Sunday Surprise


And it’s another author from the bundle! We’re back to the U.S. of A.! And we have the same aim (quit that DayJob) and the same weaknesses (marketing hell…)! And he does write a lot! 🙂 And I love his covers! 😀 Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Joseph Robert Lewis!

Where do you live and write from?

Maryland, USA

Why do you write?

I love all sorts of art, from drawing and music to woodworking and landscaping. But the only one I seem to be any good at is writing. But beyond that, I really love how easily writing allows me to explore all sorts of people and places and ideas, real or imagined, all using the exact same old laptop and comfy chair. My hope is that my writing will make my readers happy, just genuinely happy, whether that means being entertaining and funny, or letting them explore different types of characters and plots that are less mainstream.

When did you start writing?

I first started wanting to write a novel in high school, and I continued to want to write a novel through college, but I didn’t actually weld 100,000 words together until sometime in my early 20s. But since then, I’ve learned to write more consistently and to complete books in much less than two decades.

What genre(s) do you write?

Science fiction and fantasy.

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

Right now, my selfish writing goal is to be successful enough that I can quit my day-job and write fulltime. It’s challenging to write several novels each year just in the narrow span of free time between a fulltime job, raising two daughters, romancing my fiancé, staying in shape, and taking care of the house. And the cats. So, in addition to trying to write great stories that readers will love, I’m also trying to learn more about marketing. So far, all I’ve really learned is that I don’t particularly like marketing, and that I’m not particularly good at marketing.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

Write. Finish. Publish. The tricky thing about any skill is that you really only get better through practice, which is fine for tying shoelaces or making hummus, or any other activity that only takes a minute or two. But when the activity takes several weeks or months to complete just one attempt, the idea that writing a whole novel is “just practice” can be a little disheartening. But it’s true. You can’t spend forever trying to write the one perfect novel, because you’ll never succeed and you’ll never get any better. You just have to keep writing, finishing, and publishing, and trying to learn from your mistakes along the way so the next one can be a little better.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Over time, I have come to embrace outlines as completely necessary. After spending months researching ideas and kicking ideas, I eventually reach a point where I think I have all the pieces for a good story, and then I have to sketch out a chapter-by-chapter outline with as much detail as possible. That way when I sit down to write, after a long day at the office and a long evening of checking homework, making dinner, and cleaning the house, I will know exactly what I want to write next and quickly get into a writing headspace. Regarding speed, all I can say is that I’ve released about two millions words and two dozen books in about six years, so make of that what you will.

Tell us more about your book in the bundle

Elf Saga: Doomsday is the first book in my Elf Saga series. It’s your basic epic fantasy, sword-and-sorcery tale of knights and dragons, but with a little twist. All of the main characters are women from different nations and cultures, it’s written with completely modern language and dialog, and it’s funny. Can I say that about my own book? The reviews all say that, so I’m going to say it too. It’s funny. So if you like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or Supernatural, or Archer, then you will probably like Elf Saga.

Tell us about your latest book (add link if published)

My latest book is “Elf Saga: Solarpunk”, which is the fourth and final book in the Elf Saga series. Each book in the series is set 33 years after the previous one, so this one is 100 years after the first one, Doomsday. Solarpunk takes place in a more modern era, with gunslinging elves who watch movies about dragons. The heroines find themselves confronting a massive ecological crisis involving spirit creatures from beyond the stars, metal-eating insects, and plagues that bring together alchemists, shamans, musicians, and mermaids on a strange quest not to save their world, but to transform it. Plus, it’s funny.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

My new project is a science fiction series full of aliens, spaceships, cyborgs, and dinosaurs! I’m writing it as an old-fashioned serial, which I’ll start releasing soon, maybe once a month, and then I’ll have larger story arcs bundled together into larger volumes as well. Inspirations include Farscape… yeah, mostly just Farscape. But also the Transformers comics, the Legacy of Kain games, the Black Sails show, and a lot of other random titles!

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Find Joseph online

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