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308 interviews since 2018

Andrei Nadir, aka Actus

Fantasy Author

Who are you, and what do you do? What do you like to do outside of work?

I’m Actus, a fantasy author in a slightly niche genre called Progression Fantasy & LitRPG, which can basically be boiled down to fantasy stories where there’s a big focus on the main character getting stronger. I have quite a few stories, but my main one is about man who died and got reincarnated into the body of a professor at a magical academy. The story follows him as he tries to BS his way through teaching magic to students that hate him whilst trying to figure out how magic works himself.

The novel is currently a webserial, which is a book that is posted chapter-by-chapter to an online platform entirely for free. It’s got over 10 million views and was released on Amazon in early March.

Cover for Actus's first Return of the Runebound Professor novel
When we checked, the first book in this series of Actus's was the #1 new release in its Amazon category

I also have several other series on my Amazon page, some of which are completed and some are still in progress. One of my series, My Best Friend is an Eldritch Horror, is getting an original comic on Webtoon in the coming months, which I’m really excited for. Writing honestly takes up the vast majority of my day, but as of recent times, I’ve started traveling to see the world and get more inspiration. I’m currently in Barcelona!

What hardware do you use?

I actually use two different ZSA products. I originally got a Moonlander about a year or two back for my desktop setup. It took me a little while to get used to the keyboard, but once it clicked for me I was hooked. It vastly increased my writing speed, and I had considerably less wrist pain and discomfort as well. It’s by far the best keyboard I’ve ever used, and I still suggest it to just about anyone else that will listen to me today. I believe I’ve convinced around seven or eight other authors to get it as well.

Andrei Nadir's setup
Actus writes between six thousand and eight thousand words a day on this setup

As of late, since I’ve been traveling more, I’ve been using the Voyager. I bought it the day ZSA released it, as I loved the idea of a more portable version of the Moonlander and I’m incredibly happy with it. It obviously lacks the wrist support and customization that the Moonlander has for positioning, but it’s a great “in-between” keyboard. It’s got ergo support, feels great to work with, and is overall just a fantastic keyboard. I’ve been using it more than the Moonlander, as it’s just much easier to fit into my bag and take to a coffee shop or the like.

And what software?

I use Microsoft Word for around 90% of my work, with the other 10% going into OneNote. I generally try to get up around 6:00 a.m. to write so I can get a lot of it done early in the day. On normal workdays, I aim for around 6,000 to 8,000 words a day, so it takes a pretty hefty chunk of time and I’m usually writing until around 2:00 or 3:00 p.m. A lot of the work is in brainstorming where I want the plot of the novel to go, as I type very quickly (partially thanks to the Moonlander saving my wrists from dying after sitting in one spot and typing for hours on end).

Once I’ve got my general plot figured out and I know where I want to take the novel, the work tends to go pretty quickly and I can write around 1,500 to 2,000 words an hour.

What’s your keyboard setup like? Do you use a custom layout or custom keycaps?

My current setup is pictured above. It’s pretty basic as I’m out traveling right now, and the only thing missing is my headphones. I’m a bit lame—I don’t use any custom layouts or keycaps, though I did swap the position of the : and the ” keys, as I use quotation marks a lot more than colons and wanted to be able to access them easier.

What would be your dream setup?

Honestly, my dream setup is hard to answer. I already have the Moonlander for my desktop and the Voyager for travel. I absolutely love both, and the only thing I really need to write beyond them is a computer that doesn’t crash when I open up my 2,000 page word document. If ZSA ever comes out with a new keyboard that somehow fills a niche I didn’t know of, I’ll probably be the first one waiting to buy it. Overall, I’m honestly pretty content with how things are. Maybe I’d add some form of wrist rests into the mix at some point if I found any I liked, but aside from that, everything is great.

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