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  • Writer's pictureJon Bolitho-Jones

Indie Author Interview - Introducing Craig Mulhall

Updated: Feb 3, 2023

Hello,


It's time once again for an Indie Author Interview. So may I present Craig Mulhall, an author I have worked extensively with recently. Something about an audiobook I think... Anyway here goes!



1. Hello Craig, thanks for coming along for this little interview. Could you begin by telling me (and the readers) where you come from, and where we can find you online?


Thanks Jon, I really appreciate the time you've spent with me on this project. I hail from Brisbane, Australia, but in recent years have moved to the town of Bundaberg, about four hours north. I moved here to take up a professional position as an oncologist. Writing is my 'spare time' passion; my writing can be followed at:


Facebook


Instagram

@the_king_of_rhye


I also have a presence on Reddit, if you search the book title. I've started dabbling on YouTube as well, but that's a project for when I have time… which is scarce!


Perhaps most importantly, the book itself is available on many online platforms. The Amazon link is here:


https://www.amazon.com/King-Rhye-Craig-Mulhall/dp/1925707733



2. Ah plenty of links. Wonderful! I have a strong feeling you would like to promote some of your writing today? A book by the name of The King of Rhye maybe? Maybe an audiobook. Why don't you tell us a little bit about it?


'The King of Rhye' is an adult fantasy epic, which tells of the final days of Rhye, a land doomed by prophecy. Caught up in the maelstrom are a band of mischievous Fae, who learn they are fated to play a major part in the fate of their land. The book was inspired by my love for the rock band Queen, whose early work is saturated by lush fantasy vignettes. Importantly, you don't need to be a Queen fan to enjoy 'The King of Rhye' … but if you are, there are more layers here than in a Brian May guitar orchestration. The book was released online in 2022, and has done some incredible things for a debut work. Due to popular demand, I explored the possibility of an audiobook… and here we are! What a ride.


3. Big question - how long have you been writing for, and what inspired you to start?


I started writing as a child. Silly little things for myself, then picture books at school. I was in university (around twenty years ago), when I started seriously trying to put together a longer story. I was inspired by strong visions, but didn't know what the point of it was, or how even to end it. It went to pasture as incomplete fragments, which I fortunately kept.

4. What is the best book you've read and why?


This really is one of those 'favourite child' questions. I often reference 'The Neverending Story' here. But I've been heavily influenced by other fantasy epics, like Donaldson's Covenant saga, and pulpy things like Dragonlance, that many of us read in our youth. Some of my favourite non-fantasy books are Cussler's Dirk Pitt adventures, which are just great roller-coasters.


5. So Queen is a big inspiration, and you can see it throughout your book, but back when you began writing the King of Rhye how did you get started? Is there anywhere else you've drawn inspiration from, and have you made any other attempts at writing a book?


I've been a Queen fan since about the time Freddie Mercury died, so I've loved and lived with these songs for at least thirty years. I've often wondered myself what inspired Freddie to create such vivid fantasy landscapes in his early songs. I've also wondered what his land of Rhye was really like … and lamented that he took much of it to his grave. One day in 2019, I realised the answer: I could use my passion for writing to create a fully-fledged history, which brings together all of those little moments that Queen music offers. It isn't a new idea, but I figured other fans of music and fantasy might appreciate my attempt. As for other inspirations … I had my own story fragments to draw on, and stories like the ones I've mentioned above.



6. How long did it take you to write the King of Rhye? Did it take a longer or shorter time than you expected?


It took two years of stolen moments, in between the responsibilities of life, to write; it took another six months to go through publication, from manuscript to full release (print on demand). Having never done something like this before, I had no idea how long it was going to take. Fortunately it was a genuine labour of love; if I knew it would take that long, I might have run away from it!


7. How have you found marketing your book? You have an active FB page, a whole host of artwork, and even a veritable playlist of songs by Fat Bottomed Boys; what you find works and what doesn’t?


Marketing is all the hard work people say it is - but it's crucial hard work. You have to talk to people in media, put yourself out there, and get creative. Because I'm new to the industry, I'm having to build a network from scratch, whereas experienced authors generally already have such a network already around them. As far as marketing goes, I've found it most rewarding to turn to the Queen community - professionals and generally awesome people from all walks of life, united by something we're all passionate about.



8. Well I think you've been building that network wonderfully. Keep it up! Have you met any interesting people during your adventures writing?


Queen has introduced me to some incredible people. Through social media I met Luc Hudson, a toy designer from London, who is responsible for all of the wonderful illustrations you see (it certainly isn't my handiwork!) Later I also had the great pleasure to meet Fat Bottomed Boys, professional French musicians who build their own original catalogue around the sonic legacy of Queen. These are people I simply wouldn't have met, without a unifying interest, and the power of the world wide web. Jon, you're now part of that story, too! These connections have helped make 'The King of Rhye' much more than just a novel. It's now a truly international, multi-sensory experience. We're very proud of it.


9. I was going to say, I hope I'm part of your interesting people list! Have you got any tips for people who want to start writing their first book? Did you face any particular hurdles yourself when you got started?


When I started, my main hurdle was getting words on the page without worrying about trying to make them perfect. Your first draft will vary wildly from your polished manuscript. Another hurdle was knowing nothing about the industry, about how the process works or realistic expectations. I was helped a lot there by simply asking questions - don't be afraid to join a writers club, and put your questions out there. Lastly, don't be afraid to recognise when you've polished it enough, and need to send it out into the world. 0% of manuscripts that don't get queried end up as published books.



10. Apart from the audiobook version of the King of Rhye (starring yours truly) are you currently working on anything else? Have you got many projects lined up?


I really can't wait to release this audiobook! The tension is building! Aside from that, there is still more new artwork emerging from the easel of Luc Hudson. A French translation has recently been completed, and we hope can be published this year. Last but not least, my work in progress is the follow-up to 'The King of Rhye'. The next instalment has the working title 'Metropolis', and the draft is well underway. Follow my progress on Facebook!


11. I thought there might be a sequel brewing, looking forward to it! We all love writing of course, so what is your favourite thing about writing?


Writing is cathartic, in the same way as producing art or music can be. I feel like writing offers fewer restrictions (I don't need a studio or work space), and the experience of putting my visions on paper is a joy I can draw out for a couple of years at a time and then watch the results, in the enjoyment of others. Leaving books behind will be a kind of legacy for me.


12. And finally tell us an odd fact/story about yourself that not many people know?


For something completely different, I was a judoka (judo player) for around twenty years, reaching a rank of shodan (first level black belt). Still love the support, and love Japan. I think fewer and fewer of my friends these days know about that, or were part of that period in my life.

Thank you Craig. You've got me thinking about Japan now. Wifey really wants to go...


Now before I go I thought I'd share another little preview of The King of Rhye audiobook. This time it's Craigs choice. Enjoy!






With that it's bye for now. I'll be back soon.

Jon






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