Author Q&A: Ashley Capes talks about his journey as a hybrid author
I'm very pleased to introduce a guest author on the blog today: Ashley Capes! Ashley has written and self-published two full-length fantasy novels. His latest novel, Crossings, is available on Amazon, and is a dark fantasy thriller. You can find out more about his book on Amazon here.
Tell us a little about your journey as a writer. What got you started?
I started writing poetry in high school, inspired by lyrics and the Beat poets and just kept going until making my first sale a few years after graduating. I think I was writing fiction the whole time, but some early luck in poetry kept my focus there. It wasn't until 2012 and a few poetry publishing deals that I felt compelled to really focus on fiction again – it was a new challenge and I loved it.
Or I could go back to grade 4 – hearing The Hobbit being read to the class, that's probably where it all started 🙂
What is your book, Crossings, about?
Crossings is a supernatural thriller about a wildlife ranger, Lisa, who has to discover what's happening in her town when a series of deaths seem to be linked to a giant white kangaroo. On top of this, she has to deal with her abusive ex who has recently returned.
What inspired you to write it?
I wanted to keep exploring Australian settings, because they're familiar and dear to me – but also to push reality beyond what is ‘normal' without going completely other-world like some of my other stories. I also remember reading an article once about albino kangaroos, who are quite rare and often in danger, due to the way they stand out against the landscape, making them easy for predators to spot.–It struck me as sad and I wanted to work in a more powerful white roo into my story.
What are the most rewarding and the most challenging aspects of being a novelist?
Holding a finished book – it's a thrill beyond what I'd expected. And just above that is probably hearing a reader tell me they loved one of my stories; that transforms the worst day 🙂
The biggest challenge is definitely managing time. As we all know, there's so little of it and so many demands on our time. Making sure I maintain my writing schedule is vital and something I think I always work on.
Tell us about your future plans. Are you working on anything new?
Definitely! I'm working on Greatmask, the third in my epic fantasy series, along with a novella that follows ‘Never' – a man trying to lift a curse on his blood and discover his true name. My dream is that both will be available next year – fingers crossed!
Why did you decide to choose self-publishing over the traditional route? And do you think you made the right decision?
I guess I'm a bit of a hybrid-author – my Bone Mask Trilogy is with a small publisher in New Zealand, who are very, very supportive and I publish my other stories (like Crossings) myself because I love having control from start to finish, and I love learning and pushing myself.
And setting up a micro publishing company to release my own work was a HUGE job, but the rewards were just as big. It's very satisfying to do so. I also appreciate the control from a rights standpoint. While self publishing isn't for every writer – I'm a fan of being in control of my own work 🙂
What advice would you give to authors looking to self-publish?
Work harder than anyone else you know, because you're one voice in a big ocean. And take your time; your book is representing you and it's the best tool for winning over new readers 🙂
Connect with Ashley Capes:
Twitter : @Ash_Capes