Leo Flynn, (https://leoflynn.com) (Pronouns he/him) speed reader and author of Mara’s Awakening answers a few questions about his writing background, and talks about his favorite authors (he shares some of mine!) and reveals more about his series, the Mara Files.
Links to Mara’s Wakening can be found at the bottom of this article.
Q: What was the first thing you remember writing and was it ever shared with anyone?
A: I remember writing my first story when I was about seven, for an assignment in grade school. It was a group of kids stranded on an island, trying to survive and discover the secrets hidden there. For some reason, the teacher was very impressed with it and read it out in front of the class. I was quite proud but also very overwhelmed, as a child I became anxious in social situations. It made my week though.
Q: Do you belong to a writing or critique group?
A: No, I’m not, but I would love to join one in the future. It’s a matter of finding the right people and community.
Q: Do you use beta readers?
A: Yes, I do! They’re a crucial part of the writing process. I am forever indebted to them! After you’ve been staring at a manuscript for so long, it’s great to get a fresh pair of eyes to look over it. Their feedback always helps improve my work.
Q: What word do you overuse?
A: I slightly overuse slightly. Correction, I overuse it by quite an embarrassing amount. In one manuscript I was working on, the word appeared 75 times. I got rid of almost all the appearances, and my prose is stronger because of it.
Q: What inspires you to write now?
A: The idea that my stories will be published and hopefully be enjoyed by people all over the place. If I can entertain one person, touch their soul, make them smile or cry or blow their mind, then my work is done.
The idea for The Mara Files came when I was brainstorming ideas for a short story for a competition I planned to enter. After entering and not being placed, I reread it and realized this story had more to say. I started working on what would become The Mara Files.
Q: Self-Publishing or Traditional Publishing?
A: Self-Publishing, definitely. I self-publish and intend to do so for the rest of my career. Although it’s a lot of work, I prefer working for myself, controlling the whole process, and setting my own deadlines.
Q: How much do you read, and what do you read?
A: I try to read over 100 books a year and try to read as much as I can. I’m a speed reader, so that helps! I read science fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, some contemporary and YA, and much classic literature. If I could meet a famous author, (dead or alive), I’d love to meet Ursula K. Le Guin, the two halves of James S.A. Corey, Rick Riordan, Becky Chambers, Martha Wells, and John Scalzi.
Q: What is your daily routine like – do you include regular exercise, regular writing time, etc.?
A: I write in the morning and during work breaks, work during the day, and exercise in the afternoon. I try to write for a set amount of time each day, and whenever I have a short burst of inspiration and some free time.
Q: Labor or Labour? How important is spelling and grammar to you? Do you contemplate an international audience?
A: I’m Australian, but my books are written with American spelling. Punctuation, grammar, and spelling are critical! Simple mistakes can ruin a reader’s experience, and I want to cut such problems. In the future, I’d love to hire someone to translate my books so even more people can read them!
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I’m working on the outline for about four sci-fi series. They all have potential, but I can’t write them all at once! I’ll decide once I’ve written the outlines. I’m also preparing the following books in The Mara Files ready for publishing.
Website – https://leoflynn.com
Twitter – https://twitter.com/leoflynnwriter
Mara’s Awakening On Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56786605-mara-s-awakening
Mara’s Awakening On Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08TLX9J1P