Alum Terrence King wins awards for urban-fantasy novel
Terrence King, a self-published indie author and CSUN alumnus (‘94) is being recognized and critically acclaimed for his first urban fantasy novel, The Silent Partner. King was recently honored as a double award winner of the Eric Hoffer Book Award in commercial fiction, as well as the Eric Hoffer First Horizon Award, which recognizes excellence in publishing.
Though King is now a successful self-published author, he admits that he had never written a book before.
“It was originally written as a screenplay,” King said. “I’ve never written a book before and it was a lot harder than I imagined.”
While King attended CSUN, his studies focused on screenwriting, film production, and media theory, which was how he ended up originally writing the novel as a screenplay. Creative writing was among a few of the classes King had taken at CSUN, in which he discovered that writing was what he wanted to pursue.
“I had one professor, her name was Alexis Krasilovsky. She was the first professor I had for creative writing,” King said. “When I was in her class she gave us a writing exercise and told us to write a story about isolation. When she read my story, it made her stop and go, ‘Wow.’ That’s when I knew I was set to do something in writing.”
King began writing The Silent Partner, a five-year process, which was inspired by the untimely murder of his uncle.
“I was dealing with a lot of issues with God, faith and loss and writing became a therapeutic exercise and coping mechanism,” King said.
The Silent Partner is a novel about people destroying the Earth. In hopes to salvage Earth and its humanity, God sends an angel, Homer, in the form of a large black homeless woman to save the world. The problem with God’s choice is that Homer does not believe Earth can be salvaged.
Once Homer has reached Earth, she intertwines with a number of characters that feel versions of their own world are being destroyed. These characters must find an entity within themselves that they do not know they have, to help overcome their problems.
The novel falls into the fiction subgenre of Urban Fantasy, one that King was not even aware of. He explained that comic books and books like Twilight would fall under the subgenre due to the supernatural powers the characters attain. Urban Fantasy is defined by its sense of place, most of which are set in contemporary times.
While writing The Silent Partner, King made a significant change to the main character Homer.
“Homer started out as a male character when I started writing her,” King said, “But I made her a female because I thought she was more interesting.”
Throughout the writing process, King realized that he could do more with a female character. He felt her character became more believable in emotion, frustration and that it added many social layers. King further explained that he felt the female dimension was much more rich than that of men, and that those female characters are the ones he will write about in the future.
King revealed that he most enjoys writing about female characters because women are interesting.
“Women have a sixth sense, and intuition that us guys really don’t have, but we pretend to,” King said.
In promotion of King’s novel, he wrote, directed and produced a three-minute movie trailer for the book. Book trailers have become a common form of promotion for authors that produce a visual telling of the book.
The trailer was shot cinematically like a movie, in which King also acted as the character Tom.
“I’m not an actor,” King said, “I’ve done some acting and I enjoy it, but I’ve really embraced the writing component of storytelling.”
King is currently working on the conception of his second novel, which will have a futuristic take on the social and political effects of the world. However, he admits that it’s hard to find the time to write due to his full-time job as a general sales manager for three radio stations at Clear Channel in San Diego, where King resides.
“I enjoy where I live, and what I do, but I’d love to write more, that’s a big focus of mine” King said. “I prefer to create a trend than to follow one, and those stories that come out of nowhere have been tremendous.”
King offered a few words of advice for aspiring self-publishing authors: “To anyone who has a dream or passion, and loves what they do, don’t give up,” King said. “Be willing to explore what interests you, learn from other writers and artists. Don’t be afraid to own your work, and learn all the rules so you can break them.”
For more information on Terrence King visit www.terrencejking.com and to watch the book trailer, visit his YouTube page.