Author Interviews

* you can find the original interviews and much more on my 'everything writing' blog (http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com), including author spotlights, guest posts, book reviews, flash fiction or poetry - new items posted 6am UK time Monday to Saturday and writing exercises at 6pm very weekday.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Author interview with Paul Lell (revisited)

Back in February 2013, I interviewed author Paul Lell for my interview-only WordPress blog. I hope you enjoy it...

Welcome to my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, scriptwriters, biographers, agents, publishers and more. Today’s is with science-fiction / fantasy author Paul Lell. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further.
Morgen: Hello, Paul. Please tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer.
Author PicPaul: Hello! My name is Paul Lell. I live and work in the northern suburbs of Denver, Colorado in the United States. I have worked in a myriad of disparate fields from construction, to demolition, and including teaching, computers, telecommunications, and more.
I’ve been writing my whole life, really. But only since about 2005 have I done so with any real intent on publishing. Since then, I’ve published 4 novels, a novella, and have more than ten novels already written and awaiting publication. We (my editor/advisor and I) have decided to finish the main series of books in the Kalijor series before we put the rest of these novels to market though, so now I’m working on the fifth and (hopefully) final book in Riana and Katrina’s big story arc.
Morgen: What genre do you generally write and have you considered other genres?
Paul: I write primarily science fiction and high fantasy stuff, but that is by no means my only interest. It just seems to be what flows the best when I sit down to write. I have written whole novels of modern fiction, super hero stuff, various fan fiction pieces, and some horror, suspense, and even a non-fiction book about my experiences in the corporate world. That last one is still very much a work in progress, but I hope to finish it in the next couple of years and see if it is worth publishing.
The majority of what I write isn’t ever intended for publication. It’s either just practice, or just something rattling around in my head that I need to get out before I can tap back into the major veins of Kalijor and the people that live there.
Morgen: What have you had published to-date? Do you write under a pseudonym?
Paul: I’ve often considered a pseudonym, but somehow it just doesn’t seem like the thing to do. That said, with everything I do, and write, it probably isn’t a bad idea at times. Still, it’s difficult enough building a platform as it is. Trying to build two or more to accommodate pseudonyms just seems like a tremendous division of efforts and energy.
I guess I’d rather people just know me for who I am, take the bits they like, and leave the rest behind. I am very sure that everything I produce is not everyone’s cup of tea. But something I do, might be a fit. It’s kind of a double-edged sword, but people are smart and I think there are enough resources out there these days for folks to be able to find what they like and leave the rest behind.
1st KeyAs for what I’ve published. I have the first four novels in my very first major story arc in print now, and am working on the fifth (and planed to be final) book in the series now. They are ever so creatively named, ‘The First Key of Kalijor’, ‘The Second Key of Kalijor’, and so on. I kicked around a few other names, but I figured that, for the first series, we should keep it simple, and easy to remember, especially with a word like Kalijor in there. Subsequent books have much more creative names that sort of play on the Kalijor theme since by the time they are in print, my readers will know what to look for in order to find me. :)
Morgen: You’ve self-published, what lead to you going your own way?
Paul: I am, and while it doesn’t mean I am closed to the possibility of signing with someone, I really enjoy the fact that my IP is mine, and I can do with it what I want, when I want. It’s led to some interesting opportunities, and there is a lot on the horizon yet that being with a publisher would have made very difficult, if not impossible.
2nd Key
As for how that decision was made, it was a combination of reading the proverbial writing on the wall, and my experiences looking for an agent / publisher several years ago.
The publishing world is in a state of major flux right now, as everyone watching the news is no doubt aware. The US DoJ is going mad with suits against Apple and the major publishers, and the European authorities are building cases as well. Authors I speak with at conventions tell horror stories about how things are working with publishers and how crazy everything is. The simple truth is, the reader is so much more accessible these days that a self-published author really only needs to reach out their hand to get in touch.
There can be no doubt that signing with a publisher has benefits as well as pitfalls, as does self-publishing. I guess my brain, combined with my OCD tendencies, is just well suited to taking control of the process as much as possible.
As for my agent experience… I’m sure most new authors have a story like this. I spent months combing through listings and sending off / tracking inquiries to agents all over the world. I think maybe one in ten was responded to, and another one in ten of those was not a form letter. The ones that weren’t form letters usually had a little bit of feedback, most of which was very positive. But, I got to looking at all of these rejection letters (243 of them to date, not that I’m counting), and I realized that the majority of them were so badly worded, riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, and so poorly handled that I didn’t really want people doing that kind of work representing me.
I remember getting a reply where the enclosed response was literally rubber-stamped on a torn piece of legal pad paper that had been sealed up in the flap of the envelope and thinking, “what the heck am I doing with all of this? I can do better than aligning myself with someone who treats people like this…”
So off I went. And I have to say, it is certainly a slow road, but I have learned a tremendous amount (and continue to do so) and I have enjoyed every moment of it.
Morgen: Are your books available as eBooks? How involved were you in that process? Do you read eBooks or is it paper all the way?
3rd KeyPaul: My books are absolutely available as eBooks, and on every platform I can reach out to (Apple, Amazon, B&N, etc.). I think it is incredibly important to be as accessible as possible and eReaders are only going to become more and more prevalent going forward.
As for the process… It’s pretty much all me. I have a couple folks who look things over and offer feedback, and my editor helps me with layout and typesetting, but I handle all of the eBook conversions and manage all of the posting to various outlets. I tried a couple services that manage all of that for you, but I wasn’t happy with all of the output I was seeing, so I took it over. Again, OCD tendencies. *grins*
Personally, I read in any medium I can. I love the full sensory experience of the dead-tree format and I doubt I’ll ever forsake that to go purely digital with my own library. That said, I really enjoy the fact that I can keep a thousand books on my tablet and read any of them whenever, and wherever I want.
Morgen: Do you have a favourite of your books or characters?
Paul: This is a loaded question! I love all of my characters, of course! All for different reasons. Riana is pretty awesome to me, although she is a bit anxty for my taste. Granted, she’s done a lot of growing up and continues to do so. There can be no doubt that she is one of my favourites.
Still, I think Daray tops the list for me. To be literally hurled into the middle of the world of corporate espionage because of something you found; physically rebuilt into a different person, have a computer shoehorned into your head and so forth… She’s been man-handled, manipulated, abused, beaten, shot, and so much more, and she still keeps getting back up and finding pleasure in the simple things as she adapts to her new world. Her book is coming up right after the Keys of Kalijor series is done, so you can find out more about her soon.
There are so many, and just talking about her makes me think of others I want to say are my favorites… darn you!!!
Morgen: :) Did you choose the titles / covers of your books? How important do you think they are?
Paul: I chose the titles, with input from others. They are simple and a little bit bland, but that was by design. Throwing a word like Kalijor on the cover seemed enough crazy for folks to sort out so we kept the rest simple. Future titles will be much more interesting now that the brand has been established.
4th KeyAs for the art, I commissioned all of the cover art myself, and had a great deal of input into their design. That said, I also tried to let the artists have as much rein as possible. My new cover artist (responsible for books 2, 3, 4, and the rest going forward) is also a fan of the books, and has become a great friend of mine, which is awesome because I know he loves the stories and has a vested interest in making the covers representative of the characters and story. He does an incredible job and constantly astounds me with his vision and creativity!
I know it’s a bad thing to ‘judge a book by its cover’, but if the cover isn’t interesting enough to get people to pick up the book, then you haven’t hooked a reader. So I think it’s important, but certainly not the whole story, as it were.
Morgen: What are you working on at the moment / next?
Paul: In terms of writing, I am currently working on the fifth novel in the initial story/character arc.
Around that I am working on the Kalijor Pen and Paper RPG book. I had it all done and was about to close a deal with Palladium books to publish it for use with their rules/game engine, but in the eleventh hour, Keven (Siembieda, of Palladium books) and I sort of independently came to the same conclusion, that while working together would be an incredible opportunity for me and for Kalijor, it was ultimately better for me to proceed on my own. So, I’m currently involved in play-testing the new Kalijor RPG, using a new rule set/game engine that I designed myself from the ground up.
To be clear, Kevin is a great guy, and he is still one of my personal heroes. We were both looking for ways to make it work, but in the end, this was just the best thing for the both of us. I have no doubt that we will be friends, and very successful in business, going forward.
Oh! I’m also working on an ‘Art of Kalijor’ book with David, my cover artist. It could be available by the time this is being read, so look for it! David is an incredible artist who somehow reaches right into my head and pulls out images of Kalijor, just how I see them in my mind’s eye.
Morgen: Do you manage to write every day? Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?
Paul: I try to write every day. I even almost always succeed! If I had the time (meaning, when all of this writing is actually paying the bills, so I can ‘quit my day job’) I can easily clear 5,000-10,000 words a day, every day. To quote Kevin Siembieda, “I often tell people that I suffer from an overactive imagination and they chuckle as if I’m joking. But they don’t understand. It really is a form of suffering. If I don’t write every day and try to get all of this stuff out of my head, it really is a sort of suffering.”
I have not, to date, every experienced what I would call writer’s block. I have experienced what I would term to be ‘writer’s diversion’ though. Sometimes the story I want to write isn’t the one that is flowing. So I have found that it is usually best to write what is flowing, rather than try and force what I want. Still, I can always write something.
Morgen: Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
Paul: I use what I would call a world-building, character-led approach to writing. What that means to me is that I take time to build out my world(s) in as much detail as I can. I suss out things like political structures, people in power, major players in the world, underground organizations, the cost of tea, every little detail I can. I build my worlds up with rich histories that many people will never get even the barest hint of, just so they are as rich and alive as they can be in my mind. I need to know why things are the way they are before I can really use the world to host the story.
After that’s all in place, I do the same thing with my characters. Build complete histories, life events, favorite colors, foods, etc. Again, things most readers may never be privy to 90% of the information, but it’s all there!
After all of that, I come up with some problem/issue/motivation, and a few points I would like the plot to move through, including the ending, toss my characters in, and see what happens! Usually they move through the waypoints I’ve set, and occasionally the end even comes out the way I want it to!
Morgen: Do you have a method for creating your characters, their names and what do you think makes them believable?
Paul: As described above, I get pretty detailed. I have piles of (digital) documentation about my characters, their early lives, experiences, likes, dislikes, tastes, desires. Most of it no one but me may ever see, but it’s all there. The worst part, for me, is names. I’m really bad with names in real life, and that seems to extend into my own fantasy worlds as well. Sometimes it takes me months (or even years in some cases) to settle on a name for a main character.
Making a character believable is something that is touch and go. It’s like, they need to be a little bit beyond belief in a couple subtle ways, even if it’s just that absolutely indomitable will, or a dogged, stupid determination to soldier on even when the world is burning down around them. But at the same time, they need to be truly vulnerable as that makes them seem more human.
With Riana, for example, she has this… I’m not really sure how to describe it… Tenacity? That could be the best term. In truth, she’s a bit annoying. She’s socially awkward, naive, and more than a bit whiney and selfish. She’s often intentionally obtuse and difficult with people, but at the same time, she will go to any lengths, even her own mortality, to help a friend, or even a perfect stranger, in need. She holds all life so dear and precious that she doesn’t even think before stepping between someone else and a speeding bullet, even if that someone else is no friend of hers. She’s made to do things in the line of work that she abhors, and she has reached a place where her logical mind can balance those deeds with her moral compass, but her cybernetically enhanced mind allows her to remember each and every life she has ever taken in the course of her duties.
Suffice to say, she loses sleep at night pretty regularly…
Morgen: Do you do a lot of editing or do you find that as time goes on your writing is more fully-formed?
Paul: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
*Ahem*
Sorry… um, has my writing gotten better over time? Absolutely. If I wasn’t improving, I couldn’t still be doing what I do and feeling good about it. Even my editor regularly says I am still improving by leaps and bounds. She read an older piece for me the other day; one I am considering for submission to a publication. She almost came at me with an open pen she was so frustrated! *laughs*
But yeah, I edit a lot. I have a whole stable of people that go through stuff for me. Some look for technical errors, some grammar and word choice, and some continuity within, and across books/stories. There’s this whole process to the editing and revisions that takes months to execute after the words ‘the end’ are typed in a manuscript. They say writing the book is the easy part and believe you me, they aren’t joking!
Morgen: Do you have to do much research?
Paul: This question came up on some forums the other day and I was reminded of a conversation I once had with Todd McFarlain about comic book writers and artists. I think it’s applicable to any form of creation, really. He said that a comic book artist has to be an expert in everything. It isn’t enough to know how to draw a realistic car, because when someone crushes it, or it explodes, you need to know what is likely to come out of it, or how it is likely to collapse under pressure. Sure, you could just describe some bits and bobs and hope the reader/viewer just glances over it, but really, you want it to be as accurate as you can, especially considering that you are trying to get them to suspend disbelief on so many other aspects of a fantasy world already.
That said; I do a huge amount of research for my writing. Even in a world I have entirely made up, it has to have come from somewhere, right? True, it’s a far-flung future setting, but it’s still us (humanity), so how did we get there? How do they travel? What does their society look like? Weapons? Computer technology? Medicine?
I read volumes of encyclopaedic information on spacecraft, computers, medicine, economics, politics, planetary sciences, teraforming (seriously!!) and so much more, just to look at what things are like now, what experts in those fields are thinking they will look like in fifty years, and then I have to push it to the outside limits (and beyond) to see what they may look like in 500, or a thousand years time.
I also have another (second) stable of folks that have real knowledge in these areas that I use to bounce ideas off of, and postulate my theories on how things could go, just to make sure that the license I do take, isn’t so extreme as to be beyond belief. There’s a lot to it, really. :)
Morgen: What point of view do you find most to your liking: first person or third person? Have you ever tried second person?
Paul: I usually write in third person, but I occasionally play with first person. I’m learning. As it were.
I’ve never really played much with second person in my writing, but I do a lot of game mastering for play-tests and other RPG sessions, so I get to use second person quite a lot there.
Morgen: Do you write any poetry, non-fiction or short stories?
Paul: I have never found a liking for poetry. Something about it just does not resonate with me at all. Not in any format I’ve tried digesting. I keep looking though. Perhaps someday I’ll find some poetry I will enjoy. As for short stories, I write them all the time. Every year I publish a short story as a stand-alone book to offer as my ‘event’ book that can only be found at events, conventions, and so forth, that I am at. Additionally, I post all kinds of short fiction, fan faction, and craziness all over the internet.
Still working on my first non-fiction book. I’ll finish it… Some day…
Morgen: Which leads me nicely to my next question: do you have pieces of work that you think will never see light of day?
Paul: Absolutely! I am not of the opinion that everything I write is gold. In fact, I’d say about 10% of what I write is worth reading. Maybe… Other folks seem to disagree with that sentiment, and that’s good news, but I usually don’t see it. Yeah, I have megabytes of files on my computer that are filled to overflowing with crud that nobody, including me, should ever look at. But, that’s all part of writing every day, in my opinion. The real question is, why do I save it?
Morgen: Because you’re older and wiser and can see where you went wrong? That’s what I’m hoping with my old stuff anyway. Have you had any rejections? If so, how do you deal with them?
Paul: Have I ever?! *laughs* It sucks, at first. But you have to remember that, for the most part, you aren’t being rejected. Only the work that you’ve poured all of your blood, sweat, and tears into for countless ages is.
Oh… Um… Maybe not so helpful, that…
Seriously though, getting rejections can be painful, but really it’s an essential part of the process. When you get a rejection, you have two choices. Give up, or try harder. For me, give up was never really an option, so I went with option B. The key, for me at least, is to not take it personally. If they offer constructive criticism, take it to heart. Look at your work as objectively as you can and ask if they’re right. Be willing to give a little on the less important things.
In my experience, most folks don’t want to give you a bashing just because. Most of them generally think they are being helpful when they open their mouths. Try to get at the root of what they are saying and discard any emotions that come along with it, from them, and from you, and see if there is an opportunity for improvement there. If so, act on it. If not, move along.
Also, realize that ‘they’ are not always right. No matter who ‘they’ happen to be or how they present themselves. Remember, JK Rowling was turned down by several major publishers before she sold Harry Potter to a relatively small press who felt the story resonated with them.
Morgen: Do you enter competitions?
Paul: I have not, as yet. Most of them require entry fees and/or copies of books. That is all capital and inventory that I feel is better focused on raising awareness. Even with slow progress, at least it isn’t gambling.
Morgen: Do you have an agent? Do you think they’re vital to an author’s success?
Paul: I do not. I would think hard before signing on with one, but I know it will sort of need to happen one day. There is a lot an agent can bring to the party, but it has to be the right person. If they aren’t completely invested in the IP, then they are not going to work as hard as they can to see it succeed, and in the right ways. I need someone that will advocate me, and my world, to others of a like mind; others who see the vision.
That probably sounds a little pretentious, but there it is. I care a lot about my world and I don’t want just anyone digging into it and producing crud, just to say it was done. So, are they vital? Probably not, but I am sure they bring a lot to the table when they are all in, as it were.
Morgen: How much of the marketing do you do for your published works or indeed for yourself as a ‘brand’?
Paul: Somewhere between 80%-90%. I’d say 100%, but I know there are fans out there who are spreading the word and for that, there is no thank you heart-felt enough. It’s a long, slow game, and you have to learn to play it as you move your pieces.
Morgen: You do. What’s your favourite / least favourite aspect of your writing life? Has anything surprised you?
Paul: Self-promotion. I am an introvert by nature, as many fiction writers likely are. It takes everything I have some days to go out and put myself in front of a crowd, and I’ve never been good at selling anything, let alone my own stuff.
What has surprised me is the establishment of loyal fans. I know it sounds weird, because that’s kind of what your after in all of this, but it’s still sort of a shock when you realize that, here at my table stands a person who drove into town for a convention, walked past registration and hotel check-in, straight to my table, an hour before the con opens, and is asking for the new book. Not to get a big head or anything, but that is a pretty satisfying experience!
Morgen: What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Paul: Write! Simple enough, yeah? But that’s the key. Write. Every day. Every chance you get. It doesn’t matter if you write total garbage for 90% of your life. You’ll never get to that amazing 10% if you don’t write the rest first.
After that, get used to dealing with rejection, criticism, and people who stand at your table and ramble on at length about stuff you have no interest in but don’t want to shoo them off as it might look bad for you to do so. Not that this sort of thing ever happens…
Morgen: If you could invite three people from any era to dinner, who would you choose and what would you cook (or hide the takeaway containers)?
Paul: Um… Have I mentioned I am really bad with names? There are so many to choose from, and your question has frozen my mind!!! How about Mary Shelly, Douglas Adams, and Isaac Asimov? That would make an interesting dinner party. We could discuss artificial people for a start and go from there! I could smoke a brisket, or some ribs… Or make spaghetti so my wife would join us!
Morgen: Is there a word, phrase or quote you like?
Paul: “Don’t say goodbye, say good journey; for every destination is but a doorway to the next.” Five bonus points if you can tell me where it came from!
Morgen: Erm… pass… According to Google it’s from Masters of the Universe (I used to love that!) – a character called Teela. :) Are you involved in anything else writing-related other than actual writing or marketing of your writing?
Paul: Such as what? Teaching visually impaired geriatric canines to read? *ponders*
I do a little editing and proof reading for folks, usually in trade of services. I do some business proposals and articles of organization writing. I’ve done some grant writing (all successful, thus far). Also a little copy-writing here and there for projects without budgets. One of these days, one of them will make millions and my one percent of their one percent will buy me a stick of gum, or a coke, or something!
Morgen: What do you do when you’re not writing?
Paul: Well, I work full time, I have a small company that does computer and network installation, tech support, and technical training. I have another small company that does custom, one-off latex fashion designs for photo shoots, or club-wear, or whatever people want to do with that. I also have two kids who enjoy having the occasional Nerf gun battle, a very large dog who thinks he’s a person, and a lovely wife to spend time with whenever possible (but never enough for me). I think it’s safe to say that I keep busy!
Morgen: Are there any writing-related websites and / or books that you find useful?
Paul: Research tomes aside, I highly recommend Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’ as a sort of handbook for the process and business of writing pretty much anything. Also, I have a metric tonne of word reference books, dictionaries, thesaurus, and I read voraciously.
Wikipedia is my launch pad for most research. It’s a quick and dirty start that is usually good for general information. But, be sure to check all of the references on an article and read other, outside material as well. As with any other reference, it can be… mistaken…
Morgen: ‘On Writing’ is the most popular book in these interviews. I have it, it’s great. Are you on any forums or networking sites? If so, how valuable do you find them?
Paul: I am on several LinkedIn writing groups and I write regularly at a little site called World Enough and Time (literary reference very much intended) where I participate in the creation of several different worlds and practice writing with a bunch of amazing folks.
Morgen: What do you think the future holds for a writer?
Paul: Whatever they make of it. Just like anyone else. :)
Morgen: Indeed. Where can we find out about you and your writing?
Paul: You can read up on me and my writing, world, and general musings over at http://www.Kalijor.com.
And my own book store is at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/paullell
Also, search for my name (Paul Lell) or Kalijor on pretty much any bookseller’s site, or in just about any eBook store/device, and you’ll find me there, staring back at you!
Morgen: Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
Paul: Interesting factoid: Did you know that three out of four people make up seventy-five percent of the population? True story….
Morgen: And 300 words a day is a 100,000 novel in a year. :) Is there anything you’d like to ask me?
Paul: If one train leaves Glenwood Springs, headed east at 88 MPH… How much does a pound of feathers weigh?
Morgen: A pound (I’m more awake than I thought). :) Thank you, Paul.
I then invited Paul to include an extract of his writing…
Ten minutes later Darren staggered up to the door of a small, sleek craft that looked more like some kind of predatory animal than a space vessel. The women waiting at the door were dressed in long, flowing coats that reflected prismatic in the brightly lit shipyard. They each stood around six feet tall and wore dark shades over their eyes so that he couldn’t see their appraising looks as he approached.
“Mr. White.” The raven-haired woman accused as he stepped up to the pair.
He simply nodded at her, still too winded from his run, and the bullet wound, to speak coherently.
“You must be something special for us to be sent out here to collect you.”
Darren panted as he shook his head. He wasn’t sure how to respond to such a statement, even if he had the breath. He cast his gaze back and forth between them. The purple-haired woman had long, tapered ears that twitched occasionally, but she seemed otherwise completely impassive.
“Look,” he panted, “I don’t mean to be rude or anything but is there any way we could… you know… move this inside…?”
“We’re supposed to collect something before your sanctuary is granted.” The raven-haired woman spoke again. This time she actually looked apologetic as she spoke.
Darren stared at her for a moment, mouth agape, before finally nodding his head. “You’ll need a terminal. I had to store it internally.” He turned his head to the left and tugged his right ear forward a bit, revealing a small ODN port in his skull behind the earlobe.
The dark-haired woman nodded then looked at her silent companion. “You’re up, Ree.”
The purple-haired woman looked at her companion for a moment before stepping toward Darren. She stopped a foot in front of him raising her right arm to lift her dark glasses up to her brow. She looked at him with the most vivid violet eyes he had ever seen before dipping her hand into her pocket and pulling out an ODN patch cable.
“I’m sorry about this,” she said, her long ears drooping down low as if they were suddenly very sad or depressed. Taking one end of the ODN cable in her left hand, she pressed it toward her right inner wrist, near the center of a complex glyph of some kind that was tattooed with faintly glowing blue ink on her wrist. As the connector drew near to her skin, the flesh opened up of is own accord, revealing an ODN connector that accepted the cable with a faint click.
*
And a synopsis…
The tensions between Solidarity Online and the Conglomerate's corporations are mounting. The artefacts unlocked by the Keys of Kalijor are at the heart of the problem as the virtual world of Kalijor leaks into real world of 3045 A.D. and Riana's strange connection to both has granted her powers that defy not only logic, but the laws of physics.
**
Born and raised in and around Denver, Colorado, Paul had a pretty typical childhood during which his parents encouraged his imagination and his friends helped him plan his future conquest of the globe.
He graduated high school in 1992, attended a few years of higher education, and has been looking for his ideal job ever since. Turns out, the love of writing he’s carried with him his whole life, was that ideal job all along.
He has a wife, two boys, a dog, two cats, loves to cook, drive (as long as there is a destination), play games, and hang out with his family.


Update March 2013: Paul's newest project, now that the Fifth novel is finished and the next one is in editing, is a new role laying game system that uses a fresh new game engine that works for all ages. He hopes to bring families of gamers together while helping young children learn problem-solving and critical thinking skills as well as how to socialize and work together with others in a group. The new system will arrive in three versions, one for kids 4-7, one for kids 7-14, and one for 'kids' 14-400+! 
Currently the books are written and getting a few final tweaks in testing, and Paul is collecting funds to purchase art and publish the books in time to launch them at GenCon 2013 this August. You can check out the details of the game and help support the project at: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kalijorpress/kalijor-the-role-playing-game
***
If you are reading this and you write, in whatever genre, and are thinking “ooh, I’d like to do this” then you can… just email me and I’ll send you the information. They do now (January 2013) carry a fee (£10 / €12.50 / $15) for the new interviews on the mixed blog but everything else (see Opportunities on the main blog) is free.
Alternatively, if you’d like a free Q&A-only interview, I now have this blog, http://morgensauthorinterviews.wordpress.com, on which I’ve rerun the original interviews posted here then posted new interviews which I then reblog here. These interviews are Q&A only, so I don’t add in my comments but they do get exposure on both sites.
If you go for the interview, it’s very simple; I send you a questionnaire (I have them for novelists, short story authors, children’s authors, non-fiction authors, and poets). You complete the questions, and I let you know when it’s going to go live. Before it does so, I add in comments as if we’re chatting, and then they get posted. When that’s done, I email you with the link so you can share it with your corner of the literary world. And if you have a writing-related blog / podcast and would like to interview me… let me know.
** NEW!! You can now subscribe to the main blog on your Kindle / Kindle app!
You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything. You can contact me and find me on the internetview my Books (including my debut novel, which is serialised on Novel Nights In!) and I also have a blog creation / maintenance service especially for, but not limited to, writers. If you like this blog, you can help me keep it running by donating and choose an optional free eBook.
For writers / readers willing to give feedback and / or writers wanting feedback, take a look at the main blog’s Feedback page.
As I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t unfortunately review books but I have a list of those who do. I welcome items for critique for the online writing groups, and their associated Facebook groups, listed below:
Morgen’s Online Non-Fiction Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group
We look forward to reading your comments.

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Thank you for taking the time to read this interview and leaving a comment - we are all very grateful.