1. What was you inspiration for this book?
The success of the Twilight Saga was a biggie for me! Never had I seen someone approach something as cliché as a vamp love story and turn it into well…that. I love that saga because it really taught me a lot. It taught me how to overcome basic character development (something they didn’t do very well…sorry Twilight) and how to custom fit a book for its genre. Looking at the cover of my book, and even the Valentine’s Day edition, you can see a similarity between those covers and mine. It wasn’t intentional, but hey, right? I guess Stephanie Meyer had greater influence on me than I thought! Young adult authors have to stick together
2. Would you classify your writing as plot driven of character driven?
Ooh, now that’s a toughie! Because of the predestined set of events Eurich has to complete in order for the series to end, I’d say it’s plot driven. But because of how complex the story is and how dependent it is on dialogue and character thought, that makes it a tough decision. Hmm. I guess Mana is pleasantly sitting somewhere in the middle.
3. Can you tell us a little about your main character?
Eurich is a smart, headstrong kid. He had always been fascinated with the magical realm, but never in his life did he imagine he’d be the source of the fantasy he’d been wondering about for years.
So, Eurich is a dragoon. Dragoons aren’t exactly new to fantasy to lovers, but they aren’t often talked about. In any form of fantasy, dragoons are humans with extra spectacular bonds with really powerful dragons! Eurich has been bestowed the power of Dragoon Oblivion—and as you can guess by the name, it cause Eurich to fly off the handle sometimes. In an instant, Eurich had to become the person everyone needed him to be, even if it meant cutting some personal ties that makes Eurich…Eurich.
4. Which of your supporting characters was the most challenging to write?
Syrehnity. She’s such a mystery to even me. She’s so nurturing and magical. I don’t know anything about her other than she is the essence of all that is pure. It’s hard to write for her because, though I think I’m a pretty nice guy, I’m no Syrehnity. Seeing things from her point of view is hard for me to put into words, but the story must go on :D I am interested very to see her character progresses; she’s always teaching me something new!
5. Without giving away too much, tell us a little about the main conflict in this book.
Millenniums ago there was a magical battle, one that left all sides crippled. Humans chose to wage war because they could not produce mana of their own; jealousy was a natural response. Those who could control mana fought hard, but because of human technology, the war was a standstill that resulted in a plethora of unnecessary deaths. After the war ended, those in control of control their mana split Samsera in two. Samsera remained intact, but Earth was created to house the inconsistencies of the human race.
Fast forward two thousand years and we meet Eurich. The barrier that separates the world is starting to weaken and the two worlds are becoming one again. Though against his and his family’s wishes, Eurich is the heir of that war and the only who can restore balance to the barrier that keeps the worlds hidden from one another. A light romance sparks and jealousy proves to be more than just a feeling.
But no spoilers :P
6. Why did you choose this genre?
I chose YA because I am a young adult myself! I came up with the idea of Mana when I was just turning 20 years old. I still had some teenage angst left behind, so I felt I could communicate better with my characters as well as the wide audience young adult fantasy has to offer.
7. What do you hope readers take away from this book?
I hope readers can really take their time with this book. Second chances are out there, you just have to be patient and find a way if you really want it. Mana is one of those books that can teach you an array of things, just be open minded; you amazing readers already are! So no problem there. How about this? Read Mana and let me and everyone else know what you took away from the book! https://www.facebook.com/TheManaSaga
8. Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite authors are a bit…old. I absolutely love Edgar Allen Poe! He opened me up to some really nice literature and brought the dark out of the light. Dark fantasy, and Mana, wouldn’t be what they are without his help. I’m also a huge (I can admit that) Twilight fan. The way she spun vamps into that amazing story made my eyes widen. Stephanie Myer earned a place on my favorite author list not just because of her story, but because she dared to stand out. Vamps will always remember what she did.
9. Do you have any interesting rituals or habits when you write?
I do! And it took my family a little while to get used to it. After about a year or so of me doing this, they were fine. When I write, I let the opening sequence for New Moon on Bluray play for hours and hours on end. You know, the one where the music plays and the characters swoosh from panel to panel. The music calms me and the scenery reminds me of the setting of Mana. It really puts me in my ideal mindset when I write. Golden Darkness, my title for the upcoming sequel to Mana gets a bit darker, so I upgraded to the Eclipse Bluray and now that plays for hours on end :D
10. Can you tell us about any future projects?
Golden Darkness is my new project. Eurich’s story was nowhere near closure at the end of book 1 and readers are really looking forward to how it ends…or continues! This book was started over a year ago, but since Mana was published, I haven’t had much time to get to it. Now, book 2 is screaming out to me! I’ve had so many experiences since then, the book kind of took a turn and I can tell in my writing. The story is equally as memorable as Mana and it will prove to be an awesome sequel! No updates so far, but stay tuned through Facebook and my blog. I am still writing it, so be patient with me.
Stay up to date on Asher Tensei and his books on his Website and Goodreads.
Mana is available now from Amazon US, Amazon UK, and Paramance.