Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Q&A with Neal Chase, author of Worthy of Song and Story

Being released this winter from Fiery Seas Publishing is the middle grade fantasy novel Worthy of Song and Story, book one in the Stian The Viking Adventure series by author Neal Chase.

The author has taken a few minutes out of his busy schedule for a Q&A about his debut novel.

When did you become interested in storytelling?

I’ve been interested in storytelling since I was a kid. In third and fourth grade, I wrote the adventures of Joe Smoe. Since then it stuck with me. Whether storytelling was writing short stories and poetry or playing role playing games it was something I really enjoyed. Yes, I was a Dungeons and Dragons geek, but I also played Recon, Boot Hill, and other games. Not sure if that makes it any better, but at least it makes me well rounded. As I got older, my storytelling changed to making up bedtime stories for my kids. Finally, after years of thinking about it, I sat down and started writing novels.

What was your first book/story published?

Worthy of Song and and Story is my debut novel.

What inspired you to write Worthy of Song and Story?

I love mythology, especially Norse mythology. What is better than Vikings and mythology? Nothing I can think of. But I didn’t want to write a book like all the others, where Odin and Thor are the heroes. I wanted something with a twist. Stories where the hero is someone unexpected—a son of Loki that almost no one knows exists.

What character in Worthy of Song and Story is the most/least like you, and in what ways?

I think there is a little bit of me in all the characters. The one probably most like me, or at least most like me when I was twelve and thirteen, is Stian. He’s a boy who is trying to find out who he is. I think we have all been there. I know I was, and guess I still am a little. Stian and I also have the most similar personalities of all the characters I have created. Both of us are a little witty and like to think big.

What is your favorite part in Worthy of Song and Story?

My favorite part is when Stian is first on his own in a strange town looking for food. So much is familiar, but new to him at the same time. He doesn't really know what to do or how to act, and when he does act, he can’t really understand why everyone else is acting the way they are. The norms and rules of the town are very foreign to him and seeing how he reacts to a new situation is fun.

What was the hardest part to write?

The hardest parts to write were Stian’s interactions with Magni. They have a relationship which seems very easy, but is far more complex than meets the eye. In fact, in Worthy of Song and Story they think it is a simple hate/hate relationship. Even though I know what will happen in future books, I needed to remain true to this book when handling their interactions.

What would your ideal career be, if you couldn't be an author?

If I couldn't write, I’d want to be the ruler of the world. This is one of the reasons I started writing, since as an author, I pretty much am the ruler of the world. Okay, it is a fake world, but a world nonetheless. Other than that, I would want to do something with kids, mostly upper elementary or middle school aged. I have coached football and basketball over the last few years and really enjoyed being with tweens and young teens.

Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?

Worthy of Song and Story is my first book, so there haven’t been a lot to read yet. Hopefully there will be tons of five stars reviews, but even if there aren’t, I plan to read as many as possible. Other than myself, I write for the readers. Knowing what people think about the story and the characters is important. Also, some of the reviews can be helpful in developing future stories.

What well-known writers do you admire most?

Being a middle grade writer, it’s hard not to admire J.K Rowling. Her success in drawing people into the world of Harry Potter is amazing. The way people follow her characters and actually care about them is something I think every writer wants. I know I do. Do you have any other books/stories in the works? I have completed the first draft of book two of the Stian the Viking Adventures, which means it is complete garbage and will change a lot before it is ready for publication. On the bright side, the big picture is laid out and I have started the revision process. I have also started work on a contemporary fantasy which takes place in New Orleans.

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About the Author: Neal Chase lives in San Antonio, Texas, with his wife, two children, two dogs, and a bird, which strangely has the same name as his dad. He is a member of SCBWI and the Writers’ League of Texas. When he is not writing and reading, you can find Neal coaching football or adventuring with the help of his PlayStation.

Visit ncchase.com to learn more about the author.

You can also follow the blogger on Twitter.

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