I am very excited to post my first official author interview on goodbookscents! A few months ago I got to sit down with Akers over the internet and ask him a few questions about his writing habits, the inspiration for Haven, and his favorite characters both in and out of the Haven world. The first Haven book, Haven: A Stranger Magic, came out last May (see the press release here) and it has been a great success on Amazon, reaching the #1 spot on multiple Amazon Bestseller lists (see here and here).
The second book in the series, Haven: Revenge of the Viper, officially comes out this Saturday, March 1st on Amazon, and I liked this book even more than the first one. It picks up right where A Stranger Magic ends, and the action builds throughout the book as we find out more about Sam, the mysterious people in his life, and his family’s past. I am so happy that I got the chance to help edit this novel, and I am excited to see where the story takes us next.
So, without further ado, here is the interview:
What is your writing routine? Do you have a favorite place or time of day to write?
Well, after I have written the outline and have some general direction I stick to a very strict writing schedule. I write six days a week for about four to five hours straight until the novel is finished. I never set a word count for myself; I write until I think I’m done for the day. Most of my writing is done at night, in the dark. Just the light from the monitor is all I need. I love to write when it’s raining, too. I can get really creative then!
How did you come up with the idea for Haven?
Haven was written five years ago, and began with one simple sentence: “My life has been a lie.” When I was growing up, my family was always very guarded about the past. I always felt things were shared on a need-to-know basis. Family photos were rare, and most of what I knew about my extended family was hearsay more than fact. So I drew on my past to create Sam, and then I added things like the love for his mother, his relationship with her, and the longing for a father figure. Then I took it a step further by asking questions such as what if all the secrets and lies where there to protect him? What if the truth was so unimaginable and daunting that it was best to keep it hidden from him? I think parents face decisions like that all the time. We choose the time and place to tell our children the things they need to know. Sometimes we have to wait until we think they are old enough to handle the truth. But sometimes, as parents, we make the mistake of holding on to the truth too long, and when it finally surfaces it can be more damaging than we originally thought.
As for the world of Haven, I wanted it to be something different. There are loads of books about supernatural creatures, and how they interact or try to assimilate into the human world. So with Haven, I wanted to turn the tables — make it about the world they had created for themselves where the humans were not the ruling class.
How does Haven differ from your previous book, Terra Vonnel and the Skulls of Aries? How is it similar?
Well, the biggest difference is Magic. In Terra’s world Magic is not unheard of; it exists, but Terra does not possess the ability to perform magic. Whereas in Haven, Sam lives on Earth in the beginning of the book and there is no such thing as Magic. But that all changes when Sam reaches Haven — Magic is prevalent there and Sam discovers he has an affinity for it.
What was the process of becoming an author and getting self-published like?
At first it was a lot of research—learning what I would need to do, and who I should choose as my main distributor. Then it was about building my team, which included my editors (I have a team of four), graphic artist, and someone to format my manuscript. Then I began to build my author platform. I knew taking the self-published route with Haven was going to be a challenge, but I love the control it offers. I think of it as a business, and in reality that is exactly what it is. I know that as the CEO of my company, I cannot and should not try to do everything myself. I believe if you want to be great, you surround yourself with great people. I understood early on that I’m a storyteller and nothing more. I’m not an editor or graphic artist. It’s important to understand what your strengths are and to get help with your weaknesses.
If you could have a meal with any author, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
That’s easy—J. R. R. Tolkien. That man was brilliant! I love the world he created with all its intricate details and rich history.
What about fictional characters? Who would you want to meet?
I think meeting Gandalf, Dumbledore, and Obi-Wan-Kenobi all at the same time would prove to be quite interesting.
Do you have a favorite character in the Haven series, and if so why is he or she your favorite? Which character is the most fun to write?
Right now it would have to be Travis, just because he is so quick-witted, but more importantly because he just gets it. He understands the true importance of friendship and how important it really is in our lives. Friendship is a choice, not like family into which you are born and feel obligated to. I think the quote by William Shakespeare that I placed in the beginning of Haven: A Stranger Magic sums it up best: “A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.”
These precious bonds are timeless and seem to blossom without our ever realizing how intrinsic they have become in our lives. It’s one of life’s true gifts.
You read and write a lot of Young Adult fiction/fantasy books. What is it about the genre that makes you keep coming back to it as an adult?
Well, this genre offers me a means of escape. It gives me a chance as an adult to live in a fantasy world through the eyes of someone who has had fewer life experiences to draw from. It places you in a time where things are still intriguing as a young adult. Where feelings are being felt for the first time, and so much of the world and everything around you is still new and unknown. I think that is an exciting time.
Haven: Revenge of the Viper officially comes out on Saturday, March 1, but the ebook and paperback versions are currently available on Amazon along with Haven: A Stranger Magic, and the Haven series collection. Get them before the launch here!
Haven series – Amazon #1 Bestseller!
Haven: A Stranger Magic – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CR4IR7A
Haven: Revenge of the Viper – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IKJ3EBK
Haven: Series Collection – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IJC9SN6
Haven: A Stranger Magic – https://www.createspace.com/4281387
Haven: Revenge of the Viper – https://www.createspace.com/4679353
Haven: Series Collection – https://www.createspace.com/4679432
Akers is also the author of Terra Vonnel and the Skull of Aries available here- http://www.amazon.com/Terra-Vonnel-The-Skulls-Aries/dp/0984587101
To find out more about D.C. Akers,
Website – www.dc-akers.com
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/AuthorDCAkers