So, I’ve just released two of my epic fantasy books for Young Adults into the Kindle and ebook market. I started work on the series several years ago (released initially as paperbacks) and between then and now have been working on other projects. But the market has been changing recently and so I have decided to concentrate solely on the ebook marketplace. My first book in The Southern Lands series is entitled Xannu – The Prophecy. I am currently writing book three of the series.
The introduction to the series lays out the concept:
Living out a mundane school life is not the norm for 12 year old Terry West. After digging up some rune coins near an old roman road two years ago, he has been living another life. This parallel existence in another world, is very different from his home. There he is Teern Truthbringer, an 18 year old soldier, who is tasked with finding the Xannu – ‘he who will lead the people into deliverance.’
Journeying far and wide to fulfill his destiny, Teern will meet many others. Some who will help him and some who want him dead. Visiting strange lands, battling un-earthly creatures and witnessing powerful magic are all in a day’s work.
But remaining an integral part of his circle of friends back home leads to many dilemmas. How will he balance the two lives he leads, solve two sets of problems, and understand the lessons he receives from both? Only time will tell. But time is something Terry doesn’t have too much of, as everything is unfolding in ways he could never have imagined!
It’s a non-stop cover to cover read!
Tell us something about yourself.
I write under the pen name of Paul Dorset and many people have asked me why? The answer is really quite simple. There are a lot of authors who share my real name and so I wanted to differentiate myself from them. So, why Paul Dorset? That is simple too. I was born in a town named Poole in the county of Dorset, in England, and lived there for the first 18 years of my life. Hence the adopted name Paul Dorset.
I have been writing for many years and some of my early works were published in ‘teen advice’ columns. I have also had many articles published, mostly in the technical field of Computing which is where I’ve been practicing for the past thirty years or so.
I currently live in the Pacific Northwest but have traveled the world extensively for business and also worked many times with teens and youth groups. It is this background combined with my vivid imagination that has enabled me to weave a tapestry of magic into my fantasy novels. They are aimed at youngsters of ten years and up, but the storylines are more than exciting enough to keep adults turning pages as the stories unfold.
What inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to write a novel from a time when I was quite young. Then finally I had some free time after finishing a contract abroad and returned to America. I took the opportunity and just jumped in and wrote the first draft of the first book in the series in just three months. The second book took another eighteen months!
How did you choose the title?
The word Xannu came to me one day and I just sort of liked it. It was a bit Chinese mixed with a bit of mysticism and it stuck. The ‘X’ is pronounced ‘Sh’, so it’s really Shannoo!
Do you have any writing rituals?
Oh yes! I need to be in my space to write successfully. That means sitting at my desk with my headphones on, listening to the special playlist of writing music that I have. My playlist only contains music without lyrics (words distract me when I’m writing) and mostly it is classical interpretations. Now this is weird in itself as I usually don’t listen to classical music at any other time. The classical interpretations are from Vanessa Mae, Bond, and Yo-Yo Ma. I also have some jazz and baroque. All very eclectic! But as long as I’m listening to this music, I can write away quite happily. Oh and I need my flask of hot coffee by my side!
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?
I read a lot of different books. Mostly it’s either young adult – as I write mostly for that market, or adult fantasy – because I love fantasy in general. However I do read thrillers, sci-fi , horror and comedy when I get the opportunity. I think it’s important to read a lot of books if you want to write. And to read a lot of books by different authors too. You don’t want to get caught up in one style of writing or else you’ll write just like that too. My current favorites include Robin Hobb, Kate Elliott, George R Martin, Jacqueline Carey, and Orson Scott Card. But it changes around from time to time.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
I am currently working on two different things. Firstly I have book three of the Southern Lands (Xannu) series under development (I’m hoping for a release later in 2011), and secondly I am just about to launch a series of Middle Grade adventure books set in the town of Gwillville; a town filled with ventriloquist dummies. Something quite comical, fun and very different.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
That’s a tough one. My best advice would be to simply keep at it. Don’t give up. If it is your passion then do it. Do it to the exclusion of everything else and believe in yourself. Nothing in this world comes easy but if you don’t believe in yourself then don’t be surprised if no one else does!
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
I publish a blog at http://pauldorset.blogspot.com which I update on a daily basis. The blog covers all sorts of topics, some about writing, some just about my thoughts on life, and some giving information about my upcoming books. There are also links on my blog to Amazon.com and all the ebookstores where you can find my books. I also have an author website http://pauldorset.com which is only concerned with my actual books.