Interview with Fantasy Author Andrew Leon

Andrew Leon was one of the first bloggers I met when I set out on this crazy adventure. Andrew blogs at StrangePegs.

Andrew’s been on one wild ride himself during the fifteen months since he released his first book, The House on the Corner. Today he’s going to fill us in on the story he’s working on currently, which he is publishing in a serial format, a chapter at a time. I’m intrigued by this idea. Serial fiction has a VERY long history. It used to BE the way books were published. And it’s coming back. But don’t take it from me. Take it from an author who’s living it right now. 🙂

With that, let me welcome Andrew Leon to my blog. Welcome, Andrew!

When did the storyline that became Shadow Spinner first occur to you?
Well, that’s actually more complicated than it sounds. I wrote (most of) “The Evil That Men Do,” which was just supposed to be a stand alone story. And for a long time it was. Later, I wrote “The Tunnel,” because I wanted to write a story about a kid dealing with a fear. Once both stories existed, I realized there was a link between the two.
Where did Tib, the young boy in Shadow Spinner, come from?
I don’t know where Tib came from. Probably, I was walking to get my kids from school one day, and I realized there was a boy named Tib in my head that wanted a story.
What gave you the idea for the character Michael in The Evil That Men Do?
The character of Michael came out of my desire to write a story about how powerful words can be. The idea that words can kill. Once I had decided I wanted to write that story, I needed a character to go with it.
How did these characters’ stories tie together in your wacky writer mind?
As I kind of already said, I don’t really know. I only realized later that Tib was Michael’s son. But it made perfect sense, so I went with it.
The Evil That Men Do is a story for adults, and Shadow Spinner is for a middle-grade audience. What age group do you prefer writing for?
I don’t actually know the answer to that question yet. I wrote The House on the Corner for my kids, so it needed to be appropriate for kids, but I didn’t want it to be only for kids. I developed Shadow Spinner while working with the kids in the creative writing class that I teach, so it also needed to be appropriate for kids. I do have adult stories in my head, but I’m going to need to finish the first story arc of the House series before I go onto those.
What made you decide to release Shadow Spinner in a serial format?
That’s an interesting question. In all actuality, I decided to do it that way because I found an article from someone (a big shot) in the publishing world saying how no one should ever, ever do serials. The author of the article didn’t give any good reasons for that, just that it should never ever be done. Of course, my response was “why not?” After all, some of the biggest authors in history (Dickens, Asimov) released their works serially.
What kind of response have you gotten for Shadow Spinner so far?
The response so far has been pretty positive. I don’t know if I’d say overwhelmingly so, but no one has said they don’t like it. Of course, a lot of people won’t tell you if they don’t like something, so that can be hard to know sometimes.
Have readers mentioned the chapter-by-chapter format specifically, and what have they said?
I’ve had a lot of readers tell me they are really enjoying the serial format. Not that they like it because of that, but they are enjoying it even more than they would have if I had just released the whole thing at once. It seems, despite what the author of that article said, that people do like serials. In fact, since I started releasing Shadow Spinner, Amazon has started an entire serial arm of their publishing division. I wouldn’t say that I started a bandwagon, not enough people are reading me, yet, for that, but I was definitely in with the whole serial thing before the bandwagon started. And it does seem that there may be a bandwagon. Many people in the industry are projecting that serials are going to be the big, “new” thing, because people like things in small bites that they can read when they are doing things like standing in line.
Do you plan to do more serial projects?
Well, I hadn’t planned to; however, I’ve recently had another idea that I think would work really well in serial format, so I think I will do at least one more. Besides, I’d like to actually try out Kindle’s serial service.
In your opinion, what is the most promising aspect of serial fiction, and the biggest drawback?
The most promising aspect is the bite size format of it. People stuck waiting in line or whatnot can pick up their portable device and have something they can finish in a sitting while waiting around. The drawback is going to be when people really want to “settle down with a good book.” The serial format won’t work in  those circumstances. I have had one person tell me that she will probably not read any of Shadow Spinner until she has the whole thing to sit down with.
What is Tib going to discover next? (Had to slip that in there… *wink*. How about the teaser for the next installment?)
Hmm…well, all I can say is that Tib is about to discover a whole new world. A world that’s not new at all.


About the Author

I got a degree in English with the intent to write. Then, I got busy with other things, including getting married and having kids, and let the whole writing thing get away from me. 20 years later, I’m finally doing it. My first novel is currently available through Amazon on the Kindle and as a physical book.



About J.R. Pearse Nelson

J.R. Pearse Nelson is a native Oregonian, residing in the beautiful Portland area. She lives with her husband, two small daughters and the family dog. J.R. is always searching for the magic in our world. She weaves tales rooted in mythology, bringing legend to life in modern-day and fantasy settings. J.R. is the author of the Children of the Sidhe paranormal romance series, the Foulweather Twins fantasy series, and the Water Rites fantasy series. You can connect with J.R. online at her website. Visit jrpearsenelson.com.

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