Birth of Hope: The Gaia Chronicles is the debut novel of A. J. Trevors and it’s going to be officially released on 1st February – you can find links to pre-order below. It is my pleasure today to receive this new author in my blog. I hope you enjoy his answers as much as I have enjoyed interviewing him.
1. Please tell us a little about yourself, your background?
Sure! My name is Andy Trevors and I’m 21 years old. I hail from the beautiful city of Melbourne and I’m currently enrolled in a law school there. Despite living in Melbourne for the past three to four years, I was actually born in Penang, Malaysia and have spent most of my life there.
2. When did you first start writing?
I believe the first time I started writing was at the age of thirteen when I started high school. For English class, we had to write some pieces of prose with some instruction. Despite some of my friends moaning about all the work we had to do, I secretly enjoyed actually writing these pieces in class! Call me a nerd, but that’s when my passion for writing awoke. I really enjoy crafting a new world out of nothing but my imagination and send my teacher’s hearts racing with exciting storylines and twisted endings.
3. Which books and writers inspired you?
Oh there are plenty. Below I’ve listed three authors and the books that have inspired me:
- Daniel Silva: One of the new wave of fiction writers with a unique style of writing. Instead of a flurry of description, Silva decides to keep things short and sweet. Dialogue is short. Descriptions are short. Actions scenes are short. By short, I mean succinct, compact, and no needless or filler words are added. Everything is packaged into a beautifully tight package that makes his books, the ‘Gabriel Allon’ series, a fantastic read for fiction lovers.
- Brent Weeks: This man is the first author that introduced me to what gruesome fantasy could look like. His ‘Night Angel’ series does not follow the usual fantasy formula, where there is a knight in shining armour facing down the cunning villain. Instead, his novels portray characters as grey, being neither good nor bad but something in between. His characters have such a rich backstory, from the reluctant assassin Kylar Stern to the anti-hero Durzo Blint. His characters and the way he builds them up should be the industry standard when writers seek to introduce characters for their own books.
- George R.R. Martin: The don of all fantasy writers. This gregarious writer ripped up the rulebook when it comes to writing a novel. Bloodthirstily killing main characters, plot twists that nobody sees coming, likeable side characters that morph into main characters smoothly. George is truly the king of this writing age. His ‘Game of Thrones’ series showed the way in writing fantasy that didn’t need to be full of magical beasts or magic. It incorporates medieval politics, cunning characters and original set pieces that other authors should strive to emulate in their writing.
4. Why speculative fiction for your debut novel?
I really enjoy speculative fiction. I think it says it all in the name, doesn’t it? Speculative. That means I can write anything my imagination thinks off (to a certain believable extent, of course). Which writer doesn’t want to have his imagination run loose all over the manuscript? I also believe it’s a good genre for budding authors to start off with. You can see what works and what doesn’t. How to build characters, setting, descriptions, action scenes etc. since you can do anything under speculative fiction. This learning curve bleeds on to your future projects and will make you, overall, a better writer.
5. Did you outline your novel or did you just develop your initial idea?
I outlined my novel. Being around 360 plus pages, just developing the initial idea isn’t good enough. You have to really separate out the different chapters and feel how it’s paced. Is it too fast? Too slow? You also got to really outline it so that you know what to cut when you rewrite because, trust me, your finished product will look so different from your first draft. Outlining it helps you know where to make the changes and whether those changes will work with respect to the overall story arc and the pacing of the novel.
6. What was your biggest challenge?
Sincerely, I think my biggest challenge was time management! As you know, I’m currently a university student with loads of studying to do in such short time frames. Moreover, I have a part-time job as a restaurant waiter on some evenings. So, finding the time to even write one word on my manuscript became a challenge, as I come back home late at night tired from my daily exertions.
I overcame this challenge by simply writing early in the morning before I started my day, between 8am-9am. That way, my brain was fresh and I was able to get my book stuff done before I had to go to university. It’s a win-win situation.
7. Which characters do you like from your book?
Oh, there are just so many! Perhaps the character I really love is not the protagonist, Damien, but the supporting character Adrix. Without giving away any spoilers, character wise, he is a tougher individual than Damien and been through a lot despite his tender age. There were certain expectations that were placed on his shoulders which caused him great pain and tension with others throughout his life. I can identify with his struggles and also his flawed character. All of us are human and all of us are imperfect, so I think Adrix is a fantastic reflection of people who bear responsibility but crumble under its weight due to understandable circumstances.
8. How did you get the idea for your novel?
The germ of the idea for ‘The Gaia Chronicles’ came about from me thinking what would happen if I combined both the fantasy and sci-fi genre into one novel. I loved both genres since young but very rarely have I encountered a novel that could bridge both worlds into one book, and this is my attempt at doing so.
I also realised that, in contemporary sci-fi, how empty the world could be. For example, in Star Wars, you would have multiple planets, such as Tatooine, Coruscant, Endor etc. However, there was barely any depth to those planets. It was either a swamp planet, a dessert planet, a city planet. There was just no elaboration of the world. Fantasy is different as it explores the environment and the world our protagonist is thrown into. So, this novel is about trying to bring about that depth of environment found in Fantasy into the Sci-Fi genre.
Birth of Hope: The Gaia Chronicles
Hope Chronicles Book 1
by A.J. Trevors
Joy. Peace. Fear. Death. Hope. To many, these are just emotions, facial expressions or words that are evoked in the face of numerous situations. However, there are a select few in the galaxy that have the power to wield them into something more. Into a weapon. Into a personification of their inner being.
They are called Spectres
Damien is one such person. With the Spectre Hope, he will shoulder the hopes of the galaxy as he strikes out on an epic adventure that will bring readers to all four corners of the planet, Gaia. From the peaks of Mount Cygnus to the sand-blasted plains of the Tahiba Dessert, Damien and his group of friends will try to find a way to end the war with the merciless Vangarians and unlock the secrets hidden within the depths of their hearts.