Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Let's Get to Know author Leeland Artra

So today I have author Leeland Artra, he's going to share with us a little bit more about him and his book.  Everyone welcome author Leeland Artra.  

       Can you tell us something interesting about your writing process?

My writing process is a painful series of ripping words from my dreams and getting them into the computer. I agonize for hours to produce a few thousand words. I think this is mostly because I am a perfectionist with horrible grammar and spelling habits. Being a computer programmer I am detail oriented and will often ask myself “is that even possible?” Which if you think about it is a pretty silly question for a fantasy writer. Still I manage to get the book out which is always fun.

What part of the writing process is the easiest/hardest for you?

The easiest part is just telling the tale. I have always been a hard core story teller. I love games that involve role playing or storytelling.

The hardest part is getting everything down into as few words as possible. Being such a story teller I run off into unbelievable amounts of detail. My editors often ask “do we really need all this detail here?” which is followed by me sadly deleting whole pages. In the end it seems to come out pretty good.

    Who is your favorite character (that you’ve written)?

Duke is a hoot, Lebuin is a lot of fun as he bounces around, but my heart right now belongs to Ticca. I want things to go well for her, yet I have nearly killed her a few times already. I hope she survives the story lines.


   Is there anything you’re working on now?

I’m currently trying to get a strong conclusion out to the trilogy. But I must admit I was distracted by an idea that has me writing a lot of pages on the origins of Duke.

 Where did the idea for your book come from?

The whole book is centered on an unresolved mission/scenario in my universe. I use to run a fantasy game with time traveling characters (a la Dr. Who) yet with all the clues and hints they never jumped on the plot. This of course led to the destruction of the world that they entirely missed as they went backwards never checking the future. I always wanted someone to actually get onto the plot and try to wrest a world saving success from it.

Are any of the characters inspired by someone in real life?

Yes, the Daggers are based on the mighty Marines I served with. Most of them are a mix of a few people I knew. Elades is a Marine commander that who was an amazingly humble person that it was an honor to know.

   Do you follow a writing schedule, or just write whenever you get the chance?

I try to work on my book a little every day. My life doesn’t let me schedule things too tightly. Plus my son thinks five minutes is an eternity and so starts bugging me to play after I have been typing for a few minutes. Knowing I only have one chance at his childhood I tend to give in, which is always putting me behind my inner schedules. But, he is worth it!

Do you listen to music while you write, or do you prefer quiet?

I had over four hundred CDs, which I started turning into MP3s. Then I found Pandora. I pay for Pandora and have a handful of self-made constantly being adjusted music channels I listen to all the time. I’m a proud paying member of Pandora.

If you could jump in to any book and live there, which book would you choose?

I don’t think I have the physique to survive in any of my favorite fantasy worlds. Most of the science fiction I read is a little too dangerous to make living a safe thing. However, if I could get there with what I know, and somehow be physically capable of keeping up with the world I would probably jump into the World of Tiers.

Describe your book in a tweet (140 characters or less).

young female warrior and aspiring mage stumble into a destructive far-reaching conflict.

What was last book you bought?

Forged in Blood I (The Emperor's Edge Book 6) by Lindsay Buroker.

If you could be any kind of creature (other than human), which would you pick and why?

I’d be a god from my books. Why not? There are lots of great perks. (And they are not really gods as you’d imagine, they are really … well that’d be a serious spoiler.)

   Do you remember the first book that kept you up all night reading?  What was it?

Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny. Oh that was a great series.

 Does writing come naturally to you, or did you have to work harder in order to get that story in your head down on paper?

I work hard at it. But the stories come pretty easily, seriously I’m a great liar…I mean fantasy author.

    How long did it take you to write your book?

It took me one year of solid work putting in an average of six hours a night, every night, to get the first book out. The story I have been developing for twenty years.

 Did you use an outline or make some sort of “book plan” before you started writing?

Yes, I work out a rough outline and then I ignore it until I am just about finished. I then review what I thought I was going to do with where the story went.

    How much research went into your book?

Far too much. I did tons of research. I wrote a real international treaty learning all the legal crud needed. I also worked out a real monetary system with believable coinage which is based on the European national economies of the seventeenth century. I also did some research into sword and knife fighting. Oh and I have ten years of military combat training.

     If you could no longer write, what career would you choose instead?

I’m trying to transition to writing full time from computer programming. Computer programming currently earns about three times what I make from my books. So I have a ways to go yet.

    If you could live someone else’s life for two weeks, whose life would you choose?

Bill Gates, I mean really what couldn’t you do with all that money?

 If you could no longer write/read, what hobby/profession/habit would you choose to fill the void?

Modeling, I loved modeling as a younger man. Although I avoided the whole living room as a war recreation scene from Lord of the Rings. But only by a hair.

Of all the little things and simple pleasures in life, which one do you enjoy most of all?

Reading. I love sitting in a nice wing back chair with a cup of coffee and a new (or old friend) book to read.

  Is there anything that you believe you still need to accomplish in your career for you - and you alone - to feel truly successful?

Get a movie or TV show made based on my books. I think it would be so awesome to go to a theatre and see my books acted out with all the cool effects and director interpretations of events.

 If you could have a casual, 30-minute conversation by the fireplace with any author, living or dead, who would you choose, and what would you ask?

I would love to chat with Isaac Asimov and ask him a lot of detailed questions about the Foundation series. How much planning did he really do, what was the genesis of the idea, etc.

If you won the lottery tomorrow, what are the first three things you think you would do or buy?

I’d hire a maid! Then I’d hire a personal trainer. Then I think I’d start house shopping in Hawaii.

 If you could change the ending to any book that you have ever read, what book would it be?

Sorry I really don’t have an answer to this. The endings are what the authors made them.

 Aside from family occurrences, what event or accomplishment would you consider to be the highlight of your life thus far?

Publishing Thread Slivers was an amazing rush. I cannot believe how successful it has been and how much fun it is to be an author. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

   If you could bring back any tradition that seems to have faded into the past, what tradition would you bring back?

I think I would destroy living on credit. I believe we were a more stable society with better values when we were on the gold standard and people had to have the money they needed to buy anything up front. Yes we would all have less and yet we might have a lot less pressure.

   What is the best piece of advice you have ever received in your life?

The worst thing that can happen is they say No, so don’t let the fear of rejection stop you.

   What thought or sentiment would you like to have copied and put into one million fortune cookies?

The world is better when you are honest and smile.

   What is your favorite sight, scent, and sound for each of the four seasons (if you have four distinct seasons where you live)?

Fall: Walking down a street lined with tall trees all glowing orange in the sunset.
Winter: the first deep snow. Oh how wonderful.
Spring: The sunny cool days where everything is bright green.
Summer: The sun setting over the ocean

    If you got a parrot for a pet, what phrase would you be sure to teach it to say?

I did have a parrot and I kept trying to get it to say “Arg prepare to be amazed!” Never got there.

   Who is your all time favorite fictional book character?

Kickaha from World of Tiers, he was such a fun going guy that just rolled with the punches.

Fun Stuff:

·         Coffee or tea?  Coffee, always coffee… My order: Vente half-decaf Americano with sugar free Irish-cream (or real Irish cream when available)
·         Paper book or ebook? As of 2012 eBook (I still have about seven hundred paper books)
·         Summer or winter? Winter (you can always put more clothes on, but there is a limit to how much you can take off)
·         Werewolves or vampires? Vampire hunters
·         Morning person or night owl? Night owl (since about ten)
·         Pantser or plotter? LOL, uh N/A
·         Pepsi or Coke? Diet Dr. Pepper thank you very much
·         Dogs or cats? DOGS, oh I so miss my dogs.


·         Drink: Water, Mai Tai, coffee with Irish cream, Dr. Pepper (in that order)
·         Food: Carne-Asada burrito with real hot sauce
·         Movie: The Incredibles
·         TV show: Dr. Who
·         Book: World of Tiers
·         Late night snack: Popcorn with a little butter
·         Writing tools: Computer, blank paper, and music
·         Sport: Basketball
·         Vacation destination: Any place with warm water diving
·         Music: Something techno usually gets me rolling
·         Place to read: my wing back chair with coffee
·         Place to write: My dining room table
·         Way to relax: Reading a book

 I know this is a really long interview lol, but I loved all his answers! I hope you all check out his book, links below.  

About the Author


:  I couldn’t make up my mind. I started with college, tried the Navy, tried consulting, tried door to door sales, tried working for large corps, tried working for little corps, and am still trying. Yet through all that I loved fantasy and sci-fi. I read books all the time and also enjoy doing some fantasy roleplaying games. And now I have added author to the long list of jobs. Except Author seems a really good fit for my personality.


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 Book Information

Trained from birth as a hunter and fighter, Ticca wanted and got more. She learned military tactics from the very best. She was given access to much of the world's true history, stretching back beyond legend. Found worthy, the world's second-best warrior, whom even the Gods feared, finished her combat training. Ticca thought she was ready to join the ranks of military specialists for hire known as Daggers.

Able to control more power than even a full master mage from birth, Lebuin was sheltered and taught magic by the greatest wizards. He has rightfully earned his Journeyman Mage badge- except he isn't so sure he wants to explore the world. But all Guild wizards are required to travel, and Lebuin is sent out into the world. He quickly discovers reality isn't anything like what he read in books or expected.

A great mage is missing and Lebuin hopes to find him for clues to undiscovered magics. Lebuin hires Ticca to guide and protect him while he tracks down the missing wizard. Together they stumble into a hidden power struggle between a powerful Duke and a secret group of warriors with unbelievable skills and speed. The deadly conflict ignites a worldwide power struggle, a struggle in which the Gods themselves fear to intervene. As Ticca and Lebuin attempt to survive, they learn that they may hold the key to powers capable of destroying all the realms. Together they are far more powerful than they or anyone else ever imagined.

Can a new Dagger and Journeyman mage manage to stay alive long enough to figure out what powers they control? Who can they trust as both are targeted for assassination and relentlessly hunted?



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