The False Titanbringer - Riley and Sara Lynn Westbrook
What do you think of when you hear the word dragon?
Big scaly beast with an attitude right? Yeah. Me too. So when I started The Westbrook's Trilogy, I struggled to wrap my head around a reptilian human looking figure who could sprout wings and take off. But it was this determination to truly visualize and understand this character that brought this series to life for me.
This trilogy included a lot of elements that reminded me of several other series. Sure you've got a little Terry Brooks and perhaps even Tolkien, but then there's some Frank Herbert and all the personal drama of Game of Thrones, Spartacus, and/or Rome.
I love when authors put all their books together into one unified trilogy for readers. This makes it easy for me to keep track of where I'm at and (don't ever quote me on this because I'll deny it) knowing how much longer I have before the end of a book helps me control my anxiety level regarding the characters' hurdles and crises.
Overall, The False Titanbringer is a vastly enjoyable and creative work. I can honestly say that I've never read anything quite like it. Looking forward to reading more by The Talented Westbrooks.
Some Bio Information
Riley is an ex-CNA who found himself unable to do the job he loved. Injured, out of work, and stumbling through life, he happened to start writing down his thoughts. Once that happened, he fell in love and has been writing since.
Sara is Riley's companion. She doesn't understand the persistent need to write that her husband has, but she is a good wife who loves her husband. She supports him by making sure the drivel that leaves his mouth isn't completely full of idiocy.
1. Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process?
Well, unlike most writers I don't drink very often at all. But we all have our poisons of choice, our vices that we just can't give up. Mine just so happens to be marijuana. I find it very relaxing to enjoy a puff or two, or sometimes a laced brownie, just to help ease the pain I have in my back. Couple that with the imagination I've had ever since I was a child, and a determination to not go insane in my struggles to get back to a good weight (Seriously folks, I'll be happy when I hit 300 pounds, that'll put me at 325 lost, and I will be writing a weight loss book, so keep your eyes out!).
The process is quite simple, I think of how I want something to end. Then I ask, what started it? And from there I just let my mind flow. I once attempted to write a true “outlined, snowflake method, you should do this when you write” book and it just does not work for me. The same site I found the Snowflake method on though, did give me the best advice. Whatever works for you, works.
After I pour my heart upon the page, leaving a scattered wasteland of broken grammar and incoherent ramblings...My wife comes through and translates the Rilenese into English. I freely admit that without her, these books wouldn't be half of what they are. She gives me ideas while I'm writing, she translates the first draft so I can start to edit it, and she's what I call “quality control” because otherwise....I'll just leave it at that.
2. Describe your favorite place.
...I thought you wanted me to keep this PG? All joking aside, it really doesn't matter to me as long as I have my beautiful wife by my side. She may drive me insane with her rage, she may not be the most social of individuals, but there's no one in the world (Not even my own mom.) that understands me like she does.
Her answer would be Ocean Shores, WA on a cloudy day with a cold wind rolling off the waves, so that's good enough for me.
3. What inspired you to write this story?
Breath of the Titans is something that's been rattling around inside my head for years, I just never wrote it down until I did. It's a conglomeration of years as a Dungeon Master, spending time traveling through lands and conquering dragons with my friends since a young age. Running around with sticks, playing with pen, paper, and dice, all of it was amazing and inspiring for this story.
4. How would you describe your writing style?
Riley: The acronym of my name.
Sara: I piece it together, making it coherent. So others may understand it.
5. What is your favorite part of your book?
Honestly, the fire breathing chicken. I admit, the creature doesn't add a lot to the story. And it came to me on a whim, watching the intro to Good Mythical Morning on Youtube. It features a fire breathing chicken, and I needed a creature to fit the role. It slid perfectly into place, I think before that I was going to bring another ooze monster in, but I don't think the Tuthan priests would stoop low enough to attack Jaxon as he is a small bit player in their minds.
6. What’s your ultimate writing goal?
I accept nothing less than world domination.
Sara: ALL SHALL LOVE ME AND DESPAIR! (Had to throw in a LotR reference, of course.)
7. What’s the most important piece of advice for someone who is considering becoming an indie author?
Sara: Don't be afraid to write what you want to write, it must come from within.
Riley: Where to begin. First, quit looking at other authors as competition. Guess what, I am a consumer. I am also a writer. As a writer, I still consume. Consuming feeds the beast within me that goes on to add to my own exposure, which adds to others. Look at your fellow authors as a resource, not a rival.
Don't expect your book to be a best seller right out of the gate. I'm not saying it can't happen, it can, there are many stories where it does. But for everyone of those, there are hundreds, if not thousands, that amount to nothing.
DON'T BE AFRAID TO GIVE AWAY YOUR BOOK! Especially in an ebook format, I know you wrote it to make money. We get that, everyone wants to make money. But the only way your book is going to catch on is through word of mouth.
I honestly hate to say it, I wish I could say differently, but if your friends and family buy your book and only your friends and family buy your book, unless it drives you to bestseller ranking or top of the charts, doesn't mean anything.
Some people just aren't going to like your book. Learn which ones are being bullies, and which are honestly trying to help improve you as a writer. Shift through the trash.
Either have thick skin, or be prepared to develop it quick. While some authors are amazing support, some will do nothing but tear you down. Read above instructions.
And last, don't be afraid to be shameless! How do you think Lady Gaga, Miley the virus, all these other stars keep their names in the headlines? Shameless self promotion.