Exchange Personalities presents an interview with Connor Whiteley, author of the Garro Series, An Introductory Series and more in the genre of sci-fi fantasy and non-fiction psychology. As of this writing, Connor Whiteley has published 8 works of fiction and 10 books on psychology. His latest release is the sci-fi fantasy short story collection called: Garro: Christmas Short Stories.
- Tell us about yourself and what lead up to your first published work?
- Outside of writing, what do you do? Do those activities contribute to or shape your work?
I’ve been writing for about four years now and I wrote my first book at age 14 after going to a place in England called: Brownsea Island and on this island, there’s a lot of broken tiles and pottery there so over the course of the weekend as I was at a scout camp. My first trilogy got formed, called: The Brownsea trilogy but only The Angel of Return and The Angel of Freedom have been released so far. In essences, these books follow the journey of Kieron as he returns to Brownsea following the death of his parents to lead the rebellion against Nemiel but as we progress through the trilogy he learns that much darker forces are driving the plot and the stakes are a lot higher than they first appear.
Outside writing I get up to quite a few things but in terms of shaping my writing. I would 100% say that my love for the Warhammer 40,000 universe impacts my writing as it gives me inspiration for my books especially my Garro Universe that I heavily adapt and develop into my own sci-fi fantasy books. As a result of Warhammer 40,000 is such a massive universe. There are so many great characters to explore to enjoy. In short, I do love Warhammer 40,000 fiction.
- What are your loves in life?
In life, I’m a fun person who loves baking, writing and psychology.
I love nothing more than to learn about psychology and the why behind people’s actions which is why I’m studying Psychology with Clinical Psychology and a Placement year at a university in the UK Then I share my knowledge with others in the form of my books.
Finally, I love being creative so baking and writing sci-fi fantasy stories are perfect for me as they allow me to be creative in a physical sense; baking; and in a more virtual sense as I only purchase my own paperback books a few times a year to check for quality.
- What about you do you think other people would find interesting?
I think will find it interesting to know that I’m only 18 at the time of writing and I only got serious with my writing in March 2019 and I have already published 18 books and this number is due to rise to about 22 by the end of 2019 due to I plan to write some business books soon.
But I believe that age should never limit what you can do.
- What motivated you to start writing? If you’ve stopped, why / otherwise what keeps you producing? What keeps you going through the long process of creation?
I know it sounds a bit… cliché or ‘the answer you should give’ but honestly I write for my readers and myself. I want to create great stories that people will enjoy so I write the novel start to finish; not in one go; with my readers loving the book as a driving force.
Plus, as my writing and story keeps evolving, I keep wanting to write so I can find out what happens in the book, because yes I planned the structure of the book but plans change and grow. As I found in my latest unpublished work Garro: Heresy books can dramatically change in something terrifying yet amazing at the same time.
- Do you write to appeal to a particular audience? Is there something specific you want your readers to take away from your material?
In terms of writing for an audience, my audience for my non-fiction is people who are interesting in psychology, but they don’t want to read complex, boring books. As in my books, I use an engaging conversational tone and I breakdown concepts with their supporting studies into easy to understand pieces.
With my sci-fi fantasy books, I write for anything who loves the genre, but I think I write more for people who love magic and Warhammer 40,000.
- You write in the sci-fi and fantasy genres. What do you think differentiates you from other authors writing in the same category?
Personally, I think that my Garro universe automatically makes me different to other sci-fi or fantasy authors because my books bring the science fiction and fantasy genres together as rarely to do you a science fiction universe with very strong magical and fantasy elements.
On a slight side note here, I don’t see any other author in these genres as competition or the enemy. I see all these authors are potential allies and we all should be promoting each other’s work and helping each other to succeed.
- Describe your body of work in 3 sentences or less.
I would describe my work as dramatic, surprising and a seamless blend of science fiction and fantasy to create a dynamic magical world
- Do you have an authorial goal? A career achievement you are working toward?
In terms of author achievement, I would love to be able to not work in a 9 til 5 job but that’s isn’t my primary goal for now. I would simply love to be able to write stories and sell them to people who love and appreciate them. Mainly growing my email list by offering people a free book at www.connorwhiteley.net
- Of your published work, what is your favourite end line? What makes it your favourite?
My favourite end line has to be from my novel The Angel of Freedom because by the end of the book it’s very tense and things are seriously going wrong to some extent. Leading into a truly brilliant beginning in the third unpublished so the end line really sums up the hero’s feeling at the end of the book: “I am fire and I am… death!” as the hero storms out to hunt down the main villain.
- If you died and could be resurrected as one of your characters, who would it be and why?
This is a brilliant question and I love that you asked this, I would 100% love to be Grand Master Garro of the Magi Order from my Garro Series because he is a Grand Master of an order in charge of 666 magical warriors, he is a god-given form with amazing magical powers and he goes on amazing adventures. Plus, he has some great and heroic friends. What’s not to love?
- Describe the evolution of one of your titles from concept to completion?
Personally, I believe when it comes to the writing process I’m quite strange because I create my idea from start to finish then I write it down in structured bullet points then I write the book.
However, what’s strange is in these bullet-points that my entire book is based on can evolve so easily.
For example, I’ve reasonably written the 4th book in my Garro Series called: Garro: Heresy; not released yet; and the amazing thing was that I created an entirely new story direction by accident.
In short, my writing process is semi-structured.
- If you didn’t have writing in your life, what would be doing with that time instead?
I think about this often because I truly have no idea what I would do in my time without writing between university lectures and other things. As writing from publishing, marketing and writing take up a lot of time, but I love it all!
- Has publishing taught you any life lessons?
Please, authors or readers who are thinking about becoming authors, do NOT sign contracts that require you to pay money. These are bad contracts and publishers and I promise you will probably never see 1% of that money back. I learned this the hard way.
So please read through your contracts as if they are a bible for your writing life does depend on them.
Finally, a VERY important note to make that can help you to make a lot of money is that if you are going to traditionally publish make sure either YOU retain the audiobook rights or there is a clause in the contract stating that if the publishers do not make use of the audiobook rights within X years then you get them back.
I say this because audiobooks are the fastest-growing segment of the market and I probably make 66%-75% of my monthly sales and revenue from audiobooks.
Yet traditional publishers aren’t using these rights for many authors so that’s why I prefer self-publishing.
But how you publish doesn’t matter- just protect YOUR rights…
- Do you recommend any support groups, how-to books, or other resources?
Without a doubt I would 100% recommend www.thecreativepenn.com without her I would know nothing about publishing and I know I still have a long way to go on the author journey but because of her, I have started to see money coming in.
I will warn you however that I would only use people that The Creative Penn is friends with because believe me there are a lot of… trots out there and I paraphrase from one of her friends. “There’s a lot of the blind leading the blind in the publishing world,” This is true!
- What advice or philosophy would you like to offer to people thinking about writing a novel?
Go for it!
Being an author is a lot of hard work but when your first reader emails/contacts you saying they love your books. It’s the best feeling in the world.
So please go for it and have fun!
Thank you, Connor, for taking the time. But where can my readers find you and your books, please?
Thank you for having me, you can find me at www.connorwhiteley.net where you can get a free sci-fi fantasy and nonfiction psychology and you can find me on Amazon, Kobo, Nook and all the other major stores.