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Written by
Linda Higgins and Michelle Lynn

Here we go again! This is the second author spotlight from the Young Adult Author Rendezvous and we have a good one for you. Paul Briggs is the author of Locksmith’s Closet and we’re excited for you to get to know him!

Tell us about your book.

A boy discovers a portal to the future, finds nobody living there and sets out to discover what happened.

Who is your favorite character that you’ve written? What makes them special?

Her name is Rikki. She’s the least predictable. Depending on the situation, she can be businesslike, rebellious, heroic or just plain fun. If she weren’t such an exhausting character to write, I’d give her her own spinoff.

What is your favorite type of scene to write and why?

Any scene where a character is exploring a new place. I love trying to capture the look and feel of a setting.

What authors have inspired you to write?

Many. If I were to single out a couple, they’d be Isaac Asimov and Harlan Ellison.

What age were you when you started writing?

I think I must have been six or seven. I taught myself to read at age two, so I had a head start. Learning to write things that other people would want to read took me a lot longer.

Do you ever experience writer’s block?

Often. Usually it’s because there’s a specific place where I just don’t know how to tell the story. I deal with it by starting work on something else.

Do you work with an outline, or just write?

Generally I start by just writing, then realize this mess I’m making needs some organization and start creating an outline.

Does anything you write ever trigger emotions? For example, do you get sad when a character dies or excited while writing fight scenes?

Planning and writing a scene does trigger some of the same emotions as reading it. I did have fun writing the fights and escapes, although I tried to make the violence in the last fight scene a little uncomfortable to read. The scenes where Lock and Gary are angry, sad or despairing were definitely the hardest for me to write.

Your series has a lot to do with time travel. What drew you to this topic?

Originally, it wasn’t so much the time travel itself as what it revealed — the empty and abandoned world. It was only as I was writing that I realized the portal had to be more than just a plot device.

In your book, Locksmith’s Closet, your characters travel forward in time. If you had that ability, would you rather get to see the future or experience the past? Why?

I’d rather see the future, just out of curiosity. I can read about the past, after all, and there isn’t any bygone era I’ve read about that I’d like better than the present day. (Although I think I would have appreciated the nineties a little more if I’d known what was coming next.)

If you were a super hero, what would your power be?

Telekinesis. It would have so many practical applications.

Traditional publishing, Indie publishing, or self-publishing? Why did you choose to go the way that you did?

I wish I could claim that I’m a heroic pioneer in the self-publishing revolution. Truth is, I just couldn’t find an agent.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

My next book is Altered Seasons. I’m hoping to have it published traditionally. It’s about a group of politicians and ordinary people coping with a relatively sudden change in the climate after the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean melts one year. I’m also going to use NaNoWriMo to try to finish Locksmith’s Journeys, or at least get it close to finished.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

The toughest criticism I’ve ever gotten was after I’d written a series of short stories about a woman with gigantism. One person felt that I’d made light of what would be a really tragic situation.

The best compliment was when my teenage nephew told me he’d read Locksmith’s Closet in one sitting. (That draft of it was several thousand words longer than the final product.)

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

Be a good listener. There are a lot of people out there with a lot of stories that will give you lots of ideas. Also, this will improve your ear for dialogue.

What People are saying about Paul Briggs and Locksmith’s Closet:

“What a story! It’s one of those that you’re sure is headed in one direction and then takes a detour that makes it an even better story.  You won’t be able to stop reading.” 

“Rather than be a plot-driven story, it becomes a character-driven story, and with it we become closer to the characters as they deal with the harsh realities and tragedies that life in their own world has to offer. It becomes very introspective and philosophical, and I must say, I did not see that coming. I would recommend this story to anyone who enjoys Young Adult or time-travel stories. I can only hope that Part 2 of this trilogy comes out soon. Well done, Mr. Briggs.” 

“The writing and plotting of this book is absolutely the equal of anything published by the big publishing houses. Briggs is a formidable new talent. I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for the next installment!” 

Check out Paul Briggs’ author page on YAAR to learn more!

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