Category Archives: InkDragon Publishing

Interview with Rhys B. Crabtree

Rhys B. Crabtree was born and raised on the Gulf Coast where he developed a love for reading, writing, and the Pagan practices found in the heart of New Orleans and the great swathes of country lands north of I-10. Fènwa World is the first novel in The Seven Worlds series (which is currently planned to have a total of seven books) and is his first published novel-length work.

More information and insider knowledge can be found at his WordPress website http://www.thesevenworlds.net (including rough draft peeks at the first three books, random facts, pronunciation lists, and a working glossary). Mr Crabtree is also on Instagram and Facebook, both under his name and The Seven Worlds series’ title.

 

  1. Tell us a little about yourself.
    1. I’m a trans man (female to male), former Navy meteorologist, and a Pagan High Priest for my Tradition (known as the Greywalker Tradition which is where I got the race one of the main characters hails from). I’m the youngest of four for my adoptive father, youngest of five for my birth father, and am my mother’s only child. I’m a DoD trained victim advocate as well as trained by a local victim advocacy support organization. I’m also polyamorous and currently have a partner and datefriend. I also am diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder (I’m known as a multitude which essentially means my “Alters” whom I refer to as “Others” and I share a symbiotic relationship, each of them are their own separate people with their own emotions and memories rather than facets of my own main personality. It’s also an exceptionally rare form of D.I.D.); this disorder is also where I came up with the setup of and their Others/the race of Otherborn. I’m known as a medical anomaly because I was supposed to be the mirror twin to my identical twin brother but instead consumed him in utero; as a result, I have smaller than average kidneys, my heart is located slightly left of my sternum, extra joints alongside several primary ones, and above average healing/recovery time to name a few. I also suffer from severe fibromyalgia, costochondritis, major depressive disorder, and complex PTSD and was officially diagnosed as a sexually sadistic sociopath (meaning I experience sexual pleasure from the pain/discomfort of others, more particularly my sexual partners but not always limited to them, and have no empathy whatsoever as well as limited emotional ranges and what emotions I do feel are skewed/different from a non-sociopathic individual).
  2. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
    1. .. when I was I want to save 7yrs old? I wrote my first technically chapter story while my mum did Saturday detention at the high school where she taught at. It was a ghost/horror story set in the school itself but done in an alternate reality of sorts. When my mum read it she encouraged me to write more, said she loved it, that it was really good. I don’t know how truthful that was hahaha but hey, it worked. When I picked up the very first truly fantasy book in 2001 when I was 11 years old called The Wayfarer Redemption by Sara Douglass, I became determined to share the stories I had in my own head to build a World as expansive as what she had and put it to paper for others to read and enjoy.
  3. How long does it take you to write a book?
    1. I think the shortest time frame is roughly 7 months from prologue to final entry (I call them entries while still penning the rough draft, chapters once completed). Though I’m on track to likely beat that time frame with book four (which I’m currently working on). But it all depends on how my schedule ends up playing out given there’s a lot of upheaval in my personal life at the moment.
  4. Were there any challenges in getting your first book published?
    1. A bit. If only because I was torn between wanting to go the “traditional” route of submitting to a publishing house or self-publishing through places such as Amazon. In the end I went with Amazon because I’ve been working on this series for over a decade and a half and I’m impatient. After that… it became a matter of trying to figure out formatting for the book itself. I’m not 100% pleased with how it came out, but I plan to republish with a better cover and fixed formatting soon as I can.
  5. What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
    1. Finding music that fits whatever emotional impact I’m aiming for in an entry/chapter or block of entries/chapters. As well as getting my muses to fixate on one singular idea at a time instead of all of them at the same time, hahaha. And well not having unrelated personal issues affect my mood when I sit down to write new content, especially if the mood I bring to my office doesn’t mesh with the mood I’m supposed to be in for whatever I’m working on.
  6. What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
    1. Insane? We’ll go with that. When I’m writing new entries/doing overhaul edits on a finished first draft, I can sit at my desk anywhere from 2 hours to 8 hours straight, with obvious bathroom breaks and breaks taken to fill up my water bottle. I think the longest I sat focused on writing was like 10 to 12 hours with minimal breaks. That was during the first draft writing of Fènwa World (book one) towards the end because I was in a crunch to finish it before I went on vacation.
  7. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
    1. If I’m interrupted when writing the rough draft of an entry before a certain point where I have the majority of the base of what I want it to contain, I will lose the entirety of it and have to start from scratch. Problem is, I never know where that line is until I’ve passed it. So sometimes it can be 300 words in, sometimes 2k, sometimes 5k.
  8. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
    1. Spend time with my datefriend (when they can come down, they live out of town in Columbia, SC, about 1.5 hour drive from me) and my partner (when he isn’t working). I also enjoy going to the gym, harassing my three fur children (I have a Maine Coon named George and two black cats named Tarzan and Turk), and reading.
  9. What has influenced you the most as a writer?
    1. That’s a tough one. I wanna say probably my friend Devin Ladner (author of the book Anaya, which can be found on Amazon). When she was first writing Anaya she posted it on WordPress and it gave me the idea to do the same. Not only to keep me accountable and track my progress but also to get instant feedback from readers. And having that kept me writing, even when I had a period where personal life issues made me step away for some four months and nearly lose the draft, I had finally gotten started.
  10. Do you have any suggestions to help other’s become a better writer? If so, what are they?
    1. Honestly this answer would depend on what you’re struggling with writing-wise. Though the key piece of advice I always give authors is when it comes to writing, write like you’re verbally telling the story. And by all the gods, people watch. People watch and, in your head, try and describe how they’re moving, how they look when they talk, when a certain emotion crosses their face, their change in tone, body language, etc. But when you do, do so in a way that with your eyes closed you can picture exactly what you first saw. Then take that description and write it. Boom! Movie-like descriptions. This also works for dialogue, too, though that tends to be trickier.

      Also read. Read books both in your preferred writing genre and outside of it. Read fanfiction about your favorite books and TV shows and movies. Notate while you do what elements you like, what annoy you, what common mistakes are, what writing styles just speaks to you and which ones don’t. And then take those elements and apply them to your writing as it stands, then make adjustments as needed/accordingly.

  11. What do you think makes a good story?
    1. The relatability. Sometimes this is found in the realistic quality of the characters (even in the fantasy genre), sometimes it’s found in the situations characters are put in and how they get themselves through/out of those situations. Other times it’s found in the setting. But that’s only the half of it. The other half comes in the impact all of the story itself and the relatability it carries. A really good story sticks with a reader from the second they put it down for a break until they pick it back up again; it burrows deep into their mind so that even years, decades even, after they’ve finished reading it, they still think about it. They dream about it, they read fanfiction about it, write fanfiction about it. Look for fan art, make fan art. A really good story doesn’t just hold on to you while you’re reading it, it keeps holding you even once you’ve stopped.
  12. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
    1. Ironically enough, I wanted to be a writer.
  13. What is your writing Kryptonite?
    1. Being unable to find the right music I’m looking for when writing a new entry/doing edits. And being interrupted before I reach that crucial point where I can safely step away and not lose what I’m working on like I mentioned in #7.
  14. How do you conquer writer’s block?
    1. Depends on how bad it is. Either I’ll read over previous entries/chapters/books in the series I’m working on or just old content of mine in general that contains the mood/emotions I’m aiming for. Or I’ll just step away and read a book, watch a TV show or movie on Netflix, or go out with friends and let the ideas come back when they come. Because forcing them gets me nowhere and frustrated.
  15. What is your favorite genre to read, and why?
    1. That’s a tough one. I love horror above all others but fantasy horror comes in a very close second. Horror is my favorite genre to read because there is so much you can put into it. And I love seeing how other writers view the psychological and emotional responses characters/people have to certain horror-typed situations and how, or if, they differ from mine. I’m also an adrenaline junky and horror gives me that perfect fix without me having to deal with the phobia I have of heights and ride a rollercoaster or something.
  16. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
    1. An animal from my series called a snakat; a creature with the body of a snake, cat-like ears and head with a front set of paws. Largest known one in the Worlds per canon was 6ft long and weighed nearly 150lbs.
  17. What is your favorite childhood book?
    1. Hands down The Wayfarer Redemption series by Sara Douglass. I tend to not have a favorite book but rather a favorite series, hahaha.
  18. Tell us about your upcoming novels, or what you’re working on.
    1. Basically I’m working on the continuation of The Seven Worlds series following Rhyshladlyn Ka’ahne and others. The next book to be published would be book two titled Txitweb World with Imèn World and Anglë World (books three and four respectively) following after.
  19. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
    1. Remember that not everyone who reads your work will like it and that’s okay. Just like you don’t like every single thing you read; others are the same. Don’t let critics make you feel like you’re doing a disservice to your characters or the story overall. You are the writer and what you do to/with those characters and the Worlds in which they operate is up to you and no one else. Don’t give up.
  20. Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
    1. Not that I can think of right now. Oh! Wait. If y’all write or have written fanfiction of my work? Send a link to the official Facebook page and I will happily check it out. Same with fan art.

 

Share a few links to where readers can find you online. (These can be Amazon links, Facebook, Instagram, etc.)

Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/rhysbcrabtree

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheSevenWorldsSeries/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel&eid=ARBonx888O3xp02Lzz3rIphpWSOL4mrCeWEXCsxhTiRCE_tJtifXEAXlUY32bWLU6yvNzRTUBt0hkDO8

Instagram both mine and the series’: @official_rhysbcrabtree_author and @official_thesevenworlds_series

WordPress: www.thesevenworlds.net