Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Lost and the Wicked - Cesar Gonzalez, Post-Apocalyptic Author

It's nearly Thanksgiving, which means my 2014 Fall Author Program is quickly drawing to a close. The last author that I'm featuring before the Christmas season rolls into town is Cesar Gonzalez, the author of The Void Wielder Trilogy and The Lost and the Wicked, a post-apocalyptic novel. As you know, I'm always interested in meeting new authors - especially those that dabble in end-of-the-world scenarios. So here we are. Cesar Gonzalez, in his own words: 

Welcome, Cesar! Tell us about your published works. 
Thank you so much for having me, Summer. It is an honor. At this moment I have two novels out from my Void Wielder trilogy (Element Wielder & Legacy of Chaos). Legacy of Chaos just came out two days ago. I’m very excited about that.
I also wrote a prequel novella (Legacy of the Golden Wielder) that will be coming out December 2014). It will available for free for a few days.
I’m a big action anime fan, and it shows in this trilogy. The story is fast-paced, action packed, and constantly on the move.
As you might have guessed by the name (Element Wielder), some people in the story are able to control elements (Fire, water, poison, space, darkness, etc…). Falcon Hyatt is one such being. He is not supposed to have control over all twelve elements, but somehow he does. It is something that serves as both a gift and a curse.
However, the element control serves as tool to drive the story forward, a story of a young man trying to cope with a very bad draw of bad luck. It is the choices he makes or doesn’t make, and the bonds he forms that propel the story.

You've got a post-apocalyptic trilogy coming up. What can you tell me about that? 
Yes, I am a huge, and I do mean huge fan of post-apocalyptic stories. It doesn’t matter what format they’re told on. It may be in a movie, web series, video game, documentary, book, etc… If it’s post apocalyptic, I’m there.
Which is one of the reasons I wrote The Lost and the Wicked.

The Lost and the Wicked tells the story of sixteen-year-old Mandy. She has just come from a six-year mission from outer space (her mother is the captain, so she was dragged along). Mandy can’t wait until she can get back to Earth and off the spaceship.
Things go bad almost immediately. Her space, that contains a two hundred-man crew and her little sisters, is shot down and sinks to the bottom of the Pacific. Mandy alone escapes.
Now it is up to Mandy to find the help she needs to get her people out of the ship, a ship that has now become a potential mass tomb. The ship only carries about two weeks left of air supply; this puts a tremendous weight on Mandy.
To worsen matters, Mandy soon finds out the Earth she’s in is far from the one she left as a child. Humanity has been pushed to near-extinction by strange creatures known only as Daitengu.
Daitengu’s goal is to kill all humans. A goal that is close to completion. Mandy represents an obstacle in that goal.

It is the story of a young woman thrust into a familiar, yet, very strange world. She didn’t ask for this, all she wants is to save her family. The Daitengu have other plans.

The Lost and the Wicked is available for pre-order on Amazon. It is set to release on December 24, 2014.

How did you get into writing? 
I always loved writing. As a kid I would write a lot of little books. In order to “publish” them I would get glue and paste the copies into other books (sorry, Mom). That was my published book back in the day.

I also always had a very lively imagination. Many ideas would float through my head while I was completing every-day mundane tasks. One day, while I was driving, the day came to me. I should write a novel.

Another important inspiration of mine is reading. I read a lot of books. I constantly juggle three-four books at once (not counting manga). Three fantasy books and one history or current political topics book.
It is this love for reading that also fueled me to create my own stories to share with other people.

What authors/books have inspired you? 
One of my favorites all time authors is Wilson Rawls. Mr. Rawls was a phenomenal writer. He penned my favorite novel of all-time, Where The Red Fern Grows. While his writing varies greatly from mine, it was his book that first introduced to the magic of a novel. My first love, in a way.
I’m just sorry that he burned many of his manuscripts. I would have loved to read the other stories that he wrote.

Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games) was also an important inspiration for me. Her Hunger Games series is my favorite book-series of all-time. It was through her books that I realized that I could expand the romantic sub-plot of my books, without hindering the main-plot. If anything, this romantic aspect just further enriched the reading experience (at least I hoped).

A lot of Indie authors have inspired me. Though there are way too many to list here.

Why do you think people are enamored with post-apocalyptic stories? What's their allure? 
People have always been curious. Ever since the beginning of time, no matter what culture they belonged to, a person wanted to know more. What is that shiny thing hanging in the sky? What’s over that horizon? Is that edible? Why does it rain? The questions, just like the answers, are boundless.
I think it is this curious nature of humans that draws so many people to post-apocalyptic stories. Many people wonder: What does the future hold for us?
Post-apocalyptic stories attempt to answer this question in entertaining, and sometimes-scary ways.

People also love a good underdog story. A story that is about survival. Of a person that has all the odds stacked against them, yet they constantly struggle on to surge ahead.  If told well, these stories resonate with the reader.

What's you're favorite post-apocalyptic movie/TV show/book? 
I’m going to have to cheat here and pick more than one. I like so many.

The Walking Dead is my favorite TV show. I love watching as this band of people tries to survive the zombies and each other.

I’m also a big fan of the Life After People documentary series. When I was writing The Lost and the Wicked, I would constantly watch this show to immerse myself in that world. It helped me visualize what it could be like to live in such a deserted world.

Video Games: Fallout Series, and The Walking Dead videogame.

Any new projects that you'll be working on in the next year? 
I’ll be hard at work in the last book of the Void Wielder Trilogy (Heir of the Elements).
I also have to work on the next installment of The Lost and the Wicked series.

I would like to write a non-fiction book on history (I’m a history major). Rene Fonck, a World War I ace has always held great interest for me.
Forgotten people through history is another interesting subject I would like to write about.

I also have an idea for a steampunk children’s story floating in my head.

I have so many ideas, that it’s hard to narrow them down sometimes.

However, I don’t think I’ll be able to get to those ideas anytime soon. The Void Wielder Trilogy and The Lost and the Wicked are my focus at this point.

What advice to you have for aspiring authors? 
 Write, write, write. Don’t just talk about that book your going to write one day. Start writing it today. Add a bit everyday. Don’t stop. Before you know it, you’ll have a complete first manuscript.
If you don’t want to write a lot, start slow. A short story is always a good start.

Also, join a writers critique group. I learned a lot on Critique Circle (an online group of writers). There you will be able to get your work critiqued.

However, be very careful. You’d be surprised the questionable advice some people will give you.

Thanks so much for stopping by! 
 Thank you for having me, Summer.

About Cesar 

My name is Cesar Gonzalez. I'm twenty-nine years old. I have a B.A in History from CSU, Bakersfield. I have a far-fetched dream of one day being a published writer. I love writing and revising novels. I also enjoy reading and spending time with my son (He's the lego kid by the title).

I worked on Element Wielder for five years. Besides Element Wielder, I've also written a post-apocolyptic novel.
I originally got the idea for Element Wielder when I was in junior high. The main idea for the story came to me when I saw an ad for a game on a video game magazine for a upcoming game (But for the life of me I can't remember the game). I just remember it had circles of elements.  


Get fictional - it's fun! Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to see you again soon!