Banner for Julnowrimo book!

Thanks pillsburydoughgirl! 🙂

JulNoWriMo just around the corner…

What is JulNoWriMo? Its almost exactly like National Novel Writing Month, but in July! Exciting huh? If your interested, just pay a visit to http://julnowrimo.com/  . To sign up, just click “Forums” on the left side of the webpage and register. If you sign-up, good luck! 🙂

Interview with writer Scott Appleton!

I’ve had the privilege to interview author Scott Appleton of the phenomenal novel Swords of the Six (look to the book review) ! I hope you enjoy the interview!

JS: Thanks Mr. Appleton for letting me interview you! How have things been lately?

SA: Please restate the question… I do not understand what you are asking.

JS: Sorry. 🙂 How’s writing going? Have you read any good books lately?

SA: I am currently writing my third novel in The Sword of the Dragon series. It is titled The Key of Living Fire and will release from AMG Publishers in 2012. For the summer I’m working nights at a factory to keep income coming in until the Fall, but I’m hoping to have that novel finished in the Fall. I’m also working on a science-fiction political-thriller tentatively titled Starmist. I’m very excited about both of these projects.

As to my personal reading, I’ve been pre-reading Bryan Davis’s upcoming book Masters and Slayers. It is thoroughly enjoyable. I always read several books simultaneously and currently I’m also reading Taking Back Astronomy, Von Braun (a biography on the German rocket scientist), and Starlighter.

JS: Congrats on the book deal ! 🙂 What kind of factory? I don’t think working at one is a bad thing. Reminds me of what Stephen King talked about in On Writing, he said to always have a job when you write ’cause you never know when your next check from writing comes in…..

How do you balance work and writing? What secular or Christian book is your favorite?

SA: Unlike Stephen King I think having a job other than writing is detrimental. Currently I’m packing chips at Frito Lay but I find (and have always found it to be true) that I have a one-track-mind. Multi-tasking has never been my strong suit. I’ll only be working there for the summer because this Fall my publishing company Flaming Pen Press is releasing another novel, Kestrel’s Midnight Song. I will be focusing on selling that book to bring in income and in November promoting my novel Swords of the Six through AMG Publishers.

Balancing writing and the hourly job? Well, I don’t get much time for writing. When I am writing full-time I can average 2,000-words per day, but currently I’m lucky to get in 1,000-words per week.

Favorite questions are not easy for me. I have a wide range of favorites. However, even though this may sound predictable, I’d have to say the KJV Bible. I love old English works (I’m a huge fan of Pilgrim’s Progress). In my first novel there is a traitor named Kesla and I drew on the biblical account of King Saul as inspiration for Kesla’s end . . .. Actually I read mostly non-fiction and derive most of my inspiration for my writings from that, rather than fiction. I’ve created a fantasy land inspired by frontier America, medieval Europe, and lost cultures.

JS: Do you plot before you write, or do you just dive into the unknown?

SA: This is a bit of a tricky question. My series The Sword of the Dragon I’ve already written in omniscient point of view. However, I am making additions to the story as I turn the seven portions of that original manuscript into novels. So, I did plot it out, but not really! I’m not a seat-of-the-pants writer, but I enjoy taking detours in order to explore the characters and the world I’ve created

JS: Whats the best book about writing you’ve read?

SA: That one’s easy: Self-editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Brown and Dave King.

JS: Ok, here’s the final question. I always ask this question, because my readers always request it. What piece of advice would you give an aspiring author?

SA: Accept professional criticism as an opportunity to grow. Research writing, publishing, and editing. Too often I have been approached by aspiring authors who are looking to take shortcuts to publication. The road to publication is long, requiring the utmost dedication and perseverance–and along the difficult journey great writers are forged!

JS: Thanks Mr. Appleton for your time, and the sage advice!

SA: No problem! Thank you for the interview. I look forward to reading it!

Thank you for reading! Lets give a round of applause for Mr. Appleton *wooot*! Be sure to find Swords of the Six from your favorite bookstore or favorite book website, and be sure to add a review. God bless!

Imaro by Charles Saunders REVIEW

Premise

Imaro is a bastard child, his mother leaves him with her tribe , and he fights to gain acceptance. He leaves eventually, to find his place among different people. But supernatural forces will interfere.

Review

Tired of European style heroic fantasy? Look no further than Imaro by Charles Saunders. Instead of a European style setting, it takes place in an African style setting. Exciting right? Saunders was inspired by Africa, and the many African myths, and has used them to make an entirely new and exotic locale for his tales. It’ll change your mind about the Sword & Sorcery genre forever.

Imaro is not just a barbarian: he is a human, not another invincible Achilles we see so much of in fantasy nowadays.

Like all S&S stories, you won’t be surprised by blood , swordplay, and power mad sorcerers. And don’t forget femme fatales.

There are no lulls in the plot, it’ll keep you interested until the end. Recommended for fans of Robert E. Howard, Michael Moorcock, Homer, and Fritz Lieber.

I give Imaro 3 1/2  stars out of 5!

Swords of the Six by Scott Appleton REVIEW

Premise

The great Dragon Prophet’s choicest warriors have turned their back on him, choosing the side of evil and slaying innocents. Now, a thousand years later, the blades are rusty from feeding on blood of innocent men. The Dragon Prophet senses evil is back, so he makes children, who are of dragon blood, but are in human form, to purify the swords and bring justice to the traitors.

Review

Want a good christian fantasy? This book is exactly that. Appleton’s book shows great examples of self-sacrifice, honor, fighting temptation, and true love. A great break from heroes with wanton sexual desires, and slaying everything that moves for just the sake of bloodshed.

The heroes don’t fight back, unless they are attacked first. There is blood and guts as you’d find in the Bible, but it’s not a blood soaked hack n’ slash romp.

There is no “good” magic as you’d see in Harry Potter or LOTR, the magic is evil. The good guys in contrast have “gifts” from God.

Religion wise, the religion is a lot like Christianity, unlike usual polytheistic fare you normally see in fantasy novels today. And of course there is an evil Dark-lord you’d usually see in fantasy.

Even though the book is considered Christian, the characters are not without their faults. Like in the Bible, Moses and the whole lot of Biblical characters had problems with temptation. But always in the end, the main characters find the error of their ways, and are punished in some way, like in life.

Every once in a while in the book, it’s kind of slow, but keep reading, because it’ll suck you back in, and you will probably finish it in a day or two.

Overall this book is an amazing book by a first-time writer, I’d recommend it to you in a heartbeat! Kudos to the author! I give it 5 stars out of 5!

NOTE: Be on the lookout for a new edition of the book , because it has been picked up by AMG Publishers! And be on the lookout for an upcoming interview with the author! 🙂

2010 Summer Reads

Looking for some great books to read this summer? Here are my picks:

(Note: Not all of the books listed are Sci-fi or Fantasy. )

  1. Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind
  2. Swords of the Six by Scott Appleton
  3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  4. The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  5. The Bloody Crown of Conan by Robert E. Howard
  6. Prince of the Blood by Raymond E. Feist
  7. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
  8. The Door Within by Wayne Thomas Batson
  9. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  10. Elric saga by Michael MoorcockFeel free to comment your recommendations!