Q & A with Local Author Keizen
Q: Let’s start with an easy question; what’s your book called and what is it about?
A: My book is called Idris Eye of the Beholder, and it is about two Greek gods wondering why the Hades they’re human, a very reluctant assassin, and a girl whose eyes are about to be opened.
Q: How do you represent yourself in your book?
A: Well, the book is in first person point-of-view, and each chapter focuses on a different character, so it varies from chapter to chapter. I would say that the main character, Idris, is really a representation of me. But throughout the book I see myself as an unreliable guide through the perilous web of plots.
Q: Is Idris your favorite character then?
A: That’s a tough question to answer without spoiling the book! Let’s just say it’s between Idris and two of the other main characters, and it’s a really close tie!
Q: Why did you, as an author, choose Acadia?
A: It was the really robust arts programme and all the classes you could take that didn’t have prerequisites! And all the different viewpoints at university will help me form a concise outlook on life that will then carry over into my writing.
Q: What class do you think will help with your writing the most?
A: This term? Latin class, because Latin is the root of English and will help me understand the emotion behind the words I’m using.
Q: What part of writing a book helped prepare you for university?
A: It helped me gain confidence, for starters. It also helped me prepare for the rigour of writing/reading university papers; as an author you have to vet lots of sources for your book like you would for any paper or essay.
Q: How does it feel to be so young as a published author?
A: Well, it feels funny, I talk to ‘adults’ and go, “Here’s my published book – surprise!” and they’re just like – “What? You’re published? How?” And it’s nice to be someone younger students can look up to; to show them that you don’t need forty-plus years of experience and an English degree to follow your dream!
Q: Okay then, what advice would you give to aspiring authors?
A: Be prepared for a long haul, it takes a long time to write a book. It took me two years of constant work but it was worth all that time and effort just to see it published!
Q: What was the major inspiration for your book?
A: I found Greek myths and culture very interesting, and I’m a big fan of the Rick Riordan books. It accelerated from there, I started reading old Greek plays and my original idea came from reading Oedipus Rex. My story has changed a lot from there, it is no longer the same thing at all!
Q: What is the main theme of your book; the one thing you want your readers to walk away with?
A: Mostly fate vs. free will, with some smaller themes thrown in there. The main thing I want people to walk away with is appreciation for Greek culture – because it’s really interesting – and Greek mythology. I also want people to be more comfortable around those of different cultures, ethnicities, and sexualities – but I’ll explore those more in the next book.
Q: A sequel! What can you tell us about that?
A: Not much, it won’t be done for another four years or so. I’m working on a completely unrelated project: Between the Stars, a sci-fi fantasy involving magic, shape-shifting space dragons, and 0% romance.
Q: What was your greatest challenge as a modern writer?
A: Being a writer in modern times is definitely more of a challenge, especially with self publishing. I did all the editing of my book myself and just sent it to be published through Lulu. I believe the traditional publishing route has less respect for the work itself, and more of an interest in consumerism; an offshoot of our capitalist society where more value is placed on money than on knowledge, I suppose.
Q: With that in mind, are you going to pursue writing as a career?
A: Let’s just say I’m not putting too much stock in making a day job of it. It’s going to be more of a night job really. . . My ideal day job would be a tour guide in one of those big museums in Toronto.
Q: What’s the most horrendous thing you’ve done to your readers?
A (cackling): I killed 236 characters, including two of the main ones! It’s actually kind of fun, since I get to sit and laugh evilly as I write things that will deal out emotional blows to the reader. But the evilest thing I’ve done has been forcing one of the characters to witness the death of their parents (via flashback) while inhabiting their parent’s body!
Q: What questions might any readers have for you?
A: What the Hades is wrong with you! Because, seriously, there’s a lot of battles and death in my book – but the reader signed up for it! They picked up the book! But the book does have a happy ending, it’s just a rough road to get there!
Q: And where can students purchase copies of your book?
A: You can find them on Lulu. Though they have been outsourced to other platforms.