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!