Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine their spotlight on Alan Nero, author of The Book of Virgil, one of the books put out by the local R & R publishing company run by R. Salamack (who will be here NEXT SUNDAY, October 21!)
We have copies of The Book of Virgil in the store, and are excited to share them—and this great interview with Al!
Welcome to our Author Spotlight, Alan! Can you please tell us briefly a little about yourself and your writing? How would you like us to introduce you?
As a child, I would sneak out of my house and walk down the empty late-night streets of my little town. I used to stare up at the stars and wish for two things: adventure and the ability to save the world.
As I grew up, my understanding of these wishes, and what they entailed, changed more often than I wished. But they have always been a driving force in my life and in my writing.
When I first started working on all the stories and mediums that are manifesting into the Honor-Bound series, I wanted to hold a mirror up to the hypocrisies, injustices, and atrocities of a world ruled by broken powers that be. Out of that desire came my first published work and the prelude to the series, The Book of Virgil.
My goal in coming works is to continue raising that mirror while inspiring hope and determination that we can oppose corruption and make the world better.
What can readers expect from The Book of Virgil and the Honor-Bound series?
I pull inspiration from every source I can access, which can mean anything from current events, world history, sci-fi, fantasy, thriller, and crime novelists, comics, movies, graphic novels, TV shows, cartoons, manga, and anime. So, the ensuing creations have a sprinkling of everything.
While I’m shooting for something a little different with the upcoming graphic mediums for the honor-bound series, my literary style tends to run along the vein of “if Tarantino, Alan Moore, and the guys from Dark Mirror got drunk one night, and things got weird.”
What was the inspiration for The Book of Virgil? What were the steps you took to bring it from initial inspiration to the finished book?
Virgil started out as a major character in the story outline of the upcoming graphic novel series. As time went on, his persona in the storyline started feeling a bit contrived. But I loved the character too much to let him go. Instead, I wanted to give life to a past that would breed such a personality. So, I wrote The Book of Virgil both as a means to give readers a soft introduction to the Honor-Bound universe/the world of Colossus and to give Virgil depth and reason for who he is in the main storyline.
What was the biggest challenge in writing and putting out your work? How did you overcome that challenge?
The biggest challenge was unquestionably time, and it’s a challenge that I’m still facing with my next work.
I live in Brooklyn, New York, and, as anyone here will tell you, life is expensive. As a new author still searching for ingress into the literary world I have to divide my time between a full-time day job, full-time college courses, having what little life I can wring free from an overbooked schedule, and writing.
When I wrote The Book of Virgil, I would sit on the late-night F train and just ride it from end to end for hours while I wrote out fresh chapters. That of course meant trading sleep for pages, but that seems to be the reality for anyone trying to pursue their dreams nowadays, and that doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon.
What draws you to the particular genre or style that you write? What do you think draws readers to these kinds of books?
The genre I generally operate in is Dystopian fiction. With contemporary works like The Hunger Games, Maze Runner, etcetera, it’s no surprise (now bordering on cliche) when an author says that. But there’s a reason for it. George Orwell once wrote that an author’s subject matter is determined by the age they live in. And it’s pretty clear that right now we live in a bleak time of anticipated extinctions, global warming, arms races, and deep-seeded corruption. If we haven’t already entered into a dystopian era, we surely feel the fear of its approach.
What is/are your passions when you’re not writing? How do you make time for your non-writing hobbies/things you love?
The stories of the Honor-Bound series have become a bit all-consuming if I’m honest. So, while I write music and create artwork as equal passions, it all pours back down the Honor-Bound spout. Whether I’m writing music to go along with a book or story, creating Coalition propaganda, or dissident graffiti, or rebelling against the artistic constraints of paint night, it all pools into the same reservoir of creative passion and inspiration.
Where can people find your work? (Besides ABSW ;)–though they should totally check here first!)
How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?
I host additionally free content from the Honor-Bound universe at honor-bound.com. There anyone can read installments of my short story series, get in touch with me, or follow the quick and easy social media links to my various pages on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter.
Thank you so much for the great interview, Alan! We are very happy to carry The Book of Virgil on our shelves and look forward to more of your work!