Let’s just say I’m a bit…different from most people. I’m Canadian by nationality, but my mother is French, the man who raised me is American, and I’ve spent more time abroad than I have in my “home country”.
My life began in a hospital in downtown Tokyo, Japan. I spent the first five years of my life in Tokyo, after which time I moved out to a tiny town in the middle of nowhere, Japan. There I lived until the age of 14, when I crossed the “great blue water” to live in Mexico City, Mexico. For the last 12+ years, I’ve been traveling around and seeing all that Mexico has to offer.
Why do I tell you all this? Well, aside from the “get to know me” part of it all, I wanted to give you a bit of background on me so you can understand why my writing is a bit different…
I’ve lived a pretty unusual lifestyle, never spending more than a few years in the same place. It has given me a wide range of experiences, and I’ve learned a lot about different cultures and peoples.
But the fact that I’ve never really had a “national identity” (a country or place I can call my own) has had a huge effect on my characters and my stories.
- For example, the protagonist of my first novel–In the Days: A Tale of the Forgotten Continent—was a half-Norse, half-Atlantean character who moved away from his home village at a very young age.
- The protagonist of The Last Bucelarii (Book 1): Blade of the Destroyer doesn’t remember where he comes from, but he can remember the moment he arrived in the city of Voramis–his current (temporary) home.
- The protagonist of my secret side series is a young girl who is sold into slavery to a Thieves’ Guild at a very young age.
- The protagonist of an upcoming comic book I’m writing is a servant girl who is dragged from her home to work in the Palace, and who is then left for dead and lives in a cave–to be trained by a master assassin.
It sounds odd, but none of my protagonists have a real sense of “home”. In fact, every one of them feels like an outsider, and they have to prove–to themselves, and those around them–that they belong. Either that, or they move on once they realize that they don’t belong.
Truth be told, this is the first time that I’ve ever realized this. My lack of “home” as a child has influenced my writing, and now I write protagonists who have that same desire to belong somewhere, that same need to be accepted.
Had my childhood been different, would my writing be different? Undoubtedly! Don’t get me wrong: I have no complaints about the way I was raised or my childhood. However, I find it fascinating that my lack of “home” has come through my writing.
Take a moment to think back to your childhood/adolescence. How did your life/the things that happened to you shape the way you write? Leave a comment here, or shoot me an email at email@example.com and let me know. I’d love to get to know more about you and how your life has affected your writing!
P.S.: I’m giving away FREE copies of In the Days on my blog/website. Pop on over and get your hands on my first novel–a rollicking good time, if I say so myself!
Amazon Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Blade-Destroyer-Last-Bucelarii-Book/dp/1515038955/
Andy Peloquin–a third culture kid to the core–has loved to read since before he could remember. Sherlock Holmes, the Phantom of the Opera, and Father Brown are just a few of the books that ensnared his imagination as a child.
When he discovered science fiction and fantasy through the pages of writers like Edgar Rice Burroughs, J.R.R Tolkien, and Orson Scott Card, he was immediately hooked and hasn’t looked back since.
Andy’s first attempt at writing produced In the Days: A Tale of the Forgotten Continent. He has learned from the mistakes he made and used the experience to produce Blade of the Destroyer, a book of which he is very proud.
Reading—and now writing—is his favorite escape, and it provides him an outlet for his innate creativity. He is an artist; words are his palette.
His website (http://www.andypeloquin.com) is a second home for him, a place where he can post his thoughts and feelings–along with reviews of books he finds laying around the internet.
10 Things You Need to Know About Me:
- Hot wings, ALWAYS!
- I never forget a face, but rarely remember a name.
- I’m a head taller than the average person (I’m 6′ 6″)
- Marvel > DC
- I was born in Japan, and lived there until the age of 14.
- Selena Gomez and Five Finger Death Punch are both in my playlist.
- Aliens are real, but it’s self-centered of us to believe that they would come to visit Earth.
- Watching sports: suck. Playing sports: EPIC!
- I earned a purple belt in Karate/Hapkido/Taekwondo.
- I dislike most Christmas music, aside from Trans-Siberian Orchestra
He can also be found on his social media pages, such as:
Q. Where are you from? Does the area you live in influence you writing?
This question was answered in depth in my post above. :D
Q. Tell us your latest news??
I’ve just released Blade of the Destroyer, a dark fantasy novel about one heck of a bad-ass half-demon assassin. Murder, mayhem, violence, intrigue, and loss–a book I’m proud to have authored, and one I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy! Be warned: there are no happy endings.
Q. When and why did you begin writing? What inspired you to write your first book?
I started writing at a young age, thanks to a passionate elementary school teacher. He instilled in me a love of the arts, and seeing as I have ZERO skill at art or photography, the written word came more naturally. The idea to write my first novel (the Atlantis one) came from a silly song. The song had a line that went “In the days when the earth was divided, Atlantis sank into the sea”. The book title just felt right, and the story formed itself!
Q. What book(s) / author(s) have influenced your life and writing?
I’ve read so many books that it’s hard to list them all. I’ll stick with a short list:
- Brandon Sanderson’s Words of Radiance series helped me to improve the structure and flow of my writing
- Scott Lynch’s Gentlemen Bastards books helped me to understand the value of a good character over a good plot
- Joe Abercrombie’s books gave me a love of grimdark/dark fantasy/anti-heroes
Q. Tell us about your characters and how they came to be? Have they been in your head for a long time?
The story actually started out from the POV of the person being hunted (the Lord Damuria mentioned in the opening line of the book). This person is terrified of the creature (more monster than man) hunting him. When I started writing the book, it made more sense to make the Hunter a human (or partially human) character rather than a monster. I wouldn’t say he has been in my head for a long time, but the concept has been there for over 10 years.
Q. What motivates you to write?
I’m a creative person by nature, but I can’t draw, paint, color, take photos, or make music. The written word comes naturally to me, and writing serves as my outlet. I feel like I have all these ideas, pictures, and concepts trapped inside me. Thanks to writing, I can let them out and share them with the world.
Q. What is the hardest part of writing?
The uncertainty of not knowing whether it’s “good enough” or not. I think all authors have that insecurity. Perhaps it goes away with time, but as it stands, I’m still worried that my writing isn’t good enough. That’s why I go through so many drafts!
Q. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Writing is hard work! And not just the “creation” side of things. Telling the story is easy, but what’s hard is the editing, re-drafting, and fixing up. The story changes drastically between rough draft and publication, and a lot of hard work goes into making it something to be proud of.
Q. Where do you get your ideas?
Everywhere and anywhere! I’ll come up with ideas from a video game, things will come to me as I’m reading another book, or they’ll pop out of the blue. I rarely sweat it when trying to come up with a new book. I’ve always managed to come up with an idea in time.
Q. What does your family think of your writing?
All of my family is very artistic, so they’re happy that I’ve found a way to tap into my creative side. I have three writer siblings and a writer brother-in-law.
Q. What is the best advice you would give to inspiring authors?
Prepare to work your ass off! It’s not “sit down and write and publish”. There’s no such thing as “one and done”. When it comes to writing, you need to be ready to put in at least 6 to 8 months of hard work on a single book if you want to make it good enough to be worth reading.
Q. What book(s) are you reading now?
I’m in the middle of three books, actually:
- The Legacy by Luke Romyn
- Kragan by Dennis K. Hausker
- Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
A chill hung in the night air, and sweat dripped down the nameless nobleman’s back, soaking his thick tunic. He clenched his fists to still his shaking hands. His nondescript clothing blended with the rough crowd of the Blackfall District, and yet he felt eyes upon him, following his every step.
He cast anxious glances around the darkened alleyway, searching for a sign of…what?
By Derelana, why do I fear so?
Perhaps it was the terror of a moonless night, or the instinctive fear dredged up at the thought of meeting the legendary Hunter of Voramis.
He chided himself. Fuck me for a jumpy little princess!
He would rather be somewhere else, anywhere else, but here. He had no desire to face the creature the mothers of Voramis used to threaten their children into behaving. His mother had used those legends to frighten him, and he had developed a healthy fear.
Get it together. You have a job to do. Get in, get it done, and get the fiery hell out of there!
The doors to the dilapidated tavern swung shut behind, but none of the handful of patrons at the tables paid him any heed. He slipped a pair of copper bits into the bartender’s hand.
“Top of the stairs, door at the end of the hall,” the portly pub landlord drawled as he made the coins disappear.
The stairs creaked dangerously as the noble climbed, but he forced himself to place one foot in front of the other. The smell of mold filled his nostrils and threatened to make him sneeze. Swallowing hard, he stared at the door at the end of the darkened hall. It looked like something out of his nightmares, and it made his blood run cold.
“Hello?” he called in a weak voice as he entered the room.
He saw no one in the gloomy darkness, and breathed a sigh of relief as he closed the door behind him. Believing himself alone, the noble took deep, calming breaths.
“What brings you to the underbelly of Voramis, little man?” The voice sounded far too close for the nobleman’s liking.
He leapt backward, a feminine squeak bursting from his mouth. His back slammed against the door, knocking the breath from his lungs.
The nobleman struggled to regain his composure, trying to ignore the thick drops of sweat rolling down his face and coating his palms.
“I-I-I h-have a c-c-commission for you, er, Hunter, sir,” he managed to stutter.
“Tell me more,” the Hunter said in a rough voice. He stepped forward, pulling back his hood.
Scars crisscrossed the dark face, twisting his upper lip into a perpetual sneer. Heavy brows hooded his dark eyes, and his crooked nose had been broken and badly set. A scarlet ribbon bound his midnight black hair, which hung in long, greasy strands.
Bloody twisted hell, no wonder he hides himself. I would too if I looked like that!
The nobleman realized his mouth hung open, and snapped it shut. He belatedly tried to hide his revulsion at seeing the Hunter’s grim visage, but knew it had shown through.
The dark figure with the horrible face waited in silence, clearly unaffected by the nobleman’s disdain.
“My, er, master,” stuttered the shaken man, gulping as he spoke, “requests your services in a matter of a…er… delicate nature.”
The Hunter raised an eyebrow. “Your master understands that delicate situations cost more?”
“Of course, sir, er, Hunter. I have more than enough to c-cover any extras beyond your usual fees.” The nobleman removed a leather purse from his cloak. His hand trembled as he passed it to the Hunter, who balanced it in a burn-scarred hand.
“Good. It will suffice.” The purse disappeared into the Hunter’s cloak with a movement that caused the noble to jump. His cheeks burned with shame, and he saw mockery in the Hunter’s cold eyes. “You have the other item?” the Hunter demanded.
“Of-of course,” the noble stammered. He fished around in his robes for a moment before producing a handkerchief. His fingers brushed dangerously close to the Hunter’s hand as the assassin took the kerchief, and the aristocrat’s skin crawled.
“I-I hope it is enough,” the noble whispered, the fear in his voice audible. “It was all my master could procure.”
The Hunter’s rough fingers traced the initials embroidered in one corner of the delicate cloth. G.D.
“It will do,” the Hunter rasped.
“So you will take the job? You’ll make the coward pay for his affront to my master? The swine—”
The Hunter cut him off. “I care little for your master’s reasons why, as long as his coin is good. The job will be done.” He pulled the hood up, obscuring all but his mouth from the nobleman’s view. “Does your master have any special requests?”
“No,” the noble replied. “He simply wishes for the job to be done before the Feast of the Mistress, and would prefer the target die in his own home. It is to send a message, you see, to all the nobles of Voramis that—”
“No details, fool,” the Hunter growled, interrupting him. “They matter not.”
The nobleman stiffened, offended at the Hunter’s interruption. The muscles in his back went rigid, and he somehow summoned up the courage to glare at the Hunter. One look into the dark hood, however, and his pride deflated.
“Good.” The Hunter’s mouth twisted into a horrifying semblance of a grin. “I will contact you when the job is complete.”
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