Hello, this is L.M. David. I am interviewing Andrew Weston, author of Blood-Moon and The Guardians. Usually, there is a blurb here about how our resident pest, Preston, interferes, in some way, with guests on this blog. Fortunately, there was none today. Guess rumors of Andrew coming in for an interview reached Preston’s ears and the vampyre suddenly made himself scarce …
Welcome and thanks for agreeing to do this Andrew.
Q. Let’s start with a little background.
A. I was born in Birmingham, UK, into a family who had served in the military for generations. The early discipline in my life was reflected from an early age. My parents ensured I could read and write before my ‘official’ education even began, was in swimming training before school by the age of five. By age six, that spilled over into other sports. I was in special higher education ‘combined school & college’ from the age of eleven.
My main passions were rugby, swimming, martial arts, and athletics. And my scholastic strengths seemed to lie with English, Astronomy, and physics. Inevitably, I went into the military, initially accepted on an Electronics Artificer-ship in the Royal Navy. After six months, I left the Royal Navy and joined the Royal Marines where I qualified for special & elite forces. I travelled a lot, saw a few interesting places and met some incredible people.
After nine years in the military, I joined the police force where I became part of the Crime Intelligence Bureau. I loved my job! While on the force, I studied Law and Religious Studies, ran several martial art schools free of charge, and was a member of a number of fraternities
Sadly, I had to retire early at the end of 2008 after a service injury, but that gave me time to explore a side I’d let wane for a long time. My creativity!
Q. What inspired you to become a writer?
A. I’d always been creative. From an early age, my mind was like a black hole, always hungry for knowledge. At first, it came out in the form of drawing, sketching and poetry. Then I made up little stories for my sister and friends. After getting married, I devised a theme around a little kitten, “Willy Whiskers”, and wrote & illustrated a number of stories for them. It wasn’t until I was retired that I was blessed with the time to ‘do’ something with the concepts in my head.
Q. You are interested in astronomy. What about different galaxies do you find fascinating?
A. Oh wow! Where to start! When I studied astrophysics, became fascinated by the paradox of black holes. Think about it … the most destructive force/enigma known and yet it’s now coming to light that supergiant black holes with rotating singularities actually anchor galaxies in place! They are essential to life. Without them, there’d be chaos. And when you look into the deepest, darkest depths of space, you witness remarkable clarity and order among the trillions and trillions of super-clusters of galaxies we are continuing to discover. What I find truly fascinating is – why is all this ‘order’ and precision there? It’s vast. Endless. Why so much, unless…
Q. Is this love of space a reason why you wrote a science fiction novel?
A. Of course! Those early influences in life – the books & magazines, and the TV shows as well as my hunger for learning more – steered me into this genre. The Guardians series is a concept I devised when I served in the military & police. I mean, think of the kind of things I’d dealt with. Suffering, tragedy, injustice! I often thought how much better things would be if we could get to incidents sooner, deal with them more efficiently! Perhaps even anticipate and remove the cause before it gets out of control! Now add to that the ‘comic-book/TV’ influences I’d been exposed to, such as Thunderbirds, X-Men, Star Wars, etc! Together with my love of all thing space, it was inevitable I’d approach the answer to combating suffering and tragedy from a sci-fi angle.
Q. Wow. You certainly do have a passion for astronomy. Let’s start with Blood Moon, a novelette published through Pagan Writers Press. I have read the book and thoroughly enjoyed it. How long did it take to write and how did you come up with the storyline?
A. I really enjoyed Blood-Moon. It only took a week to write the basic story. (But then I spent a month tweaking and refining it into a polished little roller-coaster). Ha ha! The reason it – and the storyline – came so easy, was because I based it on what I knew. The final month long phase of British Special Forces training is spent in the jungle. You get to meet and see all sorts of interesting creatures. So, by tweaking the ‘known’, with a little bit of paranormal ‘unknown’, it virtually wrote itself.
Q. Guardian Angels, released though the same publisher, is about individuals who, basically, save lives. Then something goes wrong. Can you give a brief description of what happens and how it affects The Guardians?
A. Let’s just say, it plays on people’s fickle emotions. These heroes have come out from behind the scenes to openly save hundreds of thousands of lives in what are near miraculous circumstances. The world at large flocks to support them. Obviously, criminal organizations do not! The mere presence of Guardians spells an end to their way of life. While blessed with superior technology and incredible abilities, there are only so many Guardians to go round. When an influential crime lord capitalizes on this deficiency, deaths ensue. The popularity bubble towards the Guardians bursts. But, life is like that! How quickly we forget the good people do.
Q. You’ve been working on the sequels to Guardian Angels. Are there any titles yet and can you give some details about what readers can expect?
A. Certainly! The second book in the series – Guardians – is due for release in September 2013. It picks up one year after the world has made a choice regarding the Guardians. In making said choice, leaders of the world failed to consider the full/future implications. Sure enough, a peril from the dawn of time rears its ugly head to remind mankind how fragile life can be. In trying to develop a strategy to combat this threat, an ancient menace is also awakened. Sadly – you’ll have to wait until September for more. The final book in the first trilogy – Fallen Angels – will hopefully be available during 2014. It concludes the first chapter of the story. All I’ll say is…
Q. What is your next project after the sequel to The Guardians is released?
A. My next project is the conclusion of the Cambion Journals. June, 2013 sees the release of the first book of this series – The Rage of Augustus! Augustus Thorne is a Cambion, a human/incubus hybrid, touched by evil before he was even born, and cursed with a terrible hunger he fights to control each & every single day of his long, long life. Born in rural England, the story follows his quest through the centuries. It’s an action packed paranormal adventure filled with sadness, for Augustus also craves the one thing he can never have. A normal relationship and love! The Rage of Augustus is scheduled for release later this year, with the sequel – Kiss of the Succubus – due sometime in 2014. Embrace of the Incubus is the next project on my list – and I’m itching to get back into the mind of E-vil! Mwa-ha-haaa!
Q. Wicked! So tell me what is the hardest part for you, as a writer –the beginning, middle or end of a story?
A. I’m quite a structured, disciplined person so I have a fairly good framework in place before I start writing. I know how it will begin and end, and most of the ‘essentials’ that must take place in between. Saying that, I also allow for fluidity, as certain great ideas do come to me AS I’m writing. For me, the hardest part is getting it down! One day, I hope to make it big! When I do, the first thing on my list will be my very own private office…even if it’s a separate part of the house I live in. At the moment, I have to encroach into my wife’s sanity, and have adopted a schedule geared around her routine. When Annette’s not here, I get absolute ‘shed-loads’ done. But when my dear wife gets home? Aaaaarg! So for me – the hardest part of writing is the privacy I need to let the creative process flow.
Q. Where did your inspiration to create stories such as Blood Moon and The Guardians come from?
A. Believe it or not, true life! If you can – in some way – write about what you know, it shows! And you enjoy it more.
Q. Have you experienced writer’s block and if so, how do you get back in the mind set to write?
A. Actually, I don’t believe in writer’s block. I have an incredibly busy schedule, some days there’s just so much going on I have to make space for my mind to be able to flex. When these other demands have been met, I’ve always found the story keeps flowing from my fingertips… (So long as Annette isn’t home).
Q. What advice do you have for writers who are just starting out?
A. Believe in yourself and your story. You’ll know in your heart if your message will make an impact. So make sure the effort you put into it, meets the dream you have in your mind. Take your time, fight the tendency to rush. Make it as polished and perfect as you can. Then do your homework. As I learned to my cost, the right target audience can make a big difference. Then get yourself out there as a person. As people get to know you and your work, the rest will come!
Thanks Andrew for stopping by. If you see Preston on the way out, toss him out of here!
Blurb for Blood-Moon:
Once every few hundred years, the Blood-Moon rises on an unsuspecting world. When it does—the very stuff of myth and legend comes to life.
He was sixth generation military, his path laid before him by his family. To secure his spot in the elite British Special Forces he found himself up against one of the harshest environments known to man. It is here that he will face an ancient horror.
What do you think might happen when nightmare becomes reality?
Blurb for The Guardians:
In a series of terrifying events, otherworldly beings intervene to save innocent lives. The world community reacts with relief as they realize that guardian angels may in fact exist, and they are diligently protecting us.
But there are those who would seek to stop what they feel is a threat against their livelihoods and aspirations. How far will some go to battle the Guardians? Is the fairy tale over before it even begins?
Guardian Angels is a powerful and compelling story about the catalyst that has the power to unite society in the hope for a better future. The spark of hope is fragile—can it last?