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Q & A with Scott James Magner

Today I welcome Scott James Magner to the blog. He’s a “writer, editor, designer, developer, and world builder” who has worked on everything from science fiction novels to card games to radio ads. In between all that, he found time to answer a few questions. Read on:

Neve: Scott, you’ve written science fiction novels, novellas, serials, magazine pieces, text/stories for video games and table-top games… Have I missed anything? Where do you recommend readers start in getting to know your work?
Scott James Magner: Card games, miniatures games, legal briefs, web sites, white papers, radio advertisements…just about anything I can get paid for, really. I describe myself as a marketing hack to students, when asked what kind of writing I do. Novelist is far too romantic a notion, and one I believe should be beaten out of English majors early on while their hearts are still unbroken. The stuff I wrote just out of school makes me cringe today, as does stuff I wrote 10 years ago, 5 years ago, and last year.
As to where to begin, www.scottjamesmagner.com is the home of all things me.
N: So what is a Bhagwan (the name of your website)?
SJM: A very long story indeed, and one I don’t tell that often. It started as a mistake of sorts, and turned into an alternate identity that I may never shake. The easiest way to explain it is to say that some folks understand satire, and others live it. I’ll leave it to the readers to determine which one I am.
N: How did signing with 47North come about?
SJM: Technically I never signed with 47North, but I can speak to the spirit of the question.
My friend and frequent publisher Mark Teppo was looking to flesh out the universe of the Mongoliad(known collectively as the Foreworld Saga, and hosted online at www.foreworld.com) with novellas featuring different stories than they could tell in the pages of the main plot. At this point, only two volumes of the Mongoliadwere out, which meant there was a lot of uncharted space on the map.
At a party one night, we discovered that we’d done a lot of the same linguistic research on medieval Europe, which led to him asking for a few writing samples. Specifically, fight scenes, which I was happy to provide. (In fact, the samples I sent him are a big part of my serial project, Seasons of Truth (http://www.bhagwanx.com/writer/buy-my-books/seasons-of-truth/)
After we’d determined working together was a good idea, we sat down over enchiladas and margaritas and found a corner of the Foreworld for me to develop, that in fact had strong links to characters in the main plot itself! I signed on to the overall sidequest project, and the rest is alternate history!
N: We both have stories set in Pompeii of 79 AD, though very different ones. What drew you to that setting?

SJM: The idea for Blood and Ashes (http://www.bhagwanx.com/writer/buy-my-books/blood-and-ashes/) hit me as soon as I realized that writing Foreworld stories in the ancient world was even possible. I roughed out a treatment soon after finishing Hearts of Iron.
The original story was more or less what you see in the book today, but as I started writing I realized how much more could be done with the characters and setting. Given my druthers, I could easily add another 50-60K words to the book and start an epic adventure series. But part of playing in someone else’s sandbox is respecting boundaries, and I’m very happy with the book we turned out.
N: What is your typical day like? Where do you get your best writing done — home, coffeehouse, other?
SJM: I can write just about anywhere, but the real creative times happen when I’m in my own chair in front of my own computer. At the time of this writing, I’m in-between paying gigs, so a typical day involves breakfast, and maybe lunch as scheduled activities. I write when I have a story in my head, no matter where I am at the time. Luckily, I’ve got a lot of stories waiting to be told.
N: Do you outline in advance or are you the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of writer?
SJM: I’m an outliner. I see stories in my head, start to finish, and know a lot of the important elements before I even start writing. So when I start a project, I get them all down on one piece of paper and then promptly ignore it in favor of getting the words out. I usually end up with something approximating what I wanted to do, and then I write it again. And again, as many times as necessary to get it sold.
N: Favorite quote about writing?
SJM: Hand’s down, it’s Dorothy Parker:

“If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.”

N: Just because I’m curious about how other authors function — do you read your Amazon and Goodreads reviews?
SJM: As they come in. I want to know what worked or didn’t with my readers, so that my next project will be better. Not for them, but for me. And I’m hoping to get a whole bunch more in the next month or so, to make my next book really shine.
N: E-books or paper ones?

SJM: Yes. There is no real difference between the two in terms of content, just experience. As I type this I am surrounded on four sides by many thousands of books (I am , in fact, at home, in only one of 6 rooms so adorned), and I still read and collect physical copies.
For me, reading a paper book is an experience worth savoring. Even though I read very fast, the act of selecting a book, finding a place to sit, and then reading it to the end is time dedicated completely to myself. But my e-readers (kindle, tablet, phone, portable computer) allow me to access content anywhere, any time, and in whatever window I have available to me.
Both formats allow me to live in someone else’s world, but one weighs a lot less and packs easier when travelling.
N: Finally, what are you working on now?
SJM: Besides finding a job? I’m continuing my marketing efforts for Seasons of Truth (tell all your friends!), and ramping up for the release (both hardcover and electronic) of my science fiction novel Homefront in November. I also have a novella outlined for later this year, have another novella planned for early 2015, and a science fiction novel that I wrote last year which failed to find a home. I plan to add another 50K words to the front end (which would replace some 15K of those already written) of that book and shop it around again later this year.
Or, I’ll write whatever somebody pays me for. I’m good like that.

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Meet 47North Author Melissa F. Olson

Today I welcome fellow 47North author Melissa F. Olson to the blog! Melissa writes urban fantasy — her short story Sell-By Date, an introduction to her Scarlett Bernard series, releases today. Read on:


Neve: Tell me about your books, Melissa – what drew you to writing an urban fantasy series?

Melissa: I’ve been an urban fantasy reader since I was twenty-three and my baby sister first passed me a copy of Rob Thurman’s Nightlife. As I was beginning to write, however, I told myself that I would never write in this, the genre I love the most, unless I could think of an idea that I hadn’t seen before. I went on my merry way, writing mysteries, and then it happened: I had the idea. I came up with the concept of a null, a person who can negate magic within a given space around her. I hadn’t seen it before, and I started to get very excited, and things took off from there.

N: How did signing with 47North come about? 

M: I did try to get published the “traditional” way first – I had an agent who shopped DeadSpots around to everyone, and everyone gave me one of two answers: either they loved the book but the UF market was too saturated, or they loved the book but it would require some development editing, and they just didn’t have time to put that much work in a new author just then. I was considering publishing DeadSpots myself when my agent had one last meeting– with 47North. 


N: Do you outline your books in advance or are you the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of writer?

M: The first three books I wrote were all fly-by novels: I started out knowing the first chapter, the basic arc, and usually the last scene. It turns out, however, that stupid editors like having these things called outlines in advance so they know what to expect from your book. The nerve! Now that I’m published I’ve been trying really hard to do the outline work in advance – but small things always end up changing along the way. 

N: How about this winter we’ve just had, conducive to writing or what? Speaking of which, where do you get your best writing done — home, coffeehouse, other?

M: I write best in a quiet building away from my children, which usually means a coffee shop. Sometimes my babysitter takes the girls on adventures and I get to write in the privacy of my own home, but mostly it’s coffee shops, libraries, etc. This winter was a tough one for having to get in the car and go somewhere, but I’d rather it was me than my little kids.

N: Favorite quote from one of your own books? 

M: Ordinarily I would agonize over the question, but there’s one line that I’ve had to fight three different copyeditors to keep, so I’ll pick that one. From Hunter’s Trail (Sept 2): 

The second time there was no mistaking it: a long, deadly-sweet howl that was snatched up by the wind and braided through the tree line.


N: I saw that you lived in California for a while, same here. Everyone talks about the lovely California climate but really, it’s the food, isn’t it?


M: OMG YES. I’ve taken two trips back to LA since I moved back to the Midwest, and both times it was pretty much Melissa’s Culinary Tour of the City. Although after this winter, it’s definitely also the climate. Every time I looked out my window and saw two feet of snow, I wracked my brain trying to remember why I ever moved back to the tundra.

N: Just because I’m curious about how other authors function — do you read your Amazon and Goodreads reviews?

M: Nope, not really. I don’t do anything with the Goodreads reviews, but I keep an eye on the number of Amazon reviews, and when a new one comes in I look at the rating. I might read it if it’s four or five stars, but I general stay away. When I get a great review, I feel pleased for three minutes and then forget about it. When I get a terrible review (and thankfully, there haven’t been many) it haunts me for days like my own personal rain cloud. I’m a classic middle child that way.

N. Best thing about the writing life? Worst?

M: The best thing is getting to build my lifestyle however I want. Wait, no, the best part is not having a regular boss. Tie for first.

The worst thing is that my job is always with me – there’s no going to an office to work, then leaving the office and leaving work behind. Instead I wind up stuffing writing time in the nooks and crannies of my life, or stuffing my life in the nooks and crannies that I’m not writing. It’s exhausting. Everyone tells me it’ll get better when both my kids are in school, so right now I’m just trying to hang on that long.

N: E-books or paper ones?

M: I’m about 70-30 in favor of print books right now. I read a lot of library books or get my books used, both of which favor print. I also usually try to own at least one print book by all the authors I really love, so if I ever meet them I can get it signed. That said, I buy books for my Kindle fairly often.

N: Finally, what are you working on now?

M: You know, I just wrote a blog about current projects so I’m going to be lazy and link you.

****
Melissa Olson was born and raised in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, and studied film and literature at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. After graduation, and a brief stint bouncing around the Hollywood studio system, Melissa proved too broke for LA and moved to Madison, WI, where she eventually acquired a master’s degree from UW-Milwaukee, a husband, a mortgage, a teaching gig, two kids, and two comically oversized dogs, not at all in that order. To learn more about Melissa and her work, visit www.MelissaFOlson.com, www.Facebook.com/MelissaFOlson, and www.Twitter.com/MelissaFOlson.

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Guest Post by Jeff Wheeler: Here There Be Dragons

The great 47North blog swap of 2013 continues! I’m on Jeff Wheeler’s blog today (talking about History’s Mysteries, or where to look for the story) and he is here to tell us how maps help shape his books. Read on:

There is something essential about having a map in a fantasy world. Back during medieval times, a cartographer would reach the edge of their known world and often draw a picture of a dragon or a sea serpent with the label, “Here There Be Dragons”—meaning, in short, “I have no idea what’s over here.”

I write fantasy fiction and maps have always intrigued me and are a key part of my writing process. Just as the story evolves, so do the maps as I continue to build the world and explore new areas. Let me illustrate how this works using the world of Landmoor as an example.




First off, I am not an artist. Sometimes I sketch my maps on my computer and sometimes I sketch it by hand. There needs to be a mix of mountains, forests, valleys, and rivers. There are little stories behind each of the countries and places and how their history fits into the general plot. I like to keep the borders of my worlds rather vague, suggesting that there are places that have not been discovered yet; where the dragons live, so to speak. It gives me flexibility as an author to continue building the world.

When I was writing my novels Landmoor and Silverkin, I was lucky to have a digital artist friend, Reuben Fox, who took my pathetic rendering and transformed it into the lush map you see above. But the maps always start out as black and white in my head or on the page.

Another question I get asked is how I choose all the place names. This is part of the creative process that I really enjoy and I rarely have trouble coming up with new names. I have a notebook where I write down different character and place names when the flashes of inspiration strike and I often consult that list to pick and choose. I also study maps of this world to be inspired by countries, cities, rivers, and mountains that exist today. But in each of my worlds, there are usually a few key locations which are part of the storyline, the pivot around which the plot rotates.

Take Landmoor—for example. When I was first creating that world, the plot centered around a small fortified town near the edge of a swamp and close to the sea—kind of like a medieval New Orleans. That was the first location I crafted in the world. A moor is a swamp. I stuck the name “land” to it and liked how it looked on paper (I was fourteen when I first imagined that story). I’m always combining words and testing out how they fit together. As the plot of the world began to develop, I realized that there were three different political powers struggling for control over the valley between the two mountain ranges. Because the valley has limited ground, it caused military and political tensions between them. Landmoor became a crossroads for this conflict and provided a place where the tensions intersected and flared up. Add a secret magic hidden in the swamps, some powerful sorcerers manipulating the kingdoms, and soon you have a situation ripe with tension and conflict in which to plop the main character, the son of an eminent trading family who longs to escape his social class and explore the kingdoms outside his stifling cultural expectations.

Now, even though maps are so important to me, I’ve often been asked why I didn’t include one in the world of the Muirwood Trilogy. I do have maps of this world and use them for reference, but I did not include any with the novels deliberately. You see, in Landmoor the main character, Thealos, comes from a trading family and he knows the world he grew up in. He’s familiar with the borders and the politics. In Muirwood, the main character is a kitchen servant who only knows the grounds of Muirwood Abbey where she was abandoned as a baby. As she leaves that world, she is completely lost in a vast world full of locations and politics she knows nothing about. Readers explore the world through Lia’s eyes and there is no looking ahead, trying to use the map to predict the plot or where she may end up. In the first book, she explores the land around her beloved Abbey. In the second book, she gets to see more the kingdom she lives in. In the third book, she leaves her kingdom and travels to another. I left the reader blind on purpose.

One of the neatest things about creating a new fantasy world is that I don’t determine everything in advance. I use a general map as a framework for where the action will happen. But often as the characters wander around a bit, I weave in elements from my own personal travels or places I wish to travel someday.

Let me go back to Muirwood for a moment. I knew the main character, Lia, was a scullion abandoned at an Abbey kitchen. I began searching Google for medieval kitchens to help inspire me. I found a striking image of the Abbot’s kitchen at Glastonbury Abbey in England. I even went so far as to e-mail the groundskeeper and ask for pictures from the inside, which he generously e-mailed to me. On the Abbey’s website, I found an image of the grounds:

On that map, I discovered delightful details, like the Cider Orchard which played a prominent role in the story. This was the beginning of the world. Then I hunted down an ancient map of Glastonbury and the environment around and that research led to other opportunities for topography, climate, and story ideas. Before I had crafted the first chapters, exploring this map inspired many of the scenes that would later happen.

World-building doesn’t happen all at once. While mine begins with a map and a general understanding of the plot and characters and how they will mesh together, I explore the world with my characters leading the way and invent the things that need to be filled in.

Currently, I’m writing the last book of the Mirrowen Trilogy. Yes, it also started with a hand-sketched map. On the northern edge of the map is a scribbled area known as The Scourgelands. For the first two books of the series, I’ve hinted at how dangerous and perilous it is. Now I’ve dragged my characters into the midst of it and am trying to make the journey fit the hype. It’s a land of nightmares and forgotten magic. I can’t wait to drag my readers there next. Perhaps I should post a sign outside that reads, “Here There Be Dragons.”



****

Jeff Wheeler (@muirwoodwheeler) is a writer from 7-10PM on Wednesday nights. The rest of the time, he works for Intel Corporation, is a husband and the father of five kids, and a leader in his local church. He lives in Rocklin, California. When he isn’t listening to books during his commute, he is dreaming up new stories to write.
More information about how he became a writer is found on his website:
http://www.jeff-wheeler.com/
Facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/muirwoodwheeler
You can find out more about Jeff’s books on his Amazon page

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A Conversation with Anne Charnock

Today I chat with Anne Charnock, author of A Calculated Life, a Dystopian vision of corporate life in 21st century, which releases this week. We conversed about her switch from journalism to fiction and the ups and downs of the writing life.
Without further ado:

Neve:  Anne, congrats on your debut novel — I’m looking forward to reading it! What prompted the switch from science journalism to science fiction? Was fiction writing something you had always wanted to try, or did you wake up one morning with the idea for A Calculated Life and it took off from there?
Anne:Thanks! … In my journalism days I didn’t think I could make the leap to fiction. I thought the discipline of writing news and features – to an exact number of column inches – would make my writing too tight for fiction. But I took a break from journalism and studied fine art for several years during which time I was asking the question, What is it to be human? My studio tutor nudged me into writing a short story. I realized – my thunderbolt moment – that I should try to answer my question by writing a novel. That’s when I started writing A Calculated Life.
I studied environmental sciences when I left school – a good generalist starting point for journalism. But you are a proper scientist, Neve. Tell me more about that and how that specialist knowledge fed into your writing.
Neve: I started my career as a research engineer before switching to fiction writing. Both are creative endeavors, but in science fiction you don’t have to stick to the rules of this universe. You can be as inventive as you like! 
I had to learn to ignore that inner voice which I developed in my graduate studies, the one that kept bringing up issues like Shouldn’t Felix (the main character in Regarding Ducks) need to use the bathroom? Isn’t he hungry? How does he know anything for sure? Science is built on a rock-solid foundation, brick by brick, but fiction isn’t like that. You get to do more hand-waving. 
Nowadays, the copyediting stage of things, when you’re proofreading and double-checking what you’ve written, is the part of publishing a book that I probably enjoy the least. I think I revert to my engineer self and worry I’ll discover a big flaw or something.
Anne:I agree with you on the copyediting. It’s the final checks on punctuation that I find frustrating. You know those little issues like: should this question mark be in italics? Punctuation and grammar are pretty standard for business reports, formal letters and so on. It’s not so fixed when you’re writing fiction – interior monologue, for example – but you still have to be consistent.
The part I enjoy the most is when I’m in the midst of writing a story, when I’m not sure where it’s going, when I’m happy to go with the flow. And I particularly like writing dialogue. I think that’s partly because I lived in a noisy household as a child – four brothers, a sister, and five cousins living next door. There were so much bantering going on, lots of interrupted speech!
How about you Neve? With your third novel nearing completion, you must know what kind of writing comes easiest to you.
Neve: It’s dialogue writing for me as well. That’s the part that flows the easiest, where you get to know your characters. In terms of the writing process as a whole, from blank page to publication, the part I enjoy the most is when you have that first draft done and it’s starting to look like a book… and now you get to sit down with a red pen in hand and make it a stronger book. It’s when the story finally comes together. Do you find that as well, Anne, that it’s not until the very end that you figure out what the story has been about? Or are you a more organized writer than I am and work from a detailed outline? It seems like that would be faster.
Anne: Yes, I have to admit that during the first draft there are difficult times when I feel like I’m pulling my own teeth out. I like the process of refinement, which takes place as you know, Neve, on many levels – improving each sentence, adding scenes, scrapping a character. Brutal stuff. Moving a scene is more problematic because it has a ripple effect through the manuscript. I changed my opening scene twice. I didn’t delete those earlier opening scenes – I moved them.
I certainly don’t outline. But once I have the first draft, I try to be strategic in working out how to clarify my themes by the addition of new sections or by modifying passages of dialogue. That’s good fun and, of course, at that stage I’m not thinking about marketing the book.
In the UK, it has been difficult for women science fiction writers to get publishing contracts in recent years. So it was a huge relief when a US publisher, 47North, approached me. What’s the situation in the US? Do women SF writers feel they’re increasingly out of the loop?
Neve: I hadn’t heard that about UK publishers, that’s maddening. Personally, I never got to be rejected by publishers — I couldn’t get past the agent gatekeepers! The feedback I got from agents about Regarding Ducks (when I got feedback) was that they thought it was well-written and interesting… and too experimental to pitch to publishers. So I, too, was glad when Amazon Publishing found me (through the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest). Did you send your manuscript to agents or publishers at all, Anne, or did you go straight to self-publishing? How did you make that decision?
As to whether women SF writers in the US feel left out of the loop, I suppose I’m out of the loop by definition: I spend most of my time at my desk, have been to only two conferences (neither SF), and am not a member of Science Fiction Writers’ Association. You hear and read things, of course. I think it’s great that nowadays we have more paths open to us as writers than we used to.   
Anne: With my novel released this week, I’m planning to stay at my desk, too. I’ll follow your example. It’s time to pick up the pace with my story writing! However, I will go to some conferences next year – I always go to the Hay Literature Festival on the English/Welsh border and I’ll blog about various author events as I did this year. But before Hay, I’ll be going to Norwescon in Seattle, which I’m already excited about.
I did try the traditional publishing route, Neve, without success. I received positive feedback from several agents (and one publisher that I approached direct) but no one signed me up. I knew that publishing houses were starting to pick up self-published titles and that made sense – the market had already tested those titles! So I took the plunge. It involved a humungous amount of work, and as an indie-author I had to find ways to become visible! So I used my journalism experience to start a blog and that’s been a fab spin-off because I love posting. And I also blog for The Huffington Post. From now, I have to get the balance right between blogging and writing fiction.
So, agents found your work too experimental. Would you like to expand on that? And tell me more about the sequel you’re writing.
Neve:  I am glad you found a route that worked for you, Anne! Are you working on a new book these days?
As for my own stuff, I didn’t feel it was too experimental (for all I know, maybe that was just a polite way for agents to turn down representation). In any case, I have to say I’m glad to be past that stage and can now focus just on the writing. Well, other than obsessing about reviews, sales numbers, my Amazon rank, and so on… The sequel to The Far Time Incident has just gone through its copyedit — only 5 months to go before publication!  
Anne: I’m writing short stories at the moment because I want to try out a few ideas without committing to a full novel. But I expect I’ll start the next  novel soon. I can feel the itch to get started on a big project. Any advice for a debut novelist about to start on the second novel?
Neve: I’d say what I’ve found tricky is time management, especially with a series. You’re doing publicity and marketing for the first book while writing the next one and coming up with ideas for the one after that. It’s a lot of balls to have up in the air.
Good luck with the book launch this week, Anne, and good to talk to you!
Anne: Thanks! Let’s hope we can meet up sometime – maybe at Norwescon. We do have to come out our caves occasionally!

Anne’s writing career began in journalism. Her articles appeared in The GuardianNew ScientistInternational Herald Tribune, and Geographical. She travelled widely as a foreign correspondent and spent a year trekking through Egypt, Sudan, and Kenya. Anne is an active blogger and contributes reviews and book recommendations to the Huffington Post. She splits her time between London and Chester and, whenever possible, she and her husband, Garry, take off in their little campervan to southern Europe, and as far as the Anti-Atlas Mountains in southern Morocco. To find out more about Anne and her books, follow these links:


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Meet Fellow 47North Author Steve McHugh!

Today I interview fellow 47North author Steve McHugh. Steve writes fantasy, lives in England, and self-published his first two books before they were picked up by 47North. Read on:

Q: Tell me about your books, Steve – what drew you to writing a dark urban fantasy series?



A: My books are Crimes Against Magic and Born of Hatred, the first 2 books in the Hellequin Chronicles. They’re about the life of Nathan (Nate) Garrett, a 1600 year old sorcerer who used to work for Merlin. Each book has flashbacks to a time in his past, which connects with his current story in some way.

I’ve always been drawn to dark fantasy of one kind or another, and when the Hellequin books started to take shape, I knew that was genre they’d be in. I couldn’t have characters from mythology, murder, mayhem and an entire part of the world hidden from human view, without it being on the dark side. 

Q: How did signing with 47North come about?

A: It happened pretty quickly. I had an email from them in Feb asking if they could talk to me about us working together, and then a phone call the next day to discuss everything. A week later they offered me a 3 book deal to republish my first 2 books and then publish my 3rd next year. I’ve been working with them since then.

Q: What will change in the books for the 47North re-release?

A: There are a few changes, things to make the story flow better or make a character a little more interesting. In a way these are my director’s cuts.

Q: Where do you get your best writing done — home, coffeehouse, other?

A: My office is at home, so I get most of my work done there, usually when my 3 daughters are in bed. Otherwise I get harassed constantly or have to settle some dispute or another.

Q: Do you outline your books in advance or are you the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of writer?

A: Somewhere in the middle. I know the beginning and end and I’ve got a pretty good idea what happens between the two, but I don’t map out every chapter. I tend to have an idea of where I want the end of the chapter to be and then I see what happens. If I mapped everything out in advance, I’d only change it all anyway.

Q: Favorite quote from one of your own books?

A: I’ve got a few favourites, but they spoil the plot somewhat, so my favourite non-spoiler is in Born of Hatred. It’s between Nate and Olivia, an agent for Avalon.

Olivia forced a smile. “You really are not what I’d expected.”

“I’m an enigma wrapped inside a riddle, all bundled in something quite wonderful.”

“It’s nice to see you have a healthy opinion of yourself.”


“It’s a burden I live with every day.”


Q: Just because I’m curious about how other authors function — do you read your Amazon and Goodreads reviews?

A: I try not to because once in a while you’ll get a bad one that’s either nasty, or you really disagree with and you’ll feel crappy. So, I tend to stay away from reading reviews too often. I pop over every once in a while and see how they’re going, but I try not to make a habit of it.

Q: Best thing about the writing life? Worst thing?

A: The best thing is seeing your idea crafted before you, having it come to life. But also, having people who have enjoyed your work tell you so. That’s an amazing experience.

The worst? Deadlines. Deadlines suck. Especially when you get 3 or 4 in a very short period of time. And when that deadline is editing based, it sucks even more.

Q: E-books or paper ones?

A: E-books. These days I don’t have the room for shelves full of books, mostly because my shelves are already full of books. That’s not to say I don’t read paper books any more, but I’m more likely to pick up an e-book.

Q: Finally, what are you working on now?

A: I’m currently working on book 4 of the Hellequin Chronicles, Prison of Hope, and a novella, Infamous Reign, which takes place in the same world as the Hellequin books.


You can find out more about Steve and his books on FacebookTwitter, and his website, http://stevejmchugh.wordpress.com/.