Into the Book: What helped you take your first steps in writing? If there was one particular thing that really inspired you to become an author, what would it be?
Scott Appleton: My mother was an avid reader. Growing up, she and I went to as many library sales as possible, picking up a variety of books but primarily history and the juvenile mystery series. I have loved to read and write as long as I can remember, but I was particularly inspired by The Pilgrim's Progress. I fell in love with that allegory, the way John Bunyan wove dark themes with moments of exceedingly bright hope. Besides that, my parents both encouraged me to pursue my dreams and let nothing discourage me from attaining them and putting my all into them.
ITB: If you’re having trouble coming up with any new creative ideas, or if you aren’t at all motivated to work on a project you’ve started, what do you do to get inspired?
SA: I never seem to have trouble coming up with creative ideas. They pop into my head all of the time and I have trouble jotting down all of them before they slip my mind. But I find that if I don't read enough non-fiction, my fiction writing suffers.
ITB: How many books are planned to be in ‘The Sword of the Dragon’ Series? Does the third release conclude the story?
SA: There will be seven The Sword of the Dragon novels, so the answer is no! The story will not conclude in the third novel. However, book three, Key of Living Fire, does conclude a story arc that began in Swords of the Six. Originally, when AMG Publishers offered me a three book contract I wanted to have a story arc that would conclude in the third novel. Just in case they decided not to give me a contract for the remaining novels. But this week I spoke to my publisher at the International Christian Retail Show and they said they are definitely giving me another contract. After just three months Swords of the Six is already their third best-selling novel!
ITB: Flaming Pen Press is a small publishing company you have opened for starting authors. What led to the creation of Flaming Pen Press?
SA: I was told I would be receiving a book contract but the publishing house backed out at the last moment. Through researching publishing, writing, and editing, as well as business I decided to start a company of my own to release my novel. It was my hope to sell my book past its first thousand copies in order to attract the attention of a major publisher. In the first year I sold over three thousand copies and AMG Publishers offered me a contract. Afterward I simply continued with the concept. Our next success was Kestrel's Midnight Song.
ITB: What advice would you like to give to any aspiring or beginning authors?
SA: Research, research, research! Too many aspiring authors approach publishers or published authors without the knowledge necessary to land contracts. Read books on editing, publishing, and marketing. And, for beginning authors, market your book tirelessly! If your book is going to be a success it is you that will make that happen. This is key to acquiring future contracts.
Thank you so much Scott for agreeing to this interview. In the meantime, everyone, remember that there is still a giveaway out there, and you can enter to win Scott Appleton's first book, Swords of the Six. Follow this link to read the rules and enter to WIN!