Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Richard J. Galloway, Amantarra

AUTHOR: Richard J. Galloway

BOOK TITLE: Amantarra

PUBLISHER: Richard J. Galloway

BUY LINK:      

Please tell us about yourself?
Raised amid the heavy industry of the north east of England on a diet of Star Trek, Doctor Who and fantasy novels, I rebelled against my schools assumption that heavy industrial work would be my vocation. Having exhausted the only apparent option, the careers master despaired. "If you don't want to work in the steelworks, where do you want to work?" My reply was, "I don't know." The industry I finished up in would not materialise for another ten years. No wonder the master struggled. From school, via drawing office and architecture, eventually I found myself working with large computer systems.

Career aside, the thread that has bound it all together has been fantasy. I've never lost my fascination with the imagery that a good story invokes. After all, it has shown me worlds beyond this one, and possibilities beyond the steelworks. It continues to do so.

I still live in the north east of England with my wife, family, and a large cat called Beano. The heavy industry has shrunk, but my world of fantasy has grown. I often wonder what advice I would have been given if the careers master had read the occasional bit of science fiction.

Tell us your latest news?
Amantarra will be released in paperback form before the end of the summer. I'm currently having Amantarra translated into Italian. It should be available late in 2013. Saranythia will be published on Kindle and in paperback at some point in 2014.

What inspired you to write your first book?
Amantarra started out as a story about how I got a silver fob watch. To an extent, the plot in the book is true to the actual event, but I'm fond of hidden histories. I like to take the apparent and create fantastic explanations for them. Alternative twists to the obvious. The twist in the story of the watch became the catalyst for a much bigger story, and the focus switched from the watch to the main character, Amantarra. This led to the birth of Valheel, a city built on the inside of a sphere, the creation of Elleria, the death of immortality, and a second book.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
"The important thing in diplomacy," explains Peter Ustinov, "is to have a door that will lock - even if there is nothing behind it." There are a number of things behind my door, but I'm not going to tell anyone what they are, nor will they be openly revealed in the Ascension of Valheel trilogy. The reader must decide for themselves what the hidden messages are. I make no apologies for this because quite frankly I like the power.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? (Has anyone ever realized it?)
All my characters are based on combinations of different traits from people that I know. Some of them are made up of multiple aspects of a single person and some single aspects from multiple people. Some of them are aware that they in my books, others are not. I've based a lot of the events in the books on my own life experiences. I simply take the event and add an alternative explanation for its cause.

What book are you reading now? What do you like, or not, about it?
Currently I'm reading The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett. It's probably true to say that I love the world which he has crafted. The only problem I have with it is that Peter hasn't written the final two books of the series, so when I'm finished reading this book I'll have to wait for the next.

What are your current projects?
I am currently writing Saranythia the second part of the trilogy. Set some ten years after the first book, it moves the story onto the next level for the existing characters. While it answers some of the questions posed in the first book, it creates new ones on a new world with a host of new characters.

Do you ever have problems with writers block? If so how do you get through it?
Is there a writer that doesn’t? I find it more amusing than frustrating that sometimes I write myself into a dead end. "That was going great," I say to myself, "but how am I going to get out of this hole I've dug?" The initial urge is to make the piece work at all costs, but sometimes this is folly. There are a number of things I try to get round the block, and the simplest of these is not thinking about it. I go for a walk and listen to music (hoorah for iPods), or I move onto another chapter leaving the section unresolved for a while. Often a solution will present itself as the rest of the story progresses. Sometimes however, and with great regret, I have to scrap the section. I must have scrapped 50,000 words during the writing of Amantarra. Entire characters have been deleted because their plot threads were competing with the main theme. As I write this I can feel their resentment. Often the block is the perfect place to leave a question hanging in the air. If a solution is found that is.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
The list of my favourite authors is fairly short, but there are still six of them on it, so who do I choose? I think that all in all I would probably go for Peter V. Brett. Peter is the author of "The Demon Cycle" series which so far consists of; The Painted Man (The Warded Man in the U.S.A.), The Desert Spear and The Daylight War. The first two books got me hooked. I found the concept of an advanced civilization being reduced to the dark ages by night attacks by demons totally engaging. According to Peter the series will eventually consist of five books.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Time, or rather the lack of it. I still work full time in the information technology industry, and a lot of my spare time is taken up with promoting Amantarra. I try to write something, even if it's only a sentence, at least once a day.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Having the ability to create and destroy entire worlds at will, and the power to conjure a scene from nothing. Add to this the power of life and death over the inhabitants of those worlds, and the facility to control every aspect of their existence. This is more power than kings could ever dream of. What I learnt from writing was how to be a tyrant. Megalomania is the drug that entices you into the world of writing and keeps you there.

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?
My publisher is me. For first time writers the fastest way to get your work exposed is to self-publish. I agree, you probably won't get the publicity that going through an established publisher brings, but it's a lottery just to get your work read by one, never mind actually distributed. The decision therefore is, do you want your work sitting in a slush pile on someone's desk, or do you want it out in the wild getting some exposure?

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. - please share your public links.
Web, blog and much more:
Twitter: @rjgalloway1


A race of beings called the Bruwnan, who, having reached the limits of what was technically possible in the universe, moved beyond it and into a set of dimensions of their own creation. Here, beyond the physical limitations of normal space time they created a virtual city called Valheel which was constructed on the inside of a sphere. For more than half the age of the universe the immortal occupants of Valheel refined the arts and sciences of the physical universe they had left behind. But how many times can you rehash a form of art? How does the mathematical rephrasing of Euclidian physics change the nature of it? Half the age of the universe is a long time to be bored. Amantarra couldn’t honestly put a finger on when she realised that something was wrong, the problem had been masked by the general lethargy that had descended on the city. Valheel had become a city of immortals that felt dead. Her father was the first to voice his concern; "people are disappearing" he confided to his two daughters. The Bruwnan were unaware of it, but they were at war with an unknown enemy. Three hundred thousand years before this story starts, Saranythia, Amantarra's sister, had set out to do something about it. She was never heard from again. Now it was Amantarra's turn, but despite her best efforts the battle follows her to Earth where she is forced into hiding. It's in a small town in England that an unsuspecting John Godbert suddenly finds himself caught up in a war that is older than the human race. Not only is he caught up in it, he is the key to the survival of two species, human and Bruwnan.
The first five chapters are available on my web site:

1 comment:

  1. A lot of people don't want to fit into the round holes other people have pegged them for! Nice when going your own way works out!

    Nice interview!