MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR SEAN FLETCHER
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
Salutations! My name’s Sean Fletcher, and I primarily write young adult urban fantasy
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
Mage’s Apprentice is my most recent book about a magical New York City and a magic-less thief who winds up blackmailed into the city’s deadliest contest to become the next all-powerful Mage.
How did I get the idea?
…uh…good question. I’ve always loved fantasy, urban fantasy especially since I feel like readers are better able to connect to worlds that are similar to our own. I’ve also visited New York and loved it. And…those all kind of combined into a tumultuous mixture of fantasy goodness!
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
It’s kind of cliché, but I grew up reading and from that transformed into also being a writer after putting down a book and thinking, ‘I could do that!’. Fantasy was always my first love, young adult especially. There’s something about the young adult frame of mind that’s so amazing. People sometimes complain of it being angsty, and I guess that can be true, but I also think it’s the most passionate, intense, crazy age range you can write for. There’s such a breadth of story and emotions you an tackle.
So…combine that love of young adult with my love of fantasy and bam! What I like writing.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
Not as much as I should have…But in all seriousness quite a bit. I looked up tons of street views of New York, the different buildings, landmarks, secrets, mysteries, trying to make the magical world I was creating meld as much into the real. Now I have a trip to New York planned in May so I’ll get to see how accurate I was.
Can you tell me about your Series?
Mages of New York is a trilogy, with the second book, Mage’s Trial, coming out in May, and the final book, Mage’s End, launching in July. The series follows Aspen Rivest, a magic-less thief who gets entered into the supernatural world’s contest to select their next Mage, an all-powerful leader. There’s tons of friends, a handsome love interest, a frustratingly charming mentor, twistedly evil bad guys, the works.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
I got the chance to visit Scotland last year and absolutely fell in love with the landscape. Naturally, I incorporated it into the second book in the series where one of the characters goes there to try to discover the source of an ancient evil. I love all the books pretty equally, but writing the scenes with Scotland were an extra treat.
Was it always meant to become a series?
Yep, almost all my books are series. Partly because it’s easier for me, as the author, to create a world and stick with it. But also I think readers enjoy getting to know characters over the course of multiple books.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
Writing is slowly becoming my full-time job, so I always make time every day (except weekends! Everybody needs a break) to write/edit/plot, etc. I usually doing a couple hours of writing in the morning, then work on my other day job as a freelance editor of fiction during the day, then another couple hours of writing tonight. I always have a goal, whether it’s writing 2000 words, editing a certain number of pages, or plotting my next series.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
I’m sort of a hybrid author, which means I self-publish, but I’m also seeking an agent for books I’ve written for traditional publication. So technically the next book I’m writing is going to be a YA dystopian. BUT! The next book I’m writing for to release on my own is a continuation of the Mages of New York series. I won’t say too much and give away the current series, but in my totally biased opinion these new books are going to be amazing!
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
Occasionally I’ll choose characters’ names that have meaning (especially in my traditionally published books), but really I pick names I think just work. It might sound crazy, but I’ll play around with a dozen names for each character until I find one that just ‘fits’. I don’t know…it sounds right or feels right. It’s weird. Antagonist names are the most difficult, but they’re also a total blast to come up with.
Where do your ideas come from?
I wish I knew. Seriously, if you know, tell me. I want to know.
I couldn’t tell you. I think every book I read, every movie I watch, every experience I have sort of collects in my brain and sort of swirls there, and then, every so often, certain elements will collide and percolate into my consciousness. Then the idea elves will wrap it up nice and neat and deliver it to me at super convenient times like when I’m driving or when there isn’t a pen and paper or phone around for the next two-hundred miles.
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
Honestly, the one I’m wanting to try is my new YA for traditional publication, which is technically going to be a dystopian. I’ve also considered doing a straight up contemporary work, or even a thriller. I’m gonna stick to one for now, though.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Every author has good or bad days. I don’t get writers block, but there are definitely times where it feels like every word I write is destined for the delete key. But you have to keep plugging on. Other than that the other hardest part is finding the right audience and learning to market my books to reach that audience. Pretty much every author nowadays has to be their own marketer too, and while I enjoy it, it’s not my strongest area.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I’m sure book trailers work for some, but I’ve never had any interest in them. Maybe some day.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Writing books that people actually want to read. I’ve won a few awards and have many, many more writerly aspirations, but it’s really the awe that people actually go out of their way to buy and enjoy things that I’ve put down on paper from the craziness of my mind.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
The license to be the weirdest person in the room and simply write it off as ‘an author thing’.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully I’m a very successful self-published author, and hopefully I’ve hit the New York Times with my traditionally published books. And hopefully I’m still writing.
Have you always liked to write?
Nope. Well, when I was younger I never really thought about it. I didn’t hate it, but it was just something I had to do for school. But I did write a lot for fun, so I guess that means something. It wasn’t until high school that I really started seriously writing as a craft.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Write. Just write. Write with intention, trying to improve yourself with every book. Read a lot. Find articles and interviews and classes and successful authors and learn from them. Read some more. Experiment with your writing and try to improve. Learn your market and what works and what doesn’t. Learn the rules of writing and then learn how to break them properly.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
I actually have a degree in Wildlife Biology, and I love to travel, so hopefully I’d be working for NatGeo or working with wildlife in some capacity.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
Unfortunately I do, except on Goodreads, where some readers seem intent on going on just to rip books to shreds. I read the Amazon reviews but I’m going to stop soon, just because more often than not it doesn’t help. Every so often there might be a trend that I need to fix in a book, but usually my beta readers or editors will catch that. Good reviews are great, but don’t tell me much except some validation, and bad reviews are more often than not simply reader preference.
Where did your love of books come from?
I’ve always been a huge reader thanks to my parents. And…it just kind of stayed that way.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
I don’t actually follow a bunch of authors, and I read in almost every genre. If I could pick one book I’d say the one that stuck with me for a long time was Something Wicked This Way Comes, and an author I admire is Neil Gaiman.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
I really enjoy the villains. I think there’s something more memorable and relatable in a fleshed-out, well-crafted villain and I really like to make mine have flawed, redeemable qualities.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Energizes me (as in I’m excited to do it), but I can only do it for about five hours a day before I’m mentally tired.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Writing groups. I love going to writing groups to discuss, but I can’t, for the life of me, do group writing or critique groups or anything like that. I have my own readers and editors and that works for me.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Both. I try to understand what readers want, but deliver it in a new and fresh way, with characters who are fully defined and likeable.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Too many to count! Mostly they help motivate me to do better through their success and encouragement.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
A Comedy of Errors, by Sean Fletcher
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
Interviewer: Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?
Me: I don’t dance.
Where can your fans find you and follow??
I’ve got a few places:
Author Website: https://www.seanfletcherauthor.com
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️