I’m very excited to my co-author, the one and only Andy Gallo! To celebrate our collaboration on (Un)Masked, the paranormal gay romance that was re-released in a 2nd edition on October 30th, we asked each other five questions. You can find my questions and Andy’s answers below. If you want to see the other half of the interview, and learn about my favorite part of (Un)Masked, head over to Andy’s website!
And now to the interview!
Andy, you’re a lawyer and a father of a young girl, and I know you’re a writer of epic fantasy books. How do you make time for it? What’s your secret?
No sleep and lotsa coffee. Actually, the secret is I don’t write near as much as many authors. Even authors with full time jobs write more than I do. In time that might change, but for now, I shoot for five to ten thousands words a week. Even at the low end that would be about 250K a year, which is one long book or several shorter ones. I don’t think 750 words a day is expecting too much, so I try to find an hour a day to just write. The rest – editing, marketing, social media, etc, that gets worked in around everything else I do in a day and sometimes in large blocks on the weekend.
Character naming is a hard thing to do right—I mean, you’ve got to like the name to work with it so intensely. How do you go about finding the right character name?
The answer depends on the genre. For contemporary, I think it’s similar to falling in love. You pick your significant other based on who they are as a person, how they act, etc. The name is immaterial. That becomes special because it belongs to them. That makes names somewhat interchangeable for me. Typically, I go to a list of popular names for a year that corresponds roughly to the age of the character. Then I scan down to find one I like and that I’ve not used before.
For fantasy it’s a lot harder, because you need to make up a lot of the names from the ether. I used to have a list of odd names I’d go to when I needed one for a new character. I somehow lost that list and I’ve not been able to recreate it as well. Thankfully most of my fantasy characters have names and I’ll have some time to build a new list.
How many unfinished and half-published books do you have sitting around? Do you think you’ll ever get back to any of them?
Too many! Probably ten that are more than just a few pages or a concept. I have maybe a dozen more that are less than a chapter long. If I were a betting man, I doubt the latter will ever get written. Of the ten that are further along, maybe three or four will get finished and sent to a beta reader.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
That’s hard to answer. I’ve ‘written’ two books during the thirty days of NaNo – though they need work. On the other end of the spectrum, When Heroes Fall, book five of Champion of the Gods, has taken more than a year. It is of course 200k words so given my limited writing time, that isn’t surprising. I would say for an average size book, to be ready to give to a beta reader, three to five months would be my time frame.
What’s your favorite thing about (Un)masked?
Working with you. I know, that’s a bit corny, but I don’t know that I’ve enjoyed writing something as much as I did writing (Un)Masked. When your emails arrived with the parts you wrote or where you comment on the ones I sent you, I used to drop everything else as quickly as I could to read them. I’ve come to realize how special it is to find someone you can work with close enough to write a book and still be friends afterwards.
Apart I also think you’re an amazing writer who is always trying to get better. I used to wonder what new bit of wisdom I’d pick up going over your work/edits.
Thank you Andy for your answers! Find my answers over at Andy’s website!