A.P Beswick - Fast-Paced Action, Evil-to-good Transformations, and Classic Stories With a Twist
A.P Beswick is a best-selling fantasy author and mental health nurse. As our Author of the Day, he tells us all about his book, A Forest of Vanity and Valour.
Please give us a short introduction to what A Forest of Vanity and Valour is about.
A Forest Of Vanity And Valour is a dark fantasy retelling inspired by Robin Hood. It has a different twist on the traditional tropes and is the first book in a retelling series.
What inspired you to write about an aggressive debt collector who was banished from the kingdom?
I had a little grumble at the end of watching the latest Robin Hood film, my wife told me ‘If you think you can do better, write it.” So I did. I didn’t hate the movie but there were parts that I felt could have been better.
You are also a mental health nurse. How has this influenced your writing?
I include themes within my books as a reminder of how mental health can affect people. The way magic works in this world is in reference to addiction that some people suffer from.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
Secret skills, well I am in bonsai if that counts. It helps me unwind.
Interesting cover. Please tell us more about how it came about.
I wanted something that stood out from other books in my genre which is why I went for a white background, most books have a black background and I wanted the character to really pop. I also wanted people to be able to spot the retelling based on the cover and in the main, I think it works.
Tell us more about Vireo Reinhold. What makes him tick?
He’s a self-centered a-hole - well in the beginning he is. He takes what he wants when he wants in order to keep the luxuries he is accustomed to.
This is the first book of a series. Can it be read as a standalone? How do the other books in the series tie in with this one?
Each book serves as an origin story with each book being inspired by different folklore legends. Characters do overlap as I am building a shared universe (Avengers style) the plan is to have a big team-up once the main origin stories are complete. We have Robin Hood, Blackbeard, The Pendle Witches, St George, King Arthur, Merlin, and even Father Christmas getting dark fantasy makeovers.
What was your greatest challenge while writing this story?
Getting it made, I work full-time as a nurse and so up until now I have had to scrimp and scrape to produce my books. I actually launched this book through Kickstarter and that helped me get the money needed to create the book.
How do you go about world-building in a fantasy setting?
I don’t jot too many things down nowadays. I have just let it grow naturally in my mind over the last couple of years. The good ideas tend to be the ones worth remembering.
Readers say this is quite fast-paced. How did you pull this off?
I love fantasy books but I have a really short attention span. It takes me ages to read a book. That was until I read James Patterson, I found short sharp chapters kept me engaged so I wanted to try this style in a fantasy world.
When starting on a new book, what is the first thing you do?
I sit on it for a while and let the idea grow and gain momentum. Then I start to outline the book (This speeds up my writing process) I did pants the second book in this series which was fun but I find my writing is at its best when I have outlined the main plot.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
I don’t force my writing, I have a busy life as I am not a full-time writer (yet) I have found that doing 20-30 minute writing sprints really helps my productivity. I set targets for myself when I am producing my books so I will write one story whilst another is being edited. I have found by doing this by the time one story is good to go the next one is already in development as I have already finished the 1st draft.
What are you working on right now?
The fourth book in this series is titled Stone Of Destiny And Despair, I won’t say too much as I don’t want to spoil the other books. I have my father christmas inspired novella coming out in December and my St George And The Dragon retelling releases in April 2023 which is the 3rd book in the series.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
I am on Tiktok, Facebook and Instagram just search A.P Beswick, On Instagram my main page is norther_writer. I try and reply to everyone who takes the time to comment or reach out to me.