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Leonardo Cornejo

Pre-Interview: I live in Mexico, born and raised. There is not much more to say on me beyond that. I'm not that important, my work is. Now on to the questions.

Author Interview: 1. What inspires you most to write?

Well. Pretty much all my life experiences, but especially watching anime and playing video games. However, I firmly believe I would write by instinct even without inspiration.

2. What is your favorite genre?

I would say fantasy. That's what I consume the most, what I write the most, and what inspires me the most.

3. Who is one author you admire if any and why?

I can't choose only one. I don't really admire many, but the ones I admire are not as famous, some are not even literary authors.

4. How do you overcome blank writing spells?

Eating curry and playing video games. Also using counter spells to fire at the enemy spell caster. I had to make the joke.

5. What legal publishing advice can you give?

Read on the Berne convention, and don't worry about using a name similar to that of another work.

6. How many books have you written, are any a bestseller yet?

Published: Four. written: Five or six.

Any best sellers? No. None. I don't mind. I want to make a profit, not get famous. As long as, I make enough money to live, I'm fine without fame.

So far my published works are two books in the Tales from The Void short story collections, Journey to Avlaan and The Path beyond Avlaan, as well as the two books of the Guilds of Avlaan series, Steel and Flame and Reagent and Toxicant. All of them have one of the best werewolves in fiction as protagonist.

7. If you had the opportunity to rewrite one movie script which would it be, why?

I don't want to make a list. There are too many. Why? Because they were awful! I would say I would rewrite Avengers Endgame and wouldn't kill Tony Stark off. That was a terrible finale.

8. What are some difficulties you've experienced in your writing career; how do you handle book critiques/criticism?

My biggest difficulty is making money. I need to make a profit to live, otherwise I would give away things regularly.

I accept criticism, but it must come from people who actually read my work and without spiteful intent. I will write the story the way I want, and I only accept criticism on the structural aspects.

I would never change a character to please others, but I would modify any inconsistency or plot hole noticed by my audience. Plot holes and retcons are worse than criticism from fans.

So far, however, not a single negative review of my work has signs of coming from readers. My readers have pointed at flaws, which I have worked on improving.

9. What are your best experiences in your writing career?

Someone sent me some... Fan art... Of one of my characters. That is a sign of love and affection toward her. And in fact, my fans love her, just as planned.

10. Do you prefer to write in silence and or have some sort sound in the background?

I don't have a preference.

11. What are some encouraging words you'd give to another author/writer?

Never give up, write what you want, and write with love. Even the worst story has fans.

12. How did you decide the pricing of your material; how did you go about promotion/advertising and distribution of your work?

I do all things the indie way. Using Amazon to distribute my books, using social media to promote my work (I shill it myself because paid promotions didn't yield results), contacting fans. It is all online.

My pricing was based on a small infographic on book costs, as well as similar products in the market, Amazon's pricing advice system, and keeping a similar level of profits between digital and print copies.

13. Why should anyone read your book?

Because it is fun to read, of course.

Well. I could come up with other excuses, naturally. I mean, it is the first sword and sorcery novel series ever written by a Mexican author. It is heavily inspired in anime and manga, therefore being similar to Japanese light novels, instead of the Western standard. It avoids political preaching. It has a cute, and strong, female lead, and a similarly strong, but less cute, male lead. It has no love triangles. It is quite lighthearted compared to the big names in the market. It avoids the least liked tropes in modern Western literature. Dunno. I could list many reasons, but the best way to say it is trying it yourself.

Now were I the Willy Wonka of literature, I would literally send a copy through the screen for the readers as publicity.

14. Did you have a book coach?

You could say so. There are some persons listed in my books who made the project possible. Many of them are writes too. Jack Hammer, L. Steinworth, and A. A. Warne, just to name a few of those who have released works too. They're actually quite good, more talented, and more experienced than myself to be honest.

15. What was your favorite subject in school?

I hated school, every second of it. I switched favorite subjects depending on who was the teacher I liked the most, so I didn't have one.

Funny enough, because of what I was forced to read at school, I actually hated reading back then, and never imagined I would become a novelist.

16. Are you self-published or have an established publishing contract elsewhere?

I decided to go indie.

Right now, publishers are not precisely the best for someone who seeks full artistic control. I wanted to have complete control over the cover designs, characters, and plot, so having a publisher never crossed my mind.

I also consider publishers an optional element in the digital era. Just look at other industries such as video games, music, and animation. Publishers are optional. Going indie is the best way to achieve things the way I want.

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