Sunday, May 15, 2011

Arshad Ahsanuddin interview

Arshad Ahsanuddin

1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write? 

I'm more of a night person. . . a night person who writes about vampires. That didn't strike me as funny until just now.  Anyway, I generally write in the evening, after I come home from work and take care of my emails and casual web surfing.  Once I get started, then I don't stop until I'm satisfied, even if it means staying up all night until it's time to go to work again.

2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?

I write on computer, then send it to my beta reader or editor for revisions.  Once I get their revisions back, I usually print out the manuscript entirely, and then go through it with a blue pen and take notes in the margins decide which comments I agree with.  Then I enter them into the computer, along with whatever associated other revisions they might require, and the whole process starts again.

3: What do you draw inspiration from?

No one source in particular.  I am an avid reader of high and low fantasy, as well as science fiction, though lately I have been reading more books about the craft of writing itself that have been recommended to me.  All of that percolates in the back of my mind, and draws me down roads I would not necessarily would have considered when I sat down to write originally.

4: Do you set goals for yourself when you sit down to write such as word count?

I set goals, but more based on qualitative aspects rather than quantitative measures such as word count.  I would be more interested in actually completing a specific scene or chapter, than I am in reaching a word threshold.  I tend to focus on plot-driven story arcs, so I measure progress by how far along the arc I have gone, and whether I need to backtrack to redefine the original outline, based on the actual writing I have produced.

5: Are you a published or a self-published author and how do you come up with your cover art?

I am self-published, though the printing/distribution services Createspace and Publish Green.  The front cover art was originally designed by me based on specific scenes from the books that I rendered in Photoshop from licensed stock photography elements.  The lettering and back cover art, I allowed Createspace to produce via one of their design packages, in order to get a harmonious visual theme across all the books.

6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?

I have stories I want to tell, which are trying desperately to claw their way out of my head.  Isn't that why anyone decides to be a writer?  

7: Do you own an ebook reading device?

Yes, I own a Kindle DX, though I often read ebooks using the Kindle for iPhone and Kindle for PC apps.

8: Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now?

The authors that come immediately to mind are Guy Gavriel Kay, Anne Bishop, Jim Butcher, P. C. Hodgell, Kim Harrison, and Simon R. Green.  Some, like Kim Harrison, Anne Bishop, and Jim Butcher, I have only started following in the last few years, but I have been reading Kay and Hodgell for decades.

9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?

I don't see how they can hurt, and they open up a new medium for exposure.  As far as I know, there isn't actual data that they help sales, but I'm sure as we progress as a visually-oriented culture, they will become more important in the future.  I am currently working on creating video trailers for Sunset and Sunrise through Createspace, and I plan to have one created for Moonlight when it launches in a couple of months.

10: How did you come up with the title of your latest book?

I am fascinated by light and color.  The first two titles, Sunset and Sunrise, are moments of duality between light and darkness, which have special meaning to my characters.  Vampires worship the night, and the sunset signifies freedom to hunt and kill, while the sunrise raises the specter of death and judgment.  Moonlight, the third book, is a title based again on light in the darkness, often associated with transformation and magic.

11: What are you working on now that you can talk about?

I am having my final draft for Moonlight proofread right now to catch any small mistakes in the text that my editor might have missed, and the manuscript should be ready to go to electronic formatting for publication by late May.  I hope to have it available for sale by mid-June.  I am also considering writing a connected series of novellas, set in the distant past, to expand on the backstory of the creation of vampires and those who were designed oppose them.  If all goes well, I might release them on Kindle as free ebooks, before collecting them into a single volume as a separate book in the main series.  That's still tentative though. We'll have to see whether that pans out.


Author website:
Kindleboards Sunset profile page:
Kindleboards Sunrise profile page:

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