Other Writers: Interview with Raymond Masters
Meet Raymond Masters, author of Forging Truth, a post-apocalyptic tale about a man who has to discover who he is, and what he needs to do. Raymond is a new indie author, and he’s doing a blog tour to get the word out about his book. Give him a shout-out if you like the sound of it. Here’s a little about him.
MD: Welcome to my blog, Raymond. Tell us a little about yourself. How old are you? What do you do in real life? Married? Children?
RAYMOND MASTERS: Thanks so much for having me on here to help “spread The Truth.” I’m 31 years old and have been married for nearly 13 years of that. We have a son about to graduate kindergarten, if that’s even possible. My day job is as a supervisor over OR distribution in a hospital.
MD: What made you want to write? How long have you been building a career in writing?
RM: A career? Boy, I sure hope so. Heh. I’ve wanted to write ever since I picked up my first novel: Jurassic Park, when I was 13. That’s also around the time I started devouring comic books like mad. I’ve actually been writing since 4th grade, though. Hopefully, my writing’s a little better now.
MD: I’m sure it is! You got your start by reading comics. I’ve read comics, of course, but they never “grabbed” me, so I’m always curious about what others see in them. What made you love reading them as a child? How have they influenced your books?
RM: Well, my first comic was the collected edition of The Death of Superman. I’ve been primarily reading superhero comics ever since. There’s a lot of that kind of heroics going on in Forging Truth, but Kade Truth is not confident in his powers the way your Supermans and Batmans are. He’ll get there, though, I’m sure.
MD: Tell us about Forging Truth. What gave you the idea? What does the story mean to you?
RM: Actually, the idea for Forging Truth came to me in a couple of stages. In 2002, the urge to write something – ANYTHING – was steadily chewing away at me. So, I started carrying around a legal pad and jotting the story down during my lunch breaks at Wal-Mart. Six years later, I got the rest of the ideas and couldn’t stop typing. I wanted to write about a guy who has these budding abilities but no idea why he has them or what he’s meant to accomplish with them. As for what it means to me, personally … The completion of one of my biggest goals. The doorway to a whole new world to explore.
MD: How do you invent your characters? Do you put any of yourself into them?
RM: There are parts of me in pretty much all of my characters, but especially in Kade Truth. I had no idea just how much, until I went back and read it for the edits. As for the other characters, they all came about as the story progressed. I mean, I had the basics, but I didn’t have a cookie cutter character template for them. Caduceus, for one, was a blast to come up with, by the way.
MD: I like that – No “cookie cutter template.” I may have to borrow it!
In Forging Truth, your main character has amnesia. This gives you a character with a wide open agenda – no preferences, no biases, no past hurts or joys. Yet some things are hard-wired into us. How does your character explore all of this?
RM: I don’t remember. (Horrible joke.) The front half of Kade’s quest is to find out who he is. I know that’s been done a thousand times over, but it made for an interesting journey of discovery. When it starts, Kade doesn’t know who Kade is, much less what’s going on with his powers. What’s going to be difficult for him, though, is trying to reconcile his regained identity and past with what’s been happening since he lost his memories.
MD: What’s next from you? What are you working on, now?
RM: I’ve honestly been spending a lot of time trying to promote Forging Truth. I just launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for The Truth Saga. You can check that out here: http://kck.st/H0QSlB. Plus, I’m doing this blog tour with all of you wonderful folks. On the writing side, I continue to have non-Truth related ideas, but my goal is to crank out at least one sequel before I allow myself to set down to write something else.
MD: Who helps you with your stories? Any crit groups, friends, or others who give you honest feedback?
RM: I’ve toyed around with the idea of joining a crit group, but I haven’t committed to one yet. I have amateur friends and family that I bounce my ideas off. Then, I run the story itself by my wife and my mother. Forging Truth was actually dedicated to my mother. In the dedication, I cited her as my lifelong grammar coach. I also have ran chapters by some of my Indy-Published friends.
MD: What’s your writing routine? How do you deal with writer’s block?
RM: Thank the Lord that so far I haven’t had to deal with writer’s block. My biggest obstacles are procrastination and laziness. If I ever stop writing, it’s hard to get going again. While writing Forging Truth, I actually took a month off to finish watching a season of Alias, or something, and I like to never have started back. Now, when I’m writing, and I’m on fire, my routine is pretty much to write during every spare breath. Sometimes, I have to be subtly reminded to spend time away from the computer, during those times.
MD: What are you reading right now? What format do you tend to read most?
RM: Currently, I’m reading the rebooted Star Trek novels. I started with the lead-up to the Destiny books and am now in the middle of The Typhon Pact novels. I also read a number of comics each month. I cannot wait until my copy of the new Dark Tower novel, The Wind Through the Keyhole, comes in the mail. Oh, and I just finished reading Gene Doucette’s Hellenic Immortal, which was just fantastic.
MD: What does your family think about your second career of writing novels?
RM: They want me to make it my first career. They love it. Most have really liked the stories, too. Those that didn’t love them, at least want me to succeed and keep at it.
MD: From looking at your website, it seems that you embrace your inner geek. How is life different from what your young geeky self thought it would be?
RM: Actually, my young, geeky self would have never believed that I would one day not only be admitting my geekdom in all its splendor, but that I’d be embracing it through my work at Wired’s GeekDad blog and through my comic and novel writing.
MD: I know what you mean!
Your book is about superheroes. What would your super power be if you had one?
RM: Just one? Oh, man … I’d have to say flight, I guess. Although, to be honest, I don’t see how flight alone could sustain a superhero. You have to have some kind of offense power, too.
MD: How do you define success for your writing? What are your short and long-term goals?
RM: Success is when I stay on top of my writing, daily. Everyone says you’ll never be a writer unless you practice, practice, practice. My long-term goal is to, of course, be able to sustain my family through a writing career. I don’t have to be rich, but I would love to have the security of not worrying about my families basic needs – and basic desires – just because I’ve chosen to stay at home and write. To get there, I’m trying to get as many stories into the either as possible. So, my short-term goal is to get enough circulating that I can afford to make it my “day job.”
MD: Anything else you want us to know? Here’s your chance to express yourself!
RM: While the writing part is fun, the business side of publishing is a rough machine. With so many authors out there, now, it’s practically impossible getting into a large publishing house. I used to stress over that. Along my journey with Forging Truth, I’ve discovered something wonderful: Those who have “settled” for Indy or Self-publishing are a lot happier/satisfied than those playing at The Rejection Game with The Big Six. All of that is my longwinded way of saying, not to waste your time fretting over the big boys. The business model is changing, gearing more toward the little guy.
MD: Thanks Raymond. Good luck with it!
Here’s where you can find out more about Raymond Masters:
LIBERTY IS GONE, BUT TRUTH REMAINS
Kade Truth awakens in a strange house sideways of reality, where he
learns he has “died” in a mysterious attack on the Statue of Liberty.
Rather than facing the afterlife, he now wields energy powers,
including flight. Kade joins and befriends Caduceus – eccentric
caretaker, magician, and feeder of soup – and Mao F’Yang – an
intoxicating girl with the uncanny ability to disappear – in a quest
to regain his memories, uncover who is behind the attack, and discover
why he has been so drastically altered.
In a counter to Kade’s mission, the malign Dark Monk joins forces with
Richard Van Parson – arrogant CEO of VPI – to forward his own hellish
agenda under the ruse of a retaliatory war.
The question remains, though, if the French government orchestrated
the Liberty Island attack, why are our heroes certain of Van Parson’s
involvement? What ties does the Dark Monk have with Caduceus? What
designs does he have for Kade? And will Kade unravel the truth in time
to embrace his true destiny?