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Advice from IR Approved Author Bryan Cole: “Edit, then edit again, then read it out loud to yourself as you edit again. Then hire a professional editor.”

Beginning of Arrogance received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author Bryan Cole.

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

Beginning of Arrogance, which is Book 1 of a Paladin’s Journey, was published on June 30th, 2022.

What’s the book’s first line?

“Krell’s sword struck the pell.” The book begins with our protagonist, Krell, being tested to learn if he has the skills required to be a member of a strike team being assembled by the town council.

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

Beginning of Arrogance is focused on the implications of what a paladin means for the world that they exist within. Too often in fantasy literature I see stories where miracles provided by real and tangible gods are viewed as commonplace. My view is that individuals called to service in a deity – a manifestly and provably real entity – would have an enormous impact on society and political structures. Krell doesn’t understand any of this, but throughout book one has a significant impact on the political and economic landscape of the region. Beginning of Arrogance is the start of that exploration.

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

Primarily, it was reading fantasy literature and never seeing the exact story I wanted to read. The most impactful book that I read that inspired me was the Deed of Paksenarrion, by Elizabeth Moon. Other media dealing with the hero’s journey – from Star Wars to the Lego Movie – also influenced my view of the world. Primarily, I wanted to read a story where the fact that the gods exist had a deeply profound impact on the structure of the world and showcase that that would do to someone who has been called by one of those gods into service.

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

Anyone who enjoys high-fantasy, particularly if they like stories set in a magic-rich setting, will enjoy this book. Additionally, anyone who enjoys seeing actions have consequences, and the ripple effects of those consequences coming back to haunt them, will love this series.

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

The most distinctive characteristic of Krell, the main character, is that he grew up isolated and alone on an island after being lost at sea. This shapes so much of who he is and how he interacts with people. Krell has no experience with many of the unconscious social norms that we all have, and so his behavior is odd and occasionally off-putting. There are certainly elements of Krell that can be found in multiple sources that involve the hero’s journey, from Luke Skywalker to Paksenarrion Dorthansdotter and dozens more besides.

When did you first decide to become an author?

I first started writing for pleasure in June 2021. When I began writing not for business reasons but for my own purposes, I found that I could spend hours letting my imagination run wild as I committed words to the page. I found it immensely relaxing, rewarding, and enjoyable, which is something I would never have guessed about myself. This all happened as part of a reorganization within the company I was working for, which left me with enough free time that I could begin exploring becoming an author.

Is this the first book you’ve written?

Beginning of Arrogance is my debut novel, the first piece of literature that I have ever published.

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

I spent decades in the enterprise technology space, delivering presentations and discussing deeply technical aspects of software development and delivery. I tremendously enjoy my job for the most part. My primary responsibilities include evangelism, advocacy, and assisting customers with deployment questions. I deliver a lot of webinars and other marketing events.

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

As much as I can, which is another way of saying not much. My workload is highly variable, so I try to commit to six hours a week. There are weeks that are substantially more productive and others that are not. I find that when I am writing, there is definitely a curve of productivity, where the first hour is spent largely in review to make sure I have a solid understanding of the current context, and then one or two hours of creation.

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

Marketing! As an indie author, there is so much you have to do to promote your own work, and it is an entirely new space for me to learn and explore. Marketing Beginning of Arrogance has been tremendously rewarding, but takes a lot of time and effort to constantly push visibility to as many people as possible, who will then read and enjoy – and hopefully rate or even better review! – my book online.

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

Edit, then edit again, then read it out loud to yourself as you edit again. Then hire a professional editor. Then edit again. Edit your book! I found the editing process to be the most fun part of the overall process, and it was extremely validating to get feedback – both positive and negative – on the book prior to its release. Beginning of Arrogance is a much better book because of the editing, beta readers, and other feedback that I received!

Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling?  If so, why?

It is intriguing, and I’m not opposed to the idea. Principally, the reason why is they might front me the money I need to retire from my professional job and write full time, but a huge secondary benefit would be the marketing department. For all the indie authors out there, who are about to publish, that is not the end of the journey. Learn about marketing!

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

I imagine every writer has their own definition of success, and it is important for me to realize that I have a number of advantages. I can afford to write, as a hobby or part time activity, without worrying about my mortgage or car payments or anything else. That definitely shifts the bar for me, and I define success as holding the finished copy of my book in my hands. It was such a spectacular feeling of joy and happiness that I have a hard time describing it. So while fame and fortune would be nice, the act of creating something that I would have loved to read myself is what motivates me.

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

There are so many to choose from! Whether it is Homer’s description of the rage of Achilles, to the works of William Shakespeare, to the vivid worldbuilding of Tolkien, there is much to admire in the works of others. When forced to choose, I would probably say Elizabeth Moon, for her work on The Deed of Paksenarrion.

Which book do you wish you could have written?

The Deed of Paksenarrion! It is my favorite fantasy novel that I’ve read, and was a major source of inspiration to me that – eventually – led me to writing my own novel.

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