June 3, 2015

10 Questions With Bestseller Roy Huff

Roy Huff is a kind of modern-day Renaissance man. Not content to study one topic at school, or even two, he got five degrees in four different fields, while working several full-time jobs, AND is the award winning author of the international bestselling epic fantasy series Everville. The first tome in the series, The First Pillar, has the hero of the saga, college student Owen Sage, find himself thrust into another dimension, Everville, a world far different from our own yet somehow intricately linked to it. Now, after having penned four successful books in the series, Huff's carved out some time in his busy schedule to answer a few question.

1. For those who haven’t yet had the chance to read any of your books, how would you describe your Everville series?

Everville is a series that combines epic fantasy, action-adventure, and a smidgen of scifi. It looks at deep moral truths and weaves them ever so subtly into various sub plots of the story. It is hopeful and forward-looking while being fun and entertaining in the vein of C.S. Lewis and Tolkien. While aimed at a young adult audience, it is designed to have crossover appeal to all age groups.

2. Everville is a completely made-up world, set in another dimension, that your hero Owen Sage gets to discover more and more over the course of the series. What’s the best thing about this dimension?

I think the coolest thing about Everville is that its world is a physical manifestation of the actions of both men and beasts in both realms. Think of it as Karma being made physical at the moment of its occurrence.

3. Your world is rather complex, with lots of different moving parts and an ever-increasing cast. Who’s your favorite character, and what is your trick to successfully juggling all of them without letting a ball drop?

I like The Keeper, who was known as Carwyn when he was a Fron, as well as Owen Sage. As to juggling their stories, I suppose taking notes and lots of rewrites helps keep the flow.

4. I know many who read this blog are writers themselves, and I believe we’d all like to know how you managed to write Everville: The Rise of Mallory in just six days and do it so well the book won the 2014 silver medal of the year by Readers’ Favorite for best fantasy book?

I am a marathon writer. I know many experts don’t like the idea of editing while you write, but for me it works. I like having big blocks of time during my days off and spending 14 hours of uninterrupted writing with just a lunch break and a few 5-10 minute breaks thrown in. It’s easier to keep the flow, and I get inspired that way.

5. The Fall of Brackenbone is the latest book in the Everville epic saga. How do you go about planning the series? Is it on a book-by-book basis, or do you already have an idea of how the series is going to end and how many books it’s going to take to get there?
I just write along as I go. I do have a few ideas that I jot down when they come to me, but the biggest inspiration usually comes when I am just letting my fingers strike the keyboard. I know the main plot, but the sub plots, characters, and details get filled in along the way. I don’t work with an outline until I’m about halfway through.

6. Which part did you enjoy writing the most about in your latest novel Everville: The Fall of Brackenbone?

I loved chapter 14. I was busy with work and other things while writing the first half of the book over the course of a year, but the second half I filled in about a week during Spring Break. I was having a lot of fun by the time I hit chapter 14. Read it, and you’ll know why.

7. Stories of good vs. evil have always been prevalent, especially in the fantasy genre, yet your take on it is so intriguing that readers keep asking for more. What are some pitfalls you suggest other authors should avoid?

That’s hard to answer. I suppose originality is innate, but there should be lots of truth to the story, otherwise it rings hollow. I think it’s important to have at least some grasp of the qualities that are harmful and beneficial to society. I think many people let their own hubris get in the way of that. I think apathy is a killer when it comes to writing, at least for me, so staying informed on both the present and the past helps inform basic moral truths I can incorporate into various components of the story. It’s great to write for fun, but having a connection that people can see and feel is important. Being able to cut through the cynicism is something I strive for.

8. Who or what are your greatest sources of inspiration and influence?

I have so many influences. I read fifty articles a day. I watch nearly every movie that comes out. I’ve seen just about every scifi/fantasy TV show that’s been made in the last thirty years. It’s hard to pin down any one thing. I am an optimist. I see the good where others do not. My own childhood and desire to rise above my environment shaped a lot of what I believe, and that has influenced my writing to a large degree. You can see it more directly in articles I’ve written such as this one

9. What are your top three favorite books and why?

That’s an impossible question. I can list some: 1984, Stranger in a Strange Land,  and The Prydain Chronicles are among  some of  the fiction that I love, but I’ve read extensively in other cultures such as The Art of War, The Tale of Genji, Dante’s Inferno and the like. I enjoy books that have a deeper meaning. I enjoy all things scifi and fantasy. I do, though, enjoy a good drama or chick lit book from time to time. I have also read a tremendous amount of nonfiction or science or math based fiction, such as Flatland.  

Roy Huff
Author of the Everville saga
10. What’s next for you and when can your fans expect to see the next installment of Owen’s adventures?

I will start writing book #5 in the series over the summer, but I expect a release some time next year. There are a few other book ideas I have started working on, so it’s possible you may see a hard scifi book out before the next book in the series. I am planning on having my lit agent pitch it first, but there should not be too long of a wait for the next Everville book. 

For those of you interested in checking out Roy Huff's epic saga, you can check out his stories on goodreads.

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