After receiving The Realms of Animar book for review author Owen Black was open to having me ask him some questions about his book, what he does on his down time, and what is next for him. Owen graciously answered all my questions and I throughly enjoyed his responses, I hope you do as well.
1.) How did you come up with this unique story?
The idea actually came to me about twenty years ago while watching my cat. She was doing something crazy and I wondered what the world would be like if all animals had a human form. What would they eat? How would they live? How would the weaker species survive? I took these questions and twisted them into a story set in a medieval world, hopefully therein creating unique conflicts and a compelling story filled with lots of surprises to keep the pages turning.
2.) You left the end of the novel open for a sequel… is there one in the making?
Definitely! The Realms of Animar is the first of a series planned to be at least three books, likely quite a few more. Book 2 should be released early this Fall. Although I have never talked about it before, I will let your readers know that Book 2 will be a bit more dark and will feature the realm we know the least about - the Reptiles. It turns out they are not exactly a pleasant bunch to deal with.
3.) What do you do when you are not writing?
Usually chasing my boys around. I have two, five and seven, and they keep me pretty busy. They definitely dont like me tinkering on the keyboard.
4.) Have you always wanted to be an author?
No doubt about it. In second grade I wrote my first story of any length. It was about a black mamba and we actually still have it! Not print worthy but it did kick off my writing career I suppose.
5.) If you had to pick one character from your book who would be your favorite?
If you made me pick one I would go with Mordigal. Being a romantic at heart I can only imagine how tough it would be to fall in love with someone from another realm. He is dangerous yet has a noble side to him.
6.) What animal form would you want to be if you lived in Animar?
Great question, the second one you asked that caught me off guard. Had to think a bit on this one. I would go with an Avian I suppose, maybe a Hawk, but I was really struggling. Next up was a horse. The Avians are free to fly around and living so far above the ground they are safe from the troubles on the land. Or are they?
7.) What is the latest book you have read?
Dean Koontz - The Dead Town (fifth in the Frankenstein series). I am a huge fan of his.
8.) Have your boys read your book? If so, what do they think?
My oldest is reading it now actually. He is on Chapter 14. In his words "So far it is great but why is that Fatalis guy so mean?" So, there you go.
9.) Who designed your cover?
A combination actually. Rebecca, my wife, came up with the idea and an artist named Richa Kinra turned it into reality. I think he did a fantastic job personally.
10.) Any advice to first time authors trying to get their books published?
Other than what they always hear (keep at it, dont give up) I would say this - think small. Meaning, go to smaller publishers. There are tons out there and with the popularity of e-books the bigger publishers are very nervous about first time authors. If you cant find a publisher, do it yourself (as an e-book) and put it on Amazon. A number of authors are doing quite well that way and after getting some experience with the first book publishers are much more likely to open your next one and give it a shot. Plus, it gets your work read which is a great feeling. I really appreciate the opportunity to answer your questions. Your readers can learn more about the Realms of Animar at http://www.therealmsofanimar.comor on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/therealmsofanimar