We met when he wrote exclusively horror fiction, and published his first series "The Vetala Cycle." In 2013, Greg James released his first Young Adult dark fantasy novel series "The Sword of Sighs".
1. Tell the readers a little bit about yourself.
I’m Greg James and I am a British Fantasy author. I live in London, England and I have started publishing my first Fantasy series this year and it’s aimed at Young Adults. It’s all a bit new to me after the writing I’ve done before.
2. Alright, tell us a little more about your series for those whom aren't familiar with it(The Age of the Flame).
The Age of the Flame is about a teenage girl, Sarah Bean, who finds a way into another world called Seythe. She discovers that she has magical powers and decides to use them to fight against an evil being called the Fallen One that is trying to take over Seythe.
3. What genre(s) do you feel your book fall under?
I think it’s a classic fantasy in the style of The Hobbit, the Narnia Chronicles and The Wheel of Time though it has been noted there are some darker elements to the storyline so it could, at a push, be classed as dark fantasy as well.
4. Being from The UK, has it been difficult to write for an American character?
I don’t think so. We are pretty well saturated with American culture and language over here so picking up enough of the basics isn’t terribly difficult. I haven’t received any complaints that Sarah Bean is at all inaccurate or unrealistic so I can only assume that I did an okay job.
5. I also see that you blend different cultures and mythologies into your series. Was this intentional, or did it just work well for the plot of your first book in the series?
I’m pretty well-versed in myths and legends from around the world so I think they all just blended in fairly naturally though there are some references to more recent mythology from my own childhood i.e. 80s cartoons like He-Man and Dungeons & Dragons. It’s a tribute of sorts to many formative influences in that respect.
6. We talk a lot about diversity and multiculturalism on our blog, and I've talked a lot about it together in the past. How important do you find incorporating multiculturalism and diversity in your writing?
Honestly, it’s not something that’s been a front-and-centre focus for me so far but it is something I want to develop more in the future when I move on to my next series of Fantasy novels. I’ve tried to make the world of the Age of the Flame series diverse (the Kay’lo race have some Asian influence and they feature prominently in the third book in the trilogy) but as they are rather fast-paced and short YA novels, there’s not been much time to explore that side of things. Like I said, I think it’s an area I want to work on in future novels. The Age of the Flame, as a series, has really been about me finding my feet in the Fantasy genre more than anything else.
7. Is there anything in particular that inspires your writing?
Every writer is different but I think some write to escape and some write for catharsis. The latter tends to be my main reason for writing and my key inspiration. It’s how I express myself and confront things so escape doesn’t really become a part of the process.
8. I've noticed you've had a bit of success in the horror genre, under the pen name G.R. Yeates. Can we expect more from you in the horror genre? What is next for you?
The next thing coming out is a collection called Great British Horror. It’s is a bundle of novels and novellas by a number of British horror authors including myself which is being released on August 24th. It will be free that weekend and afterwards the proceeds from the collection will go to a very worthy charitable cause that helps disadvantaged young people - Centrepoint. My contribution is The Thing Behind the Door – a very personal novella about abuse and its consequences, not just for the individual but society as a whole.
Beyond that, there’s nothing definitely on schedule but future plans of mine do include a trilogy of novels about a seaside town in England called Sevengraves and a collection of erotic horror stories called Curiosa.
9.What advice would you give writers looking to become published? Also, where can people get updates on your work?
The short answer would be to self-publish. The long answer would be; know who you are as a writer. If you want independence and control over your work but at the same time are willing to take on the responsibility of promoting and building a name for yourself then self-publishing may well be the route for you. Just don’t take the decision to do so lightly. I wouldn’t recommend pursuing a publishing deal to anyone in all good conscience these days.
Greg James can be found on:
Twitter as well as Facebook , and here. Check out Greg on his official site G.R.Yeates - The Official Site
*Great First Interview XD*
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