Tell us about yourself, Gus? And what do you like to do when you’re not a writer?
Well, my name is Gus Kenney and I live in western New York. I spend most of my time hanging out with this amazing and talented woman that I married or with our four legged children trying to teach them what the real purpose of a tennis ball is and what to do with it once they have one. There is never a time in my day when I'm not being a writer, but when I'm not actually writing it usually means I'm at work pretending to know how locomotives run or working on the house pretending that I can stop the roof or a pipe from leaking.
What inspires you to write?
I'm inspired by fantasy in all it's wondrous possibilities. No, seriously. I've read a lot of fantasy novels growing up and I love the worlds that are created, the creatures that populate them, and the magic that exists within them in one form or another. I always wanted to create my own world to escape into that others could get lost in as well. When that doesn't work I wait for my wife to wake up and tell me what crazy dream she had the night before and that usually provides unbelievable fodder for stories. Over fifty percent of the ideas I have written about or have on the back burner have come about during the bleary morning recitation of her nocturnal musings.
Tell me about your journey as a writer. When did you start and how do you keep the creative juices flowing?
I've been writing off and on since I was a kid. Most of it was way off and horrible, but once I entered into a friendly competition with my sister-in-law, I got more serious about it and actually finished a half way decent story. It still wasn't fit for print (a realization shared by the publisher I submitted it too) but I carried on and worked on another story in the same spirit of competition. All of that eventually led me to Lucy Bison and her world. Keeping the ole juices flowing is fairly simple: reality! Talking or, as I prefer, listening to people you start to see them, or the pieces they share, as characters and can see how they might fit into one story or another. The other advantage to reality is the overwhelming amount of boredom it possesses, which lends plenty of time for my mind to wander to other worlds and explore and flesh them out.
Sounds like great fodder for stories! Give us the elevator pitch for your book.
The Complications of Being Lucy is a young adult fantasy about a feisty and intelligent young girl named Lucy Bison who at a young age learns that her entire world is a lie and the adventures that come with the responsibility of being at the center of a centuries old plot for revenge. The Changeling and the Cupboard, the first book in the series, revolves around the birthday weekend where the lies and truths of the world are first revealed to Lucy and she must contend with a creature that even darkness fears. In the Changeling and the Borrowed Family, book 2, Lucy must survive a merging of reality and nightmares while discovering who she and her family truly are. In the newest book in the series, Traitor's Niece, Lucy must overcome a devastating loss to survive a new threat to her fractured world.
Do you have a favourite character in your story? Who is most like you?
The closest I have to a favorite character would be Lucy herself as she is very much based on my wife and I really like my wife so...
As for who is most like me, I would say Palmer, Frankie Friday's other friend. He doesn't talk much and sticks to his books, kinda like I did growing up.
Who would you like to see play your characters in a movie?
Gods that is a long and fun list, but one that no one in my life agrees with. My wife sees Lucy as a Wednesday Addams type where I see someone a little less morose. Uncle Mort is a strong European type where others see Gru From Despicable Me. I'm sure many other people who have read the books have their own vision for the characters and honestly I don't want to influence that with my personal ideas. I like that readers will paint their own picture from my words. It makes the world and the story more personal to them and that is what I want more than anything when they read the books.
Absolutely! Do you have a favourite time of day and place to write? Do you have a routine?
I only have the one place to write which is at the computer desk that has held up very well for being 20 years old and made of pressed sawdust and thin paper veneer. As for a time, I don't have a preference but for some reason Tuesday morning usually calls to me pretty hard to get some typing done. The only bad thing is that I have to work Tuesdays so this has resulted in a lot of sick time being used (don't tell my boss, because he is an money-grubbing A**hat!) My routine involves two steps: Step1- grab an energy drink (super bad for me, but hard to quit), Step2-turn on some music. After that the words just find there way from my brain to the screen.
What do you do to market your book?
I have a wonderful promoter with Rukia Publishing who has done a phenomenal job spreading the good word about Lucy's adventures far and wide across the world wide interwebs. In the non digital world, I have a very supportive circle of family and friends that willingly hand out bookmarks and other swag to people at the slightest provocation.
Who are your three top author crushes? Who would you most like to meet?
Terry Pratchett, David Eddings, and Fred Saberhagen. All three have unfortunately left this world for the next great adventure that awaits us all. Being that they are all sadly deceased, that would leave me with my fourth choice which is Maggie Shayne. And I hope nothing happens to her anytime soon because my wife loves her books more than me and would be very upset.
What are your future plans for writing?
I plan to complete the Complications of Being Lucy series, which the fourth book Daughter of Ash is already underway. After that, or during if I get froggy, I plan to introduce some other stories that have been stewing around in my head for a few years. Not sure which one as I have too many to pick from and they all are equally interesting and challenging.
What words of wisdom would you share with aspiring authors?
Write the story you would want to read, not the one that you think will make you famous or rich. If you write what you love and enjoy others will too and that is the true measure of success.
Fantastic advice, Gus. Thanks so much for being with me, today. Dear readers, please check out Gus Kenney’s links!
Buy Link: http://smarturl.it/traitorsNieceb3