On Wednesdays on social media, people use the hashtag #WriterWednesday to chat about all things author, book and writing, including authors promoting their own work. As we love to support self-published authors, we thought we’d join in and we will be featuring a UK self-published author every Wednesday on the website. This week, we met Anthony Le Sueur to find out more…
Please tell us about yourself; when did you first become interested in writing?
I’ve always enjoyed writing, ever since I really got into reading as a kid. I used to write short (and bad!) fantasy stories at school and college. I then sort of lost touch with it until I turned my hand to a daily blog in 2012 (long since deleted), to see if I had the capacity to write daily and enjoy it. I did! After that, although I had a few ideas knocking around in my head, I didn’t really made a serious attempt at finishing a novel until I started nanowrimo in 2015.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Other than creative school exercises? Then yes. It was when I was about 14, and was the first two or three ‘chapters’ (about four pages of A4) of a fantasy story about a seven foot tall barbarian hero, and was going to be a magical high fantasy mystery… er… something, something. I’m not sure where I intended it to go, but it was a fun doodle of a project, written during lunch breaks a school. I never finished it, I think even back then I could tell it wasn’t really a goer. There was also some Games Workshop fan-fiction too, around that point.
What genre/genres do your books fall under?
I only have the one, and it is contemporary fantasy fiction. It is set in modern day London. My passion has always been for sci-fi and fantasy, I’ve always enjoyed imagining more to to the world than is immediately apparent.
What is your latest book called, what is it about and what was the inspiration behind the book?
The Devil’s Playbook. It is a lighthearted fantasy fiction, exploring the concept of angels and demons being real, secretly mingled throughout our societies. One day the devil decides to breach his promise to secrecy, and reveal all to a blogger in Starbucks…
The inspiration came about from a Halloween costume in 2015, although I think I’d had the idea once before when I wore the same costume in a previous year. I was at a networking/social event in London dressed as the devil in a suit, and wondered what it would be like if the devil introduced himself to someone for real. I’ve used the novel to explore some thoughts on society too, mingling it all into the narrative.
Besides your current book, do you have any new projects coming up?
Right now, no, as I am still trying to push The Devil’s Playbook. That being said, there are two ideas set in the same world that I would like to explore. One is a direct sequel, and one goes off in another direction entirely.
Where can people find your books?
Amazon. I’ve used their self publishing tools (Kindle Direct Publishing and CreateSpace) to produce the e-book and paperback, respectively.
What has been the greatest moment in your writing career?
November 2015, when I took the mental step of committing to finishing The Devil’s Playbook. Or maybe it was writing the closing three words of the story. Or the first time I printed it out. Or the day that someone other than me read it and loved it. Or the day I finally submitted it to KDP. Or the day I made my first sale! There’s been so many good moments, I’m thoroughly enjoying myself and have been having a great few months!
Besides writing, what hobbies or interests do you enjoy in your spare time?
I enjoy going out! And cycling too. I’ve also been really getting back into hiking lately. By the time this feature is published, I will have been to the Alps for a six day hike in the Mont Blanc region.
Which novelists do you admire?
Terry Pratchett is my favourite, his novels are all so good. I have the entire discworld set in hardback on a (long) shelf in my living room. I also particularly like Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson.
What has been the best piece of writing advice you’ve received?
I’m paraphrasing, but ‘keep going’. It was a message written by Neil Gaiman to all of the nanowrimo participants, about halfway through the 2015 challenge. It was good to hear, just when I was beginning to flag, that even the greats have self doubt – and the way through it is to keep tapping away at that keyboard until the story takes its final shape.
Do you have any tips or advice for other indie authors?
Don’t believe anyone who tells you that their method is the only way to write, or that they know how you should write, or the steps you should follow. Sure, read around the subject, take in some hints and tips, but don’t lose your own style by following someone else’s. We should all do it the way that suits us best. Some prefer loads of preparation and character bios, some fly by the seat of their pants. Personally I like the mantra ‘write what you want to read’, and keep it there. Nice and simple.
Oh, and also: you don’t need an expensive computer. A serious chunk of my novel was written on a Raspberry Pi. Just get something to write with, that’s all. The quality of the story is based on you, not the machine!