Being a long time vendor at science fiction conventions myself, it is great to hear about other authors that attend this circuit of shows. Many of the authors that book tables there are like Roy, people with a great deal of graphic art background in addition to their writing skills. I am glad to welcome him here on No Wasted Ink.
I’m Roy Mauritsen, an award winning fantasy artist, and a 20 year veteran in printing and graphic arts. I have successful graphic designer day job, which includes photography and making TV commercials. It’s not as glamorous as it sounds, it pays the bills. I’d rather be traveling, SCUBA diving, or playing volleyball. I also help organize a local science fiction convention as their marketing director.
When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always been writing stories. As a kid, I remember writing stuff as far back as the fourth grade. As an artist I’ve always been telling stories too, but with a pencil, crayons, or a paintbrush. Nowadays, I create digital 3D based art, every piece of art has a story within it. It’s just an extension of the creative spirit. Also, I spent years playing Dungeons & Dragons with a close group of friends. We all wrote stories and ran games; it was just another exercise in story telling. Dungeons & Dragons was a great source of inspiration, and I made some great friends along the way. From there it was a natural progression to keep developing stories, characters and worlds.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve always considered myself an artist. The writer part is still new. I still have that “new writer smell”. Even though I’ve published two short stories and will have two novels under my belt by the end of the year. I attend conventions as a guest artist and a guest writer. I still don’t know if I fit that typical writer mold.
Can you share a little about your current book with us?
Well the current book I’m working on is Shards Of The Glass Slipper Book II: Queen Alice, and continues the story from Shards Of The Glass Slipper Book I: Queen Cinder. It’s an Fairy Tale Epic Fantasy Adventure. Keyword: epic. Obligatory analogies to follow: Lord Of The Rings meets Brothers Grimm, or Game of Thrones meets Once Upon A Time. With their fairy tales interwoven as back stories it features nearly two dozen fairy tale characters dealing with an epic quest to save their kingdom from the evil queen, Cinderella, before her tyrannical quest for power starts a war with Wonderland. And yes, you read that right, Cinderella has grown up to become the evil queen.
What inspired you to write this book?
I’ve always loved fairy tales, and Alice In Wonderland, But the driving force to write the book waste be more of an inspiration to myself and my friends. To actually write a book, and more importantly, to finish writing it. If I can do it and get published, there’s no reason why they or anyone else can’t do it as well. So it started out as an exercise in inspiration and ended with me becoming a published author! The story is firmly set in it’s own fantasy world, with characters that the reader is inherently familiar with; Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, you know about Goldilocks, but you’ve never seen her like this before. Fairy tales have magic, monsters, castles, and fairies. It lends itself to an epic fantasy setting. There’s no modern day retelling or cross over type stuff. They are written as real characters, not as self realizing ” But I’m a fairy tale character.” stuff. And by doing that, these characters become real in their world. I spend a lot of researching fairy tale origins and details and to not play by the more familiar Disney versions.
Do you have a specific writing style?
My books are written with the older side of Young Adult in mind, think New Adult. It’s meant to be a fun adventurous read.
How did you come up with the title of this book?
The main character, Patience Muffet, actually has the legendary remains of the broken Glass Slippers of Cinderella at the beginning of the novel. So they play a pretty big part in the book. Plus, if I say Glass Slippers you are automatically going to think Cinderella, again the fairy tale familiarity comes into play.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I wasn’t looking to put a message in there. If there’s a message that people take away from it, all the better! It’s a fun story and one that I wanted to read, so I wrote it. It’s humbling that so many others have enjoyed reading my novel. I’m always happy to hear from people across the country and around the world, from Brazil and England, to Egypt, and as far away as Australia and New Zealand, are reading my book.
Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
To some degree, though not directly, yes. I’m not sure I can pinpoint anything in particular, as an artist and a writer, we pull from the world around us. I’m pretty sure there’s been something people have said, or things I’ve gone through, that have been filtered into the book. On a subconscious level, certain characters might be based on traits from people I’ve known. I think that it is all part of the nature of creativity. I contributed a short story entitled Norman’s Ark for an anthology called Apocalypse 13, that one is more modern day, and I drew from my personal experiences growing up.
What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?
Lewis Carroll, Dr. Suess, Douglas Adams, Carl Sagan are my main influences. I grew up playing Dungeons and Dragons in the 1980’s, so of course, Gary Gygax, R.A. Salvatore, Tracey Hickeman & Margret Weis should be listed too. I read comic books. I read a lot of Stephen King. What did I find inspiring about them? The imagination and creativity, but also an interesting story. That’s what I hope to accomplish, writing an interesting story that people will enjoy.
If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor? Why?
Patrick Thomas. He writes for Padwolf Publishing among others (he has over two dozen books written) and it was by talking with him at conventions about writing and digital arts over the years that we struck up a friendship. Patrick was instrumental in getting my book published by Padwolf. Since then, we’ve been partners in crime on a bunch of projects together.
Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?
I do all my own stunts! All of the art work associated with Shards Of The Glass Slipper is done by me. It’s an advantage. Not everyone who’s a writer has that ability in their toolbox. I’ve been lucky to have a foothold in both worlds. As a professional graphic artist, it was important to be able to do my own cover. This was one of the luxuries afford to me by Padwolf Publishing. They are pretty hands off and let me control a lot of those aspects, like the book covers and marketing. It’s been a very good relationship with them as small press. I preferred it rather than trying to land on the big six. During the writing process, I would do artwork, create a scene from the story or some character designs, and that would help me in terms of a creative break to recharge or to work out details of the character. Later, that artwork would be used as a promotional piece to help promote the book. I spent a year developing artwork and “proof of concept” for my story idea, before I began to write the story. Actually, a very cool aspect is due to the digital 3D-ness nature of the artwork, I can take these characters and animate them or animate scenes and show them in an entirely different medium such as in a book trailer.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write it, but more importantly, finish it. All the time, hard work, and effort you put in to your writing, is only a waste if you give up on it. Once you have that story or novel finished, you have something to work with. It’s easy after that. Remember that you can’t spell check a blank page. Commit to seeing your work finished.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thanks for reading! I hope I’ve piqued some interest. Writing a book is a lot of work, and I hope I’ve put together an interesting story that you will enjoy. It’s always the artist’s secret hope that you like their work and that it somehow affects or touches a life, perhaps to inspire. It’s been amazing to meet fans and talk to people at conventions about my books. That’s been my favorite part. To share with others and hopefully, to inspire them.
Long Island, New York