Author interview with Mario Routi
Hi Mario, welcome over at The Book Plank and thanks for taking you time to answer these few questions.
BP: First off, could you tell us a bit who Mario Routi is? What are your hobbies, likes and dislikes?
MR: I am an alien, trapped in a human body. A cool, slightly sloppy lad in my early forties – I like to think I flow between the Earth and the world I write about, the Land of the White Sun. I enjoy soccer, snooker and bowling. I love animals and dislike whoever dislikes them.
BP: Your Rebecca Newton series is fairly young, the first book was published last year. When did you decide that you wanted to write this series? What gave you the inspiration behind the first book and series?
MR: It's been a few years now. Several paranormal experiences turned the flame on, but one of these was a chance encounter with an old man in a restaurant many years ago. He read my first adult book, Orizon, also based in world of Rebecca Newton, and claimed that the place was real and that he’d been there! As well as that, a life-long love of fantasy fiction inspired me to pick up my pen and give my own novel a try.
BP: Prior to writing Rebecca Newton and the Sacred Flame you wrote one other books, Orizon. Had you gained valuable experience with this book that helped in writing the first Rebecca Newton series?
MR: Yes, because a part of the first book of the Rebecca trilogy is based on Orizon. As well as that, I learnt a great deal from the process of writing Orizon – discipline, character development, plotting etc to name a few things that I felt I learnt while penning Orizon.
BP: Writing the beginning of a series must be a daunting task, how did you went about and plan it? Did you make a rough mapping of the general story or did you already have fine details in store for the other books? Or do you just write on the fly?
MR: I did indeed make a rough mapping for the Rebecca Newton series, as the story spans generations and ages and has many interweaving characters and plots. Once I get started, however, I let myself relax and let the story go where it pleases, all the while checking back that I’m keeping to the rough ‘map’.
BP: Next to beginning a series, writing THE sequel is hard, you have to keep the reader interested and keep the story moving forward, what is your formula to write a sequel?
MR: I put myself in the shoes of the reader – that’s really important. You have to make sure that you leave the first book in a place when the reader really want to find out how the story progresses. And then make sure that you give the reader as strong-an-adventure as in the first book.
BP: The sequel to Rebecca Newton and the Sacred Flame, Rebecca Newton and the Last Oracle is out very soon, if you would have to sell the book with a single sentence, how would it go?
MR: I, like most authors, am bad in selling my own product, and we need lots of space to write. However, if I'd have to choose, I'd use the Publisher's heading: The Epic tale continues and Rebecca's limits are tested to the max.
BP: What has been the hardest part in writing the Rebecca Newton series so far?
MR: Making the characters believable, and more than that, likeable! I’m proud of the characters I have created and hope others like, or hate where appropriate (!), them too.
BP: Did you encounter any specific problem during you writing?
MR: Working within time limits is always stressful and I always get worried as my copy deadline looms. However, sometimes you just have to get your head down and get on with it!!
BP: Besides the hardest part, which scene, chapter or character did you enjoy writing about the most?
MR: Battle scenes are my favorites – I love the action, the drama and the emotion behind a battle. As much as a battle is about the swords and armor, it’s about the emotions behind that fight too. As for characters, Rebecca is obviously my little girl, however, I see some of myself in Turgoth.
BP: There is mythology involved in the Rebecca Newton books, did you have to carry out additional research for it to keep true to some facts?
MR: Most authors need to go through at least some research when their stories include either historical or mythological references, so yes, although I admit that I do twist mythology around, I still carry out basic research and try to not insult the originals.
BP: If you would be given the chance to retract Rebecca Newton and the Last Orcale from publishing to change one final thing, would you do so? If yes which part and why?
MR: I would only change the name of a specific character, it would feel more right, but now it's too late and I'll use this name in a future story.
BP: Everyone enjoys fantasy in their own way. What do you like most about this genre?
MR: You travel in amazing places and meet incredible characters. You access new, exciting and different worlds and that’s what I love – it’s pure escapism for me.
BP: If you would have to give your top 5 favorite books, which would they be?
MR: When you're talking about Fantasy, you cannot speak of 5 books, but of Sagas. Therefore, my choices would be: The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman, The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis, A Song of Ice and Fire by George Martin and the Dark Tower by Stephen King.
BP: and just lastly can you give us a sneak peek of what will be instore for the readers of Rebecca Newton and the Last Orcale and possible what we might see in book three?
MR: The Last Oracle is a more Y/A book than The Sacred Flame. It doesn't however loose the Fantasy element, nor the adventure. It's quite romantic, but not enough to be grating. There are a few new characters and the story has a nice twist – which I hope readers will enjoy. In book three, the story goes on another level and "explodes". Many things will happen and several things will change, but neither Fantasy, Sci-Fi, adventure lovers or Y/A readers will be disappointed, as it's very cinematic with vivid descriptions.
BP: Thank you Mario for doing this interview and good luck with your future writing!
Now for the give away!
To celebrate the publication of Rebecca Newton and the Last Oracle, I have a brand new kindle and a copy of the book to give away to one lucky reader. To be in with a chance of winning, simply tweet your answer to the following question to @thebookplank and @MarioRouti using the hashtag #RebeccaNewton: ‘If you were granted one superpower, what would it be?’
It's easy, it's fast, what are you waiting for?