Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest! Well two! I must say I’m impressed by these kids (sorry, guys, but I could be your mum…) and I believe they’re headed for succes – we’re have very similar minds and creative processes. That’s the spirit! 😉 Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Rohan & Alex Healy, who graciously submitted to my writerly questions! 🙂

1. Where do you live and write from?
Rohan: Currently we live in Dublin, Ireland. Not a bad place to be writing from considering the literary history.
Alex: Dublin is a good place for writing since it’s usually raining outside.
Planning on getting somewhere warmer in the near future though, being cold isn’t as exciting as it used to be.

2. When did you start writing?
Rohan: I wrote my first book “The Dull” when I was 8 years old. It’s pretty awful, a hacky Goosbumps rip off really, but it was fun to write and I was pretty proud of it at the time!
Alex: Whenever we started writing Gyaros: The Mice Eat Iron, which was a few months ago, pretty sure it was late January this year.

3. What genre(s) do you write?
Rohan: I write non-fiction, books on health, wellbeing and practical philosophy. With the release of Gyaros Book One though I’ve moved into writing fiction as well, Sci Fi in this case, but I’m interesting it writing other genres like crime and straight up horror.
Alex: Is awesome a genre? If not, sci-fi/horror I guess, that’s pretty much what Gyaros is.

4. Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?
Rohan: For Gyaros I got a lot of inspiration from Japanese Anime and classic sci fi and horror movies, comics and books. We really just wanted to make a fun, escapist work of pulp fiction. Light on philosophy and social issues, heavy on action, melodrama and, we hope, fun!
I definitely drew upon my own difficulties and experiences when describing some of the more harrowing scenes. I haven’t been through anything nearly as bad as what Miles (our protagonist) experiences in the book but I’ve felt terror and nauseating fear, anxiety and melancholia, and so I tried to channel my own memories and sensations to make Miles’ plight all the more real and relatable.
Alex: I don’t read a whole lot of books so most of my inspiration comes from movies and video games, I’m a big fan of B horror movies like Texas Chainsaw Massacre (the original).
Usually how I write is I imagine a scene, like how it would play out in a movie and then just describe it in words.
And I try to slip in some random stuff that I like wherever it fits, video games, skateboarding, punk music etc.

5. Do you have a specific writing routine?
Rohan: During the 2 and a bit months it took us to write Gyaros Book One, we wrote pretty much every day. Spending a few hour in the afternoon typing away, we aimed for 2 to 3 thousand words per day combined. In the evenings we took walks and developed the plot and characters this way so that when we got back to writing the next day the path was clear. The plotting is done and it’s then just a matter of coloring in and adding the details.
Do this just about every day for a couple of months and you’ll have a book. We like our formula so much we’ll be employing it for Book Two which will be released in summer 2013.
Alex: Sit down, push buttons, eat Wagon Wheels, that’s pretty much how it goes. We (Rohan and I) are usually in the same room when we write.

6. Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?
Rohan: It’s a bit of both concerning the first question. We definitely do a lot of plotting beforehand, but then we also tend to make changes and improvements on the fly as well. For us it’s important to have a clear understanding of the overall story line, and the important plot points, but also to have the flexibility to improve and adapt as we go along.
I’d say we are fast writers. A 120,000 word novel in under three months is pretty fast. In the end though it’s not a race, everyone has a different approach to their writing, and they are all equally valid.
Alex: Most of the story of The Mice Eat Iron was made up in about 45 minutes one night in late January. So we pretty much know how we want a story to go, then we just fill it in and add whatever cool stuff we think of along the way. Sometimes we’ll put things in there that we never planned originally.
There’s a basic outline and we improvise as we go, so…both I guess? As for fast or slow I guess we’re pretty fast, some people take years to write a book, we plan to write a trilogy in a year. We just sit down every day and write until it’s done.

7. Tell us about your latest book
Rohan: Gyaros Book One – The Mice Eat Iron is a New Adult Sci Fi Action/Adventure story. Miles Stanton’s stable life in the futuristic, authoritarian city of Elissa is turned upside down through a series of life changing events early in the book. Ultimately these events result in him being sent to the chaotic prison colony on the moon, Gyaros. It’s a fish out of water tale of a mild mannered, shy man trying to survive among the harshest conditions imaginable.
Without giving too much away I can say he stumbles on a few secrets that are much bigger than him, and although it is said that there is no way back to his home planet of Carthage, he hears rumors that they just might be.
This is the first book in a planned trilogy, the second and third parts of which will be released before the end of 2013!
Alex: Gyaros Book One: The Mice Eat Iron is the first of a whole lot of books to be set in the Carthage/Gyaros universe, it’s basically about an office worker who is sent to the desert moon, Gyaros which serves as a kind of prison for anyone from dangerous criminals to unemployed non-earners, where social status and respectable job titles mean nothing and the only thing keeping you alive is your weapon and how well you know how to use it.

8. Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?
Alex: I think I’ll let Rohan handle this one since he does all the publishing stuff. So instead, I’ll tell you a story. I once ran into a barbed wire fence as fast as I could because I had no idea that it was there. (It’s true, the guy can’t see barbed wire for some reason…*Rohan)
Rohan: Indie publishing all the way! While it’s a lot of work and responsibility, doing all the marketing, writing, editing, cover design and publishing yourself I still think it’s better than waiting around for an established publisher to give you a chance, that could take years! Or never happen at all!
The way I figure it I’d rather have my books out there gaining readers instead of holding it back in hopes that it gets picked up by a publisher. I have nothing against traditional publishers, it may be something I look into later on, but for now I’m happy publishing independently.

9. Any other projects in the pipeline?
Rohan: We will start work on Gyaros Book Two shortly for release in summer 2013. Before that though I have two books coming out. The first is a collection of 40 of the most popular blog posts from the Rohan’s 7 Things blog. This will be released for free across all digital eBook platforms. After that I’ll be writing a non-fiction book on sexuality and sexual health for release in May/June 2013.

10. What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?
Alex: The short answer is to write a bunch of books and I’m writing a bunch of books to achieve it. Like I mentioned before, getting to a warmer country is kind of a goal at the moment and writing books could also be a part of making that happen.
Rohan: My goal has three parts. Firstly through my non-fiction work I hope to share and spread the fantastic positive and healing practices and philosophies I’ve discovered in my own quest to overcome issues like OCD, depression, anxiety, bullying and panic attacks. Through my fiction I want to have fun entertaining myself with fantastical stories and share them with those who also enjoy that kind of thing! And thirdly I hope, quite honestly, to make some money. I do my best through my writing to provide value either through education or entertainment and I’d love live my dream of making a living as an author and blogger, playing some music on the side.
What am I doing to achieve it? Just continue writing and blogging, building a readership as I go.

Who are they:
rohan healyRohan Healy, born in Murwillumbah, Australia in 1986 is an author, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, blogger and professional music producer.

As of 2013 Rohan has written, recorded, performed, produced and released 10 solo albums as well as performing and recording with artists including David Virgin, Dan Rumour, Cat Power, Billy Bragg, Jimmy Willing, Quiffs N Coffins and Christa Hughes (Machine Gun Fellatio).

Rohan has written and published a number of books including “Greeks to Geeks: Practical Stoicism in the 21st Century”  and “The 7 Things That Made Me Genuinely & Irreversibly Happy: And How They Can Do The Same For You”.

Rohan also writes the popular and regularly updated Rohan 7 Things blog.

Rohan currently lives in his ancestral home of Dublin, Ireland where he continues to write and record, as well as enjoying his hobby of photography.

***

alex healyAlex Healy is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and author. Born in Dublin, Ireland in 1995, he spent his childhood in sunny, sub-tropical Northern New South Wales where he began playing the drums at the age of six. Since then he has mastered the upright bass, forming his own original psychobilly band “Quiffs ‘N’ Coffins” and playing classic old timey American blues with David Virgin & The Stanley Knife Brothers.

In 2013 Alex wrote and published his first book, Gyaros: The Mice Eat Iron, at the age of seventeen.

***

Where to find their book – or them for that matter:

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11 Comments

  1. Rohan 7 Things

     /  14/04/2013

    Reblogged this on rohan7things and commented:
    Awesome fantasy author Barbara G. Tarn interviewed Alex and I for the Gyaros Blog Tour! Check it out 🙂

    Like

    Reply
  2. Rohan 7 Things

     /  14/04/2013

    Thanks so much for the interview Barb! Loads of fun 🙂

    All the best!

    Rohan.

    Like

    Reply
    • you’re very welcome, Rohan! You two have great potential, I can see you becoming the next Big Indie Thing (but don’t forget to be as smart as Hugh Howie before signing your multi-million dollars traditional contract! ;))!

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      • Rohan 7 Things

         /  15/04/2013

        Thanks so much for your encouragement! Haha, yes the next Hugh Howie would be alright huh. He dealt with his success very well, keeping control of his epublishing was very wise 🙂

        Rohan.

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        Reply
  3. Heeheehee, this is a nice interview. Extra applause for Alex and the skateboarding bit. That was a totally surprising and awesome insert! 😀

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    Reply
    • Rohan 7 Things

       /  15/04/2013

      Haha, he’d appreciate that you enjoyed that. Bit of a skateboarding nut that guy is hehe 😉

      Rohan.

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      Reply
  4. What a fantastic interview! I love the way Alex talks about running into a barbed wire fence as fast as he could (with the mention of indie publishing) – lol 😀

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    • Rohan 7 Things

       /  15/04/2013

      Haha, hilarious! It’s me who gets to run into all the barbed wire fences on self publishing lol 🙂

      Rohan.

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      Reply
  5. Thanks Barbara, for a fabulous interview I am sure both Alex and Rohan will go far as they are both so committed. I am currently reading their book and it is action packed with lots of twists and turns.

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    Reply
    • so am I, Athena, I’m almost done so I’ll probably review it sometime this week! 🙂 These guys are good – you can see their inexperience, but also their great potential! 😀

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  1. How To Never Be Offended! | rohan7things

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