Andrew Q Gordon’s First Love
I am so excited to have Andrew Q. Gordon joining me today! He released a free prequel, or a frequel as he calls it, to the first book in his Champion of the Gods series. First Love, and The Last Grandmaster, are set in a place Andrew took amazing lengths to create. I got interview him about the book, and the world of Nendor. After the interview, read all about this wonderful book, and an excerpt that will leave you wanting more. At the very bottom enter for a chance to win some pretty amazing prizes.
Amanda C. Stone: Good morning Andrew! I’m so glad you could join me today.
Andrew Q. Gordon: Thanks, Amanda. Nice of you to invite me.
ACS: I’m going to ask the most important question first. From one middle initial author to another, how important is the “Q”?
AQG: LOL! Okay so there is a bit of a story behind the “Q.”
ACS: You do realize you have to tell the story now, right?
AQG: When I joined Gay Authors website I wanted to find a good moniker. I didn’t want to go with Andrew (which is kinda sorta my real name in that people call me that or Andy at work, home etc) because if you get to pick your name, be creative, right? So I went with Qunous. Why that? It was the name of a character in a story I’d been working. People on Gay Authors began to refer to me as “Q” and when we were expecting our daughter, people referred to her as ‘lil q. The name stuck.
ACS: I love that you call her ‘lil q. I smile every time I see it.
AQG: Fast forward to 2011 – Anyta Sunday and I had co-written (Un)Masked and we were about to submit it to Dreamspinner Press. I needed a pen name. Andrew was good—last name. She picked some names and gave them to me, I liked Gordon best, but it was somewhat common. Anyta suggest we add the Q. as a middle initial. So is it important. Yes. Beyond important. It’s essential. Because it’s a link to when I started writing and posting my work.
ACS: Ok, now to talk about what we’re really here for. The books! I read all of your blog posts about the world building, and you truly created an entire new world. How long did it take you to create everything? What was the hardest part? The easiest part?
AQG: By day I’m a prosecutor, can I object – compound question?
ACS: Pft. Of course not. Though I’d love to hear more about some of the crazy sides of being a prosecutor. Another time though.
AQG: No? Drats.
ACS: Sorry hun.
AQG: First, thanks for reading all the world building posts. May I post the links here for others to see?
ACS: Go for it!
ACS: To all the readers out there definitely check out the link because it’s amazing!
AQG: I started Champion of the Gods in 2005—so nine years unless my math is bad. It’s undergone several changes, but some things never changed—Farrell, Miceral, Nerti, Heminaltose, Meglar—they’ve all remained constant. I’ve written close to 2 million words (probably way more if you consider all the parts I’ve deleted) and all that is left is a middle part that connects the beginning, part of the middle and end of the last book. That has made it much easier to do the current re-writes because I have an entire back story to draw upon that may never see the light of an iPad© or Kindle©.
The hardest part—can I cheat a little and give two hardest part?
ACS: Sure can! There’s not always one tough thing when it comes to writing.
AQG: Yes? Thank you, you’re too kind J—was making it all work and not making it too easy. If I’d tried to write this one book at a time, I’d have written myself into so many corners it would have been impossible to get out. Things ‘came up’ in later books that required old things to be revised. The too easy part is what I see as a danger in fantasy books. If a wizard can wave his hand and make it better, the conflicts become either contrived or boring. Finding the right balance between what Farrell could do and what he needed to do was difficult.
ACS: Yes! Finding that balance is the sign of a great author.
AQG: The easiest part seemed to be the interaction between some of the characters. Especially as we get further into the books. I have several favorite scenes I can’t wait to print, but I’m a bit ahead of myself.
ACS: When the idea for this world struck, did you know it would be a series? As of today, how many more books do you plan to have in the series?
AQG: Yes, I always knew this would be a series or else it would be the supercalifragilisticexpialidocious of books. There always in my mind distant breaks that were ‘books,’ so I expected it would have been broken up.
ACS: Ok, I’m going to interrupt for a moment. I have to give mad props to you for both SPELLING that word right, and using it in such an epic way. Ok, back to the question. How many planned?
AQG: As to how many, well originally there were going to be four. Then when Dreamspinner Press bought the book, I was told what the word count was for ‘Romance’ books, which is where they were publishing it and at that point I envisioned seven or eight. But now that DSP Publications (an imprint of Dreamspinner Press) is publishing them, I’m allowed to go for bigger books so I’m envisioning five. I’m already working on Book 3.
ACS: I love that there’s going to be so many! The Champion of the Gods series is very different than everything else you write. Was it hard for you to get in the mindset of basically throwing ALL the rules out the window, or was it freeing to do pretty much whatever you wanted?
AQG: The funny thing, I see this as what I write and other stuff as not my norm. Go figure. No it wasn’t really all though hard to get into this mind set. I should clarify that, it’s not hard to get into the mindset to write this story now that I’ve got 2 million words of ‘history’ to draw upon. I both like and hate being the number one rule maker in this ‘universe.’ Who knew playing god was so hard? The need to be consistent and believable—in as much as one can be ‘believable’ when discussing unicorns and wizards—is rather difficult. But being able to make things happen the way you want, is also kinda cool.
ACS: Any plans for other fantasy stories not set in this world in the future?
AQG: A qualified yes.
ACS: WOOHOO! *ahem* Sorry. Go ahead.
AQG: I have another fantasy story I’d like to write, once I get the time. That would be swords and sorcery again. I also want to do a modern, urban fantasy kind of story involving angels and magic. Again, I just need the time to write them.
ACS: Some amazing things ahead. That’s very exciting. Thank you for stopping by Andrew! I loved having you.
Prequel to The Last Grand Master
A Champion of the Gods Story
On a visit to Yar-del with Grand Master Heminaltose to celebrate his age of majority birthday, Farrell catches the eye of Lieutenant Cameron, a handsome young officer in the Queen’s Guard. But having spent most of his life cooped up at Heminaltose’s school for wizards, Farrell is clueless as to palace intrigue. He is unaware that his access to the queen is something others would greatly prize. When the queen points out that his suitor is the son of a social climbing minor noble, Farrell must decide whether to heed the warning or meet with Cameron anyway.
Tenth hour would take an eternity to arrive, but they both had to attend to their duties. Although Cameron seemed suitably impressed by his appointment, it didn’t improve Farrell’s mood.
He stopped himself as he started to think of ways to get out of dinner. Not going wasn’t an option. More importantly, Heminaltose only allowed Farrell brief visits to Yar-del City to see his mother. Skipping dinner meant one less chance to spend time with her. And he’d see Cameron at tenth hour.
“Boy.” The deep voice behind Farrell made him freeze.
He turned slowly but already knew who he’d find. “Master Heminaltose.”
Dressed in his formal blue-gray robe, he leaned on his white wooden staff and tilted his head to the left. “What brings you to this out-of-the-way place? And why are you just standing there?”
Farrell had been in trouble often enough to know his master suspected him of something. When he tried to answer, his mouth went dry and his tongue turned to stone.
“Well?” The older man raised his bushy white eyebrows and peered down his nose at his student. “I’m waiting for an answer.”
His euphoric mood dashed, Farrell knew better than to lie. “I came here to meet someone.”
“Yes, Master, someone.” This approach never worked, but he’d been too embarrassed to answer directly.
“Don’t treat me like a fool.”
Despite being at least an inch taller than his teacher, Farrell felt like Heminaltose towered over him.
“I’m not, Master. I… I just….” His cheeks flushed and he started to sweat. “I’d rather not say.”
“Private? You mean…?” Heminaltose jerked his head back and his eyes opened wider. “By the Six! Now? Your hormones have decided to kick in now?”
Andrew Q. Gordon wrote his first story back when yellow legal pads, ball point pens were common and a Smith Corona correctable typewriter was considered high tech. Adapting with technology, he now takes his MacBook somewhere quiet when he wants to write.
He currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his partner of nineteen years, their daughter and dog. In addition to dodging some very self-important D.C. ‘insiders’, Andrew uses his commute to catch up on his reading. When not working or writing, he enjoys soccer, high fantasy, baseball and seeing how much coffee he can drink in a day.
DSP Publication: http://www.dsppublications.com/books/first-love-by-andrew-q-gordon-72-b
1/27: Charley Descoteaux, AJ Llewellyn
1/28: Anne Barwell
1/29: Kim Fielding
1/30: Cheryl Headford, Silvia Violet
2/2: Amy Rae Durreson
2/3: Rebecca Cohen
2/4: Draven St. James
2/5: Nic Starr
2/6: Chris T. Kat
2/9: Amanda C. Stone
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Thanks Amanda! This was a fun interview to do – interruption included 🙂
Thank you for such a informative interview and the creation of Q 🙂
In answer to the rafflecopter question, I enjoy most genre but fantasy was the one I enjoyed most when I was growing up.