To continue with the Tower of Parlen Min book tour, Matt Xell and I "sat down" for an interview. Enjoy! :)
1. What made you want to write novels?
There isn't one particular thing or person that inspired me to start writing. I fell in love with literature and the visual arts from a very young age, so I guess writing has always been one of the two major ways I love to express myself, the other been through art. But I only started taking writing seriously after the 9th grade when I used to write comic book plots and scripts. I didn't know there was any format for script writing, so I wrote in novel prose.
2. How did you come with the idea of Ves Asirin and the Tower of Parlen Min?
I came up with the idea for Tower of Parlen Min in 2006 after having a nightmare that was a bizarre mash-up of the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and House on Haunted Hill movies, I'm sure a lot of readers will notice some of the similarities. I merged the initial idea with another story I was working on called The Narrow Escapes of Ben Benns. The idea for Ves as the main character of this new story came a few months after this merger of plots.
When I started working on Ves' character, I wanted him to be very unique from other 'boy-heroes' in literature like Oliver Twist, Charlie Bone, Harry Potter or Percy Jackson who are all likeable and relatable characters. I wanted Ves to be an anti-hero and anti-social for at least the beginning of the series. I wanted him to have a sort of handicap that would make his 'Hero's Journey' a real challenge too, so I developed the concept of his memory loss disorder. I drew a lot inspiration for Ves from Feild Cate in Placebo's Song to Say Goodbye music video, Haley Joel Osmont in AI: Artificial Intelligence and The Sixth Sense, Link in The Legend of Zelda games and more especially Lain Iwakura from Serial Experiments. But something amazing happened during the writing of the Sword Challenge chapter; Ves suddenly took on a life of his own and started writing his own character, becoming increasingly reckless, adventurous and curiosity driven. I had to rewrite earlier chapters of the book to take note of these changes.
3. What are some your favorite pastimes when you're not writing?
I like to think of myself as equal parts a consumer and producer of the entertainment that I love. So, I watch a lot of movies and animation, read a lot of Japanese comic, read a fair amount of novels and play a lot of video-games.
4. Where in the world you love to visit before you die?
Japan. I fell in love with that country when I was 16 and I'm endlessly amazed by it's pop-culture and history, particularly after the second world war.
5. Can we expect more from you after Tower of Parlen Min?
Yes, though I'm still doing a hardcore marketing campaign for Tower of Parlen Min for the next six months at least. Then I'll start writing the sequel, Eclipse Over Atuwis Wood in April 2012. That'll take me a year and a half to complete but I'll writing and releasing some other work in between that period like some light novels or novellas set in the world of Everlon. These'll be Ves and the Good Doctor, The Brothers Macullen, The Hunt for Majis and Eslo's Story.
6. Who are your top three favorite authors of all time?
Right now it's J.K Rowling, Jack Canfield and whoever really wrote the Death Note manga.
7. Can my followers keep up with you and Ves?
Yes they can, and I'd be grateful for the support. They can find me and learn more about all things Ves on my blog mattxell.blogspot.com, on facebook using facebook.com/mattxell and facebook.com/Towerofparlenmin or on twitter using handle @mattxell.
Thanks for the awesome interview, Matt!!!
~~Check out the trailer for Tower of Parlen Min: