It was a bliss writing it, because I didn’t have any publishers or agents perched on my head and shoulders, bothering me when it’ll be finished and because it was something I had never done before.
Momchil Yoskov – 11 July 2017
The Back Flap
Ronnie Mason is an undergraduate who doesn’t have a clear idea what to do with his life. As an introverted and quiet type, he is also unsurprisingly unpopular among his peers. Life at home with his parents is becoming tedious with each day and he seeks a way out of it. He craves for a change in his life, whatever it may be, so that he could rise above the misery looming over his mind and demonstrate to his parents and his peers that he can improve himself and take control over his life.
His wish is gradually granted. He meets two boys in a bar and they quickly form a bond. A few days later, when they hang out at a local football stadium, an alien container crashes into the field. The three decide to open it and inside, they find three crystals, which bond to their bodies and change them irreversibly.
The boys find themselves dragged in a universe-wide conflict, as an evil entity wants the valuable crystals for his own personal gain. The ultimate goal of this entity, known as The Overlord, is to use the crystals to achieve total dominion over the universe and enslave all life within it.
Now Ronnie has a new purpose in life. How will he cope with it? Will he remain the same? Or will he evolve and adapt?
Inspired by video games, metal and everything surrounding us in our reality. A sci-fi novel with socio-political elements, lots of violence and humour.
About the book
What is the book about?
The book is about an alien race, called The Immortals, which dies during the events of a civil war. The only surviving objects from that war are three crystals in a container, which crashes on Earth and is found by three boys. One of the allies of that race, called New Hope, finds them and after explaining the whole situation, the boys begin working with them against this almost omnipotent evil called The Overlord, who wants the technology and the immortality that the boys now possess for his domination of the entire Universe.
When did you start writing the book?
Now, this one is a bit ambiguous. If I recall correctly, it was the end of January 2014. My memory is a bit hazy.
How long did it take you to write it?
The whole process of research, writing, editing and finally publishing Inheritance took me 3 years and 2 months.
Where did you get the idea from?
Rock and heavy metal, along with the videogames I play and some science fiction and action films that I’ve watched. Those are my primary sources of inspiration.
Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?
Good question. I can’t quite remember. It may have been some minor events and bits in the dialogue, where I needed some more unorthodox words or expressions. Also – the editing. I didn’t have a professional editor helping me in that endeavour, because I didn’t have any money to pay them for their services, so I had to rely on myself and my own wits. I’d say the editing was the hardest. Even now I find some minor errors, which irritate me and I correct them, then re-upload the book before anyone notices. If Inheritance has a downfall, it will be the way it’s edited and I feel that reviewers, writers and readers writing the first reviews for it will slander me for that.
What came easily?
Almost everything. On the whole, it was easy. It was a bliss writing it, because I didn’t have any publishers or agents perched on my head and shoulders, bothering me when it’ll be finished and because it was something I had never done before. During the writing the ideas for the current book and the sequels came the easiest.
Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know?
All of them are entirely or partly influenced by real people. In the sequels there will be actual personalities, famous for one thing or another in the real world, but I won’t reveal who they are just yet and no, I’m not going to put them under any torture or humiliation.
We all know how important it is for writers to read. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you?
That’s the funny thing: I avoid reading as much as possible, because of the amount of sources of inspiration that I have and I feel that I might just plagiarise a particular event, dialogue or a whole idea that somebody else has used. For now I try to find my own style without copying too much. I might read non-fiction books, related to the creative process, how to improve said creative process, how to avoid bogging down in terms of writing, but fiction… mm, not really, not at this point.
Do you have a target reader?
Yes, I do – gamers, rock and metal fans, young adults and… well, anyone over the age of 18 who would be interested in violence, profanity and a variable pinch of humour.
Do you have a writing process? If so can you please describe it?
I wouldn’t say it’s anything specific, or rather revolutionary, at this point. It’s not rocket science. First I brainstorm some ideas and/or do some research, then I write them down in my notes. If I write in the manuscript, usually I have something in mind, then something else pops up and I add it in. It’s like an avalanche.
Do you outline? If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences?
Err, I don’t know exactly how to answer this one (because I looked up the meaning of “outline”, as I’m not a native speaker) but I’ll do my best. In terms of outlines, I have some pre-written scenarios, sentences and events, which I feel would be perfectly suitable for the whole series or for specific events, be they for the currently written book or for one of the sequels. Once I reach a point where I have to add something that I’ve outlined, I cut the pre-written bit from my notes and paste it into the manuscript. In some cases I improvise on the spot, so I’d say it’s 50/50.
Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished?
A little bit of both. Some editing on the spot and the rest is done, when the book is finished.
Did you hire a professional editor?
No, I did the editing myself, because I’m still broke and I can’t pay anything to anyone to do it for me.
Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, what gets the fingers tapping?
Some acid jazz, eurodance and some country… nah, just kidding! Rock and metal all the way!
Did you submit your work to Agents?
No, I didn’t use the services of any agents. So far I’ve only submitted my work to reviewers.
What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher? Was it a particular event or a gradual process?
The idea of owning all of the rights to my own creations without clashing with a publisher’s interests and without them ripping me off of my profits.
Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself?
I had it done for me, but it wasn’t professionally done. A friend of mine found an artist on some site and he sent all of the details regarding the cover. It took some time, because he did make some mistakes in the process, but in the end the result was, I think, fabulous.
Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it?
The friend I mentioned earlier is also helping me with paid advertisement through Google Adwords, which is the more complicated side of the advertisement. I’m handling the unpaid portion – sending the book to reviewers. So far I’ve had some rejections, most notably by The Daily Mail and Guardian on the grounds of them being “too busy and full of books to review”. The best answer (aside from the few people at this point, who agreed to review it) was that of Cat Ellington, who didn’t accept my offer, but was impressed with the cover and the synopsis so much that she told me I’ll succeed and won’t be overlooked. In addition to that she redirected me to Derek Murphy, who happens to be a marketing guru and not a reviewer, as I found out. It’s not that I wouldn’t accept his help at all – it’s that I can’t pay him anything at this point.
Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors?
It’s a long road and at first you’ll have to rely mostly on yourself to do the heavy lifting, unless, of course, you’ve signed a contract with an independent publisher, a big publisher or a sponsor (hey, whatever you’ve chosen). If you have a sufficient amount of money (not necessarily an amount, which would allow you to light your cigars with 100 dollar bills), you’re luckier than most of us, so use it wisely. Now… most people firmly believe that earning mountains of money is a sin and I understand them entirely, especially if the end goal is to simply look rich in the eyes of the rest of us. But let’s be honest for a moment – everybody who decided to start writing has thought about the prospect of earning lots of money and maybe eventually making a living out of it. Unless they’ve published their books for free, of course. What I’m trying to say is: it’s not wrong to think about it and strive for financial safety, but you have to have a lot to offer, you have to be backed up by an immense amount of your own wits and people who believe in and enjoy what you do. If you can captivate them merely by speaking about something (not necessarily related to your books or your craft), you will go very far, I’m sure.
Where did you grow up?
In my hometown Kozloduy, Bulgaria.
Where do you live now?
I live there.
What would you like readers to know about you?
Outside of the writing, I hope that one day I will front an extreme metal band. Also, if you really like the book, share it with friends, spread the word – it will help me and motivate me immensely.
What are you working on now?
Some metal material for my own band, whenever it becomes a reality, the Bulgarian translation of Inheritance and the sequel to Inheritance.
End of Interview: