Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Interview with Arthur J Gonzalez, SONS OF GODS

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Logline: Cienzo has always had an affliction for metal and fire; he just never knew it would mean he was heir to the great Territories: Skies, Seas and the Underworld.

Long ago, the wrath of the three God brothers marked the onset of the Great War. The other Gods watched in horror, until they, too, were forced to take sides. Their beloved Mt Olympus collapsed, ruin was brought to all Divine, and the Age of Darkness gripped the world in its clutches. But a group of Gods was wise, and before their impending deaths, they had crafted a pact, committing to one day rebuilding the Territories - the Heavens, Seas, and the Underworld. It would usher in the world they protected and honored out from its darkness. And from it would rise the new Greats: the Sons of Gods. 

Cienzo has always had an affliction for metal and fire; never did he anticipate it would one day translate to wielding dormant powers. It is during a journey to fulfill a promise to his dying sister, that he is plunged into a dark and magical world, and where great responsibility is bestowed upon him. 

Is he worthy of assuming the throne of the Territories? Can shattering steel and splitting fire change his mind?

Do you have a favorite character?
I really love my character Kayana in the Sons of Gods. Her dedication is so deeply rooted. It’s not a common trait you see often, and the loyalty for Cienzo and Isla is a beautiful thing. Plus, she’s a major badass.

If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
I knew exactly what I wanted on my cover, and I did not shy away with communicating it, either. But I think it’s important to set clear expectations, and do so effectively. It eliminates any problematic interference in the future. Having good interpersonal skills goes a long way, too. The process for me was very easy, because when I did not necessarily agree with something I kindly rejected it, but explained the why. I also always, always complimented their work, because everything was truly amazing, just not always in the right direction. In the end, it is a world of working with others. And you can’t just be a writer in today’s world without a keen business mind and set of adequate people skills.

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I have a journal with favorite words. I tend to skim through this first and get those buzz words flowing in the back of my brain. I start with a rough outline, for sure. It organizes me. I also constantly pull from my phone’s notepad. I have a pretty organized folder for each story in my Notepad on my phone. Once I map this out, I come to terms with what I want to write…sort of a realistic goal. Then I will visually map it out on paper.
Then I will pop on some jams—maybe some Odesza—plug in my head phones, and get to writing. Also, I should add, that coffee is a must!
Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
Absolutely! And I caution anyone who is serious to hire a professional if self-publishing. It is the first sign of an amateur. You have one shot for a return reader. Do not ruin in by a cheap draft. Save the money, wait the time and be patient if needed and get it edited. Also, listen to your editor!
What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
I have learned that you must be open to continual learning. These evolve and change quickly. There is a lot of noise out there, and one must be ready to filter out what is important. Also, you have to be diligent, perseverant and hardworking. If you want to self-publish, and you make it to the finish line. . . then I commend you. Because it’s a lot of work. From saying “I want to write a book” to actually committing everything to doing so, is a testament to the human commitment. Rock on to every accomplished writer!

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
Instagram is a big one. But my biggest tools are Wattpad and virtual blog tours, to be honest. They really help with getting the word out.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
Don’t stop. Dedicate time and write relentlessly. You will tear apart stories, but some of the ‘failures’ might become pieces to a larger future story. It has happened to me. So never, ever let a writing opportunity leave you.
Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
I love being by the water. Any ocean time I can get I will. I love going out for walks and jogs, and remaining active. Anything that involves a sense of adventure is on my list. I also work full-time as a regional leader for a tech company. My team is absolutely amazing and they have become a family to me. I love them very much and I can without a doubt say I am passionate about them.
Some fun facts about you, which do you prefer – dogs or cats? Chocolate or vanilla? Coffee or Tea? Talk or Text? Day or Night?
Dogs. I have my Schnoodle and she is my everything. But, I should add that I loooove animals.
Ugh—Chocolate. But I love vanilla, too. Total sweet tooth.
Text. Quick and to the point.
I love the night. Complete night owl.

What’s next for you?
Currently, I am working on Book 2, the Sequel to the Sons of Gods. The working title now is Blood of Gods. It will be pretty exciting, because it delves into the Underworld … and my vision for it is pretty stellar. Besides that, I am also working in my first try children’s illustration book, Mack and the Peculiar Tree. This is very exciting for me. I’m working with a talented artist from Spain who has illustrated some of the most breathtaking art I have seen.