Friday, November 22, 2013

Eric Price, Unveiling the Wizards' Shroud

AUTHOR: Eric Price
BOOK TITLE: Unveiling the Wizards’ Shroud
GENRE: Young Adult Fantasy
PUBLISHER: MuseItUp Publishing

CONTEST!!  Eric is running a contest.  Please check out his web page to be entered into the drawing:

Please tell us about yourself.

Hi, Penny. Thanks for having me. My name is Eric Price, and my first book, Unveiling the Wizards’ Shroud is being released by MuseItUp Publishing. I live on a farm outside a small town in northwest Iowa. Before moving here, I lived all my life in various places around the St. Louis, Missouri area.

Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?

I write part-time. It’s hard to organize time, especially with young children in the house, but for me, scheduling is the key.

I do most of my writing at night, after the kids have gone to bed. I try to write five nights a week. Right now I take off Fridays and Sundays. I think these off days keep me fresh. I use Saturdays to work on side projects such as blog posts or short stories. I spend Monday through Thursday working on a major project so I get four days of uninterrupted time with it. Most importantly, I keep my schedule flexible. If I miss a day, or try to write but can’t get into “The Zone,” I try to make up the missed time with one of my off days. If I notice I’m missing a particular day frequently, I look at my schedule and see if I need to rework it.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?

We moved to Iowa so I could work on my wife’s family’s farm and her dad could retire. Usually I work on the farm during the day, and I write at night. When the weather conflicts with this plan, and if the kids are in school, I write during the day and farm at night. It goes back to the flexible schedule thing.

What are your thoughts about promotion?

I find promoting tricky. I use social media, but I’ve mostly connected with other authors. While some of them may check out my book, I realize most will not. My book will appeal to young women and adult fantasy lovers, but my true target audience is young men, and I’ve had trouble connecting with them. Even though my book will come out as an ebook, I plan on doing some author events. Hopefully I can find more of my potential readers there.

I’ve also started a group on Facebook called, Young Guys Read, Too. It’s open to authors of stories aimed you young men, as well as people interested in reading those stories. My goal is to increase reading interest in young men by helping them interact with the authors writing their books.

Do you ever have writer’s block? If so, how do you get through it?

I’m not sure I’ve ever truly had writer’s block. I think what typically causes writer’s block is the blank page or computer screen. So I make myself type. It doesn’t matter what it says, just anything to dirty the page. I know I will rewrite and revise several times; I can get the perfect wording then. At first it’s important to get started.

Some nights I just can’t write. Maybe I had a busy day or I have something important the next day, but for whatever reason, I can’t focus. On those days I’ll give up on it and do something else. I usually try to write on one of my off days to make up for it.

Did you learn anything from writing your book, and what was it?

Every editor I’ve worked with has taught me something. This is the first time I’ve worked with an editor on a manuscript this long, so naturally I learned the most from her. But the most important thing I’ve learned, and I knew this already, but it got reinforced, no matter how good of a writer you think you are, you can’t effectively self-edit. You need a different set of trained eyes on your work.

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?

MuseItUp Publishing. I found them in a marketing book. My book fit their criteria, plus they stated they were looking for books aimed at boys, so I submitted it. They rejected my first attempt, but they said they’d take another look if I worked on a list of issues they gave me. I rewrote the entire manuscript with their suggestions in mind, and they offered me a contract.

What are your current projects?

I’m writing a children’s fantasy book about baseball at my oldest son’s request. I’m also trying my hand at an adult suspense novel.

What do you plan for the future?

I’d like to return to the world of Unveiling the Wizards’ Shroud for some more books. Yara is begging me for her own book. She was gracious enough to be a secondary character in this one, but she has a story she’d like to tell. Plus, not to give away too many spoilers, Owen develops a bit of a health issue toward the end of Unveiling. He may need a book to resolve it. I’ve written a short story about an earlier time in Wittatun, I’d like to write some more about other time periods. It really is a fantastic land with a rich history, but King Kendrick’s issue took so much of Owen’s time, the rest of the world barely got mentioned in this book.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.?

You can find me on my website,; on Twitter, @AuthorEricPrice; Facebook, Author Eric Price and Unveiling the Wizards’ Shroud; and Goodreads, Eric Price

Tell us about the current book you’re promoting.

Unveiling the Wizards’ Shroud is a coming of age story about Owen, the only son of King Kendrick, and the likely heir to the throne of the Central Domain of Wittatun. He hates magic and blames it on the death of his mother, but when King Kendrick falls ill, Owen will have to join forces with the magician he holds responsible for his mother’s death to save his father. Together with Owen’s best friend, they will set out on a quest to find a powerful sorcerer who may be the only person with the knowledge to save the king. The story is filled with fantastic beasts from mythology and legend as well as a few monsters of my own creation. It’s a young adult novel with appeal for adult fantasy lovers as well.

What genre do you write in and why?

This book is a fantasy. Prior to it, all of my short stories I’ve published have been science fiction. I read and write as a healthy means to escape reality. I think fantasy and science fiction are the most complete escapes.

What do you hope your readers will take away from this book?

I don’t write with a clear message in mind. I’d have trouble doing that without sounding preachy. I want readers to fall in love with my characters and the world I’ve created. If they do, they’ll want to come back for more.

What was the process of creating this book from the first idea to the final published book?

This book changed so much from the first idea to the final product it’s barely recognizable. Owen, King Kendrick, and a general image of the land of Wittatun are all that remain. Plus the character of Owen changed so much, I’m not sure you could count him as the same person.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Deciding I had made it as good as I could and start submitting it to publishers. No one likes to be rejected, and it especially holds true when you’ve dedicated so much time to a project.

Do you outline before you write?  If not, what’s your initial process?

Sort of. Like my writing schedule I keep my outline flexible. Unlike my schedule, I keep my outline vague. If I have a clear image of a scene I know I want, I’ll flesh it out, but otherwise I like to write and see where my characters take the plot. I guess my outline is similar to how I read a book. I have ideas of what I think will happen: sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.

What comes first: the plot or characters?

Usually I have ideas for a story, without the detail necessary to call it a plot…more of a situation, then I start developing the characters I think would get themselves into that situation—and hopefully get themselves out.

Which characters were the hardest to develop and why?

Argnam. I wanted a villain with whom readers could sympathize, at least to some extent. He’s certainly not loveable, but I wanted his decent into evil well explained.

How did you decide how your characters should look?

I don’t spend a lot of time on appearance. I include something if it adds to the story, but I like readers to decide what characters look like. How they dress and act tells more about their personality than the color of their hair and eyes…usually.

Did your book require a lot of research? If so, what kind?

I studied science in college, so I think I’m a natural over-researcher. I spent a lot of time studying castle layouts and swords. Most of my research didn’t appear in the book.

Do you have any tips for writers who are new to children’s literature?

Don’t talk down to your readers. Young Adult is a category, not a reading level.


What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun?

The most important part of a book for me is the characters. If a book doesn’t have well developed characters, I won’t get into it. It doesn’t matter how good the plot is if I don’t care about the people. I will try to fit in anything a friend recommends, and I’ll give any book I try 100 pages to hook me. If it doesn’t have me by then, even if a friend recommended it, I’m done.

What, if anything, bugs you when you read a novel?

I can’t stand dialogue tags littered with adverbs. “He said, remorsefully; she said, exuberantly.” It’s a huge pet peeve. I believe the story should be detailed enough the readers can figure out how the character said something on their own. Also, I don’t even know what many of the adverbs attached to dialogue tags mean. I suspect the author grabs a thesaurus trying to look smart. It doesn’t work. Plus it slows my reading and takes me away from the magic of the story because I ponder the meaning of the word.

What books have most influenced your life?

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; The Lord of the Rings; Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH; The Shining; IT; Fight Club. These books all raised my understanding of what is possible to achieve with storytelling.


Owen halted in his tracks. Did the magician really just suggest they stroll into the perils and scorching heat of the accursed land? He shook his head in disgust. “Did you say the Land of Fire?”
Cedric stopped and looked back at Owen, a casual expression gracing his face. “Yes.”
“So we have to cross Death Desert?”
“Indeed, we do.”
Owen could feel rage bubbling at his temples. His vision lost focus, and his voice sounded more like the grunt of a wild boar than a human. “You know I can’t get beyond the outer rim! If the heat doesn’t kill me, the animals will!”
“You can, and will, get through Death Desert,” Cedric’s mustache twitched as he attempted to smile through his mass of facial hair. “But we’ll have to use magic.”

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Penny, for hosting me on my book release day.