Today, we have an opportunity to talk to Tyler Edwards. Tyler Edwards has written the book, The Outlands. First, let me thank you for joining me. I appreciate you giving me your links and I want to share those with our readers.
That is great. Can you tell us a little about yourself and what led you to start writing?
I have always loved writing. Growing up my mom and I would read books together and I fell in love with stories. About fifth grade I started writing down stories and ideas in notebooks when I should have been listening to my teachers. Ever since then, I’ve been writing and developing story ideas. There’s just something about crafting stories, worlds, characters that has always excited me.
Where do you get your inspiration, information, and ideas for books?
Usually when I am really busy and away from my computer, super exciting ideas strike and I have to hope to remember them when I get the time to write them down. A lot of my inspiration comes from moments of margin, when I’m not actively doing something and mind wanders.
"Take criticism well. It’s hard when you write something you love to hear others talk bad about it. Do NOT get offended. Hear what they are saying and learn from it."
What are your hobbies and do they ever play into your writing?
I love movies and stories in any form so yea, consuming stories in various mediums of entertainment plays well into crafting stories.
What advice would you give someone who wants to be a writer?
I’d say a couple of things:
1. Write because it’s what you love. Write because you have a story to tell. Write because it brings you joy. Don’t write to sell books. It’s easy to get discouraged if you write for the wrong reasons.
2. Never show anyone your first draft. After you write a story, start again from scratch using the first draft as a general outline. After writing the story at least twice you might have something that other people can look at.
3. Get some beta readers who can provide detailed, thoughtful feedback and listen to ALL of it. You bring an ego into writing and your book will suffer.
4. Take criticism well. It’s hard when you write something you love to hear others talk bad about it. Do NOT get offended. Hear what they are saying and learn from it. The only way to get better is to through accepting critiques. If you’re just starting, you need to get better if you want to do anything with your books.
That's great advice. Truly. What is the best advice you have ever been given as a writer?
Don’t write the story you are passionate about first. You won't have the audience to share it with or the skills to develop it properly.
Don't think I have ever heard that said so well. I think it is very true. I have one I've been sitting on and had that feeling... I'm not ready. So much of that is learning the craft but also practice. Do you write full-time or around another job? How do you schedule your time to write?
I write on the side. For me, my ideas tend to come late at night. So when the rest of my family goes to sleep, I get up and write, usually at the expense of a good night’s sleep.
How many hours a day do you write?
I am an inspiration writer. I try to give myself 30 minutes – 1 hour a day to write but most of the time, I get a jolt of inspiration and write for 4 hours straight and then the next day just stare at the screen like I’m in a vegetative state.
What is your favorite part about writing?
Building a new world.
That is fun. And can be the reward in and of itself. What does literary success look like to you?
Success is writing a story that people enjoy, want to re-read, and want more from. Getting a base audience is hard. I don’t care about the numbers. My hope is that those who read my books enjoy it and find some encouragement or escape in them.
"I am an inspiration writer. I try to give myself 30 minutes – 1 hour a day to write but most of the time, I get a jolt of inspiration and write for 4 hours straight and then the next day just stare at the screen like I’m in a vegetative state."
It is hard, but you are doing the right things. That said, tell us about your current release.
In the ruins of the world that was lies the city of Dios, a haven protected from the hostile environment known as The Outlands. Ruled by an oppressive Patriarch, the people of Dios are conditioned in fear. The smallest infraction could result in banishment to the Outlands, a fate worse than death.
With his make-shift family of “Undesirables”, Jett Lasting struggles to find his place in a world where drawing attention to yourself can get you killed. His very existence is considered a crime. To survive, he must avoid guards, beggar gangs, and an ever-growing tension that could drag the whole city into chaos.
Jett unwittingly becomes entwined in a plot to overthrow the government where his choices could lead to freedom or the death of everyone he’s ever known or cared about.
That is awesome. I'd want to read it. You said you are an inspirational writer, writing in jolts. What exciting story are you working on next?
I am finishing up book 2: The Tides of Reckoning, which is considerably better in my opinion. Book 1 was my first novel and writing book 2 I could feel my ideas and writing coming together in ways that book 1 didn’t.
Who are your favorite authors?
J.R.R Tolkien, C.S Lewis, Jim Butcher, Andy Weir, Suzanne Collins, Llyod Alexander, J.K Rollings, George R.R Martin
Those are some great writers, for sure. What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander
Any plans for the upcoming holiday?
Just a ten-hour road trip with my wife and 2 year old son to visit my wife’s family for thanksgiving. What could go wrong?
LOL. Sounds like it might be ripe for inspiration! As a writer, we have to also be marketer, publisher, and many other hats. Part of the craft is deciding where to spend your budget. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Good editors. Every typo, misplaced word, event in the wrong order, and confusing sentence has the potential to pull your reader from the story and destroys the magic you want them to get lost in. You can’t get your book polished and quality enough.
What is your writer’s kryptonite?
The comma. I was taught incorrectly how to use it and can’t unlearn it for some reason.
I, understand. Apart from commas, what part of writing and publishing was most difficult for you?
The marketing is the worst for me. I love writing. I don’t even mind editing. Getting the book in front of people is physically painful.
Are you involved in any writer groups?
I have some writer friends who I talk books with, but not any formal group.
Well, let them know any friend of yours has an open door here if they ever publish. One more time, where can someone go to purchase your book?
MY REVIEW: I was given a copy by the author for an unbiased review. The thoughts and opinions are my own.
You can see my review also on Amazon.com
Tyler Edward’s debut novel, The Outlands is a great read for Dystopian fans. There are already several quality reviews regarding the plot, so I will focus on what made the story engaging for me.
First, Tyler does a marvelous job world building. There is enough connectivity to my own world, sufficient description of this one, and enough humanity sprinkled in that I can easily visualize the setting of The Outlands. I never felt like it was borrowed from others. The introduction of Paragon Virtues, the Primes, the Artisans, and Plebs echo other modern dystopian societies where people are divided up. However, What Tyler does with his framework is original and refreshing. Tyler sets forth a unique effort.
Secondly, there is action. Lots of action. Tyler is a good story teller and an excellent action sequence writer. As his character Spike states at one point, “Aye, he fights. Fighting is easy. Rage is easy. It’s the aftermath ye never ready for.” It is perhaps one of my favorite lines of the book and as much a promise to the reader turning a page as it is to the characters themselves.
Third, the book is satisfying but also leaves plenty of room for a sequel or series outside the dome of Dios.