This Monday’s author is a poet and a novelist, living in Australia. Ashley Capes. He is a renaissance man of his time. Along with being well-traveled, he is a good writer, an artist, he makes music, and he’s an all-around cool guy. His passion is the haiku, and he fills pages with them. He has performed at the Queensland Poetry Festival, and his work has appeared in Best Australian Poems 2012. If you love poetry, contemporary, paranormal, suspense, magic realism, and fantasy, Ashley is your man.
Please allow me to introduce, Ashley Capes.
The first question I’m dying to ask is what drew you to write epic fantasy?
AC: I guess it was the sheer joy of using my imagination – it’s a lot of fun. I also love working with high stakes themes and exploring new worlds, and epic fantasy is known as one of the genres where the readership is hungry for the same thing. I’m a firm believer in the idea that if I as a writer enjoy what I’m writing, the story will be better for it.
I agree. If the author doesn’t love what they are writing, how can the reader? What are you currently working on, and what is it about?
AC: I’m just about to start the first draft of Book 5 in my ‘Never’ series – a story about a cynical guy who’s been searching for his real name, along with the truth behind a mysterious curse that lies on his blood. And I hate to disappoint vampire fans, but Never isn’t a vampire – he’s something else, but I won’t give anything away here.
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
AC: Very much! One of my publishers made a striking cover for my first book but after a time we decided that the particular cover suggested ‘dark fantasy’ or even ‘horror’ and so we changed it so as not to disappoint readers expecting something darker. And while the story isn’t all peaches and cream, there’s more of an action/adventure feel added to the epic fantasy and so now the City of Masks cover has more of a fantasy look – and since we made the change, sales have definitely been better since it better appeals to the intended audience.
What marketing strategies do you find most helpful? Any resources you would recommend to other authors or aspiring authors?
AC: The best advice is probably something I’ve heard often over the years – which is to write the next book. In fact, if you’re looking to make writing a part-time or full-time income, write a series. That way you have a better chance of, over time, gaining readers who will follow you whatever genre/sub-genre you work in.
I also get great results from certain promotional websites that run newsletters – as they have lists of readers who have volunteered to have book ads sent to them, it’s an existing, interested market.
Oh, and one more – start and build a newsletter/mailing list and offer the readers who sign-up something good.
And now for a personal question. What is your favorite movie and why?
AC: Rear Window! It’s a tour de force in diegetic sound and the set is stunning – I also love the way Hitchcock skillfully draws us into LB’s point of view, and makes us complicit and also deeply engaged in the spying on his neighbors, but also the murder mystery. Lots of great dialog too, as written by one of my favorite screenwriters, John Michael Hayes.
The film has such a great ‘summer’ vibe too, my wife and I often have it on in the background while we write deep into summer evenings.
I love that movie too! Really anything by Hitchcock is good. Thanks so much for stopping by and allowing me to pick your brain. I had a blast!
Ashley is a poet, novelist and teacher living in Australia.
He’s the author of six poetry collections and five novels and was
poetry editor for Page Seventeen from issues 8-10. He also moderates
online renku group Issa’s Snail.
Ashley teaches English, Media and Music Production, has played in a
metal band, worked in an art gallery and slaved away at music retail.
Aside from reading and writing, Ashley loves volleyball and Studio
Ghibli – and Magnum PI, easily one of the greatest television shows
Please stop by and check out his poetry, and don’t pass up the chance to take a look at his fiction. You can also follow him on Twitter, read and review him on Goodreads, and see all his works on Amazon.
Click on the covers for links.