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Interview with Sebastian Schug

Q.1 Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
A. My name is Sebastian Schug (pen-name: Nicolas Parker), and I was born in Burbank, California. I began my publishing career at the age of 14 in high school; my first project consisting of thirty children’s books titled The Adventures of Daniel. Since then, I have gone on to write, illustrate, narrate, and publish over fifty titles collectively within the span of four years. A little-known fact about me is that I often procrastinate on multiple projects at a time, so that I both remain busy, and keep the publishing process fresh.

Q.2 How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
A. Currently, I have 4 unfinished/unpublished projects drafted, though not written, illustrated, or finished in their entirety.

Q.3 Where do you get your ideas?
A. Generally, I receive my ideas/inspiration through true-to-life events, situations, and individuals who I happen to know. Through nonfictional aspects, I create fictional stories, satire, and illustrated narratives.

Q.4 What advice do you have for writers?
A. Write freely, and without restriction. Write in pen, preferably. There’s no need to worry about making mistakes when your first draft is where you’re intended to do so.

Q.5 Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
A. I strive for originality in any project I happen to pursue to publish; within satire especially, however, I typically confront and criticize aspects/subjects of life that are “what one wants to hear.”

Q.6 If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
A. Do not be so hung up about the smallest nuances within writing. A specific character, setting, exchange of dialogue, etc. does not have to satisfy anyone else but yourself.

Q.7 What are the most important magazines or websites for writers to subscribe to?
A. While there is no specific magazine/website for any such artist, given that one may have a different taste from another, a general answer would be to subscribe gratuitously to subjects that fuel one’s own literary perspective. In my own personal regard, politics, and other parodies of humanity peak my interest the most.

Q.8 What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
A. The most difficult aspect of writing characters from the opposite sex is wondering whether or not an actual female (in my circumstance) would talk, act, or present themselves in the way in which I am writing her. To prevent my writing from being misrepresented or misinterpreted, however, I often write all characters with a slight amount of exaggeration in order to keep the comedic elements flowing.

Q.9 How do you select the names of your characters?
A. The names of my characters are derived from true to life individuals. In the case where anonymity is important though, aliases are utilized. (Examples: “Bedhead, Redwood, Valley,” etc.)

Q.10 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
A. Whenever posted, I read my book reviews as soon as possible. Constructive criticism and praise are met entirely on their own merits, and for the factors in which I need improvement, I often listen to these particular comments in order to potentially incorporate them within my own future works. Regardless, positive or negative feedback never dissuades me from stopping writing altogether.

Q.11 Does your family support your career as a writer?
A. My family does, in fact, support my literary career. Since beginning with The Adventures of Daniel, my family has supported me throughout any and all published projects.

Q.12 What do your fans mean to you?
A. My fans are another source of inspiration, let alone simply a means to make a living. They serve as methods of encouragement, constructive criticism, and an ever-growing network for allowing my literary vision to take form.

Q.13 How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
A. To date, I have written over 10 novels, short stories, and works of satire respectively. This does not count my other published works, or strictly illustrated ones, however. In a grand total, my estimation would be roughly 50 to 60 published works in total.

Q.14 Do you have any unique and quirky writing habits?
A. Whenever I write, I oftentimes tend to do so sporadically in an effort to simply put words on paper. After the writing is done and editing begins, I begin to realize that sporadic tendencies add to the story at large, and further convey both emotion and setting respective to said story. It is a characteristic I continue to express within to this day.

Q.15 What do you consider being your best accomplishment?
A. My best accomplishment was to have the chance of working with my fellow authors and illustrators and to have an evergrowing of individuals pursuant to the same goal.

Q.16 What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?
A. I don’t happen to consider any publication strategy “unethical” though, in terms where actual copyright is concerned, breaches of contract and wrongful accusation of libel strike is most unethical in a personal sense.

Q.17 Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?
A. To date, nobody edits my work, but me. When I am working with an individual as well, I am usually the one who takes the job of editor along with the publisher.

Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
A. If I were to meet one sole famous person, Mark Twain is a surefire choice. Being an actual descendant of him on my father’s side, Twain’s use of satire, parody, and dark humor provides such profound inspiration for my personality and my respective work.

Q.19 What is your favorite book and why?
A. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Simply put, once read, it had developed my own personal political perspective upon writing/illustrating my own works of satire and has shaped my ideology at large.

Q.20 How can readers discover more about you and your work?
A. Others can discover my work by keeping up with my social media, or by contacting me directly via email, phone, or by instant messenger. On any social media platform, I showcase my work through text and visuals, though through direct contact, I am available to answer any given questions, comments, or concerns.

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