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    Brian Liew [YA-SF-GrimDark]

    September 2, 2020 at 9:01 am

    G’day (obligatory cliche salutation),

    I’m from Melbourne, Australia. I do actually say “g’day” but that’s about it of the truly Aussie stereotypical words (no, I don’t say “mate” or “crikey” or such and people often think I’m some sort of English immigrant!)

    I tend to read sf/fantasy but not exclusively (checks bookshelves) ok, almost exclusively.

    I don’t have a favourite author. I don’t tend to have favourite anythings (favourite music, food, colour? not so much). Asimov seems to be the most represented author on the book shelf, but Russell Hoban’s “Riddley Walker” is a pretty seminal book for me.

    I’m in the middle of a pentology (? if that’s a word, and if it ends up being 5 books). It’s a beast with a complicated birth, and an unknown resolution (so far). I usually plants (make waypoints, see how (if?) I get there – then I go back on subsequent drafts to make it look all intentional).

    Way back 2015 I saw a scene in my head: kid, upstairs, sees storm out of the window, while preparing house for storm gets caught outside. That’s it. So I ask myself “and then?” and the answer was “a shipwreck!” and then? “a survivor!” and then?… and the next couple of answers provided me with my waypoints for the book, and I eventually finished that book.

    In the mean time, I thought, “this universe could support this other story, too.” That other story was born more deliberately ages ago. I wanted to ‘do Harry Potter’ (ie, high school story based over multiple years with characters and themes maturing) but without the magic and with the main character ‘going the other way’ from being ‘someone special’ to being ‘just a kid’. “How?” unhappy Heir to the throne, “Why anonymous?” sent away because monarch hears of assassination threats, and so on.

    So I wrote that book next, and it was … ok.

    Then I started a third that would start to tie the two together but realised that the Heir story’s timeline needed to squished and rearranged to match the other timelines.

    Then I thought, instead of these stories, which happen simultaneously, being told serially in each book, how about intertwining them in a single narrative. So, that’s where I am now, zipping the three stories (and a fourth) together with jumping POVs, voice, etc into a great big magnum opus. Currently 212k words, but that includes the complete Heir story that’s going to get very much slashed through rewriting and committing ‘darling genocide’. Scrivener is making this achievable.

    As for the dream? Well, it’d be nice just to know that I have fans out there who love my work. Preferably in a number large enough to partially sustain my work 🙂