As you can see, it’s time for another blog tour! Today I’m proud to hose Andrew Toy, author of the intriguing title The Man in the Box. He agreed to subject himself to my interview questions, but y’all know how this works by now. First, let’s check out the book!
Work provided Robbie Lake the perfect escape from his family. But his life is turned upside down when he is unexpectedly fired. When he finds a new way of escape through a cardboard box, everything changes. The imaginary world of his childhood has evolved in his absence and is now more savage and hostile than even he could have dreamed. Robbie is drawn in by the excitement of his secret world, but will the cost of abandoning his family prove too high?
SJ: Every writer has some sort of process. Give us a glimpse into yours. Do you meticulously outline? Do you write depending on what calls are out there?
AT: I do a little bit of both, actually. I’ll outline the first half – major plot points, twits, necessary events, etc. – until I get stuck. Then I just start writing, and each sequence is written by the seat of my pants, with the end goal to connect each plot point like connect the dots. Then, at some point, I figure out how it’s going to end, and I shoot for that.
SJ: Bonus question – Do you put on a cape and do a chant before hunkering down to work? Sacrifice anything? Along with your process, what’s your quirkiest writing habit?
AT: I will tell you that I have actually blasted the music and danced and yelled and screamed until an inspiration hit me. True story.
SJ: Are you a meticulous planner or do you believe in the muse? Where do your ideas come from? Do they filter in through your dreams? Do they show up at inopportune times and whap you upside the head? Do they result in a shady deal with a dark power?
AT: Every night as I’m laying in bed to sleep I play my stories out in my head like a movie, and I just sit back and sort of watch how they unfold.
SJ: bonus question – If your muse had a physical manifestation, what would he or she look like and how would she or he act? Is it a sexy superhero version of Callisto? A sharp-tongued rogue? A reptilian alien? Do they have a catch phrase?
AT: Ha, ha. I don’t think I have a muse. But oftentimes I do amuse myself.
SJ: What’s the book/story that’s closest to your heart? Is there a piece that you clearly feel is a piece of you? Do you play favorites?
AT: Peter Pan. I love the notion of not growing up, time standing still. And to build a world around contrasting character pieces such as pirates and Indians and fairies, and alligators… just brilliant.
SJ: If you could only write one genre ever again upon pain of being sacrificed to Cthulhu, what would it be and why?
AT: Teen books. That covers a whole slue of genres.
SJ: What’s your biggest frustration as a writer? What do you consider the downside, or is there one? Is there any cliché that makes you want to wring people’s necks?
AT: Biggest downside to being a writer? You have to actually write! Most of us would rather be out in the world exploring and finding adventure, not hunkering over a table with pen in hand. Or else, we’d rather just spend all our time reading other people’s works of art.
SJ: If you had to be stuck in one of your own books/stories for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? If you had to stick a loved one in one of your own books, what would it be and why? An enemy?
AT: I would like my wife and I to both be in The Man in the Box. But I’d like for there to be a happier ending with us.
SJ: Do you think it’s possible to develop a sure-fire recipe/formula for success as a writer? Would you want to, or does that compromise the art or the fun of it?
AT: No, I don’t think it’s possible. As my publisher says, “The rules change every week.”
SJ: Everyone has words of wisdom for young writers, so I’m not going to ask you about that. With a few unknown writers becoming success stories, a lot of people seem to think it’s an easy career choice. What would your words of wisdom be to these people?
AT: Keep your day job. But keep on writing. Write for the enjoyment that already exists. Not for the money that might not.
SJ: It seems like everyone likes to gang up on certain genres as being inferior, less meaningful, or cheap entertainment (especially if it’s speculative in nature). Make a case for the genre you write.
AT: The Man in the Box is mostly mainstream fiction with a little bit of fantasy. The thing about it is, everyone will find a way to connect with it. Whether you’re a father, a single woman, a kid – it’s got something for everyone. Like most fantasy books, there are ties to this world that you just might connect with, and learn from.
SJ: What do you want people to instantly think of when they hear your name or your work mentioned?
AT: “What a great storyteller!” and “There’s a guy that made it. He’s set for life.”
SJ: Please tell us about your latest/favorite work or a little bit about what you’re working on right now. It’s plug time, so go for it!
AT: It’s a young reader’s book. It’s set in Austria, 1943. The protagonist is a dachshund (who doesn’t like dachshunds, right?), a German hound dog who rescues a Jewish orphan girl from being taken to the gas chambers. Yeah, this book is sort of a big deal. I’m excited about this one.
Andrew Toy lives with his wife and dachshunds in Louisville, KY. He is currently editing books of nearly every genre and is a writing coach for aspiring authors. He and his wife are trying to adopt their first child, and he is using the means of writing and editing to accomplish the goal of enlarging his family. Check out some more of his writing and upcoming books on his popular blog: adoptingjames.wordpress.com
There’s also a tour-wide giveaway going on, so you know you want to make sure to visit the Rafflecopter link HERE
The prizes are:
Grand Prize: One Kindle Fire HD or Kindle Paperwhite loaded with 25 e-books
Five Bookshelf Prizes: Five people will win five print books of their choice from Blackwyrm
Twenty-five Bookshelf 2 Prizes: 25 people will one one print book of their choice from Blackwyrm Publishing
Ten e-book bundles: Ten people will win ten e-books of their choice from Blackwyrm Publishing