Today I’m pleased to welcome Asher Tensei to Off the Page chatting about his new YA fantasy book, Mana.
Although Asher Tensei is relatively young, he has already traveled the world as he has been a military brat since the age of four. He has always wanted to share his creative writing, and it was in Germany that he realized people also really enjoyed reading his stories. Mana was composed shortly after and it instantly got the support of a small but enthused local readership. Few could believe that Asher had written a full length novel during his fifteen minute breaks while working at Burger King. He is very passionate about the fantasy genre and graciously gives thanks to the one series that made him realize that writing high concept YA fantasy was something he wanted to do–The Twilight Saga. He maintains, and frequently updates, his website.
1. Tell a little about yourself, what you do when you’re not writing, what are your aspirations for the future?
Where to start? Lol. I’m very goal driven, so when I have my eyes on something, I usually don’t stop until I feel that I’ve gotten it. Writing and publishing Mana was my goal for so long…I actually feel a little sad that it’s over. Life of an author, I guess :P. But when I’m not writing, I’m usually enjoying some video games, quality time with friends and family, and rapping and singing! I don’t know the future yet, but if I’m doing what I’m doing now, then I’ll be happy for life!
2. When and why did you start writing?
A little over two years ago, Mana was just a thought; a funny one at that. Mana’s only purpose at the time was just to take some attention off Twilight lol. Funny right? It wasn’t even published yet and I already had big goals for it. Now, Mana is probably the most unique thing I’ve ever written. I’ve always been an impressive writer and storyteller, but Mana brought some serious writing skills out of me and I’ll carry those skills throughout the series!
3. If you could only read one book over and over again for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
The Devil’s Code by John Stanford. I’m a thinker, and so was everyone in this book. It dealt with murder, technological hacking, hookers, assassins…the works! This book really got in me into reading.
4. Give us some back story about Mana, where and when did you write it?
Mana started out as a popularity contest. At the time, everyone and their mothers were sick of Twilight and they wanted something to read instead of that. I was in Germany working at a joint pizza-burger hut and it just hit me. ‘Maybe I can write something like that.’ Well, I did and the story is amazing! The funniest thing about my book when I first started writing it was how similar the names were. Eurich was Edward at one point in time, Jason was Jacob (yea..I know), and Raine was Beatrice. With closer inspection, all the names started with the same letters of the Twilight cast. Quickly, I changed it and I love their new names!
5. What inspired your story?
A doomed relationship of mine is what ignited the story. I hoped to write about what would’ve happened if that relationship never failed, and if we treated each other like…soul mates. I wanted Mana to capture the purity of a strong relationship as well as how to deal with tough decisions as a teen. I was 19 just going on 20 when I wrote Mana, so I had a lot of High School stuff that was still circling me. Mana turned from a horrible obsession of regaining a relationship to being a really strong and inspirational story!
6. What was your favorite part of Mana to write?
You probably guessed it lol. I am still a boy so the fight scenes were the best to me! I practiced writing fight scenes and putting them perfectly with dialogue, so I was very excited with how mine came out. Other than the fights, I really enjoyed the transformations. I’m sure if many people know what a dragoon is, but boy are they cool! I had to make each transformation different because Eurich is just that bad ass.
7. Are you working on any other projects at the moment?
Currently, just book 2. With the way the first book ended, I’m sure tons of people would be out for my life if don’t continue it lol. There may be more books in the saga, but who knows. Besides the writing, I’m working hard in my acting classes because I really want to be in a movie! I really want to do it all.
8. Are you a Pantser or Plotter? Why?
I guess I really am a newbie. Can you believe I’ve never heard of this term until today? After researching this, I’d have to say that I’m a Panster! I don’t like planning out the story because I love to let it surprise me. The story will always be fresh and new to me because I don’t plan the next chapter, ever! I just let it happen. So…woot for Pansters!
9. Do you have any tricks to your trade, bottomless coffee, a magic pen, a special muse?
Sorry…nothing special. If anything, I’d say that self-motivation and enthusiasm is my trick ?. You’re your own piece of work, so just try hard and believe in yourself and you can really achieve anything!
10. If you could be any fictional character for a day, who would it be and why?
Spider-Man! I’ve been in love with the Spidey universe since I was like four. I would get the string to shoot out of canisters. I had gloves and all that! He’s just like me, so he would be my perfect choice.
Our world is about to take a sharp turn for the worse. Extra moons are rising in the sky, and panic is at an all-time high. Worst of all, there are no explanations.
Saving the world begins with a choice —but is humanity worth him risking his own life?