Taran Matharu author of The Summoner series and latest book The Chosen (release date June 4th, Review Coming Thursday), took the time to give a candid interview ahead of the review and release of the first book in his latest series, Contender.
1)There’s been a lot of discussion on twitter demystifying the “romantic starving artist” because it isn’t so romantic- what is your take?
I have actually worked at four different companies before I became an author, including the publisher Penguin Random House. It is very difficult to become a full-time author, and around 95% of authors who do not have a partner supporting them will have a job, with writing only a supplement to their income. Other authors, particularly children’s authors, will go full-time but make around half of their money from doing school visits and other free-lance work. Even when an author’s book does become successful, there’s no guarantee their next book will be, so quitting the day job is never advisable until they have had a string of successes and established their fanbase, which can take several years. I’d advise anyone wanting to become a full-time author to know it’s a long, drawn out process for most people unless they have a substantial safety net and other sources of income.
2) “I have been trained by Author Profile and the National Literacy Trust”- this leaves me with both a very honorable and inquisitive impression of you. What exactly does this training entail? What is the purpose/allow you to do? What made you pursue it?
It was very much like training to be a teacher, or public speaker! So how to structure a workshop, how to speak to an audience, how to keep their attention, how to add value, how to plan for technical problems etc. Publishers paid for me to go on this training, because having me do school events helps encourage young readers to buy my books, sort of like a travelling salesperson. And since publishers reap the lion’s share of each book sale, they benefit.
3) Living in America, as a woman, I have a palpable fear of how I’m watching rights being stripped away piece by piece, chipped away from everyone who isn’t apart of the “1%”. From the point of view from someone living in another country, and someone who is half Indian/half Brazilian, what have you noticed ? What is your view of what is happening here?
There’s a new president of Brazil called Bolsonaro who is definitely prejudiced against the LGBT community and has stripped away many human rights from the people of the country. I am not a fan of Trump, and I think his government has done some terrible things.
4) If there is anything you always wished someone would have asked you but haven’t, something you wanted to say/express but weren’t asked the right question- now is your time. Whatever it is, whatever you want to say- whether to your peers, readers, the world- Shoot. The floor is yours.
Just to say that I think bloggers are hugely under appreciated by both publishers and authors alike, and I want to take the opportunity to thank them for all the work they do in helping spread the word about awesome new books!
Of course I want to give I huge thanks and show appreciation for the recognition of the work that all bloggers do out of the love of reading! It is always wonderful to when anyone, especially those that create the art we take into our lives, are aware of all that we do.
Secondly, I want to give an overall thanks to thanks to Taran and ALL the authors (as I will each Q and A) that are taking time to participate this summer!
Bio (Taken from Taran Matharu Website)
Taran Matharu is a New York Times bestselling author. He was born in London in 1990 and found a passion for reading at a very early age. His love for stories developed into a desire to create his own during early adolescence, beginning his first book at 9 years old.Taran began to write ‘Summoner’ in November 2013 at the age of 22, taking part in ‘Nanowrimo 2013’.Thanks to Wattpad.com and updating daily, its popularity dramatically increased, reaching over 3 million reads in less than six months.After being featured by NBC News, Taran decided to launch his professional writing career and has never looked back.His SUMMONER series is published by Hodder Children’s (Hachette) in the UK, Australia and Commonwealth, Feiwel and Friends (Macmillan) in the US and Canada, Hachette Jeunesse in France, Heyne in Germany, Planeta in Spain, Crown in Taiwan, Record in Brazil, EKSMO in Russia, Jaguar in Poland, Ecliptic in Bulgaria, Alpress in the Czech Republic, Ithaki in Turkey, Forlaget Forar in Denmark and Unieboek in the Netherlands.