What is your name, where did life start for you and where do you live now?
My name is Keith Tutor, I was born in Cowra, New South Wales, Australia.
Jade Fishburn comes from Stuarts Point, New South Wales, Australia.
I am currently living in a camping ground basically in the ‘bush’ near Crescent Head on the NSW coast. It is an ideal location with few distractions, perfect for me to concentrate on completing our book series.
Jade is currently employed as a hostess and deckhand on a Super yacht. At the time of doing this interview she is somewhere in the South Pacific Ocean.
Please tell us a little about yourself (something different not contained in your bio).
In another profession I am known as the ‘Rockgod’ and not because I am a musician. I come from a Landscape Design and Teaching background.
Some years ago I invented a method of building ‘Artificial Rock’. I became the first teacher of my ‘art’ as I refer to it in Australia. The majority of my students were home owners who wanted to create rock features in their own yards, obtaining this knowledge was another first at the time.
My method was based on simplicity and, recycling building rubble. I ended up demonstrating on a variety ‘how to do it’ television shows and developed a following so much so I ended up producing a DVD series so people anywhere could utilise my methods.
The upshot is that my ‘idea’ has been sold and is practised in 85 countries.
Sorry if this is a bit long winded but the development and production of our ‘Jade and the Deva’ series and where it is today is based on and from what I learnt from doing what I did with ‘Artificial Rock’.
And what are the similarities; would you share that with us?
Well (laughter) having a potentially good idea is a start, feeling a passion for that idea, being realistic about its potential and its possibilities.
For me it is important that people can enjoy the results of what you create, identifying that there is a niche for your idea and in our case finding people who you feel can help you bring the idea to life and communicating a similar passion.
How long have you been writing?
I started piecing Jade and the Deva together in 2006 so I guess I’m a latter day writer whereas Jade was still in High School when she started.
‘Hidden Wings’ has two authors with a goodish age difference between them. Did this happen by chance or was there a strategy in mind?
You could say meeting Jade was by chance, I first met her through her parents.
Because of the nature of our story I thought it would be great if its authors represented their respective generations. Jade Nova, the name of one of our stories main characters is attending high school for a good part of the story.
What did I know about life for a young woman in high school in this day and age? To be honest, pretty well zilch.
As the story developed Co author-Jade came into her own. I would write a ‘rough’ scene, send it to her and together we would ‘work on it.’ When we started working with our Ghostwriter is when we were able to produce our final draft before passing it on to the Proofreader.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I live across the road from a row of virtually untouched beaches. Fair to say being on one of them fills a big part of my time away from writing. I can’t get reception for my cell phone or the internet in my little pocket of space. So, my phone calls and emailing happen on a beach walk, on a headland in my car, or in one of the adjoining town’s cafes. I don’t have a TV but I get to watch the latest DVD releases on my laptop. And, I still do a few landscaping projects each year.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in 20 or less words what would you say?
‘Hidden Wings’. It is an impossibly possible story, refreshingly original, wonderful characters, a voice of our times, captivating, heartfelt.
Is there anything in particular that inspired you to write ‘Hidden Wings’?
Absolutely! Rarely does a day goes by that we as individuals, parents and grandparents are not shocked by an event somewhere on ‘our’ planet that questions our sanity and humanity. There are 7 billion reasons for peace on this earth and many of us yearn for what appears the impossible dream. A gentleman by the name of ‘Gandhi’ once voiced a few poignant words… ‘Become the world you want to see’.
They are hugely challenging words because he’s saying, peace starts with each and every one of us, in us, from us and where possible to ‘be’ a living example of it in our own little ways. As I said, ‘hugely’ challenging.
At one point in our story Sammy the Deva says to Jade Nova ‘when you are at war with yourselves you don’t realise you are at war with your Earth, a point will come when she will not be the silent witness you fully expect her to be’.
Just want to say I mainly refer to our story as Jade and the Deva. ‘Hidden Wings’ is the first book in our series. I discovered some months ago another book by the name of ‘Hidden Wings’ was released some months after we released our ‘Hidden Wings’ so that’s an interesting coincidence.
Would you share a ‘blurb’ with us?
Because we have created an extensive website (JadeandtheDeva.com) for this purpose it would be much easier for myself and readers to pay it a visit because there’s lots of blurb ready and waiting there.
Would you share a short excerpt with us?
Love to but again, you will find sample chapters on our website and Amazon offers six chapters for you to read at no cost of course.
Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
Yes we do, we really appreciate people who take the time and interest. This is all new to us. At the time of writing we have four 5 star reviews on Amazon that’s after 11 days of having ‘Hidden Wings’ on there. I don’t know if that’s good or, if it’s the ‘norm’ perhaps you could let us know.
Australians including me are not that exposed to the world of eBooks especially when it comes to sale price. The thought of selling an eBook of 95,000 words and years spent bringing it to life for $1.99 is for want of a better word ‘madness’ as is $2.99 or $4.99. Aussies are so used to buying a print book for $19.99 or $24.99; it’s hard to get your head around prices like that even though we are talking eBook formats.
We have a ‘glut’ of wines in our country right now and you can get a very good bottle of wine for ten dollars at the moment. There are people here who throw a dinner party and won’t buy that particular wine because they don’t want their guests to think they are ‘cheap’.
We have just set our price for ‘Hidden Wings’ at 99c and it was hilarious because we, the decision makers involved, could hardly get the number 99 out of our mouths. We are first time unknown authors, we want to make our first book available to as many people as possible. We’re learning as we go. We’re currently self publishers so it’s a sensible move, especially because we have two books following this one as a series.
How did you come up with the title and cover designs for your book/books. Who designs the covers for your books?
The name ‘Hidden Wings’ came about after I watched a ‘Kingfisher’ one day as it hovered over a waterhole, it was fishing. The little blue bird remained motionless but its wings were fluttering so quickly they appeared to be invisible.
A young man by the name of Jake Stollery conceived our first book cover way back in 2007. He was in Year 11 at the local high school when I first heard about him. I was entering a large photographic piece in a local art competition and wanted to add some graphics to my piece. Even back then I thought ‘wow’ this young guy is some kind of graphic design ‘prodigy’.
Amazingly, our cover is the very first he had ‘a go’ at designing. To say I am proud of this young guy’s achievement and our ensuing relationship is an understatement, but none more than him being flown to New York last year to accept his award in a global design initiative. To top it off when our PA of everything, Kelly Trevisan, travelled to the Gold Coast to catch up with Hugh Howey, one of the first things he said to her is, ‘man, that book cover of yours is just awesome’. Suggest you go to Jake Stollery.com and have a look for yourself.
Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
Of course, our lives and stories, the stories over a dinner table or around a camp fire are nearly all based on our experiences of people, places and things.
Is there a certain author who has influenced the way you write?
Yes, for better and for worse. I admit I am not an avid reader although Jade is.
Mary Stewart wrote a series based on the life of ‘Merlin’ I read her books when I was a young fella.
She presented Merlin in such a practical ‘real’ way, not in the mythical enchanted manner we are so familiar with. It was a revelation to me, an author writing with such clarity and insight about a man who could well have been the way he is depicted in Mary’s series. On the other hand I have read books that are lazy and non nonsensical leaving me with the thought… why bother?
I am sure we have all seen a film or two that falls into the same category.
One Author revealed to me how to write a story and another author taught me how not to write a story. Guess you could say both were teachers to me.
Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback or paperback?
Arr, I have never read an eBook… just being honest. I prefer paperback they are easier to carry around.
What is your favourite book and why? And have you read it more than twice?
In earlier years, ‘Lord of the Rings’. I enjoyed Neale Donald Walsch’s ‘Conversations with God’ Series. I thought it was such a fresh, innovative concept and lately Mike Dooley’s ‘Leveraging the Universe’. His material is super easy to read, cleverly done and enlightening.
Do you think books transfer to movie’s well? Why or why not?
Personal opinions… oh boy, there are a lot of entangled circumstances as to why a book does or doesn’t transfer onto film successfully.
If musicians want their music played on commercial radio they have to tailor their songs to, or… just under a designated time limit.
Most films have a time frame I have often heard people complain about the amount of storyline left out of a film. Lots of stuff had to be left out of Lord of the Rings trilogy and they were three hour films.
How much ‘say’ does an author have over the screenplay, the direction and production of their story… is the time of release a bummer, how is it promoted… what about the reviews? Will they be 2 star or 4 star, will it be rave reviews or the film gets slammed? So many factors.
When we were developing Jade and the Deva I wrote as if I was watching a film… a film I always wanted to go and see.
I’d hear a song and would see a whole scene right down to the location, the camera angles, the emotion of that scene and its effect on an audience.
I have already picked out a young up and coming Australian Director after watching his debut film and listening to him in the ‘extras’ afterwards.
I also have a growing list of muso’s (musicians) who I would like to approach for the soundtrack. Maybe that sounds a bit over the top given at this point we only have one book that’s been on Amazon for less than a fortnight.
But, we project what we want to create and we do the little things that start the ball rolling and hey, we’re confident in our stories potential.
What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it?
Apart from the sports section in a newspaper my reading centres around research, self publishing and working on our next two books.
Is there a book you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn’t finish?
I couldn’t get into Harry Potter at all or the movie offshoots. Don’t know why, maybe it’s a bit like food, we have our individual tastes.
What do you think about book trailers?
I don’t know much about them so I wouldn’t be the best person to ask.
Like any form of promotion or advertising it can be hit or miss. If you produce a high quality book, have a great cover and a great storyline then produce a cheap tacky trailer to represent it, you’re not doing yourself any favours. Every authors new book is the best thing since sliced bread we want to tell people that, spruiker it wherever possible.
What I’ve learnt is… don’t overdo it. The simple and the understated is a formula that gets results more often than not regardless of what you’re promoting.
What advice would you give to a new writer?
Well, we are new writers so what do I say? From a ‘life’ point of view, I have come across so many people who have an idea; they have a passion for that idea but never once make a start on it. They talk themselves out of it, convince themselves it’s impossible or they have people around them who tell them that.
A great journey can start with as simple an act as sitting your butt on a chair and penning… once upon a time. That’s enough, make a start.
The other thing I would say is this. Get yourself away from negative people. I would rather have helium balloons tied to me instead of anchors.
Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
Arr, no I haven’t and I wouldn’t.
If you could be any character in your book, who would it be and why?
One of the Orbs. When I’m finished here as a human being I would love that to be my next adventure.
If your Jade and the Deva series were to be made into films, what actors would you like to see play the main characters?
We haven’t thought about it but I figure we will down the track. Maybe they will be relatively unknown. I am sure some of those actors will be completely unknown there is an awful lot of awesome talent out there I do know that.
Buy Links for Jade and the Deva: Hidden Wings:
BUY: Jade and the Deva: Hidden Wings on Amazon
BUY: Jade and the Deva: Hidden Wings on Smashwords
I want to thank you, Keith for taking out so much of your valuable time to do this fascinating and informative interview for us today. I wish you much success now and in the future with Jade and the Deva.