I wanted to thank fellow writer C.G.Ayling for stopping by here to do this interview with me. C.G. is in the midst of an epic series named Malmaxa. I hope you all enjoy the interview!
I’m a young soul, trapped in an aging body and I have no desire for fame, or fortune. C.G.Ayling is my pseudonym, borrowed from my Godfather, an honorable man very deserving of fame. Sadly, fortune would serve him poorly, as he passed away in 1990. While who I am physically really doesn’t matter, I reflect who I am spiritually, and philosophically, in my tweets, which you can find by following @CGAyling on Twitter.
Q. Tell us about your books.
My principle work is a series bearing the name Malmaxa. The first two books, “Beltamar’s War” and “The Pilgrimage”, are already available. Beltamar’s War introduces readers to an apparently brutal, primitive world ruled by six divine, immutable laws. In Malmaxa, no other laws are permitted, this has many ramifications the most obvious being that no government is possible. The first of the six laws states, “None Shall Speak for the Gods.” As with many elements within the series, this law seems contradictory, but is not – its purpose is to prevent the formation of organized religion, not belief itself. Like any functional, developed culture, Malmaxa is an extremely complicated world. My writing style gradually reveals it, and by the end of the first book readers are only beginning to grasp where this tale leads. That makes it sound like it’s a slow moving, rambling tale – it isn’t, a lot happens, with literally everything resulting in cause and effect. Expect to be confused, but anticipate rewards as you decipher clues revealing the true nature of Malmaxa. If you don’t enjoy complex, epic tales that raise more questions than they answer, Malmaxa is not for you.
Q. When did you start writing?
With passion? In 1976. With purpose? In 2006.
Q. Why do you write?
For release. As I age, I become more and more disillusioned with the state of the world. The world is not improving, it is becoming more controlling with each passing year. Every year we have less real freedom, and are bound into increasingly restrictive little cubicles from which escape is virtually impossible. The mass-media actively tells us what to think. Instead of serving us, our governments enslave us to corporations for whom there are no rules, since laws are purchased by corporations. Malmaxa offers me release from this unjust world, and lets me reveal my view of perfection to anyone who cares to read it. If that turns out to be no one, I’m still content as Malmaxa has let me cast out some of the demons that trouble me.
Q. What would be your choice for a superpower?
Invisibility! Actually, in Malmaxa one of the six classes of Seizen (in my series, Seizen is the collective name for humanity) holds this power. Think how much you could accomplish, if no one knew you were there. Kind of like being anonymous, which I am, so in a way I already possess my superpower of choice!
Q. What are you reading now?
At the moment I’m listening to an audio series from “The Great Courses”, titled “Memory and the Human Lifespan”, as presented by Professor Steve Joordens of the University of Toronto Scarborough.
Q. Who is your favorite character to write?
In Malmaxa, my favorite used to be the villain. Placing oneself in the mind of an utterly selfish person is rather liberating. It’s also extremely challenging – I really want readers to identify with him and realize that he is human, with human desires, fears, goals and misunderstandings. You’ll notice I never named the villain – that’s because I have no desire for who the villain is, to be immediately obvious. My new favorite character is Eden. Eden is a six cycle old child (a cycle might loosely be considered a year, but is actually significantly longer) by the end of the second novel, Eden’s character is developing and maturing far faster than that of a young child should. This is because of her exposure to elements normally reserved for adults, much like young children of our time. Eden is a crucial character in the tale, although she is not the protagonist – there, a hint, without any spoiler.
Q. Do you have a writing process?
I do. I use hidden text to outline a section, before filling it out. I don’t intentionally write in sequence, though a lot of it ends up this way. I spend a great deal of time back tracking and cleaning up story threads, of which there are many. While driving, which I do an extraordinary amount, I record thoughts onto a voice recorder. Then, when time permits, I incorporate these thoughts into my hidden text, and later flesh them out. I do a significant amount of research as I write, and I pay extraordinary attention to the little details – to me, the tiny things matter more than the biggest, for truth is easier to ascertain with sharper focus. I never tell anyone where the plot is going, not even my wife or youngest daughter, Julia. They often ask me for hints and clues, but I’m nothing if not hard hearted and point them back to what they’ve already read – it’s all there, hidden in obscure details and metaphor.
Q. What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
Anticipate heartache – though it won’t reduce the pain of rejection, it will reduce the shock. Thought that sounds overly dramatic, I present it with the best intentions. Having poured your heart into our writing, our natural tendency is to assume everyone will love it as much as we do. If you go the traditional publishing route, you’ll face rejection – usually in the form of complete silence from agents and publishers who exempt themselves from courtesy in their submission guidelines. If you self-publish, the indifference and assumed rejection of silence is still there, though more insidious. If you’re expecting it, it won’t shock you quite as much – if you’re anticipating instant fame and accolade… well it might shock you enough that you stop writing, that would be a loss for us all.
Q. What inspired you to pursue writing?
The desire to bring honor to my Godfather, or at least to his memory.
Q. What are your favorite TV shows/Movies to watch in between writing?
I don’t watch TV willingly, and I can’t recall the last time I went to a movie. Occasionally I’ll watch shows or movies on Netflix. I recently watched the first four seasons of “Sons of Anarchy” – I enjoyed the first two seasons, an intriguing premise about just who the “bad guys” really are. The third and fourth season crossed far beyond the line of believability, I won’t be following that series any further. One of my favorite movies is “Apocalypse Now”, another close contender is “To Live and Die in LA”.
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