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Monday, September 16, 2019

Kickstarter Exclusive: Dyrk Ashton interviews Graham Austin-King

Official Kickstarter Page

Today we are glad to present a conversational interview between Dyrk Ashton & Graham Austin-King. Both are SPFBO veterans and beloved over here at Fantasy Book Critic. Graham has launched a kickstarter for re-edit and re-release of the Riven Wyrde Saga (his dark fantasy debut trilogy).

I’ve backed it already and I implore you to check it out and back it at whatever level you can. So go ahead and checkout Dyrk’s conversation with Graham:
Dyrk: Hi Graham! Thank you for joining me for this interview for Fantasy Book Critic!
Graham: Thanks, this should be fun. You ARE wearing pants, right?
Dyrk: Umm...
Graham: Oh jeez, it's going to Worldcon all over again
Dyrk: You wish
Graham: Shhh
Dyrk: Anyway! I’m very excited about your Kickstarter for your Riven Wyrde Saga series of books. What inspired you to want to do the Kickstarter?
Graham: Mostly I think it's because you grow as a writer. I wrote the first of those books during 2013. I think I've improved a lot since then in terms of my writing. I've also learnt a lot about self-publishing and what to look for in terms of cover artists, editors, so on and so forth.

Myke Cole said once that when people ask him what he writes he tends to steer them away from his first book. It had reached that point with me.

This trilogy is sort of an entry point into my writing and I just felt it could be better.

Also, Michael Fletcher edited it and missed out all of the words with an E
Dyrk: I know exactly what you mean. I see the Kickstarter is actually entitled "Riven Wyrde re-edit." What exactly do you plan to do?
Graham: Okay so the project is much more than just a re-edit. There are going to be new covers, a new map, a complete re-edit and proofread. I'm going to produce hardbacks for the first time. There's a whole pile of fun rewards in the Kickstarter, plus I have some funky ideas for stretch goals if we get to that point
Dyrk: That's very cool! From a writing standpoint, can you talk a bit about what kinds of things you want to change?

(I've already backed it because I want those signed hardbacks, by the way )
Graham: There's a lot of really dull structural things that need changing. My chapters, for example. In the first book (when I was a baby-writer and also an idiot) I decided I needed a set length for each chapter. These came in at a staggeringly long 5000 words. That's just too long for a chapter.

There are some points in there where I'd like to move things around, just tighten the book and prose up in general. There's even a point in there where one of the female characters looks into a mirror and thinks about how her life turned out. Clichés like that have got to go. That's almost as bad as your female protagonist discovering she has powers and a mysterious uncle... oh, wait...
Dyrk: That sounds great... HEY!
Graham: oops
Dyrk: From now on, you may no longer wear Rob Hayes's hat!
Graham: IT'S MY HAT

From what I understand, putting together a Kickstarter is a lot of work. Can you tell us a little about the process?
Graham: It's been a steep learning curve, that's for sure. Kickstarter is pretty cool in the way it's set up in that that's designed to protect the backers. When someone chooses to back my project, for example. the money doesn't leave their account until the project funds. That way, if I don't reach my target figure then nobody misses out.

I've had to go through and explain exactly what the project is supposed to achieve, right down to the painfully awful video I had to shoot of myself that took way too many takes.
Dyrk: You looked and sounded pretty good to me. Almost makes me believe your real.
Graham: I've gone through the various risks of the project, but thankfully there aren't many. My books are already written. My editor is the editor of Cohesion Books, my cover artist is someone I've used already, and all of the production platforms, with the exception of the supplier’s box for the boxed set, are people I've used before.

Oh, I'm not real. I might be Ben Galley. It gets confusing after a while. I might be Rob Hayes. I honestly have no idea.
Dyrk: No one knows it, but I'm actually Scott Oden and Michael R. Fletcher. So are you.
Graham: This would explain a lot
Dyrk: For anyone considering doing a Kickstarter (like me), any wisdom?
Graham: Start working on it earlier than I did? Certainly, I think you need to start your promotion work long before the project actually launches. You only have a limited time to reach your target figure and that time flies past very quickly.
Dyrk: Good advice, thanks!

Most important question yet. Is it true that Australian author Alicia Wanstall-Burke is actually a quokka?
Graham: I... I...

I can neither confirm nor deny that she is a quokka

I have no clear recollection of that, sir...

Dyrk: It is true! I knew it!
Graham: ...
Dyrk: Tell us more about the Kickstarter. What kind of stretch goals and/or rewards will you be having, or have already introduced?
Graham: There's pretty much something for everyone ranging from £1 to £100. I have everything from HD cover art to use a screen backgrounds, to signed hardback books. There are some limited rewards in there where I'll use your name in a book and kill you off in a gruesome fashion (just in the book though, honest). There's another where I'll critique your writing. Or you could just get eBook versions of the reworked trilogy.

As far as stretch goals go, you'll have to wait and see. If we go far enough then we can look at getting a new version of the audiobooks, possibly limited-edition leather-bound hardbacks, we shall see
Dyrk: Those sounds awesome! Not sure I believe you about the whole killing people in a gruesome manner but only in the book thing though...
Graham: I told you, I've stopped doing that.
Dyrk: Well that's good to hear. *Calls police quietly as interview continues*

Thanks for joining me for this interview, Graham! It's been a great pleasure. Best of luck on the Kickstarter. I've backed it myself because I really need those signed hardbacks. Yes, I said 'need.'
Graham: No blood this time though.T

The Riven Wyrde Relaunch Kickstarter runs until October 10thCheck it out HERE.

About Dyrk Ashton: Dyrk Ashton is a writer, educator, filmmaker and former actor active in storytelling and media making. Born and raised in the Ohio, he spent his formative years in the American Midwest wherein he got a BFA, Masters & PhD in the field of filmmaking & Movie studies. Dyrk loves the outdoors and even more the genre of speculative fiction. He currently resides in Ohio, but the fantasy landscape is the place he calls his true home. Paternus was his debut.

About Graham Austin-King: Graham Austin-King was born in England. From a young age, his interests ran from fantasy novels to computers and tabletop gaming. Having previously worked in the fields of journalism, international relations, and law, he found himself returning to his love of fantasy and creating rich worlds. He has finished his debut fantasy trilogy focusing on the Fae and decided to do something different with his next work. He currently lives in the south of England after living in the northern part of the country and Canada.

NOTE: Author Rob Hayes picture courtesy of himself. Jumping Quokka image courtesy of Cambojones Instagram.


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