It’s interview time, again!
For my second round of questioning, I had the pleasure of chatting with Ivan Amberlake, author of Diary of the Gone and The Beholder series.
I’m currently reading his latest novel, Path of the Heretic, which is part two in said series. Have to say, it’s a damn fine read so far.
Ivan is another writer I met on the Authonomy site. As well as writing excellent books, he’s a very nice guy and a first-rate beta-reader!
Intros over, on with the questioning…
- To start, I am going to quote something you said on Goodreads:
‘I love active protagonists who get into a lot of trouble on their way to the truth, and never give up whatever happens to them.’
What is it that appeals to you about writing this sort of character?
Conflict is all-important to every story, no matter what type of conflict it is: interior, exterior or both. Characters who find themselves in trouble are highly enjoyable to write about: it’s exciting to experience everything they feel, what they are going through, what they do when their life is in danger, what they feel at moments when everything is at stake. I must say I never let my characters get bored, and I never will, I promise.
Glad to hear that, Ivan!
- Path of the Heretic is a sequel to the wonderful The Beholder. How do you think the two compare?
The Beholder is an introduction into the world of the Sighted, the world where people have supernatural power (Energy) that allows them to do things impossible for most people. Jason is forced into this world, is made to see horrible things, and the worst part, he finds out that he can actually trust no one in this harsh world.
Whereas The Beholder tells of the world of the Sighted in terms of Darkness and Light, black and white, in Path of the Heretic the readers find out the “shades of gray”, that there are Sighted who can change their allegiance according to their aims.
As for the writing, Path of the Heretic offers a deeper characterization than the first book. I really had a great time writing chapters both from the Lightsighted and the Darksighted points of view, and I hope this made the story more enjoyable.
- I found the action scenes in TB to be extremely visual and really exciting to read. How do you go about writing action so well?
As action scenes are fun to project in my imagination, they are often easier to write. When writing an action scene, I have in mind everything that is going on; every little detail is important. The main inspiration for me is the action scenes in The Matrix movies. I can watch them over and over and there’s no way for me to get tired of them. I’m trying to create something close to that, preserving the uniqueness of the world I’ve created in this series.
I must confess to being a Matrix addict, so I know what you mean!
- Your books have some damn fine covers. Who does them and which is your favourite?
I often have a few versions of a cover for one book and it’s quite difficult for me to decide which one to use. The cover of The Beholder paperback edition as well as the Diary of the Gone cover were created by a great friend and fellow writer Yannis Karatsioris. He is a really talented guy, and I can’t thank him well enough for all the help and support he has shown for me all these years.
- If PotH were to have a soundtrack, who would it be composed and/or performed by?
Well, a tricky question here since I don’t listen to music when writing anymore. I need silence to be able to concentrate on the plot. However, I occasionally listen to Breaking Benjamin (and at times, Skillet) as their music fills me with inspiration. In terms of music, The Beholder series would be a collection of fast-and-furious songs with beautiful (at times, sorrowful) melodies in between.
- Your writing is filled with imaginative ideas. Which thing from your books would you like to see come true?
The way the Sighted people see and use Energy. I believe that all of us have what we call supernatural abilities, though in most of us they are hidden deep inside. The easiest example would be a mother sensing when her child is in trouble, or the same connection between two siblings. If we were able to find a way to develop these supernatural abilities, and then use them to make our world better, our lives would change greatly. Our approach to life would change. In my opinion, we know too little about ourselves and the world around us. Maybe some day we’ll learn how to use Energy, who knows.
- What novelty item would you like to see spawned from your books?
I’m not sure it’s possible these days to create something absolutely unique, something that has never been used or done before. I’m curious as to where the world of Sighted will get. I’m really excited when more people get to know about it and enjoy reading about it.
- If you could recommend one book that everyone should read, what would it be?
One book? With so many outstanding authors out there, it’s impossible to pick just one. I’m a huge fan of the Harry Potter series, but I’m sure everyone has already read this. It’s better for not to name just one author or book. What I’d definitely recommend is visiting Breakwater Harbor Books page. BHB is an independent author imprint that is dedicated to the production of high quality works of different genres from Christian books to Epic Fantasy and Zombie novels, and I’m proud to be part of it. You’ll definitely find a book to like there. (http://www.breakwaterharborbooks.com/)
Have to agree with you there. BHB is home to some very good reads indeed.
- What is your motivation to write?
There are lots of reasons why I write. The idea of being able to create my own world has always appealed to me. Besides, writing (as well as reading) helps me get away from the real world. Whereas I can express myself in writing, I do hope that what I write about will stir my readers’ feelings and emotions. One of the things about writing is when your readers contact you and say they enjoyed your book a lot and want more. That’s the best inspiration for me!
I feel the same way, Ivan. A reader contacting you to say how much they liked reading your book is a wonderful thing.
- What next from Ivan Amberlake?
The Beholder and Path of the Heretic are the first two books in THE BEHOLDER series. There will be another one about Jason, called Creatures of Lumen, and hopefully one more written from Emily Ethan’s point of view where the readers will get to know about her life before she meets Jason.
Apart from that, I do have a great idea for a YA futuristic novel not connected with The Beholder series, which I’m excited about, but I’m not sure when I’m going to get to it and finish a first draft.
Thank you for the interview, Simon! It’s a real honor for me to be featured on your website!
My pleasure. Here comes the bio and links!
Bio: Ivan Amberlake is an urban fantasy writer, an avid beta-reader, proofreader and editor who enjoys reading fantasy, crime and thriller books.
He loves watching action movies like The Matrix, Harry Potters and has a soft spot for sitcoms like Friends and The Big Bang Theory.
In 2013 he published his first novel, THE BEHOLDER, and a paranormal suspense novella, DIARY OF THE GONE.
Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Ivan-
Facebook author page: http://www.amazon.com/Ivan-
Ladies and Gents, please do go check out Ivan’s writing. This guy sure knows how to keep readers turning the pages.