Interview with Hayden Pearton

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. I also spent copious amounts of time in St. Francis Bay, about an hour away, where our holiday house was located. Due to there not being much to do (especially in St. Francis Bay, which has a geriatric population and the feel of a retirement village for most young people) i spent a lot of time in my own head, creating stories and acting out fantasies. I would walk across the beach and pretend i was a character in a story, complete with dialogue and actions (leading to some of the neighbors commenting on my 'ballet'). When in Port Elizabeth, i would have these same daydreams while walking home from school, or while playing for hours with my LEGO. All in all, boredom led to creativity, and i am thankful for having such a blank canvas of a life on which i could paint so many stories.
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing at the age of age seven, although the subject matter was understandably childish. I came up with a screenplay for a Rugrats movie (the TV show was insanely popular when i was a kid) and was determined to write it. Sadly, my attention drifted elsewhere before i got past page one, and the world was denied the story of the seven year old millionaire.
How do you approach cover design?
I wanted something that represented the story well, while still capturing the inherent mystery. I wanted something unique and striking, something that would cause a reader to stop and stare. Naturally, i had to peruse hundreds of images online until i found one that met these criteria. I then purchased the rights to the image and used Canva (a cover design website) to get the look just right.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1. The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett
2. The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
3. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
4. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
5. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

All five of these books acted as portals into entirely new worlds. All five showcased an unprecedented creativity and writing ability which inspired hundreds if not thousands of new authors. And all five taught me the joys of storytelling, which ultimately led to my first novel. It is my hope that someday my book and name will be placed on a list just like this one, and that i will have brought that same joy and sense of discovery to someone else.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I generally use either my iPhone X or my Kindle Fire HD.
Describe your desk
I work on a large wooden desk upon which i have my computer screen (32 inch flat screen), my PS3, my PS4 (for leisure time) and various peripheral devices (keyboard, mouse etc). I generally like to keep my desk clear of clutter, as i find it helps to reduce distractions (PS3/4 notwithstanding).
What's the story behind your latest book?
When i was in Grade 10 (Sophomore year) i went to live in Shreveport, Louisiana, for two years. This was due to my father being sent there as part of his work. During my return to South Africa, i was traveling with my mother. On the night of the flight back, i found myself having the most vivid dream, and upon waking up, it was as if someone had inserted a key into my mind and unlocked all the stories locked within. I immediately started writing down story elements (such as the post-apocalyptic setting, the over-polluted world and the use of cryostasis to avoid destruction) on my trust iPhone and within a month i had planned out my first series (The Chronicles of New Eden, then known as the New Eden Chronicles).
What motivated you to become an indie author?
When i first started writing, i dreamed of emailing Penguin Publishing House and being accepted by them. However, as i grew older i began to understand what my dream was flawed. Apart from living in South Africa, where both the literacy rate and the general interest in reading is low, i did not like that fact that my publisher would take up to 90% of my hard earned profits. I wanted complete control over my book, without it having to be changed in order to appeal to the current literary trends or marketed in a misleading manner.

Indie publishing offered me everything that traditional publishing did not: the control over my book, its editing and marketing, as well as providing a platform to reach readers from around the world without having to worry about printing costs of supplying bookstores.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing is taking the story i have in my mind and translating that onto paper, so that it may live and be read by others. I feel that the saddest thing in writing is that so many great stories will never see the light of day, either due to writers abandoning their unfinished works or never having the courage to start them.
What do your fans mean to you?
If i ever garner any fans, i will treat them with the admiration and respect they deserve. They have taken the time and effort to read my book, which is no small feat. I will see them as kindred spirits, men and women who delight in discovering new worlds and opening their minds to the unknown.
What are you working on next?
I am currently in the process of writing Be Good, a standalone fantasy novel. I will keep everyone updated regularly on my progress, and hope to publish it as soon as it is ready.
Published 2018-03-22.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Be Good
Price: Free! Words: 65,120. Language: English (South African dialect). Published: June 24, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
For ten years, Attacus Lore has trained to become a Prion of the Church of the Priarch. With his training now complete, he must now undertake his Holy Order. Some are asked to start farms, others are told to journey to distant lands. Attacus, however, is told to Kill the King. Unfortunately for him, the King is also his brother...
Autophobia
Series: The Metrophobia Collection. Price: Free! Words: 5,230. Language: English. Published: April 24, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Themes & motifs, Fiction » Poetry » Themes & motifs
Arthur Reed is a painter, a father, a husband, and a friend. However, ever since a traumatic incident in his childhood, he has suffered from Autophobia, the fear of being alone. Follow his life story in 30 poems, from an rocky childhood to a difficult adulthood, as he experiences the full range of life; from lost loves and failing marriages to runaway children and soul-destroying nursing homes.
Sunrise Sapling
Series: The Chronicles of New Eden. Price: Free! Words: 143,880. Language: English (South African dialect). Published: March 23, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(5.00 from 1 review)
Humanity lies on the brink of extinction. Six months since humanity was prematurely unfrozen, food supplies are running out. If nothing is done, a hundred million people will die. Barsch La Tergan, humanity's champion, must leave the safety of Genesis Station 13 in search of a miracle. He will face madness, murderous re-mechs and more. But remember, no matter what happens, The Seed must be Saved.
Koinophobia
Series: The Metrophobia Collection. Price: Free! Words: 12,500. Language: English. Published: September 24, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Themes & motifs, Fiction » Poetry » Spiritual
Are you afraid of living an ordinary life? Are you tired of the same old boring poetry? Are you tired of generic and forgettable poems? Are you tired of being a passive reader? How about a poem written in Morse code? Or back to front? Or in invisible ink? Koinophobia is full of poems like these and more. Decode the mysteries within and discover the future of poetry. Try it. You won't regret it.
Awakening
Series: The Chronicles of New Eden. Price: Free! Words: 316,560. Language: English. Published: February 24, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
Awakening tells the story of Barsch, Alza, Kingston and Maloch, four incredible individuals brought together by unusual circumstances. They will cross deserts, escape exploding cities and face dangerous madmen in order to discover truth. Pasts will be revealed, personalities will be twisted and minds will be broken. Humanity might not survive their failure, or their success...