This week I got a chance to hang out with Mr. Thomas Welsh, the mastermind behind Anna Undreaming, a dark urban fantasy thrill ride that will leave you flipping pages until there are no more left to turn. We chat about all kinds of things, but to find out what you'll have to keep reading . . . .
Hey Thomas, thanks for swinging in and chatting and a big congratulations on the book being published! For those who aren’t familiar with you or your work, can you give us a quick background?
I’m Thomas Welsh, but “Tom” to you seeing as we’re friends. I write short science fiction stories about awful things happening to normal people, and dark fantasy where women save themselves. I’ve done some background and dialogue writing for games too. I’m best known for “The Metiks Fade” trilogy, and book one “Anna Undreaming”, which just came out. It’s about a young woman living in the city who learns about the secret world of the Aesthete’s – artists who can paint, dance, sew or sing new realities.
And it’s fantastic so far - I have about forty pages left and am going to devour those once we finish up here. But, with your book freshly in the wild, what has been the most exciting part of the publishing process?
It’s all pretty crazy, but by far the strangest, best experience is hearing people talk about characters or scenes from the book. It still feels like it’s my world, but now I have to share it with all these tourists. I have friends and fans telling me they love this character I’ve created, and it just feels so weird. Weird but very cool.
So if you had to pick someone to play the main character in a film adaptation, who would it be?
That’s very tough, because everyone will have a different idea of what the characters look like and I don’t want to override that with my choice, which would be no more valid! I’d rather hear all the readers’ opinions.
Makes perfect sense. Regarding process, tell us a little about your writing routine. How do you start a project and keep the story going through the more difficult scenes?
I came to realize that the parts of the story I wrote that were very hard to complete were no better or worse than the parts that came easy. We’re very bad judges of the quality of our work when we’re in the middle of writing it. So now, when I’m writing a section of the story that seems bad or awkward, I just keep going because I know it’s probably fine. I say to new authors, when it seems like nothing is working and your story is shit, and you feel certain you should just quit, that’s exactly when you need to keep pushing. Push through and out the other end, as Anna would say.
Anna is set to be part of a trilogy. At what point did you know it was going to be a series? How did you plan out that many books?
I think I knew from the start that there was a lot of story to tell.
Your novel involves other worlds or hazes that weave into our reality – describe yours and the types of things we would find there.
Oh, I definitely shouldn’t have that level of responsibility! I’d love to think I’d create more beauty than horror, but I wouldn’t trust myself. I’d end up creating a world made of pizza and die of heart disease probably.
Well, a world of pizza does sound pretty good though. . . So, assuming the zombie apocalypse happens. . . where would you go and what would your weapon of choice be?
I live in an apartment up high, so I might be able to hold out up there. I’d have a bike. It’s not really a weapon, but I just got into cycling again, and as any zombie survivalist knows, it’s by far your most important tool.
Another tricky part of fantasy is the magic system. How do you go about developing a magic system and making sure continuity isn’t lost throughout the project?
I think about it a lot. It’s very important to me that the rules work within the world I’ve created. I usually sort these things out in my head while staring off into the middle distance, making my friends wonder whether I’ve totally lost my mind.
Okay, game time. If you had to square off against Dragonslayer Ornstein or Knight Artorias, who do you think you could take down. . . or at least just limp away from?
Maybe I could charm Sif, then Artorias wouldn’t cut me up. I’d have a better chance with an animal than a mad undead knight.
God that storyline still gets me. But, I digress. So, At this stage of your career, what is something that you’ve learned that you wish you knew when you first started writing?
It’s not as hard as it seems to actually write a book, but everything else around publishing is exactly as hard as it seems.
Do you have a tradition for when you finish a project or have a piece accepted for publication? If so, how do you celebrate?
That’s a good idea! I haven’t finished enough to develop a routine yet. Have a wee whisky maybe?
Any projects currently in the works?
Too many! I’m working on Metiks Fade Book 2 (which is in edits) and I’m writing some background material for a cyberpunk game. I’m also working on this grimdark fantasy called “Hope is Coming to Eat Your Heart”. It’s about an immortal knight coming back from the dead after a thousand years to get revenge on her brothers for stabbing her through the heart.
All of that sounds amazing. Okay, so rapid fire time. Try to answer these without thinking. First thing that comes to mind.
Oh Amelia. . . Such a good game. Thanks so much for taking the time to chill and letting us into your writing world. Where can everyone get in touch with you if they would like to learn more about the man behind the masterpiece?
Anna Undreaming on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Anna-Undreaming-Thomas-Welsh/dp/1945654082
My webpage: http://calmdowntom.com/