Interview with S.J. Magill

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The joy of writing for me is in putting the crazy scenarios - that I daydream - onto paper and making them real. I spend a lot of my day thinking about wizards, knights, and other fantasy-type things. Some ideas I like, but then forget about them completely, but if I write them down, they can exist forever. Some of the ideas are just little snippets of a story, and go nowhere, but some take on a life of their own. Take The Werechicken for example: that started existence as a thought - 'what if one of these superhero movies/books/comics started off with a person discovering their superpower, but then that superpower was rubbish. That would be funny.' So I wrote it down, as a funny little short story, but then it just kept going and going. I love my character, Frank, and I keep thinking of new ways to torture him.
What do your fans mean to you?
I greatly appreciate that someone has taken the time to read my work - as an unknown author - because when it comes to unknown authors, people are taking a chance. There is no-longer anything stopping a person from publishing their own writing, which means that of course, there will be some total rubbish out there. Reading a book takes many hours, and books aren't free. Every time someone starts a book they're making a time investment into the book. I believe most readers would rather read someone with a track-record, or someone who has the backing of a major publishing house, rather than take a chance on an indie author who might be writing complete garbage. I'm thankful that there are people out there who give my work a chance, and end up being glad that they did.
What are you working on next?
A few things:

The sequels to The Werechicken. They're being written in tandem, and I'm about 100k words deep. So it's going well. They will probably be released at the same time. So watch out in 2045 for The Vampire Horse and Technically a Dragon.

I'm also working on a brand new series of novellas, set in the same universe as all my other works, under the series name: The Hammer. It's written from the perspective of a former soldier, who is now a cantankerous old man, who is explaining war to his grandson, and how what he learns in history class is a skewed version of what happens. It's my musing about the phrase 'history is written by the winners.'

I also have a couple of other ideas that I want to flesh out eventually, but the above are my main projects.

I'm keen to flesh out my Terra universe. It occurs to me that a lot of the time in fantasy, there is a tendency to say 'men are like this, elves are like this, and dwarves are like this,' but that strikes me as being superficial nonsense. I like telling stories that transcend the stereotypes. I know that sounds deep, so just to ensure that no-one mistakes me for a writer of literature, I thrown in plenty of arse jokes along the way.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favourite authors, whose books I can't help but devour, are Douglas Adams, and George RR Martin.

Adams had a way of making just about every sentence funny, while also telling interesting stories.

Martin, while not JUST as funny as Adams, also has a style that draws in readers. While his writing is good, I think it's more Martin's subject matter. The scenario is naturally compelling: rich families who all want to kill one another, but also fuck each other. All the classic stories are along these lines: from Romeo and Juliet, to the fucking Kardashians.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The threat of unemployment. Plus my boss is a terrifying man. So money and fear really.

Although I wish I could write for a living, I wonder if being my own boss is such a good idea. I do like myself a lot, and I think I would give myself a lot of leeway. Maybe even sexually harass myself occasionally.

If I ever was to go out on my own, I would probably need to bring in my current boss as a kind of consultant to yell at me when I'm being lazy. I think he'd be up for that tbh.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Working, climbing, snowboarding, watching movies, listening to music, cooking, eating, drinking, and recently: shooting.

I like to try and squeeze everything in that I possibly can.
What do you read for pleasure?
I like fantasy and sic-fi. If there's comedy involved that's a bonus. Things that provide a bit of escapism.
Describe your desk
A nice sturdy pair of femur bones, coated in meat and wrapped in denim.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Scotland.

I don't think it's influenced my writing too much.

Maybe it's influenced my love of fantasy. We have lots of mountains and nonsense, much like Lord of the Rings.
When did you first start writing?
I've always been interested in it. It was my favourite part of English class.

I made a few attempts at writing serious stories, only to find out I'm bad at that. Writing comedy is my forte, which took me a little while to work out, but now that I've worked it out, the writing is going much more smoothly.
Superman or Batman?
Batman, definitely Batman.

Superman is a bit too goody-goody. Batman solves mysteries, then beats the crap out of people - he's a complicated man, which I like. Plus he's rich, which appeals to me.
Published 2014-03-10.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Alchemist and the Wizard
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 12,620. Language: English. Published: October 4, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
An alchemist formulates a plan to drive out of town a flash wizard who has been upstaging him.
BookWorm
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 28,430. Language: English. Published: August 9, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
Worm, a former lawyer turned demon, must return to university to re-earn his law degree. The law has changed in the 200 years since he was last in practice, but before he can even think about sitting his exams he must overcome the more pertinent problem of having no money to pay his tuition.
Worm
Price: Free! Words: 2,170. Language: English. Published: March 30, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Courtroom
(4.75)
A student, in an act of desperation, calls on a demon of questionable competence for assistance.
Licking Walls in the Dark
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 30,300. Language: English. Published: March 22, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General, Fiction » Adventure » General
(5.00)
Pon, a miner dwarf, makes a huge discovery that may earn him his freedom from a life of servitude underground. Matters are complicated when Pon learns a secret about dwarf society that he could be killed for knowing.
The Werechicken
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 98,960. Language: English. Published: March 9, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
(5.00)
A hapless young man discovers that he has the ability to turn himself into a chicken. He is not thrilled about his newfound supernatural ability, but an odd coincidence forces him into partnership with a young, but powerful and beautiful, wizardess who is bent on revenge against the wizard who murdered her mentor.