Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’m from Cape Town, South Africa. I’ve been writing since primary school, starting with my debut novel, Fall of Zona Nox – which I finished in high school and have been upgrading since then. I also write non-fiction, mostly in the form of political commentary and analysis for the website the Rational Standard.
I am currently studying politics, philosophy and economic history at the University of Cape Town. My interests include those subjects but I also enjoy video games, fantasy and card game likes Magic: The Gathering.
My currently released books include Fall of Zona Nox and Cape Zero. I have almost finished two books in the Warpmancer series, the sequel to Fall of Zona Nox and the prequel.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Defiant will be my latest book after editing. It is the sequel to Fall of Zona Nox. It has many inspirations, but the most profound would probably be my philosophy studies and my analysis of revolution.
Of currently released books, Cape Zero was inspired by the trend of zombie fiction a few years back. It was meant to be a part of a compilation written alongside friends, but I was the only one who finished.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Unusual? I gathered that eccentricity was a hallmark of most writers. Is something truly unusual when it becomes the norm? If I was to go on odd by proportion of the writers who go through it, then finishing my book and continuing the series is highly odd. I also have the habit of spending a little too much time fleshing out the backstory, that most readers will never delve into. I’ve written a backstory spanning a thousand years back, and not only for humanity but for many other denizens of the world.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Brandon Sanderson, the prolific and great author that he is, is very hard not to be influenced by when writing fantasy and sci-fi. His keen enthusiasm, attention to detail and characterisation is deeply inspiring.
My initial influence was Raymond Fiest, however. I had never read any author with such a large and detailed universe. It made me want to do the same.
From my own genre, I have been recently influenced by Robert Heinlein, whose ‘The Moon is a Harsh Mistress’ inspired much of my latest book.
What are you working on now?
I am finishing up the sequel to Fall of Zona Nox, Defiant. It will be the second book in the Warpmancer Series, and continue from where Fall of Zona Nox ends off.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Promotion starts at the store-front. Writers need to make sure their Amazon or retail page looks decent enough to attract readers to purchase their book. It is all good and well attracting readers to the page, but this means little if they don’t even download a sample.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write what you want but take heed of criticism. You write for yourself, but this doesn’t meant being blind to criticism of your work. Criticism doesn’t exist so that you can please other people – it exists so that you can find out a change that you actually prefer.
Your writing is for you. Identify your goal and then work towards it. Let other people help you along the way with criticism.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
It wasn’t phrased as advice, but John Stuart Mills’ defence of freedom of speech and how this translates to justifying the importance of criticism was very inspiring and enlightening. Basically, we need criticism and discourse to interrogate our own preferences and ideas. Disagreement and being criticised allows us to grow our own position or change to a better one.
What are you reading now?
I am currently reading Karl Popper’s ‘The Open Society and its Enemies: Volume 1’
It is an enlightening and highly interesting piece condemning the foundation of authoritarian ideologies and laying out what a liberal society means.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I will be continuing work on the Warpmancer Series and working more on my marketing.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
The Lord of the Rings
A book on desert island survival
Atlas Shrugged (so I’ll actually have time to read it)