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Interview with C.G. Ayling, author of Malmaxa I. Beltamar's War

By T Gleichner
Posted Feb 5, 2013 in Entertainment
With children African, English and American, and myself born and raised in a country of five names, I consider myself… a citizen of the world.
My wife and four children think of me simply as a thorny old man – and thus my symbol…
One of the most influential people in my life was my Godfather. A man of absolute integrity, remarkable intellect, and fine character. He taught me tolerance, and intolerance, together. He showed me that every conflict has are two sides, if not more. It was thanks to time spent with him that I developed a guiding principle in my life, namely that the most fundamental sign of intelligence is the ability to change one’s mind. It is to honor him that I use his name as my pseudonym, yet I know my efforts fall far short of what he deserved.
In my memory, C.G.Ayling lives forever. Is that not as close as any man can come to immortality?
Why was writing Beltamar’s War so important to you?
In a nutshell, because it allowed me to formulate a more just world, yet disguise it as a primitive one.
What was the writing/creative process like?
It is ongoing. The series has a way to go still – only two of the novels have been released. I enjoy building a consistent believable world, with meaningful explanations and morals. The process itself is at first liberating, as one captures an essential thought. Step two is demanding, as attempts are made to refine it into elegance. Step three, is frustrating, as dissatisfaction at one’s words sets in and one jumps back to step two, in hope of improvement. The feeling of the first step is wonderful, adequately so to entice one through the repeated pain of the second and third steps, which repeat at least two or three times.
How did you come up with the title?
Beltamar, is a heroic figure in the tale, he finds himself embroiled with a conflict that is considered eternal, and universally expected to be so. It seemed like a good title, especially since it holds a poisoned sting.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I still do not, least no more than anyone else who chooses to put pen to paper, whether literal, or figurative.
What books do you believe influenced you in your life?
a. The entire gamut of Dr. Seuss – simply magnificent.
b. The full Lord of the Rings series.
c. The translated works of Omar Khayyám – in particular, the Edward FitzGerald translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyám.
How much influence did you have in the cover of your book? Did you initially have a different idea of how it would look?
I designed it, and every element and piece of artwork within it. I may well be releasing a new cover, designed by one of my nephews – nothing concrete yet.
Can you describe a typical day for you?
I go to work. I lose hair. I come home, and I read and write. Then I sleep, awakening in the early hours of the morning to think, plot, and scheme. The border between dream-state and awake, is the realm and time of day I treasure most.
What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
Laugh. Mostly with my wife and youngest children, however I’m not fussy – I’ll take any laugh I can get (from the inappropriate, on up to the esoteric).
What do your family and friends think of your writing?
That question, is most difficult for me to answer with truth, for I feel all I have heard in this regard, are blatant lies… They claim to love it, what else could friends and family do? To illustrate my point, here is a quote from “Beltamar’s War”, in which a character asks her twin is she sees wickedness in her child – this is the twin’s answer “I love her as my own. Could I be candid? I think not.”
What do you think is more important – a good plot, or good characters? Why did you choose the one you did?
a. To me, both are crucial. I find novels that relinquish one entirely, are largely a waste of time – not the enjoyable means of whittling away the hours that they should be.
b. Books purely about character, are ultimately boring – I know many characters why would I spend my time on a tale focused on characters I don’t know, and who can never hope to be as real as the ones I do know?
c. Books purely about plot, start off exciting, but rapidly lose their grip. They’re special effects, with no purpose other than destruction.
d. For a book to transcend mediocre, both plot and character are crucial. There have to be believable people, involved in some believable plot.
e. Lecture, on what I think, over… If I were compelled to choose one, or the other, I would choose Character.

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