Here’s what Spotlight is about; it’s an interview that promotes you! It will feature questions that are formatted to your needs. Questions will be focused on your work, upcoming work and some personal [but not intrusive] questions for your fans to get to know you more!
Today features Charles Yallowitz
Tell us about yourself
This is always the most difficult question because I feel like I’m on a dating game show. I’m an aspiring author who fell in love with the fantasy genre and decided to join that genre’s ranks. Beyond that, I’m rather simple. I’m an Ares and I’m okay with walks on the beach as long as I’m not wearing sneakers.
My experiences. I feel that every experience in my life has molded me into the person I am. I work more off my creativity and sense of humor than anything else, which I hope makes me a fun person to be around. Those are the bigger aspects of my personality that drive me with my writing.
About your writing;
When did you start writing?
I started writing small joke books and nature books when I was in 2nd grade. I did this until people realized I was bad at math and tried to redirect my energy. I didn’t start seriously writing again until high school when I decided that being an author was my dream career. 18 years later and I’m finally doing something about that.
What inspires you to write?
I get inspired by the world around me. A peaceful day, a stormy day, television, movies, books, conversations, and anything that I interact with can cause an imagination spark.
How has writing changed you as a person?
Writing and my imagination have been a central part of my personality for a long time, so it’s hard to say how it’s changed me. I do feel more confident and happier when I’m writing, so I think it makes me a better person. At the very least, it makes me capable of being in public without being a downer.
Adding some fun;
If you spend the rest of your life in a novel or novel series, what novel would it be and why?
I would want to be in Araluen from the Ranger’s Apprentice series. It sounds like a peaceful area with few monsters and world-altering invasions from enemy armies. The idea of excitement is appealing, but for the rest of my life, I’d like relax and in one piece.
Share a couple of your favorite things and or things you like?
My favorite things are Twizzlers, flavored seltzers, meatball subs, pizza, going to the zoo, comedies, time with my son, and writing.
What couldn’t you live without?
The obvious here is my family, but it still has to be said. I couldn’t live without writing, friends, and oxygen.
In the literacy world who do you think is a misunderstood character and why?
*Spoilers* This is going to sound strange, but I think Gollum from Lord of the Rings is misunderstood. Everyone treats him like this horrific villain that is manipulative and evil. He is like this, but he’s also a victim of the One Ring’s power, so there is a level of sympathy that he pulls out of the reader at times. Also *here’s the semi-spoiler* . . . Gollum is the one that saves Middle Earth. I won’t go any further into that in case people really need to read the book (or watch the movie if you wish) again.
Have you read anything that made you think differently about writing?
I try to take a little something from every book I read, so I can’t give anything specific. There are times that I notice a way to improve my dialogue writing or a way to write better action scenes. I do read for enjoyment, but the writer in me is always looking for ways to improve.
Is there a character that annoys you in the literacy world? Or even one of your own?
I found Holden Caulfield really irritating when I tried to read Catcher in the Rye. It was for school and I had heard so many great things about it, but I couldn’t finish it. I’ve yet to try to return to it. I found him to be too negative and hateful, which turned me off to caring about his journey. I still have a resistance toward negative-minded protagonists because I read to escape and be happy.
What do you look for in a publishing company as they will end up representing your work?
I’m going the self-publishing route, so I can’t really weigh in on this beyond my own dreams. I would look for a company that is willing to help out a lot with advertising and not leave it entirely in the author’s hands. I also think a company should be honest and happy to hear the author’s input. There’s also the matter of letting the author retain movie rights and letting them regain rights to their stories if the contract expires. There’s a big reason why I’m self-publishing right now. I have big ideals and delusions about it should work, but I know it doesn’t work that way for new authors.
How do you stay confident in yourself especially by putting yourself out there in the internet world?
I have to force it at times because being an author has a lot more downs than ups when you get started. The term ‘pay your dues’ is very appropriate and it goes for mental and emotional dues too. You put your heart out there, but you have to realize that every reader has their own way of thinking. I gain confidence from understanding that I wrote a great book, had the guts to put myself in the open, and there will always be people that think I wrote a terrible book. That’s one opinion in a sea of humanity.
How do you handle rejection? What advice can you offer to moving past it?
I’m still working on handling this. I get better with every negative review and I try to rationalize it now. If there is nothing helpful in the review (i.e. This book sux!) then I shrug it off as personal opinion. You really have to learn to shrug this off, but it takes time. Contrary to some beliefs, you can’t develop the full armor of an author until you take the plunge and get your first couple of negative reviews. Honestly, nothing prepares you for that. I would do one or all of the following:
- Take a walk or do something to cool down. If you’re angry, don’t go near anything that can allow you to write back to the reviewer. It’s very unprofessional to start a fight with a reviewer. The only exception is if they do a personal attack (i.e. I hope the author’s family dies in a fire), which you can report or simply leave a comment politely telling them that such things are uncalled for.
- Return to your support group and let them cheer you up.
- Keep writing.
- Re-read positive reviews.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Be fluid in your thoughts, style, and emotions. This may sound weird, but you have to understand that you don’t start at your strongest. Until you let other people read your work, you won’t know your true strengths and weaknesses. So, you should always be ready to evolve your style and your focus.
Featuring your work and or upcoming work;
Tell us about your book [s]
The books that I’m currently working on are part of a 15 book series called Legends of Windemere. They take place in a high magic world of Windemere where a young warrior named Luke Callindor sets out to become a hero like his ancestors. Over the course of the series, he learns that he is one of six destined heroes to face a coming darkness. There is a big focus on how the heroes handle their roles and try to retain some level of normal life. I write in a present tense third person style, so it is very action and dialogue oriented.
I also put out a book of fantasy poetry called Bestiary of Blatherhorn Vale. This is a collection of 41 poems, each one about a different beast from the mysterious Blatherhorn Vale.
Who is your favorite character and why? [If you can share without spoiling your work]
I change this every time it’s asked. I used to play the main hero in a Dungeons & Dragons game, so Luke Callindor is the one closest to my heart. Still, there are times where other characters step up to become my favorite. I guess they’re like children and I can’t choose my favorite.
What character do you hope readers understand?
All of them because I put a lot of work into my characters. I see my stories as vehicles for these characters instead of them being vehicles for the plot. My goal is to have characters that each have their own fan-base and are understood to some extent. I hope that even my villains are understood instead of being simply hated.
Do you have a favorite part of your own book (s) ?
I have several favorite scenes, but most of them involve spoilers. Hero’s Gate in my second book, Prodigy of Rainbow Tower, is definitely a big favorite of mine.
Choosing a character or even yourself, can you give us a sample playlist of music that would follow said person?
Luke Callindor- Hero by Skillet, Hold Me Down by Tommy Lee, Carry on My Wayward Son by Kansas, and Fireflies by Owl City.
Have you had trouble writing about any of your characters?
Not so much trouble writing about them, but getting them to always work with me. There are times where I’ll set something up in an outline and it changes when I write it in the book. Basically, the character does something else, which tends to be more in line with their personality and past actions.
What would you like readers to get from your book (s) ?
I want them to enjoy the adventure and escape into Windemere. My books aren’t written to bring about deep thoughts. I’m definitely an author determined to provide escapism and draw out emotions in my readers, so that they don’t want to put the book down. I’ve had some success in getting people to forget to go to bed while reading my book. I apologize about that, but I have to take some pride in it.
In your book (s) what had been the hardest challenge you’ve faced so far?
The hardest challenge I’ve had to face is the present tense third person writing style. It’s an uncommon style that has many detractors because most books are written in past tense. So, the style is initially jarring and some people have given up. I’ve had to depend on readers being determined to finish the book and open-minded to the new style. This is the style that I feel most comfortable and natural in, so it’s a challenge that I have to live with.
How is this world a better place because of your books?
My books are fantasy fiction, so they don’t really improve the entire world. I think they can make a person’s life happier even for an instant. As I said earlier, I would rather my books be looked at as guilty pleasures to enjoy after a bad day than books that changed the literary world.
If you could meet any of your own characters, who would (they / it) be?
I’d love to meet all of them, but I don’t think many of them would be happy with me. I put my heroes through a lot of pain and difficulty. The villains might be nicer to me than my heroes if we ever met. So if I had to pick a specific character, I would go with The Lich, who is an undead evil necromancer. I gave him some meaty parts and evolved him to a character that you might even feel sorry for. There’s always what I have planned for him, which I believe he’s really happy about.
If you had to write a scene for a character of your choice that would put them in an awkward situation how would it go?
Funny that you say had to. I use a lot of humor, so my characters end up in awkward situations a lot. My personal favorite is Luke Callindor having girl trouble with a woman coming onto him and him not knowing what to do. He is a brave character, so these moments of confusion and nervousness help bring out another side of him. Also, Nyx, the female hero introduced in Prodigy of Rainbow Tower, is very easy to set off because of her temper, so I put her in all sorts of awkward moments. She’s not the best at social situations.
What do you to for marketing?
My blog is connected to Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook (author and personal page), Google+, Goodreads, and Linked In. One blog post goes to all of this. I try to tweet 3-4 times a day about my book. Another marketing tool is Amazon’s Listmania where you and your friends can make lists that connect your book to other books in your genre. You can also put up a sample on Wattpad, but that hasn’t been a big help to me. Wattpad seems more popular with romance and supernatural (Twilight) stories.
I also used several free and low cost advertising sites. The ones I used are Goodkindles, Kindle Mojo, Novelspot, Bookpinning, and Askdavid.com. I made a page on my blog about the sites I used to help other authors. Book Advertising sites.
Promote your books in a sentence or less 🙂
Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero– Enter the magical world of Windemere and follow Luke Callindor on his first step toward becoming a great hero.
Legends of Windemere: Prodigy of Rainbow Tower– After surviving his first adventure, Luke Callindor must embark on a long journey with traps around every corner and horrible betrayal.
Bestiary of Blatherhorn Vale– Relax with this small collection of fantasy poems.
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on the 5th book of Legends of Windemere. The 3rd book (Allure of the Gypsies) is waiting on cover art, the 4th book (Family of the Tri-Rune) is in final editing stages, and the 5th book (The Compass Key) should be done with its first draft by the end of the month.
Charles Yallowtize’s Links;
Links that readers can contact and or connect with you at:
Legends of Windemere: Prodigy of Rainbow Tower- http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18171173-prodigy-of-rainbow-tower
Beginning of a Hero: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17447896-legends-of-windemere
Bestiary of Blatherhorn Vale: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17978807-bestiary-of-blatherhorn-vale
Charles E Yallowitz: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6965804.Charles_E_Yallowitz
Links to websites that sell your work: