Published by GMTA Publishing on 11-19-2011
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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Between fighting a race of magic-wielding winged monsters, scaling Krakens, blinding Cyclops, running from Sirens, and being abducted by pirates it's all Arc Arcanum can do to keep his head on straight; literally. After losing the only home he's ever known, and with nowhere else to turn, Arc enlists with the Human Liberation Front to help fight against a ruthless species known as the Winged Ones and stop them from unleashing a world-wide human holocaust. He quickly finds that he may have bitten off more than he can chew when he's tasked (completely by accident) with escorting humanity's last hope, a red-eyed android named Celeste, across the sea to one of the few remaining human safe havens. To make matters worse he's accompanied by two fellow cadets: the feisty vixen Rose and the polyamorous playboy Prince, both of whom seem entirely set on making sure nothing goes as planned. It's a magical journey that proves blood isn't the only bond that makes a family.
Interview with Author M.C. Moulton
Can you talk a little about what the book is about?
Sure. Arcanum is a Y.A. fantasy book set in a quasi-medieval world where a race of magical winged creatures are threatening to eradicate humanity. It’s about four unlikely friends who get swept up in the chaos and sort of end up on an adventure together. I don’t want to give too much away obviously, but the characters and world have a unique charm as they use modern vernacular and are occasionally aware of the fourth wall. I like to tell people it’s a cross between Lord of the Rings and Family Guy. Of course, people think I’m weird when I tell them that, but then after they read it they’re like, “Oh yeah, that makes sense now.”
Where did you get the idea for the book?
Mostly from things I loved growing up: video games, anime/cartoons, comics, dungeons and dragons, etc. It has a very old-school RPG vibe to it and I think anyone who is a fan of those kinds of games, like D&D and Final Fantasy, will notice that right away.
What message do you want readers to get from reading the book?
I am very against “messages” in books. I’m not here to preach or push any sort of agenda onto anyone. I simply want to entertain. I guess that’s the message then, enjoy yourself and don’t take it too seriously.
That’s not to say there aren’t themes or things to think about within the context of Arcanum, but it was never my intention to put those at the forefront of the story.
How long did it take to write the book?
About a year and a half? I’d had the ideas for the book floating around for years before I ever really put them down to paper. I tend to procrastinate so sometimes it takes me a lot longer than it should.
Who is your favorite character, or what character was the most fun to write?
I don’t really think it’s fair to the other characters to pick a favorite lol, but if I did have to choose one it would obviously be Arc since he’s, you know, the main character. As far as who is the most fun to write that’s kind of a toss up depending on my mood. Prince is always fun since he’s more aware of the fourth wall than anyone else, and there is one other character who I’m having a blast writing because she’s very deliciously evil, however she hasn’t officially made her introduction yet so I can’t really say much else on that.
Can you talk about how you wrote it? Did you do any outlining? Did it take you in any unexpected directions?
I start off by saying, “Okay, everyone is at point A and by the end of the book they need to get to point B”. That’s about the end of my outlining. I sort of just let the characters do their own things from there, and as ideas come to me in the heat of the moment I try my best to incorporate them. I do have a general outline of the entire series, and major plot points, but the stuff in between is mostly made up on the spot.
If you could go back and change anything in the novel, what would it be?
I don’t know if there are any major things I would change. Maybe a line here or there but I’m pretty happy with it for the most part.
How did you come up with the cover?
I’ve always loved the anime/manga style of artwork and I knew from the beginning that was the kind of cover I wanted. I think it really pops and definitely makes it stand out when compared to covers of similar books. The cover was done by a professional artist out of Singapore named Huan Lim. He’s and extraordinary guy and one of the easiest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Make sure you check out some of his other work if you like the cover of Arcanum.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I still don’t think I know that, haha! I think it was more writing and storytelling have always come pretty easy to me rather than a deep desire to be a writer.
What was the first story that you ever wrote?
A lot of people actually know the answer to this question, and you hear stories of, “Oh, when I was three I wrote this book about a bunny or a person or a flower.” I can barely remember yesterday let alone what the first story I ever wrote was. I remember making a book out of paper with a friend in third grade about a dragon, but I’m sure I did lots of stuff before that.
What are you favorite books and authors?
Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl series. I absolutely adore those books. Beyond that it’s the pretty cliche answer of Harry Potter and things like that.
What are you working on next?
Arcanum II is actually available for those who really enjoy the first book, but it will be re-released soon by new publisher so I’m unsure of how long it will be up for. I’m about halfway done with Arcanum IV‘s rough draft at the moment. It’s going to be five books and a prequel.
What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Ctrl+s is your best friend. Buy it presents and bring it chocolates. Whisper sweet nothings in its ear and never let it be lonely. It is your new lover. Forget about it and you will suffer the consequences eventually.
How do you juggle writing with family time?
Very poorly. What? I guess everyone is expecting some tidbit on how they handle it all and come out on top like Super Mom or Super Dad. We can’t all be like that. Someone has to do it badly so it might as well be me. That’s my answer and I’m sticking to it.
Enter to win an ebook copy of Arcanum. Ends April 5, 2014