Today I’d like to introduce my fellow CIR author, Arthur Daigle. Welcome, Arthur–how about telling us a bit about yourself?
I was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, and received a degree in biology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, which sounded like a good idea at the time. This led to work as a zoo intern at Brookfield Zoo, an assistant fisheries biologist at the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation, and a research assistant at Morton Arboretum. Most recently I’ve been employed grading high school essay tests and working as a garden associate (yeah, the job market is that bad). In addition to writing, I’m an avid gardener and amateur artist. I’ve also been a fan of science fiction and fantasy since I was old enough to walk, and am a regular contributor to the Fellowship of Fantasy anthology series. Major influences include the works of the puppeteer and filmmaker Jim Henson and the British artist Brian Froud.
Thanks Arthur. I enjoy science fiction and fantasy as well, reading the likes of JRR Tolkien and Ray Bradbury in my youth. So, I’m going to get you to answer three questions before we learn about your books. First, what three things would you say are the most important for an aspiring author to keep in mind as they begin their writing journey?
The first and most important is that you’re running a marathon, not a sprint. It’s going to take a long time for you to reach major goals like finishing your first book, getting published and earning a living from your writing, so be patient. Second, be kind. Most people are good at heart, and you’ll never know who can help you along the way. You’ll be surprised how many want to help you if you’re nice and willing to help them. Lastly, read ten pages for everyone page you write. You’ll become a good writer by studying the writing of others. Don’t copy them, but see what has worked in the past and what didn’t. You also want to read outside your genre for interesting facts and ideas. I favor histories, biographies and science books for this purpose.
Great advice, Arthur. You’ve summed up several craft books I’ve read in a couple of simple sentences! Next question: Where are your books set?
My books are set on the fictional world of Other Place. Like most fantasy worlds there are many intelligent races, including men, dwarfs, elves, ogres, trolls, goblins and gnomes. Unlike most fantasy worlds, these people have a host of real world problems. Dragons wish they had day care for their children, dwarfs worry about monthly profit reports for their corporations, and humans hope the authorities don’t figure out that they’re cheating on their taxes. Serious issues like racism and poverty come up, but they get a heaping helping of humor to help deal with them. Lastly, lawyers on Other Place are as dangerous as wizards, and they charge way more.
Sounds interesting–and somewhere I’d probably like to visit! One last question: What makes you happiest as an author?
Two things tie for first place. The first is I can enter a sort of flow when I write. It’s a wonderful experience as words pour out like a river in flood. I don’t notice time pass and feel no need to snack. The second thing that makes me happy is when I hear back from readers who loved my work. That’s when I know I’ve done good work and made someone happy.
Oh, isn’t that the truth! Getting reader feedback is like winning the lottery for an author! Now, tell us a bit about your books, Arthur.
So far, I am the author of six books. These include William Bradshaw King of the Goblins, William Bradshaw and a Faint Hope, William Bradshaw and War Unending, William Bradshaw and Fool’s Gold, Goblin Stories and Dr. Moratrayas, Mad Scientist.
My books are a blend of fantasy and comedy suitable for all ages. Most books revolve around William Bradshaw, who is tricked by lawyers into being King of the Goblins. His goblin followers are short, stupid, mildly crazy and enjoy setting traps. They are considered the lowest of the low by other races on their world, but Will leads them to victory over some of the most dangerous threats around. Expect crazy goblins, maniacal lawyers and rampant silliness.
Well, that’s fantastic, Arthur. So, where can we find these books of yours?