And we're back with our final installment of 2022!
That's right, we're ending the year with the interview with Seth Hobbs!
Hello! My name is Seth Hobbs-- Author, musician, gamer, educator, husband, and father. I am the author of the Sendyne Empire series that is currently ongoing. I love to follow geopolitics and I am a lover of History. I like to read, write, grill out, play pool, and I love playing Battlefield, etc. Films are another passion of mine, and I am a comedian who shouldn't quit his day job! I enjoy residing with my family in the wonderful Tar Heel state.
Star Trek or Star Wars? Star Wars
Firefly – gone too soon or overrated? GONE TOO SOON! Loved this show as a teenager. So much fun!
Reboots – a great idea or a lack of creativity? Done WAY too often now. Some are fantastic, but it needs to be timely. You shouldn’t be rebooting something that was already awesome and just came out in the last 20-30 years.
1)When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? As a kid, I started writing and drawing my own books, trying to imitate cool history books or comics that I saw. I think I started at 4 years old.
2)Where do you get your information or ideas for your books? I draw off of history and real world events, conspiracies, conflicts, and my imagination. Then I try to write what I know in other places, using real life experiences, failures, worries, and ideas that come up in real dialogue.
3)What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? I get this weird thing where music pops in my head, from the Elder Scrolls, Last of the Mohicans, Game of Thrones, or something I invent. Then, I will just be sitting there at night, watching TV or something, and I start jotting a bunch of ideas on paper that I want to fit into my books somewhere, so that I don’t forget!
4)What do you like to do when you’re not writing? I play guitar, read, shoot pool, play xbox(I love Battlefield!), teach, watch movies, and enjoy my wife and kids.
5)How many books have you written? Which is your favorite? Several, but they were short, and I lost most of them over the years. I have published one book, and Book 2 is coming out by the end of 2022.
6)Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they? Put yourself in the role of the good AND bad people, because very few people think of themselves as evil or one-dimensional in real life. Write interesting characters and don’t be afraid to explore their causes and reasoning. Take notes on lots of ideas throughout the day that can be used later. Use humor and daily life events and dialogue that happen to you and translate to the setting or period in your books. People like relating to things like this.
7)Do you like to create books for adults? Yes, my books are aimed at an adult audience. I think many teens could read them, but it is certainly aimed at a more mature audience. There are themes of brutal warfare, abuse, rape, strong language, racial/cultural issues, murder, political intrigue, and sexual encounters– though I find my work to be quite tame compared to many other authors with tough content. I don’t write anything that doesn’t further the plot or explain something that needs to be there.
8)What do you think makes a good story? I think you need some realism, even in a sci-fi or fantasy world, to get people to accept that suspension of disbelief. I think too many people are making books or movies by committee, so to speak, trying to check off boxes that will please everyone. They also try to take our current values and styles and plaster them over a world or a time period that doesn’t make sense. You can write great characters that are diverse, without being hamfisted and anachronistic, or utterly silly. I also think people need to write more nuanced characters that are up to the reader to interpret for themselves. Along with that, you need a problem that must be solved, and you need some failures along with successes for your characters. Your character shouldn’t be defeating everyone in 5 seconds and having no regrets to look back on or learn from. Modern books/movies have an 80 lbs protagonist throwing UFC fighters out of windows and landing cars on top of trains from a 1,000 foot drop, and nothing goes wrong. This is boring and utterly ridiculous–unless there is some divine or magical intervention– and even that must be used within the context/rules of that universe– not just pulled out every 5 seconds.
9)What is the first book that made you cry? I don’t know if I cried, but I definitely got emotional reading “For Whom the Bell Tolls” by Hemingway in 9th grade. The love between Robert and Maria being cut short really touched me at a time when I was just trying to figure out girls and relationships myself. I would read it and lay on the floor, listening to music, trying to figure out my own life between chapters.
10)Does writing energize or exhaust you? Writing energizes me! I think many authors would agree that it is the marketing and publishing side that exhausts you so much. Writing is fun. Trying to get your book out to people who will actually take a chance on it is exhausting. It is like having 2 full time jobs.
11)Does a big ego help or hurt writers? I think it helps in many ways. If you don’t love yourself, no one else will. You have to just jump into things sometimes, confident in your style, imagination, approach, and skill. However, you have to know when to give your ego a break, and actually listen to constructive criticism so that you can go back and fix problems. No one likes someone who is ALWAYS right about everything, and never reflects and improves their work.
12)What is your writing Kryptonite? Not enough time in a day. With a newborn baby at home, a teenager, a full time job, and other family obligations, there just isn’t enough time to write all the things I want, read the things I want to, and then relax with a beer or snack. Fitting everything in is tough, and limits my ability to focus at times.
13)Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly? Yes, but I don’t think you will be a great FICTION writer. You have to understand the feelings and motivations of lots of people.
14)Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you building a body of work with connections between each book? I am working on the Sendyne Empire Series right now. I finished Book 1, and Book 2 is coming out in December of 2022 most likely. It started as a stand-alone book I wrote when I was young, but now I have an entire universe I am expanding with the series. I already have ideas for Book 3.
15)What do you have coming next? “A Sword of the Three Rivers” is out now. “Four Puppet Kings & a Fool” is coming in the next couple of months. “Plutocracy of the Gods” will be the third book, likely wrapping up the “Sendyne Empire” Trilogy, unless I turn it into a longer series of sequels or prequels.