1. Why did you chose to self-publish?
I didn’t approach it lightly. I did a lot of research about the publishing industry first, thinking I would do the whole agent/publisher route, but, the more I read, the more I became convinced the publishing industry’s business model was antiquated. The industry takes complete control of the author’s product and, well this is my story, this is my baby, and who are they to tell me what to write? Who are they to tell me or you what to read, for that matter? So my wife and I created our own imprint, Roundstone Publishing, LLC, and we went from there.
2. How did you vet your manuscript?
It was first vetted by my wife, Christine, who isn’t the biggest fan of this genre but loved my story. She gave me an incredible amount of excellent feedback on elements that simply made no sense to a non-geek reader. I then took that corrected draft to a bar that I was working at and gave it to 20 trusted bar regulars and staff, all of whom were very happy to give me all the criticism I could, and sometimes couldn’t, stand. They’re all named in the Acknowledgments. They gave me notes, some of it opinion on the story, some of it about the structure, and all of it valuable. I then went through and wrote the manuscript again. Joe Hansche became my copyeditor and fact-checker and went through subsequent drafts to test plausibility of, well, everything. Once it was ready, I went through CreateSpace but they just completely dropped the ball on the design phase. So, I was at a dead end when I found out one of my bar regulars and friend, Shanna, is a typesetter. A few long conversations later, we had a published book. Self-publishing is great, but you definitely need a team of people backing you, and I had an amazing group of people behind me.
3. What’s your writing method?
I’m right out of the box, hit the ground running, every cliché you can think of. I’m an animator and I’m used to seeing story arcs, so when Gauntlet came to me, I had the first four chapters written before I went, “Oh shit, maybe I better learn how to write first!” So I bought a lot of writing books and read and read and read, especially Stephen King’s On Writing. That got me focused, so I then outlined the story and wrote the parts of it that interested me the most, got rid of the boring parts, and tied it all together. Gauntlet is an epic tale across several books, and I am excited to be working on the second book, The Dragon Within. There will be a lot of connections between the first two books and the future books in the series. I love mentioning something in one book and then bringing it back books later. I love when authors do that.
For more information on the book, the author, merchandise, or just to check out some character illustrations, visit: scargen.com.