In your own words, please describe your book.
One of my reviewers said the book is like Princess Diaries meets Elfquest, and I like that description, but there’s one additional piece that that description is missing. I grew up in the Southern United States, see, and I have always cherished the spunk and little bits of attitude displayed by folks from there, and so I wrote that into the main character. So I’ll just append a little: it’s like Princess Diaries meets Elfquest meets Dukes of Hazzard.
Is this book part of a series?
It’s intended to be, yes. That said, one thing I’ve always cherished about good series (like the Dresden Files) and hated about bad ones is that good series don’t make you feel unfulfilled if you don’t read the next book in the series, or haven’t read the previous one. This is intended to be a standalone, and hopefully very enjoyable, story, that if you like it, will have more coming soon.
What was the inspiration behind your book?
Disney World. No, I’m not kidding. My wife and I were sitting at Disney World, exhausted from all of the running around, when we started talking about elves and how they might interact with humans, and then we talked about what magical creatures like elves might do if magic were a forbidden fruit. The story I came up with as a result of those discussions was so interesting that my wife threatened to beat me if I didn’t finish it.
What led you into writing? Was it a lifelong ambition, or the result of some type of turning point in your life?
Neither, really. I went to West Point, and like a good military cadet I studied physics and engineering. After I returned to civilian life, I went on for an MBA and then a PhD. Then I found myself a little bored waiting for committee feedback each time the dissertation was submitted (and there were bunches) and I had a story in my head (that became Cataclysm: Return of the Gods) and it just kind of came out.
So far, what has been the greatest moment in your writing career?
When my daughter came home from high school telling me that she’d run into a friend of hers who wanted her to read my book. There’s just no feeling quite like that.
Are you self-published or published through a small-press? Can you tell our readers what led up to that and your publishing experience?
I am currently entirely self-published, but that wasn’t always true. I started my writing career with eighty rejections, and then a friend of mine introduced me to her small publisher who was my first “yes.” I walked with my head in the clouds for quite some time, but then for business reasons that relationship fell through and I self-published as a result. I’ve been enjoying the freedom and the challenge ever since.
What are you working on now?
Right now I’m keeping myself very entertained by writing the second book in the Elf Queen series, and at the same time I’m honing my skills in the short story format. I have one that is going in for submission within the next couple of days, and another that is out currently.
In your own words, please tell us about yourself.
Eclectic, is one word. I’m one of the few Indie authors out there with an MBA, for one thing. I enjoy working with people, and at the same time I enjoy sitting here quietly hammering away at the keyboard. Thanks in part to the military, I’ve been all over the United States and some parts of Europe, and that just adds to my eclectic-ness.
What are some of your likes and dislikes?
I love fishing and camping. Obviously I enjoy writing, and I think that some day being able to do nothing but fishing and camping and writing would be awesome–at least, right up to the point where I want to dress up and go in to town for a night out. I dislike doing the same thing repetitively, which is part of the reason some of my stories are short–once I get bored writing about a part of the story, I don’t write about it any more. Oh, and eggplant. I dislike eggplant very much.
How can readers connect with you?
I cherish hearing from readers. They can mention me on Twitter: @skingcharter. Better, they can e-mail me at email@example.com, or post something to my Facebook page. My web site, http://TheOtherStephenKing.com, has an updated list of my contact info at all times.
Tell us one thing about yourself that we wouldn’t know?
I’ve always dreamed of being a jazz trumpeter. My parents were both music majors, and teachers, and I was threatened with disinheritance if I ever became either due to the low pay of both fields. Hence, I became a college dean and a writer. But I still have my trumpet, and some day I want to bust it out and run some serious jazz through it.
If there was one thing you could tell your readers, what would it be?
Be yourselves, enjoy life, and read fantasy.
I guess that’s three things. But hey, they’re all related.