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An Interview with Rich Feitelberg

Can you tell us a little bit about "Aure the Topaz?"

Aure the Topaz is the first book in the Aglaril Cycle. Aglaril is the elven name for a set of seven magic gems that were set into the elven king's crown. The crown was destroyed many years ago and the gems scattered. In the first book one of the gems is found and necromancers try to steal it. The book is about the struggle to keep it safe and away from these evil wizards.

What's your background with writing?

Well, I've studied and practiced writing my entire adult life. I wrote plays and poetry in college then began to dabble in fiction but gave it up when I decided to pursue my Masters degree. As a graduate student, I focused on journalism, technical writing, and the fundamentals of how people learn in order to communicate better. I practiced those skills for a time and then returned to fiction writing and my first love, fantasy novels. As it turns out, knowing how people learn is really important when you try to explain and describe a world of fantasy.

Who are your inspirations/influences?

Better to ask who isn't? I am influenced by everything I see, read, and experience -- or at least I try to be. If you want to know some of my favorite artists, writers, and so on, several names top the list. For fantasy and science fiction, Tolkien, Asimov, Clarke, Bradbury, and Heinlein all have places of honor. But there are traces of Andre Norton, Katherine Kurtz, Ursula Le Guin, and Marion Zimmer Bradley in my work too, I think.

What was it like working with Aziza Publishing?

Aziza Publishing has been very helpful. They’ve answered my questions and explained to me several aspects of how to promote and market a book, areas I was lacking in. This was, in fact one of the reasons I decided to sign with them. I wanted to work with professionals who would help me and expand my knowledge in areas of which I knew little. In that regard, Aziza has been great.

Who was responsible for the cover/book design?

The cover and book design was a joint effort. Aziza, the publisher, came up with ideas and I approved them or rejected them. For the cover, I had to give them a list of possible images to use. They picked one and developed it.

What are you doing in terms of marketing/publicity?

Many things. To start, I attended a Local Author’s Day at the Chelmsford Library on June 15, 2013. Other events are planned once my novel is released in October.

I am also self-publishing some short stories on Smashwords for people to sample my work. In this way, I hope to attract an audience.

I am also networking with readers to spread the word.

Do you have any stories from book signings/radio interviews/etc.?

No, not at this time.

What is the name of your blog and what can readers expect to find there?

The name of my blog is Paraphernalia in my Pocket. The title comes from an old poem of mine. The paraphernalia are my ideas and the pocket is my mind. The postings in the blog are about writing and the publishing issues I've faced in the process of bringing my novels to market. There is other information there too about my novels, and on a more personal note, my dogs.

What projects do you have planned for the future?

Book 2, Vorn the Onyx, is in the pipeline and I have a draft of Books 3 and 4. Beyond that I am continuing to write short stories, which I release on Smashwords, and poetry which I post on my Facebook Fan Page.

Is there anything else about you we should know?

Yes, this book is only the first step in telling a larger story. I very much see the world in which the story takes place as a character too and all the stories planned, really tell the story of the world, at least a part of that story. I say this because before you judge my work or a given novel, you really need to understand the bigger picture. Unfortunately, that won't be clear to the reader until many more books are written. Until then, I think it is going to be like judging a painting by evaluating one corner of the overall canvas.