Below is my interview with Brent LeVasseur, author of the five-volume series, Aoleon the Martian Girl: Science Fiction Saga. I had a chance to ask Brent some questions about this series. Here is his book trailer:
Q1: The first thing that hits me when reading AOLEON is the eye-popping graphics--and there are a ton of them. How did you go about learning to produce such stunning artwork?
BRENT: Thank you Chris! That is a wonderful compliment. I spent a very long time learning how to make my imagery and so I really appreciate it that you like them. I have a video I made that explains in depth about my 3D workflow and how I learned to make my imagery:
Q2: As I noted in one of my reviews, it's just not possible that this is your first big writing production. I am guessing your work has involved you in writing before this? BRENT: Nope! (Thank you again for the compliment.) Actually, I have never written anything before (besides business related documents like business plans), and writing actually is very very hard for me and takes me a really long time to achieve a decent result. I basically had to teach myself how to write as I was writing this book. I went through hundreds of iterations and was lucky to have a small group of beta readers and several very good editors who helped me along the way. (You can read their names in the special thank you section of my book). Q3: There are a ton of witty remarks by the characters, covering a broad spectrum of literature. Were you trained in classical literature?
BRENT: No not at all! Thank you again! I do love to read classics. Specifically I remember reading Shakespeare in the 5th and 6th grade, and totally laughing out loud at all the sexual innuendo that was going on. It's memories like those that I thought of when I was writing my book. I wanted to make my book fun for kids as well as to try and make them think. I also wanted to educate them about real world aliens in a format that they could understand and that people wouldn't reject outright. If I had written a non-fiction book about aliens, no one would have read it and or the ones that did would just scoff. The solution as I saw it, was to write a "fictional" book with like 85% truth or real world basis, or as Stephen Colbert would say "it has truthiness to it." How do you train young kids on how to combat reptiloid aliens that want to eat them? You don't write a non-fiction book. You write "fiction" as kids will pay much closer attention to that then they would a non fiction book. Basically, you make learning fun. That is what I tried to do in my book.
Q4: Could you name some of your favorite authors?
BRENT: My number one favorite author and book of all time is George Orwell 1984. Especially in the world we live in today (where we basically are living it), reading his books and understanding them is so critical.
Beyond Orwell, I read a lot of books and have many favorite authors, and it really depends on why I like them. For example, I love fantasy authors like JRR Tolkien and JK Rowling. For scifi I like Louis McMaster Bujould, Neil Stephenson, and Richard K Morgan. For contemporary literature, my favorite author is Jim Harrison. I composed my very first string symphony my freshman year in college and it's title was "WOLF" based on Jim Harrison's novel. He is just an amazing writer. I also love Hemingway and F Scott Fitzgerald the Great Gatsby. If I were to point to an amazing piece of literature from a craft of writing standpoint it would probably be The Great Gatsby. It was just so wonderfully written. I wish I could write that well!
Children's authors like Dr. Seuss and Roald Dahl are tops for me even today! Oh and I forgot to mention William Goldman and The Princess Bride! A wonderful book that was later made into a wonderful movie.
Thanks for your time, Brent. And congratulations on such a wonderful series of books!