Kindle Author Interview: Will Granger

Will Granger, author of Anabar's Run, discusses his book, his journey as a writer, and self-publishing on Kindle.

DAVID WISEHART: What can you tell us about Anabar's Run?

WILL GRANGER: It is a coming-of-age story of a boy who dreams of leaving home and becoming a warrior. I started with the idea that anyone can be successful. It does not take royal blood, or magic, or wealth. The story became more interesting for me when I decided to add some conflict for Anabar. He succeeds at his training, but then starts to have doubts about his decision to become a fighter. He does not feel the hate he thinks he needs needs to be a killer. Book two of the trilogy shows how Anabar decides whether to give up everything to fight for peace instead of waging war.

DAVID WISEHART: How do you develop and differentiate your characters?

WILL GRANGER: Conflict really makes stories work. I think there must be some obstacle or challange for the main character to try to overcome.

Anabar learns about what he really wants in life. At first he is attracted to excitement and adventure, but later realizes there may be more to life. In this way, I believe he is similar to many young people.

Anabar's mentor and trainer, Omalof, is the antagonist. I created him with some mystery as to whether he really wants to see Anabar succeed. I also added an element of menace to Omalof.

The story develops as Anabar struggles with wanting to impress Omalof and wondering if he can, or even should, be like him.

DAVID WISEHART: Who do you imagine is your ideal reader?

WILL GRANGER: I hope that boys aged 9-13 will enjoy this because they might like the action and adventure in the story when Anabar is training to become a scout. There is mountain climbing, sword fighting and horseback riding.

DAVID WISEHART: What was your journey as a writer?

WILL GRANGER: I have traveled throughout Europe and Asia and held a variety of jobs from aircraft mechanic, to journalist, to college English professor. Along the way my wife and I also raised three sons. I have always wanted to write and believe these life experiences prepared me to create a variety of characters and settings. I am also an avid reader—I cannot imagine going on a plane or train ride without a few books.

DAVID WISEHART: What is your writing process?

WILL GRANGER: I have learned to be disciplined and to commit a certain amount of time each day to writing. I love it though when I really get absorbed in what I am doing. I also try to follow Stephen King's advice from his book On Writing in which he suggests just writing without a clear outline and to trust in your creativity. I was happily surprised to see Anabar develop and grow as I was writing Anabar's Run and the second book, Anabar Rises.

DAVID WISEHART: What authors most inspire you?

WILL GRANGER: Earnest Hemmingway had the biggest impact on me. First, I admire how he created such vivid characters and rich stories while using such a plain, spare style. I also like the adventure and different settings he used in his books. In fact, after reading The Sun Also Rises, I traveled to Pamplona, Spain and ran with the bulls at the festival of San Fermin.

DAVID WISEHART: What one book, written by someone else, do you wish you'd written yourself?

WILL GRANGER: Chesapeake by James Michener. He wrote such a big story with interesting characters living over hundreds of years. I spent many years in Maryland and would have enjoyed exploring that area and researching for that book. My favorite part is when Michener describes traveling into Pennsylvania to find the source of the Chesapeake Bay.

DAVID WISEHART: How have you marketed and promoted your work?

WILL GRANGER: I'm contacting various blogs and review sites to try to let people know about the book. I have also created a blog and plan to set up a website where I am going to post some additional material related to the book such as a map, Omalof's training log for Anabar, and more items from the cave that plays such a big part in Anabar's decision to leave home. I like the fact that my success with this book will be a reflection of how much effort I put into marketing it.

DAVID WISEHART: Why publish on Kindle?

WILL GRANGER: The traditional route of trying to secure an agent and then a publisher is very difficult. I am excited that Kindle offers writers a legitimate new way of getting published. The Internet is always changing, and I am enjoying taking part in this new and growing opportunity.

DAVID WISEHART: What advice would you give to a first-time author thinking of self-publishing on Kindle?

WILL GRANGER: Read as much as you can on Amazon's website and do it. Jump in and try. It is not at all difficult. Of course, be sure to write the best story you can. That has to come first.

DAVID WISEHART: Thanks, and best of luck with your books.


Will Granger was born near Pittsburgh, PA and grew up in New Jersey and Geneva, Switzerland. He spent 20 years in the U.S. Air Force, where he was able to travel around the world. Scenes from his travels appear throughout his books. He also attended James Madison University and earned his MA in Language Arts Education from the University of Central Florida.

Will Granger and his family live on the East Coast of Florida. When he isn't writing or teaching, he goes to church, goes sailing and fishing, and enjoys living close enough to Disney World to take advantage of having an annual pass.

Read his blog.

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