IndieView with E.Y. Laster, author of Of Captivity & Kings

It’s probably a bad habit, but I don’t find it distracting. No, I don’t listen to music while I write. I loved learning the history behind things, partly because my Mom and Dad told me so many stories as a kid and were endless sources of history. I wrote a book I would love to read! Once I decided their personality and can see them in my mind I run with it and make it up as I go. It also discusses and includes real people in history such as King Ezana of the Aksumite Empire, Abba Moses the Black, Constantius II and Ambrose the theologian. One of my favorite movies is Inception and I will always remember the lines spoken between Leonardo DiCaprio and Ken Watanabe. One thing I started doing once I had at least one hundred pages was to jot down notes on my phone with the name of a character and one or two sentences about the scene I wanted to write or a character I felt should be included and what they were bringing to the story. Definitely. Both apply here! I wait until I’m finished. I wrote the book so fast I didn’t realize what I was getting myself into, but I could see the scenes happening in my head once I got an idea and ran with it. I’d usually start scenes not knowing how they would end, but being certain I had to include it. I grew up writing very short, modern stories about my sister and I before college but I’ve always written poetry. I’m working on Book Two in the series! Of Captivity & Kings is the first installment in a series about the Kushite Kingdom of Nabara ruled by King Amkar Kashta and Queen Samya Kashta. It’s hard to name particular authors who influenced how I write because this is my first novel. When I read their works, the words come alive and I can see a picture in my head of every detail. What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher? I used Writer’s Digest Critique services. If readers have questions about the book, sign up for my mailing list or want to leave comments they can view more information and Frequently Asked Questions at www.ofcaptivityandkings.com. Here, kings and queens, princes and princesses, slave traders and gladiators, high priests and slaves, scribes and warriors, caravan robbers, and hermits collide under the thread that links them all – Captivity and Kings. I definitely outlined for this book! End of Interview:
Get your copy of   Of Captivity & Kings from Amazon US or Amazon UK. We all know how important it is for writers to read. Were there any parts of the book where you struggled? Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it? I did some research into the meanings of names while I wrote so it worked perfectly! What came easily? Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you? It was daunting, but also exciting to discover how much information was out there. The majority of my characters are fictitious, but many of them originate from real kingdoms that existed in the fourth century. Each member of the ruling families finds themselves thrust into the rising slave trade and the corruption of everything and everyone it touches. When did you start writing the book? What I love most about authors I read is their ability to create dynamic characters that are flawed. E.Y. What are you working on now? Especially once I realized I would need an index of characters. One thing about Africa is that the continent, while rich in history, has always been subject to people wanting to mine its resources. Much of my research involved creating timelines, mapping out various kingdoms, groups, and religions that were around so I could use the history in telling my story. A random winner will be chosen from the first 100 people to sign up for the mailing list. If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences? This period of history always interested me because of the richness of the number of languages, ancient writing like Meroitic and Nsibidi script, and the trade among various empires. Of course, once I got into it, I discovered the amount of work that went into getting a book ready. I don’t have a target reader. Do you have a target reader? Do you want to take a leap of faith? No, but eventually I would like to! How long did it take you to write it? You may see these as point of view characters in Book 2 – the epilogue will provide an answer there as well! I liked the immediacy of self-publishing and the fact that it would allow me to continue working full time. The characters. I love period films and books and if I found a great action movie set it in the past, I was all over it. I wrote a book I would love to read! Librarians are a necessary and underutilized resource! Do what works for you, push away the doubt, and don’t give up. For my website I’ve created a mailing list and a blog to give resources to writers and respond to people who have questions, comments or just enjoy the book! The editors were extremely helpful in looking over my manuscript. It is an adventure told from the secret sanctuaries of the desert fathers in the Scetes desert and the massive pyramids of Meroë to the Skeleton Coast and towards the Great Barrier Mountains of Apedemak. Sometimes I’d be on a run and I’d start thinking of an idea and stop the music on my phone to use the voice recorder so I wouldn’t forget. About Writing
Do you have a writing process? Do you outline? I watch television while I write. About the book
What is the book about? Where did you get the idea from? Everyone in this world has more than one side to them and that’s what makes stories compelling. In 2016 I decided to publish and began the editing process. I love period films and books and if I found a great action movie set it in the past, I was all over it. It always started with “Did you know…?” and I was all ears! Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself? Here, kings and queens, princes and princesses, slave traders and gladiators, high priests and slaves, scribes and warriors, caravan robbers, and hermits collide under the thread that links them all – Captivity & Kings. I knew exactly what type of characters I wanted in the book so the fiction of their storyline came easily. Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know? Sculptures were destroyed, cities were burned, and history itself was denied despite (quite literally) the writing on the wall. Using the reliefs on pyramids as well as archaeological evidence helped immensely and the Smithsonian was an excellent tool. Lastly, I definitely put traits of people I know into the book. If so can you please describe it? It was not always easy to find books or information on kingdoms that existed prior to the 14th century. About Publishing
Did you submit your work to Agents? I have a website that went live as soon as the book was available for pre-order. I used a professional. I started writing the book in March of 2013 until September 2013. The penalty for involvement in the slave trade is death, and if the King fails to provide justice and order under ma’at, the High Priests can order him to commit suicide. Each member of the ruling families finds themselves thrust into the rising slave trade and the corruption of everything and everyone it touches. I’d wake up in the morning, jump on the train to commute to work, and be typing away on my phone! Or become an old man, filled with regret, waiting to die alone? They can also email me at info@ofcaptivityandkings.com. Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, what gets the fingers tapping? It took me about seven months in total to write the book. I did! Did you hire a professional editor? Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) I’m not all over social media, but I do enjoy speaking with other indie authors about their work or resources they are using or just giving them advice even if it’s to tell them to not give up on their story! About You
What do you want readers to know about you? Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors? Three characters in the book have the names of people I know in real life because the character was so well suited for the name. Laster – 6 July 2017
The Back Flap
The laws are different in the Kushite ruled Kingdom of Nabara. With increasing piracy on ancient trade routes, drought, and a rising slave trade threatening the land, Nabaran High King Amkar Kashta invokes the power of the six-kingdom alliance that is Nudolla. Was it a particular event or a gradual process? Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished? All the time. Ancient caravan routes and nomadic hunters are threatened by kidnappings, robbery, and murder, forcing Nabaran High King Amkar Kashta to invoke the power of the six-kingdom alliance that is Nudolla. I ask this of my friends all the time when doubt pops up in their lives no matter what area it is. I don’t have a writing process, but for me it always starts with the characters and their place in the world. When a Roman slave ship wrecks off the coast of Nabara, peace is shattered. Hopefully anyone who loves a good story! It is an adventure told from the secret sanctuaries of the desert fathers in the Scetes Desert and the massive pyramids of Meroë to the Skeleton Coast and towards the Great Barrier Mountains of Apedemak. Other than that, I would read anything my parents gave me and later anything that I could buy and get my hands on.