Saturday, 21 April 2018

Author Interview: Milo Maia

Today I'm hosting Milo Maia who has an ambitious project in the works. Here's his 'all things writing related' interview:

What inspires you to write?

Characters. Every time I come to the blank page, I feel like a child transported into a world of giants. Queens and warriors and scholars and half-gods put me on their shoulders and I haven't come down since.

What is your favourite genre to read?

Epic or low fantasy. Either is great but a crossover means I lose a week of my life.

What genre do you write. Why?

I'm squished between low and high fantasy. I like having notes of magic and greater forces, but I always look to write character-driven stories. There's a touch of literary fiction in there as well, because more than any other genre, fantasy lies; where better to explore human truths?
Who was your favourite author of your childhood?

Elizabeth Laird. She introduced me to the concept of deutoragonist, and planted the seed in my mind that sometimes both sides have a point. I have a paperback copy of 'Crusade' in my aunt's house that's yellow with use, wrinkled at the spine, and seems to have only gotten better with the years.

Who is your favourite author now?

Robin Hobb. I swear her books are inked with ichor.
Which author do you think your writing is most like?

That's a tough one. Hobb is a huge inspiration, as is George R.R. Martin (then again, which new fantasy author hasn't he inspired?) As the years have gone by, I hope I've gone a little my own way, though.

What are your writing goals?

I'm working on a ludicrously ambitious project that spans nine books across three trilogies. For that, I've set aside seven years and any hope of sanity beyond my 20s. I do plan on self-publishing them, and any time not spent writing is devoted to formulating a marketing plan to facilitate that.
What is your biggest writing achievement so far?

Every time I type the last sentence of a book feels like an achievement! But right now it would probably be getting featured twice on Wattpad. When I first found the site, being featured felt like something done only by people who would always be a few years more experiences and a few words crafter. To have it happen twice in the last two months feels like great progress.

What is the best comment you've received about your writing? 

"You can do better, Milo!"

What are you working on at the moment?

A mid-fantasy about a warrior who's legend and heritage has taken the ultimate toll on her and her family, and the clandestine war between gods that runs parallel to her bloodline. This would be the 7th installment in the 9-book series.
Do you tend to write in the morning, afternoon, or evenings?

Afternoon. I edit in the morning and read/study craft/research the industry in the evenings.

What is your writing strength?
Grab your grains of salt, everyone. Prose has been highlighted by some as a strength. 3 out of every 5 critiques will describe it as poetic and evocative. 1 will find it overwritten. 1 will call it silly supermarket fiction.

I like to think characters are a strength, because this is where I start and where my focus is rooted when I write.

What is your writing weakness?
Plot. Or rather, having one before chapter four.
In your opinion, what do all great books have?

Resonance. It's no one, specific thing, I don't think. A character who I will root for at the expense of my own deadlines, a scene masterfully painted, themes woven like purple threads through white fabric, a line of dialogue or narration so true I learn more about myself from reading it... In truth, the best books have a combination of these things. If I can remember feeling something long after THE END, then I have read a great book.

What puts you off a book?
A trite line or opening. In truth, I just get bored easily, so if I am not promised something new (anything at all, really) by the end of page one, I opt out. A lack of a good line edit does the author no favours either. If my editing hat comes on, my immersion is doomed.

How do you feel about the Oxford comma?

A direct quote from the second line of my author bio: "He loves fantasy, food, and his mum (as well as the Oxford comma)."

Quickfire round!

Pace or prose?
- Prose.

Brilliant characters or a shocking twist?
- Brilliant characters. Forgive me, M. Night Shyamalan.

Happy endings or bittersweet?
- Bittersweet.

First or third person?
- Third.

Multiple or single POV?
- Multiple.

Present or past tense?
- Past

Romance or thriller?
- Depends on the colour of my socks at the time.

Fantasy or Sci-fi?
- Fantasy.

Heroes or villains?
- Trick question. Antivillains.

How to find Milo
Instagram: @milo.maia
Facebook: Milo Maia page
Twitter: @MiloMaia