Andrew P. Weston
‘I write strange stories that translate strange dreams into reality.’
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In the beginning…tell me what made you decide to start writing?
An accident at work. Prior to my retirement I served for thirty-four years in the military and then the police service. That kind of work brings you into close contact with adversity. Unfortunately I received an injury on duty that entailed a number of operations and a long convalescence, subsequently leading to my retirement. On the plus side, it afforded me the time and opportunity to start putting all the ideas I’d accrued over the years down in writing.
Are there any authors or artists who influenced you?
Most certainly. On the guys’ side: Stephen Donaldson – a true wordsmith if ever there was one; Raymond E. Feist – epic in every sense; H G Wells and Jules Verne – men who were so far ahead of their time, it’s spooky; Ray Bradbury – one of the most influential authors of all time.
For the girls: Ursula le Guin – the best Grandmaster of science fiction there’s ever been; Janet Morris – fantastic scope and alternate realities; and finally, Julian May – a wonderful mind and imagination. Will that do?
Tell me about your book series.
My most widely received and critically received work is the international #1 bestselling “IX Series”, a historical military science fiction space opera. It tells the story of legendary warriors from differing time periods, who are plucked away from the familiar and stranded in a fight not of their making on a world far, far away. Over a period of three novels, we see what happens as they are inspired to sacrifice and victory behind one unified banner.
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Roman legionaries, far from home, lost in the mists of Caledonia.
A US cavalry company, engaged on a special mission, vital to the peace treaty proposed by Presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln.
A twenty-first century Special Forces unit, desperate to prevent a nuclear catastrophe.
From vastly different backgrounds, these soldiers are united when they are snatched away from Earth at the moment of their passing. Thinking they may have been granted a reprieve, imagine their horror when they discover they have been transported to a failing planet on the far side of the galaxy, where they are given a simple ultimatum. Fight or die. Against all odds, this group of misfits manages to turn the tide against a relentless foe, only to discover the true cost of victory might exact a price they are unwilling to pay.
How far would you be willing to go to stay alive?
Sometimes, death is only the beginning of the adventure.
Exordium of Tears:
Fight or die.
A brutal tenet by which the refugees from Earth – including the lost 9th Legion of Rome; the 5th Company, 2nd Mounted Rifles; and the Special Forces anti-terrorist team – were forced to endure while the Horde menace existed.
Now that threat is over, the survivors long to settle down and reclaim the lives stolen from them. However, such aspirations remain beyond their reach, for shadows loom on the horizon that not only threatens the future of Arden, but the universe too, revealing once again that…
Death is only the beginning of the adventure.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I have two unpublished – contracted – manuscripts in the pipeline that will round off the current phase of a couple of existing series along with several short stories forming part of the Heroes in Hell anthologies. You’ll see them over the next year or two.
It’s said that to write well, you need to read a lot. What do you think?
Personally? I think that’s very true. Reading stimulates the creative juices in ways that other forms of entertainment can’t even begin to emulate. You need that incentive to draw on, that spark to act as the catalyst that spawns brave new works and strange new worlds in your own imagination. After all, if you’re not truly inspired, how do you hope to do that in your readers?
Are you a plotter, or a pantser? What do you think of the opposite approach?
I’m known to be an elaborate world builder who lays out intricate foundations on which I assemble my creations. However, the past two or three years have been quite revealing as several of my storylines have taken on a life all of their own and I’ve literally ended up flying by the seat of my pants along totally unforeseen and unplanned story arcs that have led to some startling results. So now I content myself by blending things together.
Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Excellent question. And yes I do. Only a handful of fans have spotted the fact that I hide references away within each novel that points a finger to some of the other series I’ve done; be it in a certain phrase, or a title, someone’s name, etc. That’s all I’ll say. But if you look, they’re there and you’ll find them.
Tell me about one favourite hobby or pastime that isn’t writing or reading.
I’m a student of martial arts and have been for over 50 years, holding the distinction of being a licensed and certificated master of Aikido, Taiho Jutsu, and Aiki-Jutsu. I’m also a Hanshi – Grand Master – of Gojuki ju jitsu and Matsubyashi Kyushu Jutsu.
In fact, one of my students from Britain has just won a bronze medal in the World Ju Jitsu Championships in Australia, so I’m feeling rather proud of him 🙂
What are you writing at the moment?
I’m currently completing the Author’s Cut edition on my debut sci-fi Guardian Series and my dark fantasy Cambion Journals Series.
I wrote them while I was with a small independent publisher as I broke into the business and now I have the full rights back, my current house – Perseid Press – is itching to see what I can do with them by adding my own unique voice back into the mix. I must admit, I can’t wait to see what people think of the full, unabridged versions that will be coming out over the next 4 or 5 years.
If you could, would you live in the world you’ve created – and why?
My goodness yes! I’ve had something of a complex, action-packed life. Serving as I did for 9 years in the British special and elite forces, then for twenty-five years as a cop, I have experienced and done things most people only ever get to see in films or read in books. And to be perfectly honest, it has a profound effect on you.
Life is boring now and I’d jump at the chance of going through the portal to Arden and fighting alongside some of my creations. (Though I think my wife might have something to say about that.)
If you could go back to the start of your writing career, what is the one piece of advice you’d give yourself?
Do it sooner! Though my earlier years were busy and fulfilling, writing is cathartic and I should have found a way to get into it thirty years ago.
Do you listen to music when you write, and if so, what do you like?
I do, but I’m picky. When I’m actually checking through my work or semi-editing, I need absolute silence. However, when I’m in the free-flow creative phase, I have music on in the background that suits the mood of the series I’m engaged in. Here’s an example:
The IX Series – Green Day, AC/DC, Leah, Linkin Park
Daemon Grim – (the Heroes in Hell Series) – Disturbed, Eluveitie, We Are The Fallen, Lacuna Coil
The Guardians – David Bowie, Enya, Queen, Gun’s n Roses, Blue Oyster Cult.
The Cambion Journals – Nightwish, Cellar Darling, Evanescence
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
Just how much you need a solid, dependable team around you. From beta readers, to editors, and cover artists…YOU might have the world’s best manuscript sitting on your laptop, but it’s like a rough diamond.
You need the right people around you to cut and polish it into the Koh-i-Noor of masterpieces.
Tell me three unique things about you.
I’ve had an interesting life: I can double that…
I lived in a genuine haunted house as a child and regularly conversed with our resident ghost.
I can remember my dreams and actually control them.
I’ve experienced a micro-g environment.
I’ve felt the rush of saving a child’s life.
I’ve been to the “other side” and back.
I am immune to the hypnotic and analgesic effects of morphine (bummer!).
Andrew, thank you for participating in Galaxy of Authors!