|King Krylor from Time of the Awakening by Kirk Yuras|
The two decades author and artist Kirk Yuras has spent developing his fantasy saga Generations of Legends reveal the depth of his passion for his art and fiction. He has recently published the first book in his series Time of the Awakening. He developed the art for his story as well as the narrative and lovingly designed each page. He "handcrafted a physical copy and captured it digitally."
My interview with him illustrates the time and commitment that many independent creatives consider necessary for their lives.
1. When did you first start writing Generations of Legends?
I started the lesser story arcs and world building as far back as junior high - some twenty years ago Krylor became a very real part of my mind. I engineered the continents, plate tectonics, weather patterns, relevant planets/moons in the system (Earth science, a big plus) the Races, ecosystems and histories of this world(s) peoples. Many readers want to know when the actual writing of Book One began. Before I finished high school, I had a rough outline for each book in the series and chapter by chapter outline of the first book, which then went under the working title "The Awakening." Since then, the title has changed and my delivery has changed, but the main story remains intact. The year following high school (94-95), I finished the rough draft of the first book and carefully outlined each book in the series, to the chapter (with a paragraph description of each chapter.) "Time of the Awakening" has since gone under a number of changes, as is the nature of a novice work under critical scrutiny. But these changes had more to do with the craft of writing and maximizing the elements of the story, rather than changing the plot itself. Again, I'd point out my deep appreciation to the team of writers who critiqued my work and helped me sift through what worked and what needed worked upon.
2. Do the paintings or the stories come first?
A seemingly simple question, but that one is tangled, as well. Sometimes I doodle and 'run with it.' In cases like these, the subconscious expresses itself and specifics fill in the blank later. Other times, I write a passage and feel it needs illumination. Looking at the Durgos King Hemel, words would never accurately describe something so unusual. If I want the reader to have a clear, fixed idea about the imagery I'll illustrate after I write. If I want the words to "paint a picture" in their mind, I hold back (with great reluctance, I might add.) Chapter 33, "What the night brings" (out of Book 1) is a good example of holding back. But visualization is part of what makes reading so great. It's also a test of my skill as a writer. I feel strongly about a book's ability to hold its own without any accompanying art.
3. You mentioned at your site that you sometimes write and paint at a Barnes & Noble store. What have your interactions with the public been like in this venue? Do people get excited about your art and buy the ebook?
I had this experience yesterday, in fact; something about seeing an artist at work invites curiosity. Since I'm now actively selling, I try not to commit to anything too elaborate because I want people to feel like they can approach me. Also, I like to be able to stop and answer questions and point them to purchase opportunities like my deal with the Special Edition. Provided I'm not working with something time sensitive (like acrylic or water color) it's never a bother to stop and chat. Discovering the appeal of this approach happened by accident, by the way. I never intended to use it as a sales tactic! I had a sketch book, my laptop open, a caffeinated beverage at the ready and one day someone started asking questions. I thought, If only I had a sign up that said something like "Meet the author..."
4. Any additional comments?
I would only point out that traditional readers might want to reconsider the notion of taking in an ebook. I agree, it's not the same. I agree, my layout, design and artwork do work better on paper, in a 'bound' format, such as a hardcover book. That is exactly why I went to the trouble of creating the one-and-only physical copy. But given the market, the electronic format is where many new authors are being forced presently. And given the quality of my book, the electronic version is a price the general audience should be much more comfortable with: the bottom line guesstimate is $75 minimum for a physical copy, as compared to a $7 ebook. I cover pricing on my site under the tab "What you pay for" and the current state of the market under the tab "FAQ's, why electronic publication?"
About Time of the Awakening
Supernatural forces threaten the nation, Embrilliance. Men behave as if possessed – throwing themselves from towers, wading into raging currents, braving white-hot forges or burying themselves alive. Creatures long since forgotten stir in the Infested Bogs. The Walking Dead, once mindless automatons, now show signs of intelligence and organization. A demon rampages unchecked across the land. The military marches into a trap laid by a dark army amassed at the border.
One man stands in the way of annihilation; Krylor Hendsdred.
Though Krylor is gifted with prophetic insight, the villain Neiloph Ebonire holds him in check as he orchestrates the evils plaguing Embrilliance. Neiloph can read the King’s thoughts, can counter his every move and thwart any plan. Any plan except…
Purchase the Special Digital Edition of Time of the Awakening
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Thank you Kirk for letting me interview and for providing samples of your art on Her Ladyship's Quest.