August 09, 2017

#CQWeek2017: Interview: @colin_heintze #Giveaway #Interview @CuriosityQuills

Welcome to this year's #CQWeek were so excited to share these titles with you!    Check it out and don't forget to enter the giveaway and come back later for more! 
Colin Heintze/Funeral Games Interview

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
The novel, my first, is called Funeral Games. It’s about a dynastic struggle taking place in a country ruled by the spirits of its deceased ancestors. 

What was the toughest/best review you have ever had?
So far, I haven’t had any really bad reviews of Funeral Games. I have gotten a few bad reviews of stuff of mine that’s appeared in the trades, though. I think it’s important to understand that different thing are important to different people. Some readers, for example, absolutely cannot conceive of liking a book without a romantic subplot. The only reviews I truly hate are the ones in which the reviewer completely misses the point, or they have some kind of political axe to grind. Conversely, the best reviews are the ones that “get it” – the reviewer recognizes the point I am trying to make, they understand the perspective I’m writing from, and they can identify what my inspirations and influences were. Those reviews don’t come along very often, but it definitely makes me smile when they do. 

How do you market/promote your books?

What do you think about book trailers?
If I’m being perfectly honest, I despise them. I’ve seen a few professional, low-key book trailers that did their job – create awareness for a book. But, those were professionally-produced trailers for famous, best-selling authors. Most book trailers are poorly-shot, poorly-made affairs using amateur actors and Z-grade special effects. They look cheap and tawdry and that’s not how I would want advertise my book. 

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
Of course. A writer is a bit of a solipsist, and a bit of a voyeur. A good writer pays attention to human interactions happening around them, and will document their own feelings in any given situation for later use. 

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I write the book and the title comes later. The title for Funeral Games was an homage to Mary Renault’s excellent book of the same name. Renault’s book was about the death of Alexander the Great. After Alexander’s death, his generals stole his body as a way to signify that they were the rightful successors to the empire. Many of the pivotal moments of my book happen during funerals, and there is plenty of body-snatching skullduggery. The title came naturally from that association.  

How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
I have several old maps of the world from the 16th and 17th centuries. When it comes to brainstorming place names, those things are an absolute treasure. I also have a good education in history and ethnology, so I have resources to come up with strong, realistic-sounding names. If you look at Robert E. Howard, for example, names like “Cimmeria” and “Hyboria” were names for real places in the ancient world. Generally, it comes down to either changing a few letters, or studying the word structure until you have a eureka moment and a whole new name comes to mind. I also make sure that fantasy names follow a certain set of conventions. You wouldn’t want members of the same culture/ethnic group having names that sound like they are from completely different languages.   

What is your favorite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?
That’s a tough question to answer. I can say that the book I’ve read the most number of times is Roger Zelazny’s Lord of Light. Zelazny always moves at a brisk pace and doesn’t hold your hand, so you notice a lot of things you missed in previous read-throughs. 

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