Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Meet Bo Wu - The author of Mermaids are Real - The Mystiq Prong

There is nothing better than reading YA fantasies. Last week we have read and reviewed "Mermaids Are Real: The Mystiq Prong". Today we got chance to interview Bo Wu to know more about the book.

Can you please brief us about your personal & professional background?
I was born and raised in Eastern North Carolina. I studied Communications at East Carolina University, but I didn’t start learning about life until I left the States at the age of 28 and started traveling around the world.

I’ve been a dishwasher, greenskeeper, painter, and general handyman. I was a stockbroker/financial advisor, scuba diving instructor, shoe salesman, bartender, waiter, and teacher. I’ve run a backpacker joint/bar, and toyed around with web design. I’ve worked in PR, content development, and the travel industry. I never drove a taxi, although I thought it would have been a fun thing to do for a while.
What were you like at school/college apart from studies?
During my university days, I was lost. I played much more than I studied. I didn’t want to be a Dr. or lawyer, so a specialized education wasn’t up my alley. My dad told me to get a degree and get it over with, and that’s pretty much the path I followed.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors? Which author inspires you the most?
I read quite a lot. Recently, because of some poor choices I made when I was younger, I’ve been indulging in non-fiction, mostly looking for ways to heal my body.

I love a good story. Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Dune, The Shining. I love a wordsmith that masters the ability to paint a vivid picture while still moving the story along smoothly. I’m still working on that balance for my own work.
When did you start writing?
I’ve always been praised for my writing, but, for some reason, I ignored that for the longest time. My first shot at writing out of school was when I worked as a stockbroker. I wrote monthly updates for the local newspaper about the economy and the stock market.
When did you decide to become a writer?
While I was living in Ho Chi Minh, I started working with a friend who did web development. I wrote the content for his customers that wanted something a little more than what they thought they were capable of writing on their own.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I am currently teaching English in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. I’ve had a good run at teaching, but I’d like to hang up those shoes and write full time. My goal is to get to the point where I can do that.
Do you have a special time to write, or how is your day structured to accommodate your writing?
A few years ago, I started making my health my first priority. Ever since then, the rest of my life has fallen in behind that. I have more energy, and I’m definitely more creative. When I am writing, I do my exercise routine first and then write.
What genre are your books?
I thought when I started marketing Mermaids Are Real that it was Young Adult, but I’ve had several people tell me it leans more on the Middle-Grade side. I’ve also had people tell me it’s for everyone. It’s definitely suited for a younger audience, but I think anyone who loves a good adventure would appreciate this book.
Can you describe your current book in few lines? What’s it about?
Young outcast learns there’s a reason he sticks out. After a recruitment speech from a few marine creatures, he heads to his real home, a home filled with adventure, magic, and talking fish, or course.
Give us an insight into your main character.
Benji’s a typical teenager. He’s uncomfortable in his own skin and trying to find his way in the world. He finds out he’s a merman and he’s got a lot of company waiting for him. He’s witty smart with a pretty good sense of humor.
Where did you get the idea for this book?
The idea popped into my head while I was meditating a few years ago. It was one of those ideas that don’t go away. I’m glad it didn’t. It’s taken me on a very eventful ride.
How much research did you do for this book?
I researched names, mythology, and looked on Google Maps from time to time, but for the most part, this entire universe that I created popped out of my noggin.
Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
I love them all for one reason or another. Sandival is a candy cane-striped shrimp that works with the Dr. He’s funny. Grumpy funny. I like when he’s in a scene.
Who is your least favorite character and why?
Benji’s neighbor, Charlie, is a nuisance. He’s a bully, and I don’t have much use for him as a person. As a character, he obviously serves his purpose. But like all bullies, Charley has his own issues, so you have to empathize with him as well.
What was the toughest thing about writing your latest book?
The writing process was fun, but it wasn’t as smooth as I had hoped for. I moved twice while I was writing and that disrupted things, but I’m not at all sure if I didn’t purposefully do that to myself. It’s amazing the barriers we put up in front of us, the things we do to jeopardize our own success. I’d like to think I didn’t do that, but it just jumped out on the page as I was typing this response, so I may have. If I did, I’d like to think I won’t do that again.
Can  you tell us critic and overall ratings you have received for "Mermaids Are Real"?
I published Mermaids Are Real on July 24, 2018.
What are you working on at the minute?
Right now, I’m working on the marketing for this book. To add another shade to the question you asked before about the hardest part about writing the book, this has been the hardest. I used to be a social person. I think that part of me was pretty fake, though as I didn’t really enjoy it. Actually, I really didn’t enjoy it at all. I’ve had to battle against that as I push the book, and that’s been hard.
What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
That’s actually what I’m working on. I have the premise for the next book. I’ve done a rough outline. I’m waiting to slow down on the marketing of the first book and put a few things in that regard on autopilot so I can begin focusing my energy on the next book. The marketing drains me and my creative energy. It’s frustrating, and I don’t have much control. I’m in complete control when I write. I miss that.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
If I could go back and do anything different, I would have used Goodreads much earlier in the process. I used a group of beta readers that I found through friends and family. If I could go back, I’d use Goodreads for that to help build more momentum coming out of the gate.
Thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to do this interview. I appreciate the extra exposure and look forward to sending your team the next book…..somewhere in the future.

Links for your book readers
The book can be found at Amazon India and Amazon USA
Reviews from other readers can be found at GoodReads


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