Thank you very much for this interview, Tito!
Please provide a brief description of you and your book:
Tito Martínez Barberi is an award-winning author born in México City. Tito spent many years as a writer of copy for ad agencies and doing translations. His experience as a copywriter and translator, added to what Tito calls his “hyper-imagination”, inspired him to write his current series, The Keeper of the Balance.
The Order of the Ancestors, book three in The Keeper of the Balance, was chosen as the Best Dystopian Book in the 2016 Summer Indie Awards, a contest featuring over 130 entries.
Tito is a lover of fantasy and sci-fi literature and movies. Although he lives in the state of Puebla, México, Tito’s mind spends most of its time in Akaladia, bringing to life The Last Bastion, the fourth and final installment in The Keeper of the Balance.
Tito, I would also appreciate it if you could add a picture of you, your book or both.
And finally, please provide a link where your book(s) can be purchased:
Book I: The Pinnacle of Power
Bouncepen (read the book, at only $0.02 per page) https://goo.gl/XWewRa
Book II: The Warriors of Balance
Book III: The Order of the Ancestors
Website & social media:
Much appreciated. Now, on to the interview!
Can you tell us why you decided to become a writer?
I’ve always loved writing. For a long time, I would spend some of my free time writing pieces of fan fiction that I didn’t show to anyone. Then one day, a friend found one of these stories in my computer, and she insisted that I try my hand at writing something original. The next thing I knew, I was writing a rough draft for The Keeper of the Balance. I haven’t been able to stop writing ever since.
What do you love the most about writing?
Letting my imagination go wild. I love to imagine all these stories and characters in my head, and I just can’t resist the urge to bring them to life on the written page.
Where do you get you inspiration from?
I have many different sources of inspiration, going from real life to history to my favorite books and films. I love Sci Fi and fantasy because I believe that there are some great lessons to be learned from these fictional tales. Plus they’re also great escapism!
How would you describe The Keeper of the Balance series?
I like to think of The Keeper of the Balance as a classic tale of good vs. evil told from an original, fresh perspective. I really tried to give all characters some depth and perspective, as opposed to the good guys being white and the baddies being black. This was my intent as the author. It’s up to the reader to say if I accomplished my goal.
Why should people read The Keeper of the Balance?
Because this series is a lot of fun (laughs)! In all seriousness, I do hope that readers find The Keeper of the Balance books as much fun as I’ve been having writing them. But if people get something else out of my work, some kind of message, perhaps, then that’s even better.
Where did the idea for The Keeper of the Balance come from?
My ideas usually come from lots of different places. I like to combine different topics, tropes, archetypes, etc. and see where this leads. In this case, I wanted to tell my own version of the classic Hero’s Journey, combining it with a totally dysfunctional world ruled behind the shadows by a secret society. I truly feel like I succeeded in what I set out to do, but again, the reader will always have the last word.
What do you expect to accomplish with The Keeper of the Balance?
To sell lots of books (laughs)! Now seriously, I just wanted to explore things through the books that I find interesting and appealing, hoping that other people out there would find all this stuff as fascinating as I do.
What can you tell us about the latest book in The Keeper of the Balance series, without giving away any spoilers?
Well, The Order of the Ancestors (the last book that’s been published) is already the third installment in the series, so it’s hard to describe it without giving away too much. I guess what I can say is that the book is fast-paced, with lots of action and twists and turns along the way. Since it’s already the third book in the series, readers will already be familiar with most characters and situations. And this makes the book quite an entertaining read, methinks.
Which were the easiest and the hardest parts for you to write, without giving away any spoilers?
The easiest parts for me to write are action scenes and the more quiet dialogues. The hardest parts are romance and getting inside the minds of characters that are nothing like me. Villains were a bit of both, and they were also the most fun to write!
Do you have a favorite character, scene or situation in The Keeper of the Balance, and can you tell us why he, she or it is your favorite?
I love all of my characters. It sounds boring and cliché, I know, but it’s true (laughs). My favorite scenes and situations are the chapters where some major or shocking twist takes place. I love to rock the reader’s boat!
What can we expect to see in the next book in The Keeper of the Balance series, again without giving away any spoilers?
The next book, The Last Bastion, will be the fourth and final volume in the series. So obviously, you can expect to find what I expect to be the epic ending to this story, which has become a huge part of my life now. All I can say about this is that the end to The Keeper of the Balance will be bittersweet but realistic and hopefully, satisfying for all readers.
Some stories are what some have taken to calling Message Fiction, due to the fact that there are (conscious or unconscious) messages to be found in those stories. Did you insert any conscious messages in your story, and if so, what do they try to convey?
Well, the one recurring theme throughout the whole series is balance and how important it is in all things. I truly believe that imbalance is the root of the problems afflicting us all at a personal, microcosmic level, as well as in a broader, macrocosmic level.
I didn’t write The Keeper of the Balance trying to send a message, though. The main idea was, is, and always will be to entertain people through my writing. But if anyone can get some positive message from my work, then that would be great!
If your story is mature in nature (containing graphic sexual scenes, violence, swearing, etc.), what led you to decide that this was the right way to go, despite the fact that it might limit your potential readership?
Although I dealt with some difficult adult situations and topics in The Keeper of the Balance (such as sexual exploitation, child slavery, corruption in high places, etc.), I wanted to make the books accessible to a younger crowd (ages 13, 14 up). And so all this stuff I tried to present in a very smooth, discreet fashion.
There are some mild sexual situations, but no graphic sex, and no swearing (curses are totally made up and exclusive to Akaladia, the world of The Keeper of the Balance). There is some graphic violence, but nothing gory or more shocking than you would find in your typical PG-13 film these days, I would say.
And finally, is there anything else that you’d like to add?
I just want to thank you, Dean, a talented author in your own right, for this interview. It was a lot of fun! And to everyone out there in cyberspace who’s reading this: thanks and don’t miss out on The Keeper of the Balance series. You’ll love it, guaranteed!
Again, thank you very much for your time!