Thursday, 8 August 2013

Ian Anderson's Writing Experiences on Mythology

Ian Anderson
Ian was born in New York but now lives and works in Florida. He has traveled to many different
places throughout the US and has even been to Scotland once. Ian started studying Mythology at a
young age when given a picture book of Greek myths. Since then he has become a student of
Norse, Japanese, Egyptian, Irish, and many other types of Mythology. He has combined these
different mythologies into his series entitled "Modern Disciples." He is new to the world of
publishing books, but has written short stories and poems since high school. 

Ian's book can be purchased via Amazon and he has also two other sequels to this book; Modern
Disciples Volume 2 and 3. Check it out!

Here are some interesting things about Ian and his writing journey mainly based on Mythology. 



Where are you from?
         Originally, I am from Buffalo, New York. Before the turn of the millennium, I moved to Florida and I             have been living in Tampa ever since.

Why do you write? 
I honestly believe that this is what I was meant to do.  I think everyone has a specific purpose in life, something that he or she was meant to do. I think many people who are unhappy are that way because they never found their true purpose in life. Writing is mine.

What do you write about? 
I mostly write about Mythology. That is where the majority of our stories come from. Even our most 
modern stories can be traced back to Mythology somehow. You can see it in Harry Potter, the   
Hunger Games, and the Maze runner to name a few.

Do you have a specific writing style?
I wouldn’t say I have a specific style. I always try to edit my work as well as I possibly can. I prefer third person perspective. I find first person a bit too restrictive. I try to use the active voice as much as possible but sometimes it just does not sound right. When I use dialogue I try to make it as natural sounding as I can. That is how I write my fiction. When I write on my blog on Goodreads, I try to sound casual while still trying to lead a serious discussion.

What are obstacles that come in the way of writing? 
Besides life in general, I would say the two greatest obstacles are a person’s own fears, and their laziness. Those are everybody’s greatest enemies in my opinion, no matter what they do. Every excuse you can think of to not do something comes back to either being too scared to do it, or being too lazy. “I don’t know if people will like this,” your fear. “There are too many distractions in my life right now,” your laziness.

Whats the most memorable thing said by a reader about your work?
One of my friends who read Volume 1 told me about how she started crying in the middle of a Subway restaurant while she was reading my book. She thought her favorite character was going to die. It’s amazing to think that somebody could become so emotionally invested in a character that I just made up. That was when I realized that I was meant to be a writer, and I had to do everything possible to be successful with my writing.

What is your work schedule like when you are writing?
Well, seeing as how I recently quit my job, my writing schedule is now wide open. I basically write all day while allowing myself to get out when I need to.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
For some reason I keep writing “they” when I should be writing “the.” It’s something I have to keep my eye out when I edit.

            How long does it take to write a book?
That depends on who you ask of course. John Green says it takes him 3 years. I seem to take about a year to write mine. Other writers get their books out faster. Another thing you have to take into consideration is that publishing takes time also. Those times vary on the publishing company, how relevant the topic of the book is to what’s going on in the world, and whether or not the author self-published. Self-published books get to the market faster.

            Do you have suggestions on how to become a better writer?
Practice your trade often. Be a reader. Listen to serious, professional criticisms. Don’t restrict yourself to your own book critics. Read reviews of other people’s books, and movies as well. You can learn a lot about story and character that way.

            What do you think makes a good story?
                        First, you need an interesting premise. Next, you need memorable characters. They don’t                necessarily have to be likeable, although pulling off a story where none of the characters are likeable             is very difficult to pull off. They just have to stick in the readers mind. You also need some kind of               conflict. There must be at least one problem that has to be overcome. The most important thing is                  execution. That is the one ingredient you can never live without, and sometimes get away with being the          only thing you have going for you.

            What does your family think of your writing?
That’s an interesting question. They are my biggest fans, and at the same time my harshest critics. They are always the first ones to read my books when they come out. Some of them post reviews for me. Yet I’ve noticed that they will often give me 4 star ratings while complete strangers will give me 5 star ratings. For the most part though, they are very supportive.

            If you could study any subject at university what would you pick?
            I actually studied Creative Writing when I went to the University.

Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you? 
In my opinion, if you can make your living off of it and don’t have to take a day job to make ends meet, you’re successful.

            What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?
Again, this comes down to traditional publishing vs. self-publishing. As a self-published author, my greatest challenge has been marketing. Writing would be a close second, and the publishing part is easy when you self-publish. As long as you have the money and are not writing a how to book on being a pedophile, you will get published. For traditional authors, I would think getting published would be the difficult part. That involves finding an agent that will sponsor you. Waiting for a publishing house to accept your work, and then when you do sell your work waiting a year for the book to even hit the shelves. They also have to market their books as well though, so that is something to keep in mind.

            How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?
At my desktop computer, that way if I need to research something really quick, the internet is right there.

It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign.
Modern Disciples has a Facebook page. I am working on getting it a website. It will be called Mythbooks. One thing I’ve found is that giveaways don’t work. I have spent a lot of time and money sending copies of my books away and gotten nothing in return. That’s why I tend to shy away from them. I find its better to go to Fiverr.com and get reviews there.

            Do you have anything specific you'd like to tell the readers?
                        Hey, how’s it going?

Finally, there are some who have been comparing Modern Disciples to the Percy Jackson series. How do you feel about that?


I think it would be silly to say they don’t at least invite comparison. They are both based on Mythology, Riordan and I both do extensive research into the mythologies before we write the books. I do think however a better comparison that has been used by the fans is “Percy Jackson for adults.” My stories are much darker and have subject matter a bit too mature for the younger crowd. I also incorporate all mythologies at once where Riordan prefers a one pantheon at a time approach. I have read the entire Percy Jackson series though and I do recommend it highly.    

I welcome you thoughts and views ! :D Thank you for your feedback