I'd like to introduce my guest author today- Paul Collins-an author and publisher of considerable repute.
It's always interesting to have other writers talk about their writing journey.
And Paul's new book!
Paul can you tell us a bit about your writing back ground and the latest book in your trilogy?
There are many types of writer. One breed can write their first novel, sell it immediately (some even have auctions!) and they become famous seemingly overnight. Others start slowly, gradually build up, then have their hit which leads them to the A-list (I think this happened to Eoin Colfer when he sold Artemis Fowl). Another breed can write literature and they win the major awards. Despite poor sales in the main (ask any kid what they think about award-winners!) publishers flock to this breed of author. I remember an editor friend once questioning a major publisher as to why they were taking on a certain author’s back-list and the reply was: “Prestige”. I fit into yet another box, the “persistent” one. Basically put, most of my books have done the rounds before getting accepted. This doesn’t necessarily mean my fiction is poorly written – take a look at a sample of world classics that were rejected before getting published: http://www.examiner.com/article/30-famous-authors-whose-works-were-rejected-repeatedly-and-sometimes-rudely-by-publishers. Because I’m prolific, publishers feel their investment in me will be diluted. Major publishers might publish one book a year of any particular author. I couldn’t make a living with just one book published a year. So I write a lot of books and sell them to whoever wants to publish them. I think most authors fit into this category. Or they would if they were prolific writers.
I mention all this because despite the fact that The Maximus Black Files trilogy has just been published, it was actually written about seven years ago. So finally, The Only Game in the Galaxy, book #3, has just been published. Ford Street published the first book, Mole Hunt, in 2011. It was a success, especially for a small press. Dyson’s Drop followed in 2012. The Only Game in the Galaxy is also available at amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FDJXF0K and at “any good bookshop” but also at the publisher’s site with credit card/PayPal: http://tinyurl.com/ojxxjz8. There’s a trailer at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3S-eKDYqpEs.
I used to love anti-heroes in the Marvel comics I read as a kid. More recently think Modesty Blaise and Artemus Fowl. They’re bad, really, in as much they’re up to illegal activities. But I always feel as though they’re Robin Hood characters in that they steal from the rich and give to the poor. Maximus Black is pure evil. He’s all out for himself and woe betide anyone who gets in his way. (Who can forget Dr Zachary Smith from Lost in Space?! But he pales into insignificance compared with Max.)
However, here’s the odd thing. So many people have told me they were rooting for Maximus! The reason I believe major publishers rejected The Maximus Black Files is because the lead character has no redeeming features. But in a survey ran by ROR/Burn Bright, questioning readers whether characters needed redeeming features, not one respondent thought they did. This flies in the face of everything publishers/gatekeepers believe.
Maximus does have a nemesis in Anneke Longshadow, but all the fan mail is directed at Max. Ah well. So much for my creating a unique character who everyone will loathe . . .
The Only Game in the Galaxy
Author: Paul Collins
Publisher: Ford Street Publishing
In a galaxy of cutthroat companies, shadowy clans and a million agendas, spy agency RIM barely wields enough control to keep order. Maximus Black is RIM’s star cadet.
But he has a problem. One of RIM’s best agents, Anneke Longshadow, knows there’s a mole in the organisation.
And Maximus has a lot to hide.
Paul Collins has written over 150 books and 140 short stories. He is best known for The Quentaris Chronicles (The Spell of Undoing is Book #1 in the new series), which he co-edits with Michael Pryor, The Jelindel Chronicles, The Earthborn Wars and The World of Grrym trilogy in collaboration with Danny Willis. Paul’s latest book is The Only Game in the Galaxy, book three in The Maximus Black Files. The Beckoning is Paul’s first adult novel http://tinyurl.com/ny6urwy.
He is also the publisher at Ford Street Publishing.
Paul has been short-listed for many awards and won the Aurealis, William Atheling and the inaugural Peter McNamara awards. He recently received the A Bertram Chandler Award for lifetime achievement in Australian science fiction. He has had two Notable Books in the Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards.
He has black belts in both ju jitsu and taekwondo – this experience can be seen in The Jelindel Chronicles and The Maximus Black Files.
Thanks Paul for visiting!