenton are my creation, my friends and more importantly my family. From the first day I came up with Dye’s creation to the last book and beyond, these amazing characters are what continues to drive this force I call ambition. Creating the world that they live in, people think it was hard, but actually every writer has a world that’s based off of real life places. Naturally, the home town of the Xenton, Beach Shores City, is based off of the city of Manhattan Beach, CA, where I spent most of my teen years and where my mother worked. So I spent a majority of my time there as a teenager and using those memories now it wasn’t hard to create Beach Shores. When I was coming up with the hometown of the Xenton, most heroes are set in New York or a huge metropolis with huge buildings. Of course I wanted huge buildings to make the epic battles more cataclysmic, but at the same time a beach needed to be involved. When I was a teen, the beach was the place I would go to escape my troubles and the same goes for Dye. Numerous of times throughout the series his “haven” is the beach when he is unable to cope with his real world trouble. This is also the symbolism behind he and his siblings last name, Haven, because they become sort of a “haven” for the people they protect in Beach Shores.
2) What authors have inspired you thus far?
Authors such as J.K. Rowling have been the source of my inspiration, amongst other things. Reason being is because I relate to her on so many levels. When I saw her documentary on how she came from nothing and created characters and worlds for her book series Harry Potter, I was truly inspired. Like her I was poor growing up, didn’t have much, but my mother did her best to give my sister and I the best. Like most writers, my over active imagination lured me to write at a young age, to learn to draw to create characters, and to even act out scenes from stories I wrote as a child. The ability to create is truly powerful. As I grew I learned of Harry Potter but never really liked to read, until, of course, I got my hands on her 4th book, The Goblet of Fire. Once I read that I was hooked. Once I finished the series, I learned a bit more about J.K. and her life and learned of her struggles before she became famous for her work and her ambition to be somebody and like that the spark within me was ignited. Now fast forward 10 years later, the Xenton are becoming the world’s next big superhero team.
3) Do you have any future projects outside the Xenton Chronicles?
As far as other projects goes, outside the Xenton, let’s just say there’s a lot lol. My imagination never stops. However, a vast majority of other heroes will have some kind of connection with the Xenton as the universe expands. Some from Earth, others from other planets, such as Zeta, Stro and Avion, who made their debut in The Xenton Chronicles: The Invasion of The Coalts. Even though they become series regulars, they still have their own back story that has yet to be explored. There will be other heroes who will be making their debut in side stories involving the Xenton such as the 10 issue graphic novel set to release online Summer 2014, The Wrath of Steelis. As far as beyond The Xenton Chronicles go, can’t really get into details because of spoiler alerts, so its looks like fellow Xenton Fans will have to wait and find out :-)
4) What part of the writing process do you find most exhilarating?
The best part I would have to say about the writing process is the artwork. I’ve gotten into the habit of doing character concepts first before they are written (though this wasn’t the case when I first started writing). Now that I do it, this helps me get to the know character before I begin writing. I already know their personality, how they are, likes and dislikes, etc etc. All I need is my iPod, my sketch pad and pencils and after many concepts of characters and a frustrating night, a new character is born. Where he fits into the story or if he has a story to fit into is another task for another night haha. However, I do run into difficult parts when it comes to writing, one of which having writer’s block. My gosh how I hate writer’s block. It’s hard because most concepts have been taken. So what do you do? Naturally you try and think of something original which never really happens over night. It’s quite the process if I do say so myself. The hardest part will have to be determining if people will like what you’ve created. I think that’s every writers nightmare. I’m sure J.K. Rowling had this problem as well as other legendary authors. The next hardest part for me would be getting it right, making things perfect and concrete. When I wrote The Jenshia Star, the original plot differed so much from the final product, even then the final product underwent sooo many revisions that I was close to giving up, that is, until I finally got it. When I was able to read through the entire story without questioning anything, that’s when I finally decided, this is it! Same thing goes for the sequels.
5) What is the most difficult part of the writing world?
Of course writing a book or book series means you want people to read your work. Behind writing, behind creating worlds and characters, beyond editing and cover designs, publishing is the absolute hardest thing to do! When I finished The Jenshia Star, I was set. I was ready to be published. I had a whole plan of what I wanted and wanted to do, but if you know me, anything I plan never goes according to plan. I had no clue on how to even get my work looked at to get published. So I did research, mounds and mounds of research and I came to the idea that one needs an agent first to solicit to publishers. So I wrote my query letter, had my English professor look over it, and from there I sent out query letter after query letter. I tried to keep up with sending out 3 a week but slowly got discouraged from getting rejection letters and not hearing back from anyone. So, for awhile, the Xenton was shelved and I sort a gave up on the idea of publishing. But every time I looked at my book on my computer and read a portion I got the feeling of letting myself down, and worst of all, my characters. But I couldn’t really do anything about it, agencies didn’t want represent me so I really didn’t have a choice. That’s until I got some useful info from my college English professor Mr. Shields, who wrote the trilogy Letters from Alaska. He was a self published author. So I asked him how did it he do it? So I followed what he did and within weeks I had a hard copy of my first book. That was great, I did it, problem was, nobody was really aware of my work. Talk about discouraging. So I just sort of let my work float out there, not really concerned about it, which was a mistake on my end. About 9 months ago, through my wonderful girlfriend, I met a man named David P. Forsyth, the author of The Sovereign Spirit Saga (which are great if you’re into zombie apocalypse. Highly recommend it! Find him on Twitter!) He found out I wrote books and asked me how I published. I told him my story and he gave me a solution. This guy was very successful in his career and like I always say “success leaves clues” so I followed him and did what he said. I read books on how to “indie publish” using social media such as twitter, instagram, facebook, tumblr, and doing what I was told, my fan base was beginning to grow. I jumped from 33 twitter followers to over 300 in a weekend, from 250 likes on the Facebook Fan Page http://bit.ly/19Koore to just shy of 900 likes and counting and ever since then I’ve been managing my own writing career and I can say I wish could have thought of this sooner.
6) What are your hobbies and passions outside of writing?
I’m a very well rounded person. I live by a code of not having limits, of having the idea of doing whatever it is you want. Aside from writing, I am a college student who’s about to graduate with a Bachelors of Mechanical Engineering. Next to that I teach, train, and compete in the art of Taekwondo and I plan on attending the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan and surrounding all of that, I own a business as a Brand Partner in the Nutritional Company Vemma. Myself, along with thousands of young people are showing college students and older people alike on how to make money on the side, get out of student loan debt, and help pay for college. Never in a million years would I see myself doing something like this. Yes it is draining at times, but I like leading by example and that’s what inspires people to go out and do something. If I can lead this life at 25, than anybody can.
7) Where do you hope to see yourself in 5 years?
Hmmm in 5 years where will I be? Well I hope on the Red Carpet watching the premiere of The Xenton Chronicles: The Jenshia Star on the big screen. Watching my heroes becoming the next big thing and possibly building a foundation for future generations to come. Before you know it, It’ll be 2019 and before you know it The Xenton Chronicles will be in the hands and Kindles everywhere!
Catch the Xenton in their adventures right here!
Invasion of the Coalts
The Lost Heir
Follow us on Twitter @TheXenton
And Instagram TheXentonChronicles
Can’t wait to meet you there! See yah!
Did you enjoy today’s interview? Then, what are you waiting for? Head over to Amazon and buy those books! You won’t regret it.
Until next time…………………………………………………