Words cannot express how excited I am about November’s author interview! I am very happy to invite two friends of mine to this month's article; Greg Weigand and Denielle Palting.
Unlike any of the previous interviewed authors, I have known Greg and Denielle for several years. Our paths crossed in the streets of Paragon City, the setting of the now defunct Massively Multiplayer Online game known as City of Heroes. We played together for several years, until we drifted apart due to the games untimely closure and real life responsibilities.
While looking for new additions for my reading list, I came across Magi Emerging and The Overlord. I immediately recognized the author names, and left a message on their Amazon page. Greg’s wife, Victoria, contacted me soon after and put me in touch with Denielle. I was ecstatic to hear from them again, and we have been in contact ever since.
So on to the interview!
Name: G.J. Weigand and D.N. Palting
Short Bio: Greg and Denielle currently reside in the desert of Arizona, where they enjoy spending their winters in the outdoors, while hibernating in the heat of the summer. Greg and his wife, Victoria, love to spend time with their children, grandchildren, and two pampered papillons that don't seem to be able to emerge from their terrible two's. Denielle and her husband, Chris, spend their evenings riding trails on their mountain bikes, their dog in tow, and then curling up with a good book or perusing the interwebs.
Published Works: Magi Emerging, The Overlord
Current Projects: Dragon Queen
When did you begin writing?
Greg began writing over 20 years ago as a hobby, when Denielle was still just a kid. It wasn't until we started talking about our favorite authors and books that we realized we both had ideas that could jive well together in a contemporary fantasy series. So we started writing and got our first book self-published about a year ago.
Did you receive any special training or attend a school?
Greg took writing classes in college and Denielle has a Bachelor's degree in biology and a Master's degree in linguistics, but other than that we got our training through experience. We both love to read!
Where do you get your inspiration from?
JRR Tolkien. Love him. But really, Greg used to come up with the coolest mythology and fantasy stories when we would go camping as a family. Some of those stories evolved into parts of our books now. Big inspiration is from the authors we read: David Eddings, Raymond Feist, Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, just to name a few.
Do you use any special resources when writing? (other books, computer programs, etc)
We're both into astrophysics, and Denielle has a strong background from university in genetics, so we definitely like to research and incorporate those ideas into our books. It's important to us to make our fantasy novels mirror reality as we know it in the 21st century, which is fun and challenging!
What is (in your opinion) the most important thing to remember when writing, and why is it so important?
It's important to always remember the central idea and the core progression of your story. Otherwise, you'll wander too much and start losing your readers.
What is (in your opinion) the most challenging part of writing, and how do you overcome it?
lol... see above! But also, when you fall in love with an idea and write yourself into a dead-end or a trap, so then you have to cut it out even though you love it. That's rough. It's easier to overcome those obstacles with two authors though because inevitably one of us (usually Denielle) will highlight and delete in one fell swoop. It's brutal, but efficient.
Did you use an agent? (why or why not?)
Nope, nowadays you can pretty much do everything yourself with the internet. Plus, we both have day jobs, so this is more of a hobby than a full-time job at this point.
Did you use an Editor? If not, what process did you use to edit your work?
We didn't use an editor because of Denielle's background with linguistics. We have a pretty solid process of rough draft, edit, edit more, copy edit, line-by-line edit, and then final read. It's tedious, but it's always been worth it.
How did you get your book published? (self-published, Vanity publishing, Mainstream publisher).
Self-publishing through Amazon.
Do you handle your own marketing?
Yes, but that's probably our least favorite part. If we ever decide to get serious about writing as a full-time occupation, we'll get a marketing team, for sure.
What is your best marketing tip?
If you're on Amazon, use their marketing. It's very cost-effective and gets you great initial exposure as a new author.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Find a partner. Bounce your ideas off each other and get organized. It's tempting to "just write", but you'll get lost in your ideas that way. Have a clear vision, some definitive plot points you know you need as goals along the way, and then start to it. And most importantly, have fun!
In closing, I would like to thank both Greg and Denielle for doing this interview, their participation is truly appreciated. As someone who is still in the process of finding himself as a writer, I found their insight to be quite motivating. I look forward to sharing more about them in the future.
Until Next time,