Brett Salter is the author of The Talisman series. As we near the cover reveal date, The Rising Tilde had the opportunity to interview the author again. This time, we discussed the new book and writing books.
Hi Brett. It’s a pleasure to interview you again.
The pleasure is all mine. It’s always a good day when I get to talk to you guys!
Your fifth book of The Talisman Series is releasing soon. How do you feel?
I feel relieved. You know, like a huge paralysis stone has been lifted off my shoulders. To be honest, I’ve spent the last 6 months pretty focused on promotion of the series, and it has seriously derailed my work on the upcoming books and even pushed Book #5’s release back further than I wanted. I am relieved because now I can take a break from promoting and just work on the writing portion of the process. It’s my favorite part, by far. Everyone who’s dealt with me can clearly see that editing and promoting are clearly not my strong suits.
Since you have finished five books now, we thought we’d ask questions about writing.
Sure thing. That sounds terrific. I hope I make some sense in my responses. Sometimes I tend to ramble on. Haha.
What is your favorite time of the day to write?
I like to write at night when the house is finally quiet, and I have some time to concentrate on making the decisions I need to try to cultivate an intriguing and fluent story. I will say, as a side note, the BEST ideas come to me at night. Usually right before I fall asleep which makes remembering them nearly impossible. But I can come up some seriously bizarre and out-of-this world stuff right before I conk out for the day.
Where do you look for inspiration when you are creating new characters?
I like to look into mythology and legend to find inspiration for new characters. With the elements being a major part of my series, I usually try to include one or more elements in each new character too. Both in their names and their entire aesthetic. But I also pull from plenty of other sources including video games, anime, and historical events and people.
What was your most complex scene to write?
I think when I try to write large scale battles, like the two in “The Battle For Verdana”, it can become complex and somewhat overwhelming fairly quickly. Trying to keep each character’s whereabouts straight is tough. I find myself constantly going back and reading my own words to remind me. Especially when I am trying to highlight each one’s actions and show off some of their abilities in the middle of the fracas. It gets hard unless you clearly map out how the battle is going to go beforehand. I learned from the battles in that book. Now, I plan out the battles on paper and use notes to keep the flow right.
Have you ever considered writing under a pseudonym?
Hmmmm. To be honest, not until just now. Maybe if I ever get traditionally published, I may consider it. If I DID use a pseudonym, it would definitely have to be a Dr. something. Or Captain? Ah! Who am I kidding? I’d probably just name myself after a Transformer or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle villain.
Have you ever had writer’s block? If yes, how did you tackle it?
I HAVE fallen victim to the writer’s block before, yes. However, I’ve never experience very long terms of it. I think, for me, writer’s block is more like TIME block. I sometimes have trouble finding time to write new material, and that can be frustrating. So, the project I’m working on stalls due to lack of time. But, the creativity and imagination are rarely on pause for long. I am constantly inundated by new ideas but finding time to get them on paper is my real issue. When I do find myself suffering a little writer’s block, I usually shift my focus to another portion of the indie author responsibilities. I’ll put all my energy into promoting or editing until I feel like I’m ready to start playing around with words again.
Have you thought about writing another series?
I do have the humblest beginnings of a second series in the works. I have the plot of the first book and the “Legendarium” already put to paper (or hardrive). That series will be a work of portal fiction mixed with destiny fiction and entail more adult themes as compared to The Talisman Series. Trying to make it a pure YA series instead of the more MG adventures of Rome and Julian. I can give you a little taste of my plans for that one here:
Seven young humans from the planet Earth are sought and transported to an alternate dimension where technology does not exist. The realm is called ??? and the most powerful beings there are a race of tyrannical warlords. There are seven of them, and they each run a specific kingdom on separate islands/continents of the planet. There is a resistance living on the planet consisting of a small group of rebels who want to realize a prophecy by gathering the seven Earthlings who are destined to change the world and fix the oppression demonstrated by the dictatorial warlords.
As with The Talisman Series, there will be a heavy emphasis on mythology, colors, names, and elements. As well as some video game RPG fundamentals like summoning, weapons, and certain aspects of magic. I’m really excited to get a rough draft of book 1 or at least a solid foundation. I plan to get into that tasty experiment later this year, after I finish the initial rendering of book 11 for The Talisman Series.
What does literary success look like to you?
Inspiration. The whole reason I kept going with my series after “The Search For Synergy” was because I like the idea that I might inspire other people the way fantasy and science fiction books inspired me as a youth. I am a firm believer in creativity being a spark in this world. If my works can help other aspiring authors build worlds and characters and stories of their own, then the entire network of literature only becomes stronger and more vibrant. And THAT is something I desire to be a part of.
What advice would you give new writers who hope to publish a book?
I know it’s cliché, but I would say I am a strong proponent of using your influences. That way what you love will come out in your writing. If you like stories about ghosts, write stories about ghosts. If you watch TV shows about unsolved crimes, make your series about unsolved mysteries. If the coolest thing you can imagine is a boy that can secretly transform into a dragon and go on quests with a knight-in-training…..um. Read my books!!! And THEN go write about them. The point is that writing can be daunting. And if you want to make the challenge more enjoyable, then you should dabble into what you like. It makes the climb much more agreeable and all the more rewarding once you get to the top.
Thank you, The Rising Tilde, for taking time to help me promote my series and taking an above and beyond interest in my stories and characters. I am very thankful to have been collaborating with you for the better part of a year now. It’s been so nice knowing I can count on you for interesting promotion techniques and ideas for getting the message out to readers. The Talisman Series is not going away. Whether I ever get traditionally published or not, I plan to keep churning out these books until we get to book #12.
Also, thank you to my family and all those fans who read the books and make me feel cool for being kind of a nerd with this stuff.
Thank you, Brett. We’re excited for the release of your fifth book.
Check out the links below to know more about the author and The Talisman series: