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Adam Interviews... E.G. Stone!


The logo for Adam Interviews - with a hand holding a pen superimposed on an old-fashioned typewriter

It's Monday again, and that means it's time for you to put aside work and enjoy another interview with ana amazing author!


This morning, I have fantasist E.G. Stone. She is an independent author, editor, and linguist who has been writing, creating and causing vast amounts of trouble since a young age. When not writing, she is off musing about the workings of languages - both real and created - or drawing and sewing. E.G. reads voraciously, perhaps to the point of slight-insanity. Weird, nerdy, perhaps a little crazy, she is having a grand old time writing, reading, editing, musing on language, and, naturally, continuing her endeavours in causing trouble.




The author EG Stone - a woman with classes and shoulder-length curly hair, holding a book and wearing a fedora

And...


She's part of the Fantasy Box Set Storybundle that I'm putting together!

I gathered a bunch of authors, and we've all put in a BOX SET - MULTIPLE NOVELS AND NOVELLAS - for a bundle you can get, starting July 31!

You can check out the current bundle at www.storybundle.com - the rules are the same for every bundle. You can get ALL of the books in the bundle for $20 (or more, if you're so inclined). That's going to be such AMAZING value for you! But if that's a stretch - and let's face it, sometimes you need to prioritize. (I know, I know, gas over books? Heresy!) That's okay; for $5, you get four books. In this case, you'll get four collections, so you're already winning.

Over the next weeks, I'll be featuring authors who are part of the bundle, so you can be as excited about this as I am!


Now, enough about the bundle; let's talk writing!


Star Trek or Star Wars? Star Trek


DCU or MCU? Marvel


Firefly – gone too soon or overrated? Gone waaay too soon


Reboots – a great idea or a lack of creativity? That depends entirely on the writer/creator


A book you’re looking forward to release (by someone else)? Allegra Pescatore’s next book


A book that pleasantly surprised you? CN Rowan’s imPerfect Magic


Coffee, tea, or cacao? Tea!


Favorite hangover recovery recipe? Don’t drink, can’t get drunk


When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? I was about six and got into a car accident. I wrote a story about it and shared it with my class at school. At this point, I discovered that written words were the best way to communicate, and that was the end of it. Once I learned what words could do, I wanted to do that. And only that.


Where do you get your information or ideas for your books? My ideas come at the most inconvenient of times, primarily. Brushing my teeth? Huh, I wonder what would happen if I were to do x. Walking the dogs? Oh! I need to write a book about dragons. When I’m actually sitting and have access to pen and paper? Not so much on the new ideas.


What is your work schedule like when you’re writing? My mornings are all set aside for admin work. This is mostly marketing related. I will write newsletters, do social media, prep graphics for promos, that sort of thing. After lunch, I will sit and write. I try to get 1.6k words a day, which works out to a decent pace for writing my books. Sometimes I can do more, sometimes less, but it’s a decent average for me. Then, I’ll finish off any admin work I didn’t do. If I’m feeling particularly poorly or fatigued, then I’ll take a nap, but otherwise I try to write or work on a different project from my primary.


What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? My fondness for language in all its forms. Slang, purple prose, grammar. Ah, grammar! I am a linguist by trade, so I tend to put a lot of effort into the language of my books, and I tend to have very clean copy because of it.


When did you write your first book and how old were you? I wrote my first book in elementary school. I will not tell you any details except that it was bad, and borrowed heavily from Tolkien. Years later, I rewrote it and it wasn’t half bad. Not good, either, but not terrible.


What do you like to do when you’re not writing? I tend to read, sew, or hang out with my critters (two dogs, two cats, all monsters).


Is there a trope you find yourself going back to in multiple works? Or one you avoid? I don’t have any particular trope I gravitate towards in my own writing, at least not that I’m aware of; I just write what works for me. I do tend to focus on characters with disabilities or mental illness, and I’m always rooting for the underdog!


What does your family think of your writing? I don’t know, and I don’t care to know. It’s better that way.


The cover of On Behalf of Death - the Complete Series - a skull perched atop a black suit and white shirt, as if it's wearing the suit

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books? The most surprising thing I learned through this book-making process is that marketing is an essential skill for authors these days. I was shocked (and a little heartbroken) to learn that books don’t market themselves.


How many books have you written? Which is your favorite? I’ve written more than twenty-five books at this point, though not all of them are published or will ever be published. I intend to keep writing until I run out of ideas (pshhh) and am perfectly happy to simply lose track of the number of books. As to my favourite, I can’t say. They all speak with the words I needed to write at the time, and therefore are all my favourites.


Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they? Learn the craft thoroughly. It is relatively easy to publish a book these days (though marketing is always difficult), but there are so many bad books out there. As a book reviewer and editor, as well as author, I see a vast array of really poorly crafted books. The stories don’t inspire and the characters are flat. But that can be learned with practise and dedication. Marketing is important (necessary), but all the marketing in the world can’t change the quality of a book. There are many resources out there to help a writer learn, many of them free. That isn’t to say that your first book is necessarily going to be terrible, but you need to write a lot in order to improve, as with any skill in life. The more books you write, the better they will become.


Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say? Sometimes readers will reach out to me, and I love to hear from them, but I never deliberately ask what people think of my books. Just like I never read reviews. It’s lovely to hear that they loved my books, but I don’t particularly care about that sort of thing. I don’t write for the praise, I write for the sake of the story.


Do you like to create books for adults? All of my books are really for adults. I have written one YA book, but otherwise, everything is meant for a more mature audience.


What do you think makes a good story? Heart. A story can have all the twists and turns and dubious situations in the world, but if there is no heart, then it will fall flat for me every time. Always.


As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? An author. Hey, look, it worked!


What literary pilgrimages have you gone on? I went to the bookstore recently. Does that count?


What is the first book that made you cry? I don’t remember. It takes quite a bit for a book to make me cry, I will say that. I’m that stoic-faced individual where everyone else is weeping heavily.


What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry? There are many, but in my opinion the current issue is the use of Artificial Intelligence to create books. Not only is it taking readership away from legitimate authors, it’s trained on stolen works. I want AI to do my laundry, not write my books.


Does writing energize or exhaust you? That depends entirely on the day. I am disabled and deal with fatigue and other issues on a regular basis. A dramatic, deeply emotional scene can use up the last scrap of energy I have for the day. Alternately, it can give me the space to dance where I will unlikely ever dance again.


What are common traps for aspiring writers? You don’t need to spend money on all the fancy, schmancy tactics out there. A good cover is well worth the money. So is a decent editor. But all the book tours, the pr boxes, the conventions, those are all extras. Even adverts aren’t absolutely necessary, given that most marketing is done through social media, which is generally free. A bit of elbow grease will get you a lot further than thousands of dollars.


Does a big ego help or hurt writers? That depends entirely on whether the ego matches the skill.


What is your writing Kryptonite? My writing kryptonite is my health; if I haven’t got the energy to write that scene, it isn’t going to get written for a bit, no matter how much I want to write.


Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym? Yes, I did.


Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want? I try to write the stories that I think need telling. A character with selective mutism? A character that’s physically disabled? A character with autism, or one who deals with PTSD or depression or trauma? Those are the stories that speak to me, and so those are the ones I write. If they’re original, great! If not, then that’s perfectly fine, too. My readers will find me.


Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly? Yes. I have flat emotions most of the time, but when I feel, they are just as real even if they’re not deep. It is just a matter of writing your experience, not trying to pretend you’re something else.


What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer? I am friends with many authors, and they help me with my writing by giving me a push when I need it, and by sharing their own words and experiences with me.


Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you building a body of work with connections between each book? Some of my books are standalones, but I primarily write in series. Most of my series do not connect with each other, which is perfectly acceptable.


Who shot first, Han or Greedo? Han, probably.


If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be? Keep writing. Do your research, figure out the marketing thing, but above everything else, keep writing.


How did publishing your first book change your process of writing? I learned that marketing is the hardest part in publishing, and that paying money for people to do the marketing rarely pays off. It’s something that I need to do myself, and that changes the way my writing schedule pans out, but it’s worth it in the end to publish more slowly and market more thoroughly.


What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? Cover design, without a doubt. Covers are hugely important.


The cover of Silent is the Sword, a sword pointing down in the center, shading to black on the left and white on the right, with wings behind it (black to left, white to right), and surrounded by ivy on a pale blue background

What authors did you dislike at first but grew into? Alas, none that I can think of. Usually if I don’t like an author, it’s for very good reason. Even books that I’ve revisited later, I will often dislike it for the exact same reason. Emily Bronte, I’m looking at you.


What did you do with your first advance? Advance? Pah! I’m self-published, there is no advance.


What was an early experience where you learned that language had power? Reading Tolkien basically confirmed that for me. In fact, it made such an impact that I went on to study linguistics as well as write books.


What are the most important magazines for writers to subscribe to? That is entirely personal preference, and I subscribe to none since the advice is always changing and can often be found online for free.


What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel? I don’t know about underappreciated, given that most novels are appreciated by somebody or they wouldn’t appear out in the world, but I’m currently quite fond of the Temeraire series by Naomi Novik.


How do you balance making demands on the reader with taking care of the reader? If the reader doesn’t care for my book, then they’re probably not the right audience. I know enough about storycraft and language to write a good book, and if the direction I chose or the tropes or characters or what have you isn’t to their tastes, then it’s probably just not the story for that reader. I’m not offended by this. I know people like different things. My readers usually seek out my books for a reason.


Do you write novels, novellas, short stories, episodic fiction, poems, screenplays, or something else? What is your preferred format? I write novels, primarily. I have dabbled in other forms, but novels are my favourite.


Are you traditionally or self published? Or both? Do you feel there are advantages to one over the other? I am self-published and I will likely continue to be so. Traditional publishing has advantages in terms of reach, but self-publishing can do nearly as much and our royalties are generally better.


What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your characters, if anything? Owe? My characters are fictional, and if someone sees themselves in that character, it’s entirely coincidence. Seriously.


How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have? Far more than I’d care to admit.


What is the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything? 42


What does literary success look like to you? Being able to continue living a quiet life focused on writing books.


What’s the best way to market your books? With great difficulty and persistence.


What do you have coming next?  On Behalf of Death: The Complete Series is coming out on the 25th of June of 2024, and is a 10.5 book complete collection of my urban fantasy series. And on the 13th of August of 2024, I have the first book in my new epic fantasy series coming out. It’s called Silent is the Sword and I have no idea how many books will be in the series yet. There’s quite a bit of drama I have to work out. After that? I have a new reader magnet I’m working on as well as an entirely new series, because why not?


The cover of On Behalf of Death - the Complete Series - a skull perched atop a black suit and white shirt, as if it's wearing the suit

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