Author Interview – Ryan Z. Dawson

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Ryan Z. Dawson is the author of the self-published The King’s Eagle.  His new book, Melidora, which was published by Dire Ninja Media.

How would you describe your story in one sentence?

Melidora is about a girl with amnesia who finds herself in a magical land, through which she travels trying to remember who she is.

What inspired you to write your story/characters/theme?

I had just finished translating Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland into my conlang, Imnura, and I started thinking about how many stories there are in which children find secret fantasy worlds that adults have no access to.  I thought it would be a fun challenge to try and write a story about a fanasy land that is discovered by an adult instead.  This simple idea ended up becoming very personal as my main characters developed.  I have fond memories of playing outside with my friends as a child.  There was a forest at the end of the street where I grew up, and it seemed to go on forever.  It was endless possibility, and I poured a lot of that into Melidora.  In telling the story, I drew from some very deep places within myself.  Melidora really is a work of love, and writing it was very cathartic.

Which authors have influenced you?

Neil Gaiman, Tolkien, Frank Herbert, and Lovecraft are among my biggest influences.  I particularly loved Gaiman’s work on the Sandman series.

Which are your favorite literary genres?

Fantasy is probably my favorite.  I also love a good mystery.  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories were the first stories I discovered entirely on my own, and they were also my introduction to the vast literary world outside of YA.

What makes a book/story special for you?

Relatable characters, a philosophical tone, challenging ideas, and plenty of room for my imagination to run.

Where do you live? Did your hometown/country/culture influenced your story?

I live in Southern Indiana, but I was born in Louisville, Kentucky.  My experiences playing in the woods and fields with my first friends were a big influence on Melidora.

From finishing the first draft to editing, revisions, and finally going to print, how long did it take to finish this book?

Melidora took me about 8 months to write and almost a year to edit.

Did you hire a cover artist/editor/proofreader?

I hired Ryan Valle to do the cover for Melidora.  He also did the cover for The King’s Eagle.  He is wonderful to work with.  Regarding editing, I hired an editor named Michelle Lovi to look over Melidora for me.  My new book is being edited my Dara Rochlin.

What have you learned while writing and publishing? Did unexpected things happen?

Most of what I’ve learned has been about the business of selling one’s writing.  This said, I still don’t know a lot about that subject.  Marketing is a big mystery to me.  The main thing I learned is just that I have a whole lot to learn.

What helped you to get inspired and overcome hurdles while writing your book?

I never have problems getting or staying inspired.  You can find inspiration anywhere.  Taking walks does a lot to help with plotting.  There were some editing hitches that I basically just had to wait out.  Apart from that, Melidora was a dream to write.  It just flowed out of me.

What would you do differently on a next project?

I would submit my book to editors before it goes to print.

Best piece (s) of advice for first time writers?

First: Write all the time.  Write 600 words a day.  It doesn’t matter if those 600 words are crap; just get the machines working.  Writing is a habit – a discipline – and you have to practice.

Second: Read.  Read anything you can get your hands on.  Throw your pet genres out the window.  Books are fuel, so keep yourself stocked up, and don’t be picky.  Keep challenging yourself.

Third: Don’t wait for motivation.  Write even when you don’t feel motivated.

Fourth: Remember that selling a book is not about the quality of the book.  Selling things is all about packaging.  The market is extremely superficial, and it cares more about shining wrapping paper than it does about good stories.  So write your best story and then put your integrity away and sell your soul for reviews.  No one is going to read you if they think you have too much self respect to condescend to them.

Where can readers contact you on the internet? Do you have a blog/website?

I’ve never had a website, but I do have an author page on Facebook under the name “Ryan Z. Dawson.”  Readers can also write me at ryanzdawson@gmail.com.  If you want to learn about Imnura, check out imnuralanguage.tumblr.com.  And I also write and draw two webcomics, the main one being at talkingboxes.net.

What are you planning to write/publish next?

My next book, The Death of Alan Shade, is being edited right now.  I am currently working on its sequel, The Rise of Ellie Nex.  Both of these are big books with big themes that everyone is going to love – especially but not exclusively fantasy fans.  I have also been developing a setting book for a new RPG system called PERK that you should definitely check out at perkrpg.com.  The setting that I am writing is in the world of The King’s Eagle, my first novel.

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Author Interview – R.K. Summers

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How would you describe your story in one sentence?

A retelling-with-a-twist of the Scottish ballad of Thomas the Rhymer.

What inspired you to write your story/characters/theme?

I’ve always loved the old legends of Britain. I think they don’t get as much notice when compared to the massive epics of Greek and Roman, even Egyptian mythos. Britain is tiny compared to those towering empires, but our old folk tales and legends are so full of mysticism and magic. Everyone has heard of King Arthur, obviously, but there’s so many more stories of Old Albion to be told.

Which authors have influenced you?

I’m a huge fan of Neil Gaiman and Jim Butcher. Marion Zimmer Bradley and JRR Tolkien influenced my adoration for British folklore, and JK Rowling inspired my determination to never give up.

Which are your favorite literary genres?

Anything fantasy at all. Epic fantasy, high fantasy, low fantasy, urban fantasy. I’ll dip my toes into thriller if it’s written really, really well.

What makes a book/story special for you?

The characters. If a book has boring characters, even if it has an exciting premise, I won’t bother finishing it. Especially the villain. I adore a good villain. I’m hoping people will love reading my deliciously despicable villains as much as I loved writing them!

Where do you live? Did your hometown/country/culture influenced your story?

I currently live in the North-East of England. I travelled to Scotland a lot when I was younger, and I think seeing that majestic, rugged, unlawfully beautiful landscape sparked an irresistible desire to craft stories from those hills.

How long you needed for writing this book/for your first draft/ for your revision/editing process?

I think it’s been about 5 years in total. The Old Ways has gone through an awful lot of development, mostly from me maturing as I wrote it. My book and I grew up together.

Did you hire a cover artist/editor/proofreader?

My publisher, Inspired Quill, did all that for me! The cover was designed by a lovely lady called Venetia Jackson who designs covers for Inspired Quill’s authors. My editors were IQ’s own wonderful staff; EJ Runyon, Fiona Campbell, and Sara-Jayne Slack.

What have you learned while writing and publishing? Did unexpected things happened?

The biggest thing I’ve learned is that if characters want to do something, then let them do it. I had no intentions of having two particular characters end up together, but somehow their relationship flourished, and this powerful, volcanic chemistry erupted between them. After that, nothing I did could keep them apart. They just sort of… clicked.

Best piece (s) of advice for first time writers?

If anyone ever tells you to give up writing, punch them in the face and walk away. You don’t need that kind of negativity.

EDIT: Er, don’t actually punch them in the face… I’ll get in a lot of trouble for inciting violence.

Where can readers contact you in the internet? Do you have a blog/website?

Sure! My website is http://rksummers.com/ and my Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/pages/RK-Summers-Author/235165256497693

What are you planning to write/publish next?

I’m currently working on the sequel to The Old Ways, and I’ve also got the third one mapped out. I have a few other ideas for an urban fantasy about a coven of witches, so we’ll see how that pans out.

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ToW Cover

Author Interview – Megan Linski

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How would you describe your story in one sentence?

Fallen From Ashes is a mixture of Aladdin and 1001 Arabian Nights, with themes such as equality for women and staying faithful to your true love, no matter what the cost.

What inspired you to write your story/characters/theme?

Fallen From Ashes is the sequel to Kingdom From Ashes, #1 in the Kingdom Saga. WhenKingdom from Ashes came out, I got such a high demand for a sequel that I knew I had to get right on making another story in The Kingdom Saga for my readers to explore.

Which authors have influenced you?

J.K. Rowling (that’s a given) Peter S. Beagle, C.S. Lewis, and David Clement-Davies. As you can see, what I like is really specific.

Which are your favorite literary genres?

I particularly love fantasy and issue-novels, focused on young adults (which is the main genre’s I write in).

What makes a book/story special for you?

I believe you have to have something different in your book that’s unique to you, and you have to stand for something. The books that mean the most and create the most change in the world aren’t afraid of making a statement and not pleasing people. They’re not afraid to be bold, and I try to do the same thing in my writing.

Where do you live? Did your hometown/country/culture influenced your story?

My hometown is pretty small and boring, so to create the exotic, adventurous desert of Sahrahn (where The Kingdom Saga is set) became an escape for my readers and for me.

How long you needed for writing this book/for your first draft/ for your revision/editing process?

Kingdom From Ashes took nearly three years from start to finish. By drastic contrast, I wrote Fallen from Ashes in ten days and took a month to edit and revise.

Did you hire a cover artist/editor/proofreader?

I have two editors: Sam McClure from Resolution Edits, and Thalia Smithingell, who works for me under my company, Gryfyn Publishing. My cover artist is the amazing Clarissa Yeo of Yocla Designs.

What have you learned while writing and publishing? Did unexpected things happened?

Oh, definitely! Before I started I thought I had a great plan and knew everything about marketing, but it turns out I didn’t know anything. Things that I’ve really worked hard on haven’t really panned out, and other things that I’ve ignored have ended up exploding my book’s visibility on Amazon. This is why it’s important to read marketing books and know how to get your product out there. A good one to start with is Write. Publish. Repeat.

What helped you to get inspired and overcome hurdles along the writing of your book?

When readers asked for a sequel to Kingdom From Ashes, I had absolutely nothing. No plot, no outline, not even an idea of where I wanted to go. I sat down and didn’t let myself get up until I had an outline. The Kingdom Saga requires a lot of research, because it takes place in an ancient Arabic society, so I did that as I went along and made sure to stick as close to Middle Eastern folklore as possible. I just had a fire lit underneath me, and I didn’t let myself stop. Now that I’m working on #3, that fire is gone and it’s a lot harder to keep writing, but I’m forcing myself through it and not allowing myself to quit, which makes all the difference in the world. When you stop making excuses and start expecting results of yourself, magic happens.

What would you do differently on a next project?

I would treat myself better! My work ethic when it comes to writing is absolutely crazy. It’s not uncommon for me to be icing my hands and wrapping my wrists late at night after I’m done writing. With Fallen, it took only ten days to write, and I didn’t plan it that way. I simply went crazy and wrote as much as I could. I personally think it’s one of the best books I’ve ever written, but when I was finished I was shaking and on the verge of vomiting. I really need to take better care of my temple, otherwise I won’t be able to produce!

Best piece (s) of advice for first time writers?

Stop making excuses and do what you want to do! You’re wasting time and money waiting for the right time or the right opportunity to go ahead and do something. You can always fix mistakes later, but if you wait too long, you’ll miss your chance. One of my biggest mistakes was not publishing in 2011 like I wanted to during the indie boom and waiting until 2014. I lost precious time and sales because I was waiting around until things were perfectly in place, until I accepted the fact they never were going to be.

Before you publish, though, go ahead and read every single book on writing and marketing that you can. You need to accumulate as much knowledge as possible before you go into publishing. The more you know, the less difficult things will be later.

Another thing: successful people network and know a lot of other people! You may complain that it’s not fair and your career shouldn’t be like high school, but the more popular you are and the more friends (READERS) you have, the more successful you will be. Most authors are natural introverts, and I am definitely not the most social person, but if your book really means the world to you then you will find a way to get yourself out there and make some acquaintances. It may seem unfair, but nobody is going to find you if you’re underneath a rock. Posting your book everywhere, paying for lots of advertisements and spamming people doesn’t work. Making connections and lasting friendships does.

Where can readers contact you in the internet? Do you have a blog/website?

www.meganlinski.comand you can sign up for my VIP list here!

What are you planning to write/publish next?

I’m currently working on Redemption From Ashes, #3 in The Kingdom Saga!

You can find Fallen From Ashes here! :

http://www.amazon.com/Fallen-Ashes-Kingdom-Saga-Book-ebook/dp/B014TZ1AVO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1443464228&sr=8-1&keywords=fallen+from+ashes

Fallen

Author Interview – Brian Downes

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How would you describe your story in one sentence?

Five survivors develop profound and profoundly sexual relationships with one another during a zombie virus quarantine.

What inspired you to write your story/characters/theme?

Our culture is relentlessly sex negative. I wanted to speak out against that grotesque darkness.

Which authors have influenced you?

I always cite F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Tim Powers, and William Gibson.

Which are your favorite literary genres?

My favorite genres are non-fiction history, science for the layperson, urban fantasy, and literary fiction.

What makes a book/story special for you?

When it is original.

Where do you live? Did your hometown/country/culture influenced your story?

I live in Orlando, Florida, and I have written two books set there. I was born and raised in Ashtabula County, Ohio. I often mention that place in my books.

How long you needed for writing this book/for your first draft/ for your revision/editing process?

I did not time it. I would suppose two years.

Did you hire a cover artist/editor/proofreader?

Yes, I hired a cover artist. I also used a proofreader. I recommend it.

What helped you to get inspired and overcome hurdles along the writing of your book?

Inspiration is a chimera. You hammer and grind on the project every day until it is finished. Halfway through, you start thinking about your next project.

What would you do differently on a next project?

I would write a different story.

Best piece (s) of advice for first time writers?

Give up on this sickness and go get a business degree instead.

Where can readers contact you in the internet? Do you have a blog/website?

https://www.facebook.com/Brian-Downes-Author-241226129234925/timeline/?ref=hl

What are you planning to write/publish next?

I contribute to the website Florida Geek Scene, and am always working on an article for them. Also, I am writing my fifth novel, Red Sleeper. A follow-up to The Berlin Fraternity, Red Sleeper is set in Detroit in 1956. FBI Agent Christopher Haigwood hunts communist spies. To his surprise, he will discover that vampires exist, and that some of them are working for Moscow.

Carrefour Crisis Front Cover

Author Interview – Debbie Manber Kupfer

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Debbie Manber Kupfer is the author of the P.A.W.S. series.

How would you describe your story in one sentence?
Stories surrounding the Partnership of Animagi, Werewolves and Shapeshifters!

What inspired you to write your story/characters/theme?
Ever since I read the third Harry Potter book, The Prisoner of Azkaban, I’ve been fascinated by animagi, but I wanted to know more. I wanted to know how Sirius and James turned themselves into animals. What it felt like? What were the spells involved? Those thoughts led me to the creation of P.A.W.S. and today as I write the third book of the series, Maze of Shadows, I delve even deeper into the mythology of all kinds of shapeshifters.

Which authors have influenced you?
Well obviously JK Rowling, but also Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, Neil Gaiman and Cornelia Funke are high up on the list.

Which are your favorite literary genres?
Mostly fantasy, but I also delve into other genres (sci-fi, humor, literary fiction and the occasional mystery) both in my reading and my writing.

What makes a book/story special for you?
The characters. I need to fall in love with the characters, both good and bad, in order to really get into a book.

Where do you live? Did your hometown/country/culture influence your story?
Yes, yes, and yes! I grew up in London, the daughter of a holocaust survivor from Vienna. I lived eight years in Israel and today live in St. Louis, Missouri. Pretty much all of that plays into my stories.
The P.A.W.S. Institute is located underneath the Jewel Box in Forest Park, St. Louis, a real location that is often closed, so made a great site for a secret organization.
Miri is Jewish and her grandmother, Celia comes from Vienna just like my father. She even lived in the same street my father grew up on.
In book 3 of the series we’re going to spend some time in Israel and in London. I like to write about places I know well. I feel it gives my story more authenticity.

How long does it take you to write your books /for your first draft/ for your revision/editing process?
It takes me about a year to finish a book.

Did you hire a cover artist/editor/proofreader?
For this new version of P.A.W.S. I hired Rachel Bostwick to make my cover. Previously I was published with a small press that paid for the covers and editors. When I get ready to publish book 3 I will hire an editor. I’m an editor myself and know you cannot possibly find all your own mistakes.

What have you learned while writing and publishing? Did unexpected things happen?
Oh yes, definitely. In my original concept of P.A.W.S. the villain was supposed to be Miri’s uncle, David, but a few chapters into P.A.W.S. Alistair (diabolically evil werewolf dude) emerged and made the story all about him.

What helps you get inspired and overcome hurdles when you are writing?
Whenever I get stuck I go for a walk. I’ll take my work with me – either my tablet or just a notepad and pen and go sit in a café and watch people. I’m inspired more by people watching than anything else.

What would you do differently on a future project?
There’s a world of difference to how I wrote and published P.A.W.S. to how I am today. For one thing I now have a wonderful set of writer friends I’ve met online in groups like the Dragon’s Rocketship, Fiction Writers and YA Author Rendezvous. Having support while you write and promote is really important. First time around I was much more alone.

Best piece of advice for first time writers?
Try NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month in November). It truly helped me keep on track and let go of the idea that first drafts have to be perfect.

Where can readers contact you in the internet? Do you have a blog/website?
Yep – Paws4Thought: http://debbiemanberkupfer.wordpress.com/
Or Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/DebbieManberKupferAuthor

I love connected with readers. Please come by and say “Hi”!

What are you planning to write/publish next?
I’ve got quite a few projects in the works. Firstly on October 1st I’m releasing a short memoir, The Big C, about my experience going through cancer treatment. This was probably the most difficult thing I ever wrote. The money is going to Knitted Knockers, a wonderful charity that gives soft breast forms to women who have had mastectomies.
I’m also the editor and contributor to a horror anthology, Sins of the Future, which should release on Halloween.
Then in early 2016 I hope to be releasing a picture book, Adana the Earth Dragon. I’m really excited about this one and am currently working with a talented illustrator who is bringing my little Adana to life.
Later in 2016 I will rerelease Argentum (P.A.W.S. 2) and at the very end of the year hope to bring out Maze of Shadows (P.A.W.S. 3).

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Author Interview – Dawn Chapman

Dawn Chapman

Director and writer at http://www.tskproductions.com

How would you describe your story in one sentence?

With their dying sun, and an ancient enemy in pursuit, the King of the Aonise fights to save his people from total annihilation.

What inspired you to write your story/characters/theme?

TSK first came to me in a dream. I wanted to write it out as a feature film at first, but after getting feedback from a couple of Internet sites. I met a great guy who said it would make an awesome TV series, so it followed that direction for a while.

Which authors have influenced you?

Melanie Rawn, Stephen King, Frank Herbert.

Which are your favorite literary genres?

Anything Epic Sci fi or Fantasy, but I do like Drama as well.

What makes a book/story special for you?

The characters, I love characters that are so true to life you could walk down the road and believe they’re right beside you.

Where do you live? Did your hometown/country/culture influence your story?

I’m from the UK, born and bred in a small village. I would say my upbringing really had an influence on my worlds. I was always out and about as a kid playing with others and imagining worlds and stories for us to enjoy.

How long you needed for writing this book/for your first draft/ for your revision/editing process?

It was a friend who said ‘why don’t you write before the TV series as a novel’ just before November 2012, (nanowrimo) and my brain started working. I wrote the 50k in that month as part of their challenge, but then I continued on and completed the first draft before my birthday on the 13th Dec, it came in at 84k.

Did you hire a cover artist/editor/proofreader?

I am very lucky because I already was involved with some amazing people due to my film background. A good friend and 3D artist was already working on characters from the TV series, and he offered to design the cover.

Yes, as a scriptwriter at heart, I hired in a Coach and Content Editor, EJ Runyon to help get the best out of the novel that I could. It then went through several reads, beta and beyond. Copy-editing was with Rogena Mitchell-Jones and then it went off to Heather Osborne for final proofing and formatting.

Final copy of TSK- Letháo came in at 102k.

What have you learned while writing and publishing? Did unexpected things happen?

Of course, there were lots of things that got in the way. From struggling to find an Editor that meshed well with the team and to sorting out formatting for a highly complicated book. The first cover wasn’t well received by my friends, so we went back to the drawing board so to speak and hired in a consultant. That took an extra amount of time and money, and did stall the release of the book. But, the final design was well worth waiting for. We are so pleased with it.

What helped you to get inspired and overcome hurdles along the writing of your book?

This has to be the constant support of the TSK Team. We ‘ve become like a small family. We’ve been together some of us for many years. Others joined more recent, but offered just as much comfort and help for each other in difficult times.

Without them and my real family and friends this might never have been as successful as it has ☺

What would you do differently on a next project?

Well TSK isn’t finished yet. There are several other novel’s planned, within the world. Written by myself and my co-writers. There are over 20 shorts planned for the website, with art and animation to boot. It’s all a go. TSK has a lot to offer and we’re using it to bring other creative people together ☺

Best piece (s) of advice for first time writers?

Join a few Internet writing sites, find writers who are similar in style genre and age and make lasting friendships. These are what count when it comes down to it. With people around you, you can accomplish anything and the ups and downs of writing and life in general are always better shared.

Practice every single day, set aside time everyday no matter what or how you’re feeling. If you don’t write, you’ll never learn the discipline it takes to get through from draft 1, to that final copy.

Where can readers contact you in the Internet? Do you have a blog/website?

We’ve quite an established unit of websites, blogs, twitter and Facebook. I’m sure I’m everywhere if you Google me.

Here’s my ‘small’ list ☺ for anyone who follows we’ll follow back and we love to interact or chat with other writers, feel free to message me anytime.

The Facebook and websites are running a few giveaways at the moment for the book release.

Websites –

Production Website – http://www.tskproductions.com/

Main TSK Website – http://www.thesecretking.com/

Twitter –

TSK Productions – https://twitter.com/ProductionsTSK

TSK Main – https://twitter.com/TeamSecretKing

Facebook –

TSK Productions Ltd  https://www.facebook.com/TSKProductionsLtd

The Secret King Fan Page – https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Secret-King/836723299691777

What are you planning to write/publish next?

As a team we’ve planning on publishing the Constructed Language Grammar and Dictionary – Lacria for the TSK World. Written and created by the very talented Trent Pehrson. His website can be found here – http://idrani.perastar.com/index.htm

Lethao Cover Art AMAZON

Author Interview – Pete Sutton

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Pete Sutton has a not so secret lair in the wilds of Fishponds, Bristol, UK and dreams up stories, many of which are about magpies. He’s had stuff published, online and in book form, and currently has a pile of words that one day may possibly be a novel. You can find him all over social media or worrying about events he’s organised at the Bristol Festival of Literature.

On Twitter he’s @suttope and his Bristol Book Blog is here: http://brsbkblog.blogspot.co.uk/ and his website here http://petewsutton.com/  He’s contributing editor of Far Horizons e-magazine which can be found here: https://farhorizonsmagazine.wordpress.com/

Questions:

How would you describe your story in one sentence?

Seven Deadly Swords is the story of a cursed crusader seeking redemption across several lifetimes

What inspired you to write your story/characters/theme?

Several things coalesced into the book – one of the major inspirations was the book “The Crusades through Arab eyes” by Amin Maalouf. That triggered me writing a roleplaying campaign set in the modern day, but with events of the first crusade very much a causative factor.  Later I created a comic with some of the same characters. This eventually became the novel. The resulting story is now incredibly different from either comic or rpg, but the first crusade is still a big part.

Which authors have influenced you?

Every single book I’ve ever read has influenced my writing. How could they not. As for major influences? Although my writing is not at all similar my literary heroes are Jorge Luis Borges, John Fowles, Jeff VanderMeer (Budding writers should check out his Wonderbook) and Douglas Adams (for his ideas more than his prose though I guess)

Which are your favorite literary genres?

Genre is a marketing term. I like good books. I like books of the imagination. I like history, architecture and technology. I like science. I read fiction and non-fiction. I like weird fiction.

What makes a book/story special for you?

It has to spark the imagination and allude to a larger world. A sense of ambiguity and openness is also important. I don’t like neat endings or pat answers, I don’t like things to be overexplained.

Where do you live? Did your hometown/country/culture influenced your story?

I live in Bristol, England. It does appear in the book and the book I’m currently writing, Sick City Syndrome, is totally set there. You are the sum of your experiences so it’s hard not to be influenced by the place you live. I think specifically though I probably wouldn’t be a writer if it wasn’t for Bristol Festival of Literature.

How long did it take you to write this book/for your first draft/ for your revision/editing process?

A little under a year from rough outline to beta reader version. It’s since been heavily revised and is currently out with agents – which may mean further revisions…

Did you hire a cover artist/editor/proofreader?

I’m looking at traditional publishing as it stands. That may change if no-one wants to buy it. It has been submitted to a publisher and several agents – will wait to see what happens there.

What have you learned while writing and publishing? Did unexpected things happened?

Phew, there’s quite a list. Seven Deadly Swords is the first novel I’ve ever attempted so everything about it has been a learning curve. How to develop characters, how to self-edit, how to seek & take critique, how to ditch things that aren’t working but keep things that are. How to create arcs. How to use description to support the plot and characters. Everything about writing a book really. Trying to get it published has taught me a lot about what agents do & how to approach them (I kind of did everything wrong the first set of agents I sent the MS to). I have a qualification in Publishing so I’m pretty up to speed with how that side of things works.

What helped you to get inspired and overcome hurdles along the writing of your book?

My partner was hugely supportive, the fact she believed in me made a big difference. Friends and family helped too. I also signed up to Clarion West Writeathon and that gave me the impetus to write the last 40,000 words. My writing group – the North Bristol Writers offered encouragement and critique too. Having beta readers say nice things about the book also helped.

What would you do differently on a next project?

On the book I’m currently writing I’ve outlined much less than the first book. I had strict word count targets for scenes and chapters in the first book (which fell by the wayside) and I’m trying to do things in a much closer third person POV with one main character in the second book. There are multiple POVs in Seven Deadly Swords.

Best piece (s) of advice for first time writers?

Learn the rules, then, if necessary, break them

Where can readers contact you in the internet? Do you have a blog/website?

I can be found all over social media – I tweet as @suttope, my book blog (where I alsointerview fellow writers) is here: http://brsbkblog.blogspot.co.uk/ and my website is here: http://petewsutton.com/

What are you planning to write/publish next?

As well as the second novel I have been working on a short story collection which I’m looking for a home for. I may self-publish that one, as finding a publisher for a short story collection is notoriously difficult unless you’re an established author.

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