Sunday, May 11, 2014

An Interview with Tony Carnival, author of Over Odyssey: Yellow

For those of you who have been following my recent struggles with writer's block, I've recently hopped back on the writing train and we're now moving in the right direction again. That was easily my worst run-in with writer's block, to date, and I have seemingly survived it. To all of you fellow writers out there who responded with helpful advice and/or offers to do some beta reading, it was much appreciated. That's what this little community is all about. 

Ok, so here's what you're all actually interested in. I've been teasing this interview for a few days now because I am particularly excited about sharing it with you. We recently had a chance to talk to Tony Carnival, author of Over Odyssey: Yellow, the first book in a new epic fantasy series.
Hi, Tony! We’re so excited to have you here today to talk to us about your book, Over Odyssey: Yellow, the first of seven books in an epic fantasy series. What can you tell us about this new universe that you have created and your protagonist, Exodus?
TONY: Over Odyssey: Yellow is the first of six books, not seven, but I suppose---depending on where the story takes me---there very well could be seven books – perhaps even more. As for the universe I have created: Without giving anything away, the story revolves around a boy who is leading a seemingly average, misfortune-riddled life. Exodus Magaba is a bright light amidst a series of dark, sometimes droll events…until he discovers that the world he comes from is anything from ordinary. Since his memory loss three years prior to the time when the story begins, Ex’s mother has been hiding the truth from him and his younger brother; the reader is just as in the dark, and together with Exodus, they embark on an extraordinary journey of discovery.

-I’ve read a great deal of epic fantasy, myself. My favorite is the Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan. The first book in that series, (The Eye of the World) to me, is one of the best introductions to fantastical realm that I have ever seen. Would you compare Over Odyssey: Yellow to anything else that you’ve read, or do you think it stands alone as something completely new and unique?
TONY: Over Odyssey is a unique story, doubtlessly, but like every other piece of fiction it has its roots in its author’s inspirations. Readers may find a nostalgic similarity between the TEKU fighting style in my story and that of the Jedi in Star Wars. The world I have created revolves around its six natural elements, so gamers---especially RPG-lovers---will find the Kingdom of Odyssia to be a diverse and exciting realm.

-Can you talk a little about the significance of the color yellow in your book’s title? Are we to assume that the other six books in the series will also have a color associated with each of them?
TONY: Yes, every book in the series will be subtitled with a color. Figuratively, this has to do with the significant role the rainbow plays in the story, but there is a literal relevance as well: the narrator, Ex’s baby brother Gadget, is supposedly writing his brother’s story in a set of empty tomes. These veritable “ancient journals” are differentiated only by the color of their bindings, and so Gadget marks each installment of Over Odyssey with a color. The next book will be Blue (which I am working on now), then Red, Purple, Orange, and Green.

-How long have you been writing and from where did the concept for this book first emerge?
TONY: I have been writing since the first grade, but it was during my ninth year that Exodus came to me, so to speak. The concept for this particular book, however, emerged just after my father passed away from a sudden heart attack in late 2009. It was then I decided to merge my love of fantasy with my characters from Ex’s world.  The final product thrills me and, I hope, will thrill all who read it.

-A great deal of readers of this blog are new authors, just starting out, trying to find a home with a publisher. What can you share with us about your experience getting this book published and do you have any advice for those of us who are still new to all of this?
TONY: Getting published can be an extremely frustrating and discouraging process – no news there. In the end, a doctor friend of mine knew someone who knew someone who got me in after almost a year of rejection, including a rejection from Random House. I was told, however, by the top fantasy editor at Random House that I was a clear and fluid writer with great potential. That gave me a wonderful sense of validation.  In the end, an author has to believe in himself and push, push, push. Never give up, and never be ashamed of self-publishing.

-The cover design for your novel is striking. It immediately grabbed me when I saw it. Can you discuss the process of creating the cover art and how did it feel when you finally saw it in all of its finished glory?
TONY: I worked with a wonderful artist who gave me many options. The cover you see is the one I chose, of course, but I had to make many edits to its source material before it struck me as “the one”. Seeing the completed version for the first time was an experience I can only describe as invigorating. Over Odyssey: Yellow, the BOOK, was finally real for the first time after four years of effort, and this was a magnificent feeling.

-Ok, here’s your chance. Sell this thing to us. Why should we all run out now and buy your book?
TONY: Simply put: my book breaks all the rules. It’s an experience rather than a read; you go on the journey of fantasy and discovery with Ex – you aren’t just told about it through a meandering narration.

-When will we be able read the second book?
TONY: Gadget is working on the second installment of his brother’s epic story, Over Odyssey: Blue, as we speak. (Just a joke.) It should be done within the next year, though my muse is nothing if not capricious.

-Brief teaser for Over Odyssey: Yellow:
What begins as a story of an American teenage boy named Exodus Magaba and a groundbreaking new video game quickly becomes so much more, and what erupts goes beyond the limits of fantasy storytelling and imagination itself.”

-Where can we buy, Over Odyssey: Yellow?
TONY: Over Odyssey: Yellow is available in paperback, kindle, or nook formats on ,, and my personal author website, The first eight chapters are available in a special trial download for kindle and nook at amazon and b&n for only 99 cents!

Wow, Tony! Such a pleasure to have you in to talk with us. As a true fan of this genre, I cannot wait to read this book. It has all the makings of a seriously amazing epic. To the rest of you jokers: I mean it when I say that this is a book not to pass up. Pick up a copy today. Mark my words, you will be hearing about this guy, and this series, soon.

As always, find us on the Twitter thang, @BookTalkGuy and @RimerTom

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