Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Richard Abbott-Brailey, author of Azarias Tor: The History Maker.
Hi Richard, thank you for agreeing to this interview.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Born in London, raised in Watford, made in Northumberland, where I qualified as a teacher of English in secondary education.
So, what have you written?
Azarias Tor: The History Maker is my first published novel. During the final decade of the last century I enjoyed some minor success writing for television, radio, and the stage. In am currently writing the second book of the planned Azarias Tor trilogy.
Where can we buy or see them?
Azarias Tor: The History Maker (978-1-78693-363-8) http://www.austinmacauley.com/book/azarias-tor-history-maker is available online from Amazon and direct from the publisher (Austin Macauley), and can also be purchased in bookshops. Available in paperback and for Kindle.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Azarias Tor is a seemingly ordinary man, with an unusual name, in his early 40s, but with a troubled past, who learns that he has the ability to travel through time and space. The key question, then, is if you could travel back in time what would you – no, what wouldn’t you do to protect those loved ones who had died before their time? That is the dilemma facing Azarias Tor, but there are rules. Rules? Rules are made for breaking!
What are you working on at the minute and what’s it about?
I am currently writing the sequel, Azarias Tor: The Day Before Yesterday.
What genre are your books and what draws you to this genre?
At present my focus is on science fiction, though future plans, beyond Azarias Tor, will involve a shift in genre. My interest in science fiction and time travel, in particular, stems from H.G. Wells as a child, and watching Dr. Who on television.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I have wanted to be a writer since the age of 10 years old but ‘life’ got in the way, and support and encouragement only came from an English teacher at school. Over the years I have started a number of projects, which never came to fruition, other than minor flirtation with writing for television, radio, and theatre. Azarias Tor is my first novel. Now I tell people I am an author and a teacher, in that order.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
I am currently writing full time and continuing to promote the first book.
Where do your ideas come from and how much research do you do?
My ideas come from an overactive imagination, and dreams. There is an immense amount of research involved, to the extent of checking the weather in a particular location, at a given time, on a certain day; and then there is the future to consider! Some of the predictions are rather disturbing.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
The hardest thing about writing Azarias Tor: The History Maker was making time. I was teaching full time and that involved preparing lessons and schemes of work, and marking homework and coursework outside of school hours. Much of the writing happened at weekends, and during holidays, whereas I now have the luxury of devoting my time to writing, and continuing to promote the first book.
What book/s are you reading at present?
I am currently not reading, while I am writing, though recently read ‘Love In, Air In, by D.M. Williams and ‘Believe Me!’ by Martin R. Jackson. Next on my list to read is ‘Turn A Blind Eye’ by Neil A. White.
How do you market your books?
I market myself as much as I promote my work, using social media, old-fashioned letter writing, face-to-face contact, and through free author events at libraries, community centres, colleges, and other institutions. Plans are being developed for me to run a one night a week creative writing course, over a period of six weeks in a community centre in Northumberland, during the summer; free of charge.
Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
With regards to marketing the best advice I can offer is be prepared to do much of it yourself, build an author platform on social media long before the launch of the book, and invest in a good PR company; Highlights Public Relations, of Newcastle, in my case.
How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?
I have received somewhere in the region of 30 reviews, spread across a range of media, though I am more interested in quality rather than quantity. I am pleased with response to Azarias Tor. The reviews, averaging 4.5 stars, suggest that I am doing the ‘write’ thing.
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
To be frank I believe that all reviews are good reviews. If I had received an average of 2.5 stars, and harsh criticism, readers and reviewers might be doing me a favour by informing me that I have made the wrong career move; that I need to hone the craft of writing, in the very least.
Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
I am also currently involved with a book to movie project, and I will reveal more about that in the next month or so.
Thank you for your time.
Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.