Price: $2.99Genre: Speculative FictionBinding: nonePages: 300Language: EnglishSmashwords Ebook Version ISBN-13: 9780979434037 (Available in many formats)Kindle Ebook Version ISBN-13: 9780979434044 ASIN: B00466HJ8UNook Ebook Version ISBN-13: 294001110089
Author Interview with Daron Fraley- Author of The Thorn: Book One- The Chronicles of Gan
Tell us something about yourself that most readers don’t know.
I died once. It was easy. I could do it again. True story . . . I had heart surgery right before my 5th birthday and had to be revived. I don’t remember anything about it, so I must not have been completely dead, just mostly dead. That reminds me of a fun quote: “It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive.” –Miracle Max, The Princess Bride
What inspired you to write The Thorn: The Chronicles of Gan?
"How many planets are there in the universe with people on them? We don’t know, but we are not alone in the universe! God is not the God of only one planet!” –Neal A. Maxwell
What do you hope readers will gain from reading your book?
I simply hope they come away from it feeling like it was a great story. Some readers might pick up on some of the symbolism threaded through the book. Although the book is not preachy, it does have a few religious themes in it: prayers which are answered, people who are protected, and miracles which occur. I think the characters show that faith, love, and loyalty are important virtues to cultivate. Perhaps the reader will feel the same way.
Do you outline your book from start to finish, or do you figure it out as you go?
For this novel I did have an ending in mind, but wrote it as I figured it out. For the other things I have written, I have used a mixture of outlining and pantsing (a funny term I recently learned).
What is the most rewarding aspect of writing and getting your book published?
The very best part is having readers enjoy the stories I write. Comments like: “Incredible.”, “I was touched.”, “I loved it!”, “It gave me chills.” . . . make it all worth it.
What is the most frustrating?
Getting published has been hard, and at times, very frustrating. There is a lot to learn, and sometimes you learn after the fact that you could have done things better had you taken a different path. Would I have held back my book and not published had I known what was going to be required of me in time and effort? NEVER!
What is the most common criticism you hear about your book?
I honestly have to say the most common criticism about the book has been in relation to the cover. I have had a lot of people say the cover for the first print edition of THE THORN with Jonathan in the field, sword in hand, is too “cartoony”. I personally like the cover, but I have heard at least twenty times from other people who do not.
However, I would venture a guess that you meant for me to talk about the writing. So . . . the second most common criticism I have heard about the book is that the main characters, who are ages 23 to 30, are too much like young men, that in some scenes they are not acting old enough. I really have no complaint about that criticism. Those readers might be right. All three of the main characters are bachelors. J
Do you have any other published works, or are you working on anything now?
I am working on the second book in the series, Heaven’s Garden. The main characters continue their quest to restore justice to the universe (not really, but it sounded good).
I also have a short story anthology out there (available on Smashwords, B&N, and Amazon) called WATER. That one is free on Smashwords and B&N. Amazon doesn’t allow free yet, so it is 99 cents there.
What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned as a writer?
Patience. It is very rare for a writer to hit it big on their first attempt. I think I’ll be learning that virtue for a good long time. I just wish I could learn it a bit faster.
What advice would you give to aspiring fiction writers?
Read every single AGENT and PUBLISHER and AUTHOR blog you can get your hands on. Trust me, if you want to be published, this is almost a requirement.
Steve, thank you very much for having me over!
I absolutely love the concept of Daron's book. I have never seen another fictional work address the subject of other worlds populated with sons and daughters of God, and their similar struggles of faith and redemption. It is fun to speculate and wonder about how people on other planets may struggle and grow into the men and women God wants them to become, just as we do.
The story is fun with some very creative elements, yet feels familiar. Aside from glowing crystals and multiple moons, I read the book with images of the Book of Mormon in my mind. The characters strengths and weaknesses are similiar to things we see every day because in reality children of God are children of God, regardless of what continent, country, or planet they live on. We are more the same than we are different. Though it is not a "religious" book per se, there are lessons to be learned.
Since Daron mentioned the criticism some made about his first cover, I included a copy of both for you to look at and make your own decision. In many ways it is sad that we do judge a book by its cover, but the truth is, we do. Personally, I like his new, brown cover better.
Daron's writing is rich in detail and symbolism weaves in and out of the story. It is fun reading about and visualizing the differences of Gan from Earth. Though this is a fun, interesting read, there are moments where description slows the narative of the story. I found his characters believable, and while they did act young on occassion, I think we probably all have those moments where we don't quite act our age. At least I hope so.
Daron, bring on book 2 and good luck with your continued sales on book 1.
Check out Daron's website at- http://www.daronfraley.com/