William Staikos is a 23-year-old Canadian writer who enjoys reading fantasy/science fiction books. There are always new incredible ideas in literature and he wants to explore those aspects in every way possible. As our Author of the Day, Staikos tells us about his latest book, Untold Deception.
Please give us a short introduction to what Untold Deception is about.
It's about Salan who grows up in the slums of a country known as Faslow. After his mother is wrongfully killed in the town square, a racially-fueled revolt occurs, and Salan escapes from the law during the chaos. In his journey to find the truth, he discovers more than he bargained for.
Who is Salan? What makes him tick?
Salan is known as an abomination, a societal term for a mixed-race individual. Salan is about empathy, not sympathy, and is driven by overcoming social/physical obstacles to improve himself. At first, he neglects his inability to fit in but overtime realizes that being unique is a much more redeeming quality.
Why did you create him as half-cat, half-human?
I love the way cats fight and within the animal kingdom each type of cat has a unique quality. Lions are the best at working together, tigers are the best at strength, and panthers are the best at stealth. Each has its own hunting capability and would make an interesting adversary if you took the brains of a human and mixed it with the ferocity of a feline.
Tell us more about the cover and how it came about.
I hired an artist named Avijit Bhowmick and I advised him on how I want the cover of my book. I wanted it to featuring Salan in a mysterious light that makes you question his motives. The facial features are supposed to resemble first-native people with 18th-century font to match the time period. I also asked for poster artwork for book signings. This is to portray Salan and Sanoj (cat) walking side by side. I did this to raise more questions about the story. The more odd or different the better for getting people's attention.
One reader says this book reads like an animated film. How did you pull this off?
While working in a factory I kept thinking about a story for me. If I was a protagonist what I act or want to act like? What experiences can I exaggerate or dramatize to make a realistic story? The thought evolved into something more and eventually, I had a story. A story that I thought I should share with the world. Throughout writing this I thought of each scene as a movie. So it makes sense that people see this as an animated film.
Which character in Untold Deception did you find the most challenging to create?
Cassiella was one of the hardest characters to create. I wanted her to be different than Seraculus and to still seem like a strong character. She had to be cold yet kind and distant yet close. I really want to distinguish personality differences between the two. This took a lot of time and an abundant amount of coffee to succeed.
Do any of your characters take off on their own tangent and refuse to do what you had planned for them?
The plot after the court hearing was different than what I had originally written. In an effort to make Salan rebellious I ended up making him accidentally condescending. This was extremely out of character and took many rewrites in the mid-section to get the right balence.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
No, when I was younger I wanted to be many things. Each time the career changed and I really couldn't make up my mind. I'll have you know that I am the best directing-karate-chopping-firefighting fisherman of all time. It took until I was 18 that I truly realized that I love to write. The reason I switched so much growing up was that I liked a story that constantly changed and the same story to me was boring.
What are you working on right now?
The sequel to my novel and freelance writing as a new technology writer. The sequel has been fun to write so far but I need to take my career to the next level. I decided not to do this part-time anymore and moved onto freelance writing for companies instead of labour jobs.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?