Monday, 14 July 2014

E14 Interviews....A.J. Waters

Today, E14 celebrates its creative friends. As we've not done an interview in some time, we thought it high time we catch up with one of our site's friends, recently published author A.J. Waters.

The first science fiction novella by A.J. Waters, Olympus A.D., is a fast-paced, futuristic, science-fiction action romp. Jack Tatton is a hitman whose world begins to crash around him after a job goes terribly wrong. Now he must go to the gang-ridden city of Olympus to find both answers and revenge.

Having recently published his first novella Olympus A.D, thankfully Aaron was all too happy to talk to E14's Rob Wade. Behold the fruits of their conversation!


E14: Hi Aaron, thanks for doing this interview. First things first, the world of Olympus seems to be one that has a lot of room for expansion. Did you always set out to build a world within which you could tell multiple stories, or was it a more gradual thing?

AJW: The great thing about making your own fictional world is that you literally are the architect! Absolutely anything can happen in/outside the box. So when my mind designed what I like to call the Protox Universe, I absolutely intended to have more than just the two cities of Olympus and Princeton Falls. So yes, I have left plenty of room for a lot more stories, as this is just the beginning of a series of three or maybe even four tales.

E14: We've seen a glimpse into your post-apocalyptic world through Olympus AD. How similar is the Protox Universe to your vision of what the future holds?

AJW: Well, that's the thing! I think the world would love to go in the direction of Princeton Falls. A civil, civilised, civilian...civilisation where everything is either at the flick of a switch or can be voice-commanded. However, there will always be parts of the world that are living in the shadows of criminals in a third-world state, with savage man-eating desert monsters. So really, it's not that far-fetched of an idea, is it?

E14: What's one piece of tech you'd absolutely love to see arrive in the modern world?

AJW: A single lens that goes over your eye that has a locking-on device so you can laser blast flies out of the air when you're trying to watch telly.

E14: When was the first time you said to yourself "I want to be a writer"?

AJW: I've always wanted to write. Ever since primary school, my favourite lesson was "write a story". I used to love it. Most kids just filled up one side of an A5 piece of paper and they'd get a gold star (because let's face it, most kids are morons). I, however, used to fill both sides of three or four A4 sheets sometimes (although admittedly as a kid, my handwriting was massive).

Most of the kids there just wrote about stupid shit, like unicorns and talking dogs and that adventure they took that one weekend to Brighton with their really affectionate uncle (bit weird, looking back at it...). I liked horror! I loved ghost stories, goblins and monsters! Then at the end of class we had to read out our stories in front of everyone (after the teacher checked them first). I wasn't allowed to read mine as it was "too scary for the other children." . . . bitch.

E14: Do you tend to read other writers' work while writing?

AJW: Absolutely! You have to, man. To me, it would be like me saying "I want to be a professional gourmet chef, but I'm not going to try anyone else's food/restaurants until that happens."

E14: Is there ever a worry that you might unwittingly adopt some element of the story in your ongoing work?

AJW: The worry is always there, but as long as you keep true to your craft and keep looking back and being careful, you should be okay.

E14: Does reading others' work ever make you look at your own work differently? Have you ever been inspired to make a change (either positive or negative) by a book you were reading at the time?

AJW: All the time. Definitely. And when that happens it's always welcome. Especially when it comes to character traits too. I wanted to make one of my newer characters more appealing to the reader by having them get to know him a little bit more, so perhaps they could care/worry about him, because that's what drags people in. So I find the odd anecdote about his youth from time to time is good (when it's relevant), but also little things like (for example) '"Oh well, onwards and upwards!" as his mother used to say when he was a lad' can be useful too. It just makes you know that little extra about him. So at least now, knowing that, you can't call him a stranger. So whenever I find things like this, It's always inspiring.

E14: You went down the self-publishing route for your first novel. What is the piece of advice you'd consider most useful for those thinking of going down the same path?

AJW: Don't rely on authors who *aren't* self-published. 90% of them are high & mighty pretentious wankers who think their shit doesn't stink and have forgotten that *they* were once a budding first-time author. Get in touch with other self-publishers on Facebook, Twitter, Gmail groups, web forums, even magazines if need be, and just promote the shit out of them! If you're promoting 20 authors, then ideally you'll have 20 authors promoting *you!* Now how's that for a slice of fried penis, me ol' mucker?

E14: Any especially good groups you can recommend?

AJW: Certainly! On Facebook, there's the "Indie Author Promotion Page", "Short Fiction Writers & Readers", "Kindle Publishers", "MARSocial Authors Business Enhancement" and "Sci-Fi Fantasy and Book Lovers". All good ones!

E14: What's one single book you consider 'required reading' for those interested in knowing more of your influences?

AJW: Tough one, but probably something from the Dark Tower series by Stephen King.

E14: Ooh, I like that one too. What is it that appeals to you so much about that series?

AJW: To be honest, I just love how anything can happen and anything *could* happen! You expect the unexpected with so many different extraordinary races, weapons, quests, villains, anything! Languages, sceneries, the lot! But, if we are talking "What one book would I choose to have above any other?", then that would be "The Lord of the Rings". I was introduced to that book at a very, very young age, and have been in love with it ever since. I have read it more times than I can count and every time still seems like the first. And how that book has so many layers and such a vast existence inside those 1300 pages, plus the appendix, to me, is so inspiring. It really shows that the only limit is your imagination.

I also recommend you check out "The Bumper Book of Bunny Suicides" as well. Fuckin' right laugh, bruv.

E14: And finally, any hints on your next non-Protox project?

AJW: Well, I am writing a book of short horror stories, but that'll be a long old while yet, son. Mainly I'm focusing on the sequel, "Olympus Reborn" at the minute. So expect plenty more horrific deaths, colourful language and substance abuse. Hell, there's even sex scenes in this one!

E14: Well, if you needed any more incentive to pick up the next one...


There you have it, folks! If you like the cut of Mr Waters' gib, you can find his book at the links below. I can say from experience that the world of Olympus makes for a cracking setting, and the man shows definite promise as an author. E14 encourages you to give his stuff a go!

Kindle
Paperback


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