Tuesday 16 October 2012

Q & A With Anthony M. Briggs, Jr.

Title:  Nick the Lolt
Series:  Tales from Yod, #1
Author:  Anthony M. Briggs, Jr.
Genre:  YA Adventure/Fantasy
Published:  June 2012
Pages:  356
Available From:  Amazon ~ Createspace

Here is the first of five stories about five legendary figures from the Lands of Yod. The story of the beginnings of the most controversial figure, the man before whom regions would evacuate. The man who would come to be known as the dreaded Marsh King.

But at sixteen years old, he was simply Nick, and he had two goals in life, although he was not so sure about which goal was truly number one. To earn forgiveness (and maybe a little bit more) from a certain outgoing girl he'd known off and on since he was four, or to win the most elite speed-painting tournament of all time?

Thousands of people were on their way to his village to witness that great contest. But some of those outsiders were aiming to get the whole thing moved to one of their bigger cities. So what if the commerce this contest brought was life-blood to most of Nick's village? Only a champion could stop them, but with Nick's 0-10 record everyone knew he didn't have what it took to rise up a champion. Instead, everyone wanted his adopted parents to return, both legendary painters who stopped competing the day Nick submitted his first entry. Naturally the village blamed Nick for their departure, and all other bad fortune for good measure. Plots to force him to withdraw descended from simple verbal assaults to the downright diabolical, hitting him with everything from poisons to ancient curses.

But whatever level his painting abilities were at, a decade of being the target of scorn and bullies left him a certain skill set of tricks. And in this story, he, his childhood friend, and whatever few others they can count on are going to need every last scheme Nick can come up with, because far more dangerous things were coming to the entire region, things that only a few foresaw.

A few, each with their own agendas...

Add this book to your Goodreads shelf!


1. When did you first know you wanted to write?              
In 2008. I had been writing short stories since elementary school, wrote a serial fiction column for the paper in college and had started a book sometime around 1999 only to lose it all to a hard drive crash. That was such a blow that I stopped writing fiction for a few years. I went to law school, and this both helped and hurt my writing skills. I increased in critical thinking but I stopped reading or writing anything not related to law. After practicing law for a few years that great recession started and I got laid off from the firm. I came across some of my old writing and was surprised at how good it was. Turned out I had gotten considerably worse, as I realized I could no longer write that well. I pulled the cover off, opened the hood and got the old engine going again. Been writing hard ever since.

2. Tell us a little about your main character, Nick.
He is in some ways like me, his own hardest critic. But in other ways not like me. He is focused on one goal – to win a great speed-painting contest. Winning would make him a champion and a hero, like his adopted parents were. Both of them won for many years in a row, but ever since the year that Nick first entered the contest, they both stopped competing. The village blames Nick. As long as someone from the village wins, the contest will be held in the village, attracting people from all over and providing a huge trade and economic boost. People begin hinting that Nick should step down. Then they begin demanding it. From a young age he's forced to deal with mass animosity and bullies. But deal with it he does, most often to the detriment of whoever is antagonizing him.

3. How did you come up with the idea behind Nick the Lolt?
It began as a mix of a dream my wife had about a certain creature and I dream I had about a certain situation. I wondered if it was possible to create a story and a world in which both could exist. Took a lot of thought and planning, but eventually I brought them together. The situation happens at the end of this book. The creature is mentioned a few times but does not appear until the next book.

4. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
Normally I operate on a write when I can, where I can basis. Could be on the train on my way to work or home. Could be in a coffee shop during a lunch break. Could be at a random moment during the day when a solution to a story problem comes to me. Most of the writing gets done either early in the morning, 5 AM to 8 AM, or earlier in the morning, 11 PM to 4 AM. Those are the times the wife and daughter are sleep. I can't operate on three to four hours of sleep every day though, so those long writing sessions happen only two or three times per week.

5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Finding the time and connecting the dots during the early phase of the story. I always say that in any field between “good idea” and “finished product” you will find “lots of hard work.” Writing a book, for sure.

6. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
A number of things, too many things, probably. Other than family time, I program an online game (
www.minewars.net), I play the keyboard in a church band, I volunteer in my community, Brightwood and have served as an officer for our Brightwood Community association for the past four years, two as treasurer, two as president. Those three things take up a lot of time. I go through periods of focus as needed, but for the most part I do a lot of juggling.

7. What are you working on now?
Just finished a short story book which I will put on sale November 1 (
http://ambjr.com/books/through-worlds-and-hearts ). Now I'm working on a YA book with a slightly paranormal leaning that takes place in DC in the future. A twelve year old girl can see things that are hypernatural – objects that exist in more than one realm at the same time. She starts training under a group of people that are extremely knowledgeable about such things, and not a moment too soon. She'll need the small amount she's learned; a lot of strange things are going to happen in DC, some of which will affect her family directly.

8. What book are you reading now?A Tale of Two Cities. I'm going through all the classics at a furious pace at the moment lol (http://ambjr.com/item/121-the-classics-who-knew?)


Abouth the Author: 
Anthony M. Briggs, Jr. is a patent attorney, musician and author of short stories and young adult fiction with a sci-fi/fantasy slant. He appreciates nature, but doesn't hug trees. He did approach a wild hippo to take a picture once. The encounter ended with lots of running.

He currently lives in Washington, D.C., a place that appears in some form or time in several of his short stories.

His latest work is Nick the Lolt, first novel in the Tales from Yod series. The book tells the story of a teenage villain-to-be struggling between first-love and artistic glory while outwitting foe after foe.

You can find out more about Anthony and his writing at: 
Webste:  www.ambjr.com
Twitter:  abriggsjr
Goodreads:  Anthony M. Briggs, Jr.