Please welcome fantasy author Scott Appleton today for an interview!
NA: Welcome! What drew you to write Christian fantasy?
SA: I always loved to read and write and, when I was growing up being homeschooled, I fell in love with Pilgrim's Progress and Greek mythology. I never read fantasy, per se, but I enjoyed an imaginative tale, particularly one which conveyed a lesson through the story. Christian fantasy is, I have found, the best venue for my creativity. It allows me to dream up a world, populate it with fascinating creatures and characters, and form a story that matters to me.
NA: What is unique in Swords of the Six and Offspring compared to other fantasy?
SA: A great deal of the fantasy on the market feels generic to me. We know as we read that this hero/or heroin cannot die because the author would not be able to continue the story without them. However, my stories try to mirror real life. Some of the characters in my series must die. The odds just weigh against them.
I also didn't want to 're-name' God. I have criticized other authors for making the worldview in their stories inconsistent with the God of the Bible, and I don't want to make that same mistake. Therefore, God is either referred to as the Creator or as God.
My worlds are a blend of ancient days when prophets guided the people of God, frontier America, and old world/or medieval era, with myths and legends.
NA: That certainly makes the books different. As you look back on writing them, what challenged you the most, and how did you get through it?
SA: The greatest challenge is the scope of the books. There will be seven in this series, with a follow up series of five books, as well as offshoot novels I'm working on. Keeping everything consistent requires patience and variety, such as both writing out and sketching scenes/or characters.
NA: Which character was the hardest to write? And which was the easiest?
SA: I think the characters are pretty easy to write. None of them stand out as being harder or easier. When I create a character I first make sure that I, as the author, enjoy writing them. If I do then the job of writing their scenes becomes far easier than if I were to force myself into the head of a character I do not care for, or care less for.
NA: If you could be any character in your books, who would it be?
SA: Hmm, I guess I'd have to say Stalwart. But technically he doesn't enter the picture until book seven in The Sword of the Dragon series, so I can't say more.
NA: Was it hard to create and/or describe the creatures in your books? They seemed very vivid.
SA: I enjoy creating original creatures. I sit down and piece together elements or features that I find fascinating, sketch out a beast, and once it solidifies in my mind with a name, I roll with it! Book two, Offspring, is coming out July 15th of this year and it has one such creature called a Megatrath. I think my readers will enjoy this new creature in particular.
NA: I can’t wait! Can you tell us three things about yourself we readers may not know?
SA: I love to travel and meet new people, see new places. I need to be left alone when I write. I am an amateur astronomer.
NA: Can you give us any news on the future of the series?
SA: The Sword of the Dragon series has book two Offspring (coming out July 15, 2011) and I am finishing up book three The Key of Living Fire (which will release beginning of 2012). There will also be an offshoot novel that I would like to see released this Fall, tentatively titled The It'ren on Eiderveis River (which will probably be a Flaming Pen Press release). After that I will work on the final four books in The Sword of the Dragon series through AMG Publishers. I'm also working on Starmist, a sci-fi political thriller that I'd like to find a separate publisher for.
NA: Do you have future book plans or ideas?
SA: The Sword of the Dragon series will keep me busy for a while, but afterward I will have a four/or five book series in the same story-world called The Death Knight Chronicles. Someday I would like to write a novel on Moses, and I have preliminary material for a historical fiction that I'm very excited about titled The Angel and the Prophet. And I have a short fiction for children that I wrote years ago and will eventually publish.
NA: Do you have any advice to those wanting to write fantasy?
SA: Write to glorify God, keep the worldview accurate. And study how to write from those who have been published by traditional houses. By books on the writing craft, editing, and publishing; educate yourself on the process so you won't be scammed and you'll know what to look for.
NA: It's been great to have you! Do you have any final words for our readers?
SA: I hope you will all read Swords of the Six and keep a lookout for the sequels. The story has only begun and I can't wait to reveal the mysteries that lie ahead! Thank you, Noah, for your in-depth questions. This was a fun interview.
Buy Swords of the Six and Offspring
Check out Mr. Appleton's website and his blog!