I haven't had the chance (or the time!) to do an author interview for a while now, but today it's great to welcome Liam Taylor, author of The Shard Chronicles. First, can I ask what your book is about?
It’s about the life of Austin Cooper, a boy growing up in present-day Colorado. Loved and respected by his family and friends, he’s keeping a terrible, disheartening secret from them all. He’s not like everyone else. He has a unique ability that ensures his role as future protector of a powerful object, an object in the ownership of a man, the only other human like him. An object with a true origin lost over the span of time. An object that wants him dead.
After a troubling incident involving Austin, the man departs, searching for answers, and leaving the boy to deal with a new set of problems. He’s displaying more abilities... impossible without possession of the object... and the worst one yet, the school bully, intent on destroying the one person capable of stopping his vicious deeds.
It is listed as being Book 1, so can we expect more books in the series?
Oh, yes! It’s a big story, so I envision there to be at least five, possibly six. In fact, right now, amid the remarkable, fascinating, and often time-consuming experience that is marketing, I am currently finishing Book Two and prepping for the polish. So for the readers who are enjoying the series thus far, stay tuned, because things are about to get very intense in Crescent Lake!
Where does the inspiration for your stories and characters come from?
Good question! It’s one I’ve asked myself on many an occasion, and I’ll attempt an explanation in the following way. Personally, stories just seem to pop into my head from nowhere (mostly when I’m in a situation where I can’t immediately write them down. I’ll refer to that as Sod’s Law!) Of course, the inspiration must come from somewhere, whether it be something read, seen, or heard, et cetera, and I put it down to the subconscious mind dredging that thought seed from its depths and implanting it within the conscious. The idea can appear at any time, possibly launched by the very thing that started it in the first place. An observation, an article, a feeling, smell, sensation, anything that eventually triggers it. However, in the case of The Shard Chronicles, inspiration most definitely came from my personal point of view that we are not alone in the universe. It’s indisputable, I think. And for those who consider our species the only intelligent life on a planet, well, that’s pretty absurd, even arrogant. As for the characters who make the story, that’s an easy one. I mentioned observation before, and that’s how I source my characters, creating them from all the quirks and personalities that are the wonderful people I’ve met and/or observed.
Why did you choose the genre you did to write in?
Since a very early age, I have had a deep fascination with space. In fact, when I got the inevitable question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” my answer was always “An astronaut.” I’m sure that must have brought on fits of merriment when I wasn’t around. New Zealand’s space program in the early to mid-1970s wasn’t quite what it is today! From there, the cosmological attraction expanded to include everything... the certainty of alien life, planets, stars, galaxies, asteroids, interstellar travel, and so on.
What are you reading at the moment?
Actually, at the moment, I’m not. Although, after the publication of Book One, I did manage to get through Richard Matheson’s, ‘7 Steps to Midnight’. Right now, I’ve got my hands full with Book Two, but once I have the time, I think I’ll be perusing ‘Servant of the Bones’, by Anne Rice, a book I’ve been meaning to read for quite a while now.
Who is your all-time, favourite author?
Now that is an extremely hard question to answer! There are many, many authors I admire, through a number of genres. I’ve enjoyed horror by the King himself, Stephen, Dean Koontz, Lovecraft; fantasy by the master, JRR Tolkien, David Eddings, Tracy Hickman, Margaret Weis, and Raymond E. Feist; humor by Doug Naylor and Rob Grant, Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams; and the literary lords of science fiction, Jules Verne, Herbert George ‘H.G.’ Wells, Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke to name but a few. Even though I’m writing science fiction, I have never limited my reading to one particular genre. However, a reply I must give! So, my all-time, favorite author would have to be Jim Grant, known worldwide by his pen name, Lee Child. I absolutely adore his style and structure. He takes everything I’ve ever learnt about writing, throws it straight out the window (the sort of thing his protagonist, Jack Reacher, would do to the bad guy) and yet carves out a brilliantly entertaining read with a simplistic, stunning, and stimulating elegance. Fantastic!
What do you like to do in your free time when you’re not reading and writing?
Any large amounts of free time I can acquire are typically spent trying to keep an acre of land under control. Summertime in Australia has the grass and weeds growing at an unbelievable rate. I’ll finish the lawn, put the mower away, turn around and the whole lot has already grown by at least a foot! If I’m not doing that, then I’m spending time with my children, or catching up on a few, select TV programs, usually documentaries on anything to do with the cosmos. And TheWalking Dead. Of course. That show has it all. Love it!
Where can readers buy your book?
Where can readers find out more about you?
There’s a concise author biography on The Shard Chronicles website:
And if the readers don’t mind being sent bat-crap crazy by my ludicrous prattle, then I can sometimes be found loitering on Facebook, Twitter, and more recently, Google+