Today we are joined by TL Greylcok, author of THE GODFORGED CHRONICLES as well as THE SONG OF THE ASH TREEE trilogy. Check back later today for a review of Book 1 of THE SONG OF THE ASH TREE, The Blood Tainted Winter.

About the Author

T L Greylock is the author of THE GODFORGED CHRONICLES series and THE SONG OF THE ASH TREE trilogy. She can only wink her left eye, jumped out of an airplane at 13,000 feet while strapped to a Navy SEAL, had a dog named Agamemnon and a cat named Odysseus, and has been swimming with stingrays in the Caribbean.

P.S. One of the above statements is false. Can you guess which?
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We already have your official bio, now we want to challenge you to describe yourself in ten words or less…Go!

The one with the hair.

Who or what are your inspirations when it comes to writing? Is it a particular author or authors, art, history, culture, current events, something else? How have they influenced your work?

Anyone who knows me knows mythology is a huge source of inspiration for me. Myths are a fascinating intersection of history and culture and I love playing in those sandboxes. Not only can they provide a foundation on which I can build stories, they can also be a point of familiarity for a reader, helping establish an immersive quality. On top of that, myths speak to the most basic human emotions and drivers.

Two women whose books have definitely driven me to where I am today are Colleen McCullough and Margaret George. McCullough’s Masters of Rome series and George’s Autobiography of Henry VIII were tremendously influential in terms of developing me as a reader. I think most importantly, the way McCullough and George got into the heads of historical figures is something I want to achieve, albeit with mythological figures.

What do you love about self-publishing and on the flipside what drives you nuts about it? What aspects of self-publishing do you excel at and in what ways do you struggle?

I am definitely one of those indie authors who does not particularly enjoy the marketing and business side of self-publishing. It doesn’t come all that naturally to me, and staying on top of what works best in terms of Amazon ads, Facebook ads, etc., is basically a job in itself. So I do what I can and focus on making the best book possible. 

On the flip side, I enjoy the freedom of self-publishing. Collaborating with artists is a lot of fun and when it comes to story and the writing, I get to rely on—and hone—my instincts. Additionally, I’ve met some of the best people I know through the self-publishing community. That in itself is worth everything—not just in terms of industry connections, but friends. 

What does your daily writing process look like? What do you do to get in the writing zone?  How many hours do you write or do you go for a word count? Tell us everything!

I have a full time job, so I have to work writing around that. I’m fortunate in that I have short hours during the summer months, so that allows me more time to write. I find that when I’m drafting, writing every day works for me. That routine and habit is important. I don’t really count hours, but during the summer, I tend to be successful for 1.5 to 2 hours at a time, so alternating sessions with breaks is useful for me, ideally hitting three sessions in a day. This is a lot harder when September hits, but even a small word count every day helps.

I almost always write with music. I have a 300+ song writing playlist that mostly consists of soundtracks and trailer music. At this point it functions more as white noise than as mood setting, but sometimes my brain still actually hears it.

What do you think makes a good story?

I think this is probably an atypical answer to this question, but I’m going to say trust. That is, trust in the reader. Obviously there are a lot of elements, with varying degrees of objectivity, that make a good story. But those answers aside, a story that trusts the reader to do some of the work can go above and beyond. I know that for me, as a reader, those are my favorite books. 

Is there one particular platform you find is most beneficial as a self-published author?

I mean, we all have a love-hate relationship with Amazon, right? Amazon has given self-published authors a serious platform that allows for real success. Obviously being beholden to and dependent on one platform is not ideal, especially when that platform is a behemoth owned by the world’s wealthiest individual. But right now there is not an alternative that can give us what Amazon can give us.

Name an under-appreciated novel that you love. Let us know why we should check it out.

I don’t know that this qualifies as underappreciated, because he’s not exactly an unknown, but it’s not typical fantasy. Guy Gavriel Kay’s The Lions of Al-Rassan is my favorite book. To say it’s beautifully written is an understatement, it’s not overly fantastical (which hits the right notes for me), and it’s just devastating. I don’t find myself connecting to or relating to characters often; that’s just not how my brain works and I wouldn’t say it happened here, either. But Kay made me feel for his three main characters in a way I’m not sure any other book has done.

What comes first, the characters or the plot?

Character, but only as a snippet, never fully detailed. I’m a discovery writer, and that includes my characters. I set them loose in my extremely nebulous plot and they form and shape each other from there.

Has writing and publishing a book changed the way you see yourself?

Not especially, but I think writing and publishing Shadows of Ivory, my first post-debut series project, was an important step in my evolution as a writer. Debuts are easy in a sense. You don’t really know any better so you can do no wrong. Figuring out what comes next can be harder. And following up with a new project and new series is proof that this is something I can do long term.

What do the words “literary success” mean to you?

I see success in terms of longevity. Being able to consistently put out books that I am proud of and that challenge me to improve, and doing this over time—a career—is important to me. Yes, praise and reviews and ratings and sales matter, but ultimately I have to be happy with what I’m doing, or the rest doesn’t matter. 


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