Thursday, April 10, 2014

Author Interview - Greg Strandberg

Author Greg Strandberg is currently on a virtual tour promoting his fantasy novel, The Hirelings.


What inspired you to write your first book?

Back in 2010 I was reading Steven Erickson’s The Malazan Book of the Fallen series.  These books were just not what I was wanted to read, and I thought I could do something better.

So I set out to write a trilogy of epic fantasy novels, which is now The Jongurian Trilogy selling on Amazon and elsewhere.  If it wasn’t for reading books I thought were bad I probably wouldn’t be writing this now.

How did you come up with the title?

For The Hirelings I knew I wanted a simple title, just two words.  I didn’t put a lot of thought into it (I usually don’t) and this just popped into my head.  I don’t remember there being anything too special about it.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

In this book the dominant economic system holding up the kingdom is corrupt to its core.  Heroes have to fight monsters around the dragon’s mountain, and the king takes a lot of their earnings in taxes.  Now that there are fewer monsters around everyone is suffering.

Are there parables to our own world?  I’ll let you be the judge.

What books have most influenced your life most?

For fantasy I would have to go with The Crystal Shard by R.A. Salvatore.  I read that book back in 8th grade and it really made me want to read fantasy books.

A People’s History of the United States: 1492 to Present by Howard Zinn was something that really impacted me when we read it for AP History in high school.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I really think Stephen King is one that speculative fiction writers look up to.  Any look at my disparate titles will tell you I have lots of crazy stuff that can’t be categorized.

Hunter S. Thompson was someone I always thought should be studied more by many writers in many different ways.

What book are you reading now?

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson, Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy, and Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

What are your current projects?

I just finished up with a free collection of short stories for my email list today.  Hopefully in the next couple days I’ll finish my book on bilingual English (the 7th in my ESL series). 

After that I need to get back on the third volume of my Montana history series and finish up this book called SEO and 80’s Movies which is about increasing your website’s visibility.  Then back to some fiction.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Perhaps the reaction to it. Like most of my books, it sinks right down to a low ranking upon release.  This one didn’t get many sales, but I got a huge smile when I did some Facebook advertising and Stephen King liked The Hirelings Facebook page (check it out).  That was a good day!

Author Bio

Greg Strandberg was born and raised in Helena, Montana, and graduated from the University of Montana in 2008 with a BA in History. He lived and worked in China following the collapse of the American economy. After five years he moved back to Montana where he now lives with his wife and young son.

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1 comment:

Greg Strandberg said...

Thanks for the interview today!