We’ve got one of the great authors of BigWorldNetwork
on the site today. A fantasy author with a full life, they seem to be quit happy with who they are, and that’s the best way to be! Be sure to check out their work!
Tof Ekund is a nonbinary transgender author, parent, and professor of Creative Writing at Full Sail University. Their interests include fantasy, romance, comics, videogames and RPGs. Their work includes RPG supplement The Unconventional Dwarf, and a forthcoming videogame set in the world of Autumn Harvest.
Autumn Harvest: Maiden
isn’t the story of the orphaned “hero of legend” who will do great deeds. It’s the story of how the promised one’s parents met, and how they faced being fated to love and die. Yelen is a large woman, a woman of color, and a Maiden of the Order, a witch, sent to backwards an patriarchal Thrycae, a nation slowly recovering from being a vassal state of the brutal High King. Yelen saves the life of a Prince and finds love, but court intrigue, supernatural horrors, morning sickness and swollen ankles all stand between her and her hopes of keeping the happiness she had found.
1. What do you do to keep your spirits up through a bad review?
While accepting and learning from criticism is essential for any author, bad reviews aren’t always learning opportunites: sometimes, your thing just isn’t a reviewer’s thing, and not all reviewers are upfront about that. I don’t try to make myself slog through harsh criticism when I’m upset: I leave it and come back when my head’s clear enough to sort out valuable feedback from “I didn’t like it.”
2. What has been your greatest inspiration for writing your story?
My family, including family of choice, is my greatest inspiration, and not merely in the sense of providing love and support. Autumn Harvest began as a short story written for my spouse, and was greatly influenced by my excitement and my fears as she was pregnant. The imperfect, unidealized experiences of our little family and of a great many friends and connections have given me the ability to engage in flights of fancy that are grounded in the real struggles of lovers and families.
3. Are there any people you feel need a shout out for supporting you?
I tend to keep my cards close to my chest as a writer, in part because I’m scribbling on them with a Sharpie, changing their pips, adding mustaches and otherwise futzing with the details to fit the overall scheme. Shira Glassman, the author of the Second Mango series, has been a huge help to me, both as a sounding board when I finally admit I need one, and as a guide to doing promotions, something she has a knack for that I lack. I also wouldn’t be here without my editors, Meagan and Amanda. All authors need editors and/or beta readers.
4. Has self-publishing taught you any lessons that you feel will help you in life?
Increasingly, the difference between being indie and having a big publisher is one of degree, not kind: no matter what, you have to be a self-starter (and “finisher,” finding a way to set and meet deadlines), and if you’re an introvert and/or prefer not to speak about yourself, you have to find a way to put yourself out there anyway. The skills I’ve needed to get books done have make me better at time and project management in every context, and helped me put myself forward not just to do things that needed doing, but also to accept credit and praise when it comes. It’s also sharpened my appreciation of quality time with family and friends, and of the time and energy other people put into their projects. Writing and getting your work out there makes a person better at life.
and last, What’s your favorite color?
I love peacock colors and jewel tones, but if I had to pick just one color? The deep purple of an eggplant’s skin.