Interview with Skye Lansing

What motivated you to become an indie author?
I was already writing and had recently gotten a lot of work done on a serial story that was mostly just something to fill my spare time. When I shared what I had it got a lot of praise, so I decided that perhaps I should seriously consider publishing it. Around that time ebooks were just starting to take off, and I never had much interest in traditional publishing. Becoming an indie author just seemed like the logical move.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Honestly I think it is just the desire to keep pushing ahead. I've tried to just drift along and it really isn't that satisfying. I find it much more fulfilling to have something I want to work on and being ready to dive in every day. It isn't always fun to do the work, but the satisfaction after is well worth it.
What is your writing process?
Originally I just kind of wrote by the seat of my pants. I still do for short projects, however I've been learning how useful a well structured outline can be and have been trying to rely on those more to keep my stories on track.

I also have these things I call "story boxes" which are basically a place where I can put any images or documents I think will be good references while doing research. Often I start these boxes long before the actual project, and just gradually put things inside until I think there is enough to write the story. At that point I go through everything I've collected and try to organize it.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I have no clue, however the first one I remember was a thing I worked on when I was in middle school. At the time I was going through a phase where I wanted to write just like my favorite authors, so the attempt pretty much just copied their ideas. That was actually a theme with me around that time.

The first completely original thing I wrote probably came about in high school. Around that time I started carrying around a notebook that I would write in, generally in the high fantasy genre I enjoyed at the time.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Probably the ability to get the stories I imagine out into the world where I can share them. Sometimes it seems like I'm constantly imagining new settings or characters, and they seem to come alive in my mind. Sometimes I wonder if I simply never grew out of playing make believe.

It is also amazing to go back over a story when editing and find all sorts of themes or potential plot points that you didn't even realize you were putting in. If you've never experienced this, it feels half like inspiration and half like the story itself has taken on a life of its own.
How do you approach cover design?
Personally I think cover design should be trusted the artist, however it is vital to go in with an idea and pick someone you think will be able to do the idea justice. You need to make sure the artist knows what you are looking for and what genre the book will be in. It might also be prudent to let them know the overall mood of the book. At that point it is best to step back and trust the artist's aesthetic style as much as possible.

That is a lot harder than it sounds.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I have a number of things I do to take up time. The least productive is probably just watching videos on YouTube. I also make it a point to read fairly regularly, although I have to be careful because if I find a book I really like I pretty much drop everything until I've finished plowing through it. This can be quite a problem when I've found a new series that I enjoy.

I'm also a fan of video games, though as I've gotten older my tastes have become more specific. Games with a creative and exploration element are high on my list, as are games that let me explore a historical setting. While on the topic of games, I'm also a fan of chess and study it casually. I find the patterns and ideas that show up in chess games to be simply beautiful.
What do you read for pleasure?
It really depends on my mood and interests at the time. Sometimes I like things that are rooted in historical events or alternate histories. I enjoy fantasy, though in general not traditional high fantasy. I'm also a fan of science fiction, especially hardish sci-fi.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I've had a Kindle ever since the 2nd Generation of the device. Lately I got one of the newer Paperwhites and I love it.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1) "Name of the Wind": Probably the first book I ever read that just blew me away on every level. It is probably the closest you can get to writing a perfect book in my opinion.
2) "Armor": Probably the first book I ever read that has an overall bleak tone. It made me fall in love with darker sci-fi.
3) "The Last Unicorn": Without a doubt the first book to affect me on a deeply emotional level.
4) "The Black Cauldron": Not because the book is good (although it is!), but because I first stumbled across it when I was 7 or 8 and tried to read it. Obviously it was too advanced for me, but I never let it go and once I was 12 or so I made a point to read it.
5) "Ender's Game": This was the first book that I really loved when I was growing up.
Published 2016-02-01.
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Books by This Author

By Duty Bound
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 126,350. Language: English. Published: September 2, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
As the Wolf Clan’s civil war continues, those loyal to the Hayashi Family must face new trials. The plan to contain their adversaries—the Hitomi Family—in Kyoudai Pass is working; however, new threats from unexpected quarters have put them in a precarious position, and their foes have not been idle.
In Honor's Shadow
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 92,280. Language: English. Published: February 16, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
What use is honor without victory? The Wolf Clan stands divided amid a bitter civil war. For years the noble Hayashi Family has struggled to wrest control of the clan from their rivals, the Hitomi, but one disastrous battle has exhausted their power. Now now two members of the clan, Shiro and Hayashi Seiko, must decide what role they shall play in the upcoming conflict.