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Interview with Hugo Hobbs

He is an American Author that’s launched his first fantasy novel in a series, Quest for Fire last year. This novel was influenced by the George Floyd protests and has a multi-cultural cast of characters.

Q.1 Tell us something about yourself not many people know?
I originally wrote this novel thirty years ago, but only now was in a situation to release it. The book was updated from its 1990s origin to reflect the values of today.

Q.2 Are we going to read more from you in the near future? Any new project you’re working on?
The second novel in the series is nearly done and will be sent to my editor soon. I hope to have it released by October 2022.

Q.3 What inspired you to write Quest for Fire?
Back in the early 90s the genera of fantasy wasn’t as well defined as it is now. I wanted to expand the area with my passion for such things.

Q.4 What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
For me it is being realistic to the art form. As a writer, I have to be true to the storyline, but not insulting to my readers. It’s a fine line at times.

Q.5 How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
Obviously your characters have a job to perform. They need to draw the reader into your story and make the reader care about them. Some character’s in my book are based on friends, others are the creation of my mind. I guess the formula would be the “need” for righteous or vile people in the right circumstances to appeal to the mind and hearts of the reader.

Q.6 Do you believe in writer’s block? If yes, how do you deal with it?
Writer's block is real! For me, the best way to let my mind wander to new possibilities is to be involved in nature. I enjoy biking, hiking, and gold panning. Being outside gives my mind the break it needs to push through the current storyline.

Q.7 What was the hardest part of writing this book?
Editing! I’m very fortunate to have Kate Seger as my editor. She’s a fan of the series which allows for some lively conversations on topics other than grammar. However, cutting away parts of the story to make it more palatable for the audience is hard.

Q.8 Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I’d tell stories around a campfire just like my ancestors.

Q.9 What makes your book stand out from the crowd?
As I mentioned before I was deeply moved by the George Floyd protests. At the time I had undergone back surgery, and couldn’t march for social justice. I felt left out until I realized I could do my part through writing. It reinvigorated my novel by introducing many different races as heroes in my book.

Quest for Fire has Black, Asian, Latino, and strong female champions. Social Justice is a strong flavor of the novel, but it’s not forced down the reader's throat. I believe this separate’s me from most fantasy writers.

Q.10 Is it vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing? Tell us about your marketing campaign?
Marketing has been a unique beast. I was blessed to come in contact with Michael Evan. He has helped to open a lot of opportunities for me that I wouldn’t have been able to do on my own. A good writer needs a team, and I have a great one with Michael Evan and Kate Seger.

Q.11 If you could be a member of any fantasy race, which would you choose and why?
Elves. The notion of eternal life, and never growing old is powerful. Imagine the things you could accomplish with eternal life.

Q.12 What is one stereotype about fantasy writers is absolutely wrong? What one stereotype is dead on?
Stereotype that is dead wrong is that fantasy is whimsical or even lazy. It’s not just pixie dust and unicorns. There are complex ideas that can have real-world motives of what’s right or wrong; look no further than J.K. Rowling or J.R.R. Tolkien for storylines that affect readers for a lifetime.

As for a stereotype that’s right on I’d say be prepared for a journey outside your current reality. The familiar will become unfamiliar as science blurs into magic. Many readers just can’t make that leap.

Q.13 If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Have faith in yourself. I had written a great story but was timid about what others would think of me. I let that doubt cloud my judgment for far too long.

Q.14 Do you ever research real events, legends, or myths to get ideas?
Research is key to a great novel! I research places, people, folklore so that I can present a story that has a ring of truth to it. Furthermore, having that knowledge helps everything to become more believable.

Q.15 Who designed your book cover? How do you select him/her?
A. Danielle Doolittle
did my book cover. I’ve had such positive feedback from readers and fellow authors on my cover art. She did a fantastic job, and I’ll absolutely use her talent in my next novel. I learned about Danielle through Kate Seger.

Q.16 How do you select the name of your characters?
Names are tough. I don’t want everyone to have a unique name because it interrupts the flow of the story. If the reader is constantly trying to learn a new name every few sentences, then it’s going to be a hard read. I do introduce some different names. The main villain of the book is a dragon named, Ahr-phar-zon. Another is a black hero named Cy-Cryst. However, there are a lot of ordinary names too.

Q.17 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good or bad ones?
I’ve been getting some fan emails with various questions or comments. Most of them are good, but some do have a point of view that’s critical. I read them all, and try to understand the viewpoints of all of them. Yet, in the end, you need to be true to yourself.

Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
As an author I’d love to spend some time with either Dean Koontz or Stephen King. I’d like to talk about how they approach a book, research, and prospective hero or villain creation. that would be enlightening. Learning from the professionals.

Q.19 What is your favorite book from other authors and why?
Dean Koontz is probably my favorite author of all time. Yeah, it's not fantasy, but he has a way of turning a small idea into an epic story. I love all his novels, but a favorite would be Watchers. It starts in a rural and small-town and ends with global ramifications. That’s the best!

Q.20 Share the experience of your journey so far?
So far it's been such an overwhelming experience. I never knew just how many people would be involved in making this book. it’s real enlightenment, and it gives me respect for all authors in every field.

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