Today we are meeting American fantasy author C.Gold, creator of the Summoner series.
PB: Hi! Welcome to pjbermanbooks.com. Tell us a bit about your background.
CG: I studied math, physics, computer science, and electrical engineering in school. Yes, I was a bit of a professional student for a while. Then I got a job at Microsoft testing software because of my tendency to want to poke the bear to see what happens. While that works great to find bugs, it isn't as much fun when you do it in a game and it crashes your save file! Hint: don't try to cast a fireball underwater, it doesn't end well!
PB: What made you decide to become an author?
CG: I started helping a friend with his book which was published on Amazon through KDP. That's when I first discovered self publishing was possible and I just knew I could do that, unlike traditional publishing which was far too intimidating.
PB: When did you first start writing?
CG: My earliest recollection was in high school with an assignment to use a list of words in a story. I also wrote articles for the school newspaper. Hopefully nobody ever finds those because my attempts at humor back then were cringe worthy!
PB: What was the first story that you can remember writing?
CG: In an English composition class, we had a five minute warmup period where we could write anything, so I started writing a story about the fall of Atlantis. Unfortunately, the teacher meant anything to mean exposition, so I never did get to finish that story. Maybe someday.
PB: When you begin writing a new novel, do you always know the ending?
CG: I always know the beginning and the end, but it's usually at the top level. I know I want this thing to happen or this character to have this final development, but how they get there is up to the characters to decide. I've tried more specific outlining but it just gives my characters more of an excuse to go off the rails.
PB: Tell us about your upcoming work.
CG: I'm currently working on the second book in the Summoner series. While the first book had only two points of view, this book expands that to four and includes a new person (creature?) that wasn't in the first book. It also delves into a bit more culture and world building, at least until the s- hits the fan.
PB: If you could meet one of your own characters, who would you meet, and what would you say to them?
CG: Could I meet two? I'd ask Nalani to borrow Radcliff's skill and give it to me for a day. Imagine summoning anything at my beck and call! Good thing it wouldn't last long though because exercise is a good thing! I'd probably also apologize to Radcliff for putting him through the wringer.
PB: Where did the idea Radcliff’s character come from?
CG: I love flawed heroes with a dark side and had particular fun creating Radcliff. He's a combination of split personalities from Brandon Sanderson's story "Legion" and the memory loss of "50 First Dates" with my own twists thrown in.
PB: If Radcliff were here now, how would he describe his experiences in ‘The Summoner and the Seer’?
CG: He wouldn't be very happy about his treatment. Tortured for a thousand years and forgetting everything each morning is bound to make a person grumpy. Hopefully, he'd say that what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger, but I think he'd just rattle off a string of expletives and threaten to summon me over a very long drop.
PB: And what do you think Amira would make of Radcliff's answer to that question?
CG: She'd feel tremendous guilt since part of that whole torture thing was her fault. She was just trying to keep him alive, but she'd also apologize, yet again. He'd gruffly accept it. Then they'd go off to be alone to make up. ;)
PB: What is your preferred method of research?
CG: I love searching the web, though it's all to easy to get sucked in as one fascinating link leads to another. My favorite info dive so far was learning about the evolution of early plants and what Earth was like waaay back then. I also learned that trees have female and male pine cones and that grass came after the dinosaurs went extinct. You can read more about my tree research summary on my blog.
PB: Of all your achievements, which are you most proud of?
CG: Finishing a book without external deadlines or pressures. Though I knew I could do it because I once had to ask for an extension on a class and managed to complete the course work over that summer without any prodding. That gave me the confidence to know I could finish anything I set my mind to.
PB: What is your favourite book series to read and why?
CG: This is a really tough one because I read so much and have many favorites. I think the series I've read and reread the most is "The Wars of Light and Shadow" by Janny Wurts, mostly because it's so complex I keep gleaning new nuggets of information every time I read it since newer books let me pick up on hints that were dropped earlier. It's the only series I've read that's like that and very unique in that regard.
PB: What are your long term ambitions career-wise?
CG: I have multiple folders filled with story ideas waiting to be turned into books. I'd love to have even a fraction of those published. The ultimate goal is to earn more than I spend on everything related to publishing.
PB: If you weren’t an author, what career would you be in?
CG: I might have set myself up as a freelance editor for indies. Or I'd probably just enjoy my early retirement by playing computer games and reading, which I do anyway, just less often now that I'm writing.
PB: What’s the next target for you?
CG: Completing the Summoner series is my top priority right now. Then I can finally give my poor science fiction short stories a main series reason to exist!
PB: Tell us a random fact about yourself.
CG: At the dentist, I saw a Halloween tree with purple lights and HAD TO GET ONE!! This is because when Daylight Saving goes off, it gets really dark in the Pacific NW and I start craving the Christmas light cheer, but I refuse to put out the tree until after Thanksgiving. Now I can have lights and still obey the "Thou shalt not put the tree up until December" rule!
Cool, isn't it? 😉
Thank you to C.Gold for taking the time to talk to us here at pjbermanbooks.com!
Until next time, all the best!