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A Conversation with Fantasy Science Fiction Author David Lundgren

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David LundgrenDavid Lundgren was born in “a pokey town in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia)” and spent the first 18 years of his life there. He grew up in an environment “that seemed to combine the best elements of both an American and English heritage with a hybrid African lifestyle.” Lundgren is also a musician, which gave him the creative spark to create the Melforger series. He spends his time in San Francisco “teaching, enjoying frequent – and often frustrating – games of tennis, trying to learn the blues on piano, attacking Sudoku puzzles with relish, and attempting to make some headway with the ever-increasing pile of books that is waiting patiently at my bedside, developing its own gravity.”

His latest book is the fantasy/science fiction, Rhapsody.

For More Information

About the Book:

Rhapsody 2In RHAPSODY, the Forest has been completely healed and the battles of Books I and II are over, but a corrosive blackness that has been haunting Raf still seems to be growing in strength. They return to Miern to stop a traitor from assuming control of the city, but find themselves caught up in a deadly plot as they race against time to stop a dark and horrific power being unleashed on them all.

For More Information

  • Rhapsody is available at Amazon.
  • Read the first chapter here.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, David. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

Rhapsody is the final book in The Melforger Chronicles trilogy, so this is the third time round for me now.

Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

I avoided the traditional route and instead used CreateSpace to publish the trilogy. I love the flexibility and control that this method has offered, and hired an editor, proof-reader, designer and publicist to make it as awesome as possible and help with promotion.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

I won’t lie: seeing Melforger in hard copy, holding the very first proof in my hands, had me struggling in vain to fend off a ridiculous grin. After all the tiny steps in the process, the set-backs and the self-doubt, the hard-to-discern incremental advances, the whole thing seemed such an abstract – right up until I could feel the cover and turn the pages. It was a very satisfying moment.

Q: What was the first thing you did as far as promotion when you were published for the first time?

I visited local and international schools delivering creative writing workshops and talking about the writing process – and obviously discussing the book, too. In order to rise to the top of the millions of books on offer out there, I really wanted to try to get in touch with readers on a personal level, chat to them about writing, inspire them to be more proactive in their own writing, and, in the process, present my story and my personality as a buy-in so they have more reason to read The Melforger Chronicles.

Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?

I find it hard to sink into a book without wearing my author’s hat and analyzing how the story’s written rather than just enjoying the story – which is I’m so much more appreciative of really good books that thoroughly engage me. I also find myself spending a lot of time during my days thinking about new ideas and exploring new topics that I can write about, looking at everything I do, from sport to socializing, with a keen eye for juicy new material.

Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?

I think the publishing industry is going through some massive changes right now. As people spend more and more of their lives online, traditional publishers are having to frantically adapt and change their business models. Social Media is key – the king-maker of the literary world. To sign up as a rookie writer with a traditional publisher now, they want a complete package: both a marketable, interview-ready author, a phenomenal book, and a ready-made social platform with a horde of eager fans waiting to spend their money. Your modern author needs to wear many different hats and be far more active in building up a base of readers than in the past – and surely increasingly so as we leap into the future. Hopefully this will open up the playing field to many new, talented authors.

What is amazing about the literary world, though, is that reading has never been so popular, so cool. There’s so much variety, so many original and awesome stories out there. Long may that continue!

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?

I get to do what I love doing. I love the creative aspect of it, I love the challenge of building something that will last after me, and I love the social aspects of the books – whether it’s talking about writing, discussing topics from the story, or leveraging it to try to inspire people to write and create their own stories.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Start building an audience of readers NOW. Invest in future book-buyers in innovative and engaging ways. If you can gather a tribe of evangelists who love your writing and will happily and enthusiastically spread the word to everyone they know, you’ve won half the game already. There are no silver bullets with becoming a success author, just a bespoke combination of social media, original and excellent writing, and marketing savvy. Also: don’t give up!

 

 

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