Friday, July 25, 2014

Interviews with Indie Authors: A.G. Riddle

So the title of this post suggests it's something I do often. It isn't. This is my first, but it's something I would like to continue to do. Interviewing other authors who are succeeding at self publishing (and publishing in general) is something that's certainly very informative for me, and hopefully interesting and informative for anyone else who reads this blog as well. 

A.G. Riddle is the author of the acclaimed Origin Mystery Trilogy comprised of the books Atlantis Gene, Atlantis Plauge, and Atlantis World. I've read all of them and thoroughly enjoyed them.

From his own bio here is some background info:
A.G. Riddle spent ten years starting and running internet companies before retiring to focus on his true passion: writing fiction. He grew up in a small town in North Carolina and attended UNC-Chapel Hill, where he founded his first company with one of his childhood friends. He currently lives in Parkland, Florida
Although apparently that last bit about Florida is no longer accurate. Riddle has recently married and is returning to North Carolina. Though I just tied the two together in one sentence I have no reason to believe that they are related events.

Riddle and I first got in touch when I finished the first book in the trilogy, read a plea for feedback at the end, and for the first time in my life e-mailed another author I'd never met in person. Since then Riddle and I have stayed in touch periodically and I had the honor of being a beta reader for the final book in the trilogy: Atlantis World.

After the Atlantis World's release I asked Riddle if he wouldn't mind answering some interview questions for my blog. So here you have the interview (my intent was to mix serious questions with more frivolous ones so you'll have to forgive my tongue in cheek questions and their responses):

1. You've just finished the third book of your Atlantis series. Will you be going to Disneyland? 
Yes! I'm doing a lot of travel this fall (including 100 days in Europe and North Africa), and Disney World is on the list. Most of the travel is research for my next series.
2. If you could hang out with any of your characters in real life which one would it be and why?

Patrick Pierce. He's a World War I hero and had some pretty incredible experiences.
3. How long does it generally take you to finish a novel: first draft through final revision and formatting?

The first novel (The Atlantis Gene) took me two years. During that time, I did a lot of planning for the trilogy, which helped me release the other two books in less time (7.5 months for #2, and 6 months for #3). 
I do a lot of planning for the novels (the plots are pretty intricate); planning and research actually takes me a bit longer then writing.

4. The aliens in your series tend to look, talk, act and think in a very human way. If there are aliens in the universe do you think it's likely they'll be that similar to humans? Why or why not?

I think it's unlikely that we're the only intelligent life currently alive in the universe. In fact, I think the universe is so vast that there's probably a wide variety of sentient species out there, some may even look and communicate similar to humans.

The Atlantis World, the third and final book in the trilogy, does explain why the Atlanteans are so similar to humans; no spoilers from me :)

5. What is your favorite color?

Carolina Blue.

6. What is the snack and/or beverage that keeps you fueled when writing?

I'm trying unsuccessfully to stop drinking caffeine, but Diet Coke remains a staple of my daily routine. I have been known to eat a microwaveable chicken slider every 2-3 hours when I'm writing.

7. We all know that writers are beings that live in small, dank caves and only remove themselves to periodically read their work to others or get dusted off to stand in front of cameras, but if you were to have a life outside of writing what kinds of things would you do?

Travel, see the world, and sometimes take notes (for use in future novels).

8. If you could choose an animal spirit what would it be and why?

Any sort of bird or fish; it would be great to see the world from a different vantage point.

9. You have recently had a great deal of success with self-publishing, to what do you attribute that success?

The readers. I would still be an unknown without the kind folks who took the time to tell a friend about my work, write a review, or post to social media.

10. What advice would you give to other authors who are trying to make self-publishing work for them?

Don't let anyone else define success for you.

11. Which Game of Thrones character would you kill off next?

The Mountain.

12. It has been rumored that you have superhuman final revision and formatting abilities. How do you respond to these rumors?

Who told you that!?!?

13. If Milo could meet any person (living or dead) who would he want to meet and why?

Gautama Buddha.

14. If Ares were a correspondent for the New York Times what kind of correspondent would he be?

War correspondent.
15. And finally, what is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

Love a good Monty Python reference! [turns and runs]

Well, there you have it. A smart man always runs away before the creepy, old, bridge keeper in the Quest for the Holy Grail can throw him into the depths of the gorge. Well played, Riddle. Well played.

Unfortunately, that cut our interview short, so if you were hoping for something meatier you'll have to take it up with the creepy hermit who asks people inane questions.

Anyway, if you haven't read Atlantis Gene I recommend that you check it out. Of course, what you do from there is entirely up to you. Thanks to AG Riddle for taking the time to answer my questions, and thanks to you all for reading. Off to look up the velocity of an unladen swallow...

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