Today on my blog I am welcoming A R Clinton into the Indie Spotlight:
A R Clinton writes epic, grimdark science fantasy (with an emphasis on the fantasy!). The first novel of her epic fantasy series, Song of Sundering, is available now, along with the prequel short story. She currently lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband, daughter, two puppies, and cat. Besides writing, she plays video games, powerlifts, enjoys the occasional Magic the Gathering game, and is currently binge watching through Netflix comedy specials.
The prequel short story is available for FREE here
Welcome to my blog today, Ashley.
What made you decide to publish your books independently? What was your path to publication?
I decided from the get go that I wanted to publish independently. I have some friends in an editing group that worked in the traditional publishing industry before branching out on their own, and they often spoke of how the benefits of trad publishing have diminished dramatically in the past 20 years. Even if authors do manage to find an agent and a manuscript gets purchased by a publisher, the author is still expected to do all the marketing and platform building that a self publisher would have to do. So, why do the same work for 70% less benefit? Is validation by an industry that publishes selfie books for profit worth that? I didn’t think so, so here I am
What made you decide to write in your specific genre rather than other genres? Have you ever written in other genres?
I found a love for speculative fiction and worlds later in my life and through gaming more than reading. I was in my late teens when I started gaming, starting my first foray into MMOs with Star Wars Galaxies (right after watching the movies for the first time since I was six), and I just fell in love with the big immersive worlds. I stuck to games (video, tabletop or MTG) for quite a while, then started reading science fiction and fantasy novels written in the worlds I played games in. From there I branched out into other writers in the science fiction and fantasy genres, occasionally dipping my toes into horror as well. I wrote a few novellas when I was younger—along with poetry. Some of which were published when I was between 12 and 18 in local publications where I lived in California at the time. I didn’t think much of it, but looking back now, I see that I have always had an interest in speculative science based stories as well as understanding human nature. My stories at the time tended to have these elements even though I had not read any science fiction or fantasy at the time.
Do you only read the genre that you write?
I grew up reading ‘classic’ literature. From the great American novels to greek and roman myths. I probably should have caught onto the fact that I like fantasy when my favorite books turned out to be ancient mythology based. As I got older, I picked up a lot of the ‘hot’ novels, but my passion for reading died off for about 8 years until I really embraced my nerdy side.
What are you currently reading? Watching on TV? Is there a type of music you listen to for inspiration?
I just finished reading Dune as part of my Amazon Book Club. I am debating between diving into some more of NK Jemisin’s work next or re-reading the Dark Tower. I am currently rewatching The Expanse and also gearing up to re-read the first 8 novels before the final novel is released. For music, I listen to either EDM or death metal, but when writing I typically listen to ‘epic’ soundtrack music like Two Steps From Hell or E.S. Posthumous.
Any advice for aspiring authors?
Finish what you start. If you lose interest in a story or it gets too hard, take the step back to figure out why you are feeling stuck. A lot of ‘writer’s block’ for me was due to writing a story that reflects something in real life that I hadn’t fully processed yet. Take the time and then get back at it. And when it’s done, find an editor that you click with and let them tear that thing apart. I learned so much working with my editor and if you intend to make a career out of writing, investing in a good editor is an investment in yourself. In a similar vein, find a community of writers that you respect and trust—and when you are ready for that editor, they can point you in the right direction to finding a good one.
What are you working on right now and what can we look forward to seeing from you next?
I am working simultaneously on the second and third book in the first Sunder trilogy. My first draft process is not at all linear, so jumping around to the ‘big’ moments in both books is my version of fleshing out my bare bones outline for the series. I have several short stories and novellas in the works (also in the same universe). All of my shorter works are available for free on my website once they are completed. Currently, the prequel short story to Song of Sundering is available on my website.
Thank you so much for visiting today and good luck with all of your projects!
Song of Sundering
An old war reignite. New magic emerges.
War advances toward Prin’s backyard, old knowledge of Source magic shatters, and the precarious hierarchy that keeps Prin stable is collapsing under the weight of refugees. While the leaders of Prin’s Topside play games for power, the Underground factions are ready to take as much blood as they need to win.Founded on the bones of a crashed generation ship, Prin is the only city that reclaimed some lost technology and built walls after the cataclysmic Sundering. Fortified by Terran knowledge and supported with Illaran magic (Source), the region thrived until the Xenai, a strange Source-wielding race, began to march from their home on the west coastlines to Prin.Ayna Shae races to save her beloved city from a series of resource and political threats. Controlling a new Source power is the best path to win the war, bring peace to the city, and keep her only child safe. But, does duty demand that she risk her Sourcemancer daughter’s life to discover the crystal’s secrets?
Heart of the Mountain
Betrayal leads to Purpose
The Xenai have always been united with a singular goal and a clear code. When the assassin Fiher is sent on a mission that reveals the true intentions of the Maharin Council, he must decide whether to continue on the path his kind have chosen or strike out on his own, where he will be exiled as an enemy to all living beings on Sunterra. Heart of the Mountain is the prequel short story to A. R. Clinton’s epic fantasy Sunder Series.
The prequel short story is also available for FREE here
Who is next on indie Spotlight?
John Gerard Fagan is a writer from Scotland and the author of the memoir Fish Town – a book about leaving everything behind for a new life in rural Japan. He writes in Scots, Scottish Gaelic, and English. For more information see Johngerardfagan.com and follow him on Twitter @JohnGerardFagan