Through Goodreads, I got the opportunity to interview Swedish author Erik Martin Willen, who wrote and published NASTRAGULL (Pirates). It’s the first book in a planned series.
Q. Tell us a bit about your book NASTRAGULL (Pirates)?
It took me many years to finally complete my first book, and the reason for this was because I held back whenever I wrote something. The result was the typical “writers-block.” Eventually I finally let go and I just started to write, and I held back nothing. NASTRAGULL: Pirates combines the non-stop high-tech adventure of Star Wars with the awe-inspiring, complex cultural backdrop of Dune–with quite a bit of Quentin Tarantino thrown in for good measure. This action-packed novel includes elements of military SF, traditional space opera, dystopian SF, and the sociological explorations of writers such as Ray Bradbury and Ursula K. LeGuin. At heart, though, it’s a love story–the tale of two literally star-crossed lovers, and their Herculean efforts to move Heaven and Earth (sometimes literally) to find each other again and again as circumstances rip them apart.
Q. Why have you chosen Star Wars as the setting of this book?
The main reason I choose space opera as my setting is because I have always liked science fiction. It has been part of my entire life. I love to write, read and watch all the different creative elements involving science fiction. There are no limits holding back a great science fiction adventure. Life in general is filled with challenges and surprises; good as well as bad ones. It’s nice being able to “leave” reality or rather take a pause from it while reading a great science fiction book or watch a film.
Q. Do you plan to release more stories set in the same world?
Yes, this is a series and part two Nastragull: Hunted will probably be released in august this year. I have planned to write ten parts and several of them have been written.
Q. Why did you decide to self-publish the books?
The answer to this question is as old as publishing… After having spent countless hours writing and sending out hundreds of letters/e-mails and only received rejection letters (if that) I finally got bored and wanted to take action. I love my story as much as I do writing it down and I believe in it because it’s original and unique.
Q. Who is the most unusual character in your book?
Tota! You have to read about him to understand and I rather not give away any spoilers. He is a bit off…
Q. Is it difficult to live in Sweden and pursue self-publishing, or do you believe publishing is far more global than it was ever before?
No, I wouldn’t call it difficult to self publish in Sweden. Thanks’ to creativespace and amazon, almost anyone can publish. Sweden has freedom of speech, expression, and writing etc, unlike many other nations around the world where it’s almost impossible to self publish or download a book legally from the internet. Instead they are forced to use pirate-sites. So I guess sometimes these pirate sites are filling a hole in the market.
Publishing is more global now than it has been before and I think it’s good. For far too long did the major publishers and author houses etc. more or less held a monopoly in the market but now a “nobody” like myself can become a best seller and that’s exactly what happened to my book in May of this year it hit No 1 on the Amazon Bestsellers list for the category of Space Opera, No 10 on the overall Amazon Bestsellers Science Fiction and Fantasy List, and made Amazon’s Top 100 Free list for all book in the Kindle Store, peaking at No 85.
Q. What has been your best experience of being a writer?
Whenever someone read my book and liked it. I think it’s the best reward I as an author can ever get. It makes me feel appreciated for my work. Another thing is all the different people I have come across online from marketing my book; readers and authors alike. It’s a great community that has a serious impact on earth’s globalization.
Books in general unite people in one way or the other. “We” the Homo sapiens are entering a new era and eventually there will be no more discrimination, segregation and censorship controlled by a very few power-hungry little bastards.
If you want to know more about Erik or his series of book, you can follow him on twitter and goodreads. Here is a review of his book on Ask David. The books are available for sale on all Amazon sites, including Amazon USA and UK.
And it’s your lucky day as NASTRUGALL is available for a free download on July 29th and 30th, 2013 on Amazon. So grab your copy now.