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Advice from IR Approved Author AK Faulkner: “You do you. Be yourself, write what you want, and make no apology for either.”

Jack of Thorns (Inheritance, book 1) received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author AK Faulkner.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?

Jack of Thorns (Inheritance, book 1), 3rd September 2019.

What’s the book’s first line? 

Laurence was dying.

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”. 

Two damaged men have to learn to control their supernatural powers if they’re to stand a chance of saving San Diego from the desperate machinations of a dying god.

If you ever thought the Percy Jackson books needed an adult makeover, this is for you.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event? 

It was the characters. I like to sit around doing the most random research and fall down library or internet rabbit-holes for days on end, and the information pours into my brain then begins to spark connections. I let this percolate – usually while throwing more data in on top – and finally characters begin to coalesce.

The ideas which began to layer on top of each other to form Quentin (and I can’t even mention what they were, because just about every one is a spoiler) built up to create this conflicted person who wasn’t capable of truly fulfilling his potential alone.

That’s where Laurence came in. It’s also where my best friend Jen came in, and we bounced ideas back and forth which refined both Laurence and Quentin, until I was ready to start telling their story.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book? 

Compelling and complex characters, multi-layered, textured storytelling, and a story which unfolds languorously until it’s too late for you to put it down.

What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character?  Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of? 

There are two main characters, and we learn more about Laurence than Quentin in this first book of the Inheritance series. He’s a Pagan, bisexual, a florist, and a heroin addict. He can see the future, though not with any degree of control, and his power to control plants is second only to his mom’s. He kind of reminds me a little of Magnus Chase, if Magnus was in his early twenties, descended from Celtic deities instead of Norse ones, and not dead (that’s no spoiler – Magnus dies at the start of his very first book).

Quentin is almost Laurence’s exact opposite. A British aristocrat, an alcoholic, a latent telekinetic, and demi-sexual, Quentin isn’t even aware his powers exist. We learn much more about him as Inheritance progresses. He reminds me somewhat of a young Tony Stark, but his genius lies with the piano, not engineering.

If they made your book into a movie, who would you like to see play the main character(s)?

I think Finn Jones would make a great Laurence, and Hale Appleman would be a fab Quentin. How’s your English accent, Hale?

When did you first decide to become an author?

I was about six years old, I think. I’d bashed out a poem on my mother’s typewriter, and that was that. Mind you, I’d also got my fingers trapped between the keys and scraped some skin off, but if that didn’t deter me, nothing else would!

What do you do for work when you’re not writing?

This is my job. I write full-time. In the past I’ve been just about everything from tech support to documentation writer, checkout assistant to network manager, but I quit to write full-time and haven’t looked back.

What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?   

The best part is absolutely being able to tell the stories that I want to, about the characters I love. I don’t have anyone above me telling me that I have to chip away at pieces of who my characters are to make them more palatable to executives.

For me, I think the hardest part is learning the business side as well as actually writing, editing, revising, and proofing books. There are so many little pieces to the publishing puzzle that you have to learn and put into practice, and they all take time away from what you want to be doing: the actual writing.

What’s a great piece of advice that you can share with fellow indie authors?

You do you. Be yourself, write what you want, and make no apology for either. Never stop working hard on your craft. Every single day is an opportunity to improve your writing, your characterization, your pacing, or your understanding of your genre. Never rest on your laurels.

Is there something in particular that motivates you (fame? fortune?)

Telling stories. I’ve always done it, and I always will. I can’t stop doing it, so why try? I’ve done office jobs and they all made me miserable as hell sooner or later, but writing is what I’m meant to do.

Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?

Oof, it’s a toss-up between Holly Black and Leigh Bardugo. I love how dark and twisted Holly’s stories get, but I also love that Leigh writes about utter bastards yet makes you love them. I’ll take both!