Interview with C.G. Ayling, author of Malmaxa I. Beltamar's War


ABOUT C.G. AYLING

With children African, English and American, and myself born and raised in a country of five names, I consider myself… a citizen of the world.
My wife and four children think of me simply as a thorny old man – and thus my symbol…
One of the most influential people in my life was my Godfather. A man of absolute integrity, remarkable intellect, and fine character. He taught me tolerance, and intolerance, together. He showed me that every conflict has are two sides, if not more. It was thanks to time spent with him that I developed a guiding principle in my life, namely that the most fundamental sign of intelligence is the ability to change one’s mind. It is to honor him that I use his name as my pseudonym, yet I know my efforts fall far short of what he deserved.
In my memory, C.G.Ayling lives forever. Is that not as close as any man can come to immortality?
Visit his website at www.cgayling.com/malmaxa.
Find C.G.!
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Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Charles. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing? 

 A: Hi, well… foremost, I’m a young soul, trapped in an aging body – as I once said on Twitter, “Age is an unkind mistress, she makes you want to do things you simply cannot.” In all honesty, I can assure you the only thing recommending age, is the memories it grants you – and those are rose tinted. I’m married, have a tolerant, understanding wife who has granted me four wonderful children, each a unique individual in their own right. I started writing in earnest in the early nineteen seventies, wrote angst filled poetry – which I’m now relieved was never published. After moving to South Africa I ran out heart, and gave up all except technical writing. I only restarted about five years ago, on Beltamar’s War.

Q: Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it? 

A: Beltamar’s War is my vision of the perfect world, loosely inhabited by imperfect people. Though the Malmaxa series is Fantasy themed, it contains none of the usual elements of that genre. For example, there is no royalty, no oppressive government, no organized religion, no money, and virtually no technology. Indeed, six Divine laws strictly prohibit all of these things. That said, I truly believe the majority of readers won’t notice these fantasy staples are absent, and hopefully won’t miss them. On a deeper level, Beltamar’s War is metaphorical, with themes and philosophies translating directly into our own times. Sounds complicated? Like any real culture, it is – and once you’ve experienced Beltamar’s War, I hope you’ll accept it as that.

Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it? 

A: I’m still facing challenges, as only the first two novels in the Malmaxa series are complete and released. However, I’d have to say the biggest challenge has been overcoming myself. I’m a chronic nitpicker, very concerned with the little things. I think it’s the minor details that make fiction believable – and to me, believability is crucial. Conventional wisdom holds that one should not sweat the little things, instead concentrating on the bigger, more important matters. I seldom subscribe to conventional wisdom – indeed, I include the words, “contrary thoughts, to compel”, in my Twitter biography. As a result, Beltamar’s War is a very different type of tale – which is a particularly potent way to guarantee non-publication for a first-time author. The traditional publishing houses don’t want different – they want more of the same that sells, least that is my perception.

Q: Do you have a press kit and what do you include in it? Does this press kit appear online and, if so, can you provide a link to where we can see it? 

A: I have a blog that includes a substantial amount of information. One of its pages contains links to various resources related to my writing, here it is: http://cgayling.com/malmaxa/links/ perhaps that might serve as a press kit.

Q: Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV? What are your upcoming plans for doing so? 

A: Although I’m a fairly accomplished public speaker, I haven’t done any of these things, and haven’t planned to do so. Please don’t get me wrong, like most passionate people I love talking about things that touch me, and Malmaxa is certainly that. However, I have no desire for personal fame – that just isn’t a motivator for me.

Q: Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one? 

A: I don’t have an agent. I came very close to snagging one, however Amy Hayden of Linn Prentis Literary eventually declined to represent me. I don’t believe her decision came from a lack of quality in my writing, which she described, “…you indeed have written something quite unique. Your style is polished and I am quite intrigued as a reader.” Though I’ve never had an agent, I think they serve an incredibly valuable role for any writer – I envision them freeing me to concentrate on writing, which I love. I’ll be submitting another, more mainstream, novel to Amy in the near future. Please keep your fingers crossed for me.

Q: Did you, your agent or publisher prepare a media blitz before the book came out and would you like to tell us about it? 

A: I didn’t. If it remains up to me, I probably never will since I consider that to be putting the cart before the horse. Frankly, I’d rather have readers read my work because they heard good things from other readers, than because an advertisement sold them on it. Quite likely, I’m wrong – I often am.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

A: I’ve already released the second novel in the Malmaxa series, The Pilgrimage, and am well on the way through writing the third, Vengeance Cost. Right now, I’m working on a different project which may prove more suitable for traditional publishing.

Q: Thank you for your interview, Charles. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book? 

A: Thank you, I would. My blog is http://cgayling.com/malmaxa/ there’s a lot of information there, including substantial sample you can read directly in any web browser. I’m active on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/CGAyling - Twitter is probably the fastest way to reach me, just Tweet @CGAyling Beltamar’s War is available in multiple eBook formats from: SmashWords, http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/88930 Kindle, http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0054RFWU2 Or in paperback, https://www.createspace.com/3582903
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