Aldred Chase stops by The Library to chat as part of his virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. He will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, so leave a comment or ask him a question of your own. You can see the stops on the tour here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2014/01/virtual-nbtm-book-tour-dragons-fool-by.html.
First, tell us about yourself – where you live, your family, and those sorts of details.
I grew up in the UK and my family still live there. Many years ago, I visited Australia on holiday, fell in love with the country and emigrated. I now live in Sydney with my wife Barbara.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing stories since I was a child, and I dreamed of being a writer when I grew up. As an adult, I’ve always maintained my writing as a hobby, but it’s only in the last two years that I have become serious about publishing my work.
Do you have a favorite place to write?
My favorite places for writing are cafes and park benches, but I do most of my work sitting at my desk. My best ideas come to me when I'm traveling by train or walking by the sea.
Why did you decide to write the Nobody’s Fool Quartet?
I’m fascinated by the history of theatre and I thought it would be interesting to base a story around a troupe of strolling players in a medieval setting. I was also inspired by the legend of Robin Hood. My hero would stand up and fight for the downtrodden people in an unjust society, and no matter how bad the situation became, he would never admit defeat. The final strand was that I wanted a hero who would be fun to write. I made my hero, Keth, a boy who was an energetic, impulsive risk-taker with a sharp wit and a flair for getting into trouble.
Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
My favorite character is my hero, Keth. I tend to be thoughtful and cautious whereas Keth is an impulsive risk-taker, and I find it exhilarating to experience the world through his eyes. I admire his resilience. He makes mistakes and he has setbacks, but he never gives in.
How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
My least favorite character in Dragon’s Fool is Prince Dawyn, who is a spoiled brat. My hero, Keth, is the Prince’s fool. Dawyn is an unsympathetic and obnoxious character but I try to find occasions to give him a little light and shade so that the reader can see how he became this way.
Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
Once I’ve finished my first draft, I do some self-editing. I try to resolve structural issues first then progress to finer levels of detail. Once I’m happy with my story, I send it to an editor to line-edit. I make most of the amendments suggested by my editor then my wife kindly proofreads the story before I publish it. I value the extra pairs of eyes looking over my story as they pick up many things that I miss but my readers would notice.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I enjoy reading and watching plays and movies; any form of storytelling draws me in. I like to travel, especially long distance train journeys. The planning is almost as much fun as the trip.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I read a lot of fantasy fiction and if I like a book, I will read it twice. The first reading is purely for personal pleasure while the second reading is more for professional interest. I want to learn how other writers weave their enchantments that suck me so completely into their stories. My favorite authors that I’m currently reading include Neil Gaiman, Eoin Colfer, Jonathan Stroud and Rick Riordan. My all-time favorite author is Tolkien.
Have you ever found yourself stuck part way through writing a book? If so how did you escape?
Before I begin writing a first draft, I work out an outline of the book down to the scene level. This keeps me on track, most of the time, but sometimes I will sense that I’m forcing my characters to act in ways that are untrue to them. My initial reaction is to panic but once I’m over that I revisit my outline and work out what needs to change. I give myself plenty of time and coffee to do this because I’m tweaking at the threads of the story and in fixing up one thing I might unravel something else.
When an earthquake strikes Russett, it is only the first in a series of disasters to devastate the city. Superstitious folk say that these are signs that a dragon is coming and only the golden prince of legend can save them. Keth's turnip tells him that these are only natural events and dragons don't exist, but he can use peoples' fears to his own advantage.
In the ruined city, Keth has to decide who he will trust and what he will believe. The fate of his friends and the survival of the land depend on the choices he makes.
Dragon's Fool is book four in the Nobody's Fool Quartet, the gripping climax to a tale of comedy and adventure.
Aldred Chase’s first experience of fantasy fiction was reading ‘The Hobbit’ at school, and he has been hooked on the genre ever since. His favorite places for writing are cafes and park benches, but he does most of his work sitting at his desk. His best ideas come to him when he is travelling by train or walking by the sea.
Aldred has just released Dragon’s Fool, the final installment of the Nobody’s Fool Quartet, a tale of adventure and comedy with some scary bits, aimed at children age 9 to 12. He vacated his desk to give his brain and keyboard a rest, but during a recent train ride the idea for his next novel arrived, and the desk is calling him back.
Buy Dragon's Fool at iTunes, Amazon, Smashwords, or Barnes and Noble. For readers who would like to read the series from the beginning, Apprentice Fool, book one of the Nobody’s Fool Quartet, is available free at Amazon, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo and Barnes and Noble.