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Interview with A.G. Flitcher

He is a Canadian author that has published four books, several poems, and short stories. He has completed a bachelor’s in creative writing. And lastly, his love for storytelling has given him the courage to seek how far he can grow his skill set. Whether that be in Game Writing for video games or screenplays.

Q.1 Tell us something about yourself not many people know?
Once, when I was on a trip to Greece, in which I have cousins there, I got stung by a jellyfish twice while coming up from the ocean shore in front of the house I stayed at.

Q.2 Are we going to read more from you in the near future? Any new project you’re working on?
Yes, of course. I would be nothing without books. Writing or reading them. I am working on the third book of Boone and Jacque. Once that’s done, I’ll work on the fourth and final book. If readers want the series to continue, I will, but I intend to write other individual books and an anthology of fairy tales.

Q.3 What inspired you to write Boone & Jacque: Saddleton’s Secret?
There are books I’ve always wanted to write but felt that I didn’t have the skill set or practice to make them the way I want them to be. So each book in this series is different. A new challenge, or challenges, comes up whenever I write a book.

In Saddleton’s Secret, the challenge was going against the grain for how male characters are written. My readers tell me that the boys, Boone and Jacque, feel progressive and unique. This is strange because I wrote Boone thinking he was going to be the typical urban child in a suburban town. Jacque was written as a foster child brought up by a rich British family. He loves a good mystery and can be quite dry and direct. If how they act makes them unique without me noticing, I did my job.

Q.4 What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
It is only difficult if you don’t have enough life experience living and working with the opposite sex. Over time, I have worked in industries that are mainly female-driven. I learned how to speak with everyone. Maintain a certain kind of energy around someone so they can be themselves. Which allows me to have fewer enemies and observe how they act. I see people for who they are. Whether they are a woman, man or identify themselves differently, does not matter to me.

So, when I write a character of the opposite sex, I don’t think about their actions or thoughts being dictated by their gender. I think about who I want to be as a person. Which determines their importance in the story.

Q.5 How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
This is where most authors I know will roll their eyes at me. Before I start writing, I do write down each character and general knowledge about them. And of course, an outline of the story. However, I don’t restrict myself to a formula or one storyline. I let everything unfold naturally. If certain details of the characters are missing or don’t work, I don’t include them. When I describe a character in a story, physically, it’s done in one sentence. Then when I need to mention their emotional acreage, it is done through several scenes.

Q.6 Is it vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign?
I am an organic writer. I have tried many times to work with book promoters, read articles about marketing strategies, but nothing works when you don’t have a following. So what I’ve been doing, is simply going by word of mouth. I don’t want numbers; I want genuine readers who love and appreciate my work without me asking them to read my work.

I’ve been a writer for 8 years. The biggest mistake I made in the past was doubting myself. Me paying someone to help me increase my sales and target audience is not a strategy I intend to do. When I begin to see higher sales, I will talk to the publicist. But for now, I’m doing all the work myself.

Q.7 Is there, anyone, you’d like to acknowledge or thank for their support in your writing journey?
My writing teachers, friends from work, and my sister.

Q.8 Which of your adventures has been your favorite and for what reason?
In life my favorite adventure has been my trip to the red sea. It was supposed to be a four-hour road trip but turned into 9. Our tire blew up and we were stuck in a desert. We put on a spare tire and drove another 2 hours to find a tire shop. All in 50 degree Celsius weather. It was wonderful to be on a long and boiling journey. As for writing, it has to be Boone and Jacque. Sometimes I feel they are parts of me.

Q.9 What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your book?
How progressive I’ve become as a writer and person. There are no labels for a character’s sexual orientation, nor is there any criticism from narrow-minded people.

Q.10 If you could, which fictional character (from your own book or someone else’s) would you like to invite for dinner and why?
A. Jacque
. He is a complex character that came to the town where he first met Boone. That town being Saddleton. He’s from London, England. Well, he thinks he is. That’s why I want him over for dinner. He has plenty of stories to tell and to discover.

Q.11 Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?
Dialogue. It has to feel natural and progress the story forward. You can have dialogue-driven stories and have them work. But it can also be exhausting to read. Dialogue should be part of how we get to know a character. Not over-shadow the narrative voice.

Q.12 What fantasy realm would you choose to live in and why?
Good question, I would say Harry Potter. Not because of my love for that universe. But because there is the normal (muggle) world and magical world. I would travel to different countries and see how the magic and muggle worlds are kept safe and of course what is in them.

Q.13 What actually goes on when the author and illustrator meet?
Well for me I like to collaborate. I give my ideas and she tells me if it would work or not. I listen to her advice and we work together to create something that is magical and fits the tone of the book.

Q.14 Who designed your book cover?
A. Bristol Middleton
. She’s wonderful.

Q.15 Do you have any unique and quirky writing habits?
I have coffee and a sugary pastry that I finish eating before starting. I watch a video or two to relax my mind on Youtube then find a 10-hour loop of sounds that can help me focus on my writing. Like Celtic, Nordic or Orchestral music.

Q.16 How do you select the name of your characters?
I write test sentences and see if the name fits.

Q.17 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good or bad ones?
A. I do but if they are negative, I take a deep breath and move on. It’s just one person.

Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Amy Poehler. I’ve grown to like strong female characters who don’t take themselves too seriously. I’m re-watching the show Parks and Recreation. What I love about her acting, is that there is a good balance between power, emotion, and ambition. Plus, she’s a director now. So that’s awesome. I am truly inspired by her.

Q.19 What is your favorite book from other authors and why?
A. Misery
by Stephen King. It is one of his simplest stories but it is well written and focused. Some of his work has tedious detail that pulls me out of the story. But most of his work is good.

Q.20 Share the experience of your journey so far?
Exhausting but worth it. People tell me I look tired and I am. But I gotta eat while I work on my creative goals. Right now I’m applying to artistic jobs and meeting with creative people to get my name out there. I know I’m capable of making something of myself as a writer. And I won’t stop until I do.

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A.G. Flitcher
LinkedIn - Andre Gress
Instagram - @greatcoffeeequalsfocus
Twitter - @agflitcher
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