Today we have another interview for you. Science Fiction and Urban Fantasy writer M. Sydnor Jr. has taken some time out of his busy schedule to tell us a bit about his novel Earth Legend, the first book of the Earth Legend series.
DM: What makes Earth Legend something that only you could have written?
MS: The idea of Earth Legend came to me in a dream – a high school kid with distinctive powers, who takes out a posse of bullies. Now…unless, that Spongebob episode where he hops into Gary, Patrick and Squidward’s dreams are based on actual occurrences, I don’t think anyone could have dream hopped into my head and stolen this one. Only I, could write something even close to this – the personalities of each individual are based on close friends and family, with a little bit of myself peppered in. My interest in Hawaiian mythology, my love for California, my fascination with elemental powers mixed with the characteristics of the core group make Earth Legend unique.
DM: If you gave one of your characters the opportunity to speak, what would they say?
MS: “This air is disgusting, tastes like pollution and hairy armpits. The music is crappy, the food is fattening, and the movies… ugh… full of sequels, prequels, adaptations, remakes… what happened to originality? And the ugly, plastic, nasty, whore women of the music biz inspire little kids to twerk. Ugh! Get me the hell outta here. Take me back to fiction world.” Said Missy on a round trip, one day visit to the real world.
Missy Fuller – pale skinned, freckled face, red head, know-it-all with a wicked tongue.
DM: Tell us an interesting fact about your novel that we never would know.
MS: Number 1 interesting fact: The prologue, The Legend of the World, is loosely based on the history of Hawaii before it became Hawaii. I mentioned this in the credits, but uhhhh, I am pretty sure most of you skip the credit page when excited to start a new book.
Number 2 interesting fact: During the last month of writing, I was talking to a lady friend of mine… at this point I was so deep into the story and so close to finishing, it’s been months since I’ve had an actual conversation on the phone…. I accidentally called her Sara (from the book) not once, but twice. (her name is not Sara) She hung up on me and although, I texted an explanation to her shortly after, she didn’t believe me. I didn’t fight for her forgiveness, I thought it was hilarious.
DM: What books have influenced your life and your writing?
MS: Besides Goosebumps by R.L. Stine which started my love for horror, I wasn’t much of a reader growing up. I was strictly into playing ball, so reading articles in the monthly Slam magazine motivated and inspired me during my hoop dreams. Now, that I’m grown (not old) I’ve read many books, mostly short stories, of all genres. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin would have to be my favorite. Everything about the story is perfect and the wonderful world setting influenced my decision to develop a series.
The complete guide to self publishing by Marilyn Ross & Sue Collier is a monster of a book that I’ve had my head buried in for a little over a year. This self publishing bible is full of motivational and inspirational quotes from hundreds of successful self publishing authors. The step by step actions for writing and marketing have made my decision to self publish a lot less stressful and more meaningful. I have no regrets.
DM: What do you love about Earth Legend?
MS: It’s my creation. A world with so much freedom and an unpredictable setting. It’s pure fantasy. When I read Earth Legend, I smile, laugh, and drop my jaw like I have no idea what the hell is going to happen next. I am a fan of Earth Legend.
DM: What’s next for you as a writer?
MS: I am currently working on book three of Earth Legend, set for release in summer 2015. After that, maybe I’ll dip a toe or two into horror. Maybe. I don’t know, this fantasy shit is like a drug… I can’t stop.
DM: How did you begin writing? Did you always intend to become an author?
MS: I was never much of a writer in school. I wasn’t horrible, but ten years ago, I definitely wouldn’t have thought being a writer was in my near future. I was always the creative one in my circle (friends or family) – in middle school, I would make up games, create my own super heroes with unique powers, design basketball shoes with my own logo. The creative gene was always present, I just ignored it through high school and college to focus on basketball. First year of college ball was mentally draining and the idea for “The Man in the Crowd” (my basketball novella) came to me towards the end of the season. Initially, I wrote it as a screenplay in hopes that I could finish it and send it to a major studio with unknown faith that they would immediately make it into a movie. I was extremely overconfident and didn’t know what the hell I was doing. I realized the screenplay was just a rebound dream from basketball. With a couple good reviews from close friends and family, they recommended I take some writing courses. So I spent a few years writing at Academy of Art University in San Francisco and came out with better skills and a new passion. I wanted to create stories.
DM: Do you have any writing rituals?
MS: Hmmmmm….. I’ve got a few: Cell phone is always in a different room and coffee is always on deck.
I put the Michael Giacchino (music composer for Star Trek, UP and Ratatouille) station on Pandora and make magic with that. Must have earphones, I do not want to hear what else is going on in the world and the music has to be lyric free. I don’t want to lose my thought because I’m singing along with a song. Or mix it up, and end up writing the song and singing my story… just a mess.
Another ritual, I guess you can say, is that I tape over the word count. I use Microsoft Word and it reveals at the bottom corner how many words you’ve typed. That really bugs me and sometimes, it can really deter me from adding or deleting parts. So, I literally tape the monitor screen in the area where it will show and I leave it there until the story is finished. My friend creeped up as I was writing, “Why do you have duct tape on your screen, bro?” he didn’t wait for an answer, he just proceeded to tear it off… so, I slapped his hand and asked if he wanted to die.
DM: What would be the perfect Saturday to you?
MS: 6am basketball at 24hr fitness. Come home to a taping of 90’s Saturday Morning cartoons while eating Capt Crunch Peanut Butter Crunch. College basketball after cartoons. Then, I’d walk to the river with my notepad – plop my butt on the slippery rocks and jot down some notes. Return home to a homemade meal from a surprise visitor Paula Patton (my celebrity lover). After that, I write until the day turns to night. But loud barking from a dog, the meowing of a cat and the squealing of something else disturb my focus. I look outside and in the parking lot, I see a large rat chasing a small cat chasing a large dog. I grab my phone and hit record. PERFECT SATURDAY!
DM: What do you do when you’re not writing?
MS: When I’m not writing, I’m most likely playing/watching/teaching basketball or reading.
DM: You’re a Science a Fiction and Urban Fantasy writer. Why did you choose to write in that genre?
MS: There is no limit to science fiction and urban fantasy. If told right, you could make a 6 foot cockroach your protagonist.
DM: It’s 2,000 years in the future and people have taken Earth Legend and used it as their scripture in a new religion. How do you feel about that?
MS: If Kool-Aid is off the menu, I’m cool with it.
DM: What do you fear more, the monsters in the closet or the monsters under the bed?
MS: Under my bed is a mess; boxes full of items I haven’t went through in months, some shoes and other crap. I am more likely to check the closet than under the bed on a nightly basis. I would fear the monster in the closet, because he is bold, space to move around, perfect striking position – ready to take action. The monster under the bed is cowardly, stuffed and cramped under the bed with the rest of whatever junk is tossed under. I wouldn’t be surprised if the monster under the bed is hiding from the monster in the closet.
DM: What’s the most annoying thing people do while driving?
MS: It really annoys me when women put on eyeliner while driving. I’ve seen it way too many times on California freeways.
DM: What’s the best compliment you’ve received as an author?
MS: “I’m impressed and very proud.” From my mother
You can find Earth Legend on Amazon for $2.99 for Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Earth-Legend-M-Sydnor-Jr-ebook/dp/B007XWS6FO
Or you can order the paperback here: http://telpublishing.com/earth-legend.html