Interview with Anthony St. Clair

Who are your favorite authors?
Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Tom Robbins and Douglas Adams. I will probably re-read every Pratchett book 5 times before I die. Anything from Gaiman gets gobbled up uberfast... and then gobbled again. At the moment I'm tucked in to the Kindle Singles interview with Tom Robbins, and I can hardly wait for his new book to come out.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My love of my family and my love of what I do make me ready for the day. I talk about the phrase "live the world" as the theme of my writing, but it's also the theme for my life. My wife and son motivate me and inspire me every day. And it's a joy to spend my day doing what I love: telling stories and being a dad and husband.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I once saw somewhere that every writer should have something to do with their hands other than write. For me, that's cooking and homebrewing. When I'm not writing, I'm often in the kitchen, cooking and baking from scratch. Nothing gourmet, either; just good, honest, simple everyday food. It might be Northwest one day and Thai the next, but it's made by hand and made with love, and I get lots of satisfaction out of cooking for my family.

In addition to the cooking, I love to brew beer too and have been brewing since 2007. My favorite homebrew is the Belgian-style Tripel Ale, I Do, that I brewed when my wife and I got married. And yes, as you have probably already guessed, I am on a homebrew quest to develop my own version of Galway Pradesh Stout, the #1 beer of the Rucksack Universe.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
My life is stories. My mom loves to recount how I learned to read when I was 2, and there's hardly a day that goes by that I don't read at least a little from a book. Every story I've ever read—be it book, article, whatever—has had an impact on me.
What do you read for pleasure?
Fantasy fiction. Harry Potter, Discworld, anything Neil Gaiman, Lukyanenko's Nightwatch series, and such.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Mostly through the recommendations of friends and colleagues, as well as podcasts such as Q, The Creative Penn, and The Sword and Laser. My local library also runs a great e-book program, and I often use their site too to find a great book to read.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Oh man, that's a while back. I think I've been scribbling stories and poems pretty much since I could hold a pen. The first story I wrote that really sticks out to me though is when I was in middle school. I was 13 when I knew that words would be my career. At the time my tastes tended much toward horror, and that first story had a pretty visceral depiction of a teenage guy being hit by a car. I don't recall if it was good writing, but I do recall that it got a reaction—and that in itself was quite informative.
What is your writing process?
As the old saying goes, "the map is not the territory."

I write like I travel. I've been to about 10 countries, and while I always have some ideas of where I'm going and what I want to see, I also leave myself open to changing course depending on the actual day and route.

For me, writing is the same. I need a plan for my stories, and I outline the action, emotions and theme not just for the story, but for every single scene. At the same time, I follow the story where it takes me. The planning helps me surrender to the path.

This process means I have some serious ramp-up time before I start drafting, but once I'm drafting, I can crank out a thorough, revised, dang-near-polished scene within a couple of hours.
How do you approach cover design?
I'm a firm believer in "aces in their places." I can barely crop a photo, so I would never waste my time making a cover. Instead, I work with an awesome graphic designer. She's also one of my Beta Readers, so she also knows the story inside and out. We discuss concepts and theme, then I get the hell out of her way. She later comes to me with, say, 3-5 overall drafts, and from there we narrow it down to the final cover.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I adore my Kindle Paperwhite and take it pretty much everywhere. I do also read through the Kindle app on my iPod Touch, and I'm looking to snag a Kobo reader as well. I love reading e-books. Also, on nights when I'm helping my son get to sleep, I can read e-books in the dark. That makes toddler bedtime much easier!

It's also important to me to experience other's stories and my own stories the same way my readers do, so reading on a device also puts me more in the reader's world when I'm getting a story ready for release. I like to think it helps keep me real.
What are you working on next?
My first novel-length Rucksack Universe book, FOREVER THE ROAD, comes out worldwide for e-book and trade paperback on Sept. 8, 2014. Set in India, three travelers will battle their hearts and their destinies as they try to stop an ancient evil from destroying all life. It's a story of travel, destiny, and beer.

Just like HOME SWEET ROAD, in FOREVER THE ROAD we'll encounter some folks we've met along the way, and meet some new characters too. And much in the world will change.

I'm also planning the next 2 Rucksack Universe books... but that's another story for another time.

You can join the journey to FOREVER THE ROAD with 100 Days to Forever: <http://anthonystclair.com/100daystoforever> or the #100DaysToForever hashtag. More about this and other Rucksack Universe books, and pre-order of FOREVER THE ROAD at select stores, is at <http://anthonystclair.com/>.
Published 2014-06-16.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Lotus and the Barley (A Rucksack Universe Fantasy Novel)
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 98,350. Language: English. Published: June 16, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
In a rebuilt London, trouble is brewing. When it's last call for the world's first beer, that bitter ending renews a vendetta between two old enemies, and two sisters have to choose between their dreams or each other. THE LOTUS AND THE BARLEY is a captivating page-turner in Anthony St. Clair's ongoing Rucksack Universe series.
Forever the Road (A Rucksack Universe Fantasy Novel)
Series: Rucksack Universe. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 119,270. Language: English. Published: September 8, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
** Their entwined fate becomes his impossible choice. ** A strange eclipse looms above India's city of the smiling fire. When an ancient evil awakens, the world teeters on a razor's edge of life and annihilation. A Rucksack Universe Fantasy Novel.
Home Sweet Road (A Rucksack Universe Fantasy Novella)
Series: Rucksack Universe. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 32,530. Language: English. Published: May 5, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
The world's fate hangs on one untested woman and two men who are not what they seem. A Rucksack Universe Fantasy Novella.
The Martini of Destiny (A Rucksack Universe Fantasy Novella)
Series: Rucksack Universe. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 16,080. Language: English. Published: June 19, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
Bartender Jake Hongkong has served The Management longer than any other Jake or Jade, but now he doubts his role influencing people’s destinies and decisions. Declan is directionless and scared when he comes to the pub, yet one drink is all it takes to give him the courage to make a life-altering decision. Soon one martini will forever alter lives and fates... especially Jake's and Declan’s.