Kindle Vella Author Interview: Eric Sazer on The Magical Cave
Eric Sazer sets the tone for his main character Bryce with a certain realism, and sarcasm that lets Bryce’s personality and inner workings bounce off the page in his relatable paranormal mystery, The Magical Cave. In our interview, Sazer discusses his process, and how he goes about humanizing his characters effectively.
Tell me a little bit about your Kindle Vella?
The Magical Cave is tells the story of Bryce, a 43-year old married man who takes some time away from his failing marriage only to run into his childhood bully, The Coog. Just as the main character starts to warm up to his former childhood bully, Bryce gets roped into a situation that changes his life forever. This is a character-driven, paranormal mystery with some hints of comedy interspersed throughout the story.
Who’s your favorite character(s) in the The Magical Cave so far? I know it’s hard!
No doubt The Coog is my favorite character, so far. He’s a complex, weird dude. He becomes perplexed by his own behavior and continues to act in questionable ways. I personally wouldn’t want The Coog hanging around in my house but it would be fun to pop my surveillance camera on, every now and then, to see what foolish things he’s up to.
What’s your writing process like?
When sculpting any piece, I start with a pen and paper. The very first component is generating character bios. I start with the main character. I ask myself who the main character was, is, and intends to become.
Then comes a list of supporting characters that helped create the main character to be who he or she is. I follow that up with a list of supporting characters who would prevent the main character from achieving his or her goal(s). Many would call this second list, the antagonist(s). I humanize those that land on both lists. I don’t want my readers to enter the judgment that some characters are good and others are bad. I’d like the readers to have empathy for all characters.
Once these character bios are composed, I then sketch a loose outline. Once that outline has some grounding to it and in line with the characters’ trajectories, I type out the story, beginning on page one.
Since writing is not yet an income-earning experience for me, I can only dedicate a certain amount of time during the “work week” to it. I tend to do my best writing in the morning and that is exactly what I do shortly before clocking into my less-than-desirable day job. On the weekends, I am more apt to dedicate my loving energy toward the writing life.
What made you want to put The Magical Cave on Kindle Vella instead of an E-book?
Initially, The Magical Cave was going to be a podcast. Prior to learning about Kindle Vella, I had bought audio recording equipment. Read a book on producing a podcast. Interviewed several podcasters. Paid for the theme music. Then came time for “casting” the various roles. I didn’t want to be the only reader on the podcast. I feared I’d bore the listeners being the only voice. Of those that “auditioned” for the various roles, only one good reader presented quality work. I then stumbled across Kindle Vella back in late June/early July. Although it piqued my interest, I was determined to get this podcast made. When more horrific audition tapes rolled in, I was ready to throw in the towel.
Early August, I stumbled across another Kindle Vella advertisement and was immediately convinced that this was the way to go. It’s still possible that this story could be done as a podcast. I’d rather adapt it into a serialized TV show.
What’s coming up next for your writing, Kindle Vella or otherwise?
If this was going to be a podcast, there would have been 17 episodes. In between each episode would have been commercial breaks. After the 17 episodes, the show would go on hiatus for me to write and record more episodes.
Since this is been formatted for Kindle Vella, I managed to cut some of the podcast episodes in half. But Kindle Vella has a 600 word minimum. I get the feeling there will be 19 or 20 Kindle Vella episodes.
Once those 19 or 20 episodes are released, I may go on a small hiatus to compose more of the story. At the end of what is already written, a new character is introduced. I will go into who she is and what her involvement is with Bryce, The Coog, and the other two characters.
Outside Kindle Vella, I have a novel that I’ve been working on for six years. It’s a satire on romantic and sexual obsessions. I’d like to get that novel to be released by a medium to large publishing house in the next year or two.
Lastly, where can readers find you online?
I have a highly neglected blog that really does need my attention. On there you will find some short fiction, ramblings, and some videos that I shot when I used to be a filmmaker. You can find this blog at www.ericsazer.com.
No doubt The Coog is my favorite character, so far. He’s a complex, weird dude. He becomes perplexed by his own behavior and continues to act in questionable ways. I personally wouldn’t want The Coog hanging around in my house…Eric Sazer
The Starstrike is coming to Kindle Vella this November 2021! Follow GG5 in a coming of age & dystopian story, of a girl born from a star in a technologically advanced Victorian world.