Taran Matharu has written The Summoner series, a popular young adult fantasy series complete with various novellas. He has just released The Chosen, the first book in a new trilogy set to take readers to a whole new world full of mystery! I was lucky enough to get to interview this wonderful author.
Q: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
A: Other than perhaps an archaeologist, I think it was the only job I remember wanting to have!
Q: How long does it take you to write a book?
A: 4-6 months.
Q: How do you develop your plot and characters?
A: I tend to start the book with little more than a rough plan, and as the world takes shape I begin to solidify the plot and characters.
Q: What do you think makes a good hook to capture readers?
A: A curiosity about what will happen next.
Q: How much world building do you do before writing?
Q: How do you develop your titles?
A: Unfortunately, I don’t! My publishers are the ones who decide.
Q: What is the most difficult part of writing for you?
A: The editing process can be tough, especially if you disagree with your editor.
Q: Is writing a full-time career for you?
A: Yes, it has been for five years.
Q: What do you think makes a good story?
A: One that makes you want to find out what happens at the end.
Q: What genre of writing have you always been drawn to?
A: Fantasy and Sci-fi, as well as Historical Fiction.
Q: Your book was strongly based on demons, did you research demon myths while created your world?
A: Yes, I did. I like to lace my stories with real-world mythology wherever possible.
Q: Your demons are so different to the demons we know. What was your inspiration and aim for these creatures in your world?
A: Mythological creatures from our real-world mythologies.
Q: How do you create such a unique fantasy world while still incorporating common fantasy elements (elves, dwarves, orcs)?
A: Like food, it’s in the preparation, flavourings, seasoning and cooking rather than the key ingredients that make a good meal.
Q: You have an incredibly popular fantasy series of four books and a few novellas, will you write more in this series/world or will you create an entirely new one?
A: I have a new series out – The Chosen (Contender #1) is already in stores.
Q: Was your first book more difficult to write than the next?
A: First books are always more fun!
Q: Which authors do you think influenced your writing most?
A: Darren Shan, he was also published as a young man and was very much a role model for me.
Q: How do you handle literary criticism?
A: I tend to read good reviews and bad reviews at the same time. They tend to balance each other out!
Q: What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?
A: Finish what you start.