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Interview with Seth Hobbs

He is the author of the Sendyne Empire series. He is a husband, father, educator, musician, gamer, etc. He lives with his wonderful family in the Tar Heel State.

Q.1 Tell us something about yourself not many people know?
I play guitar, keyboard, and a little bit of harmonica, and I like to sing and write music too.

Q.2 What inspired you to write The Sendyne Empire series?
I wrote what would become Book 1 when I was 18-25 years old. I had actually gotten into some trouble and had a lot of time on my hands late at night. I began to express this in writing and just let lots of ideas flow through me. 

Book 2 has been written more recently, and I drew a lot of inspiration from real-world events that are reflected in Four Puppet Kings and a Fool.

Q. 3 Are we going to read more from you in the near future? Any new project you’re working on?
I am currently working on Book 3 in the Sendyne Empire Series. It will probably conclude the trilogy, though I have already thought about prequels or spin-offs for this world in possible upcoming books.

Q.4 What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
No one can ever truly know what it is like to be someone from another group. We hear a lot about this today in recent social movements, though it is truly difficult to engage and truly experience every single difference that people have in life.

Men and women are specifically hardwired biologically to feel different things and focus on very different styles or issues. I try to draw inspiration from other real women, but I am sure I can depict a man’s inner thoughts and desires a little bit more clearly.

Q.5 Do you plan out your books before you start writing, or do you just write and see where it takes you?
I often just write and see where it takes me. I actually have never really had writer’s block until this current book I am working on. Sometimes, when that happens, I have to stop and breathe and go work on other things in my life until the vision comes together for certain scenes and characters.

Q.6 How long, on average, does it takes you to write a book?
Wow! That is tough to explain, as I took several years on Book 1 because there was no real urgency. After I self-published Book 1, I felt compelled to get a sequel going, and I flew through Book 2 in just 2-3 months! With Book 3, I am moving more slowly, but I guess it will be done in a few months.

Q.7 What’s your writing schedule while working?
I just fit in a few minutes of typing whenever I can. It might be in the afternoon, after work. It is often late at night when no one else is around, and I can watch TV, make notes of random ideas, and type a few pages out.

Q.8 Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Focus on my music or work or family, though the ideas would eventually find their way back into my head. Even if I didn’t write them, I would entertain them in my imagination when bored.

Q.9 How many books have you written? Which one is your favorite?
I have written 2 books so far that I actually published. I wrote a couple of shorter ones when I was a teenager, but I lost those somewhere. Four Puppet Kings and a Fool is my favorite so far. 

It just came out, and I think it reflects a ton of exciting ideas and problems in our own time while also expanding the world of Book 1 dramatically and switching the focus to antagonists that you are forced to see as human beings, etc.

Q.10 Is it vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing? Tell us about your marketing campaign?
I am pretty new to this, so I don’t have all of the answers. I think you just have to write what you want to write, and the readers will come. I have done some marketing and promotional stuff, and I am working with Michael Evan from SciFi/Fantasy Focus to see if I can meet some new readers.

Q.11 If you could be a member of any fantasy race, which would you choose and why?
Probably the elves from LOTR, as they seem so timeless and wise.

Q.12 If you could invite one character to dinner from your books, who would it be and why?
Great Grandfather. He is a mysterious philosopher of ancient mystery schools that could tell us a lot of information that the regular person would have no clue about.

Q.13 What three things can a reader expect from your books?
Political intrigue, relatable humor, massive conspiracies, and twists.

Q.14 Among all the supporting characters in your books, who is dear to you and why?
Barthurius the Baptizer. He is kind of a blend of John the Baptist, Buddha, and other religious figures. He shows up at the correct times to really save the day, and he shows people a new way of understanding their worlds.

Q.15 Who designed your book cover? How do you select them?
A. CreativeParamita
did my cover for Book 1. James from GoOnWrite did my other book covers. They both do great work. They were recommended to me by BooksButterfly when I did a book promotion. I was just getting into the writing game, and I had nothing on my cover but a shark, as Book 1 has a great sea creature on a cannibal island. 

The folks doing promos quickly warned me that I would need some better visuals to catch a reader’s eye. LOL. These were some that they recommended. Both designers are really nice and fast.

Q.16 How do you select the name of your characters?
It usually just comes to me out of nowhere. Then, I usually Google to see if the name is used widely. If it is, I may change a few letters or spellings, think of a new letter from the alphabet entirely, and sound out a new name.

Q.17 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good or bad ones?
Absolutely! I think every author, especially early on, wants to see reviews and find out feedback. They are essential on Amazon, Goodreads, and many other sites to get some traction with new readers. 

I love the good ones, and I am annoyed with the bad ones, but I understand that this is life. You can’t please everyone, and I also try to make changes when I read an honest critique that forces me to see the good points they have made.

Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead, would you like to meet and why?
A. Jesus(Yeshua)
would be awesome to meet to really get more insight about spiritual and historical issues. He or His likeness has had a profound impact on the West and the world, and it would be interesting to talk to Him. Many other historical figures would be interesting too, but the list is long. LOL

Q.19 Are you excited about any new books or authors in science fiction or fantasy (or both!)? What are you reading right now?
Honestly, I am so swamped with my own writing right now that it is difficult to get super deep into other works. However, I am placing other authors at the top of the list, especially in review groups, so that I can honestly check out their stuff too.
With a newborn baby at home, a teenager, a full-time job, family issues, and my own writing, I am very busy at the moment. I have been delving back into the Dune universe a bit, though, with the recent release of the new Dune movies.

Q.20 Share the experience of your writing journey so far?
It has been fun, and I am learning a lot and meeting lots of great people. However, it can be disheartening and bewildering when you realize how hard marketing is. Even your best buddies might take months to actually get around to ordering or reading your work! LOL

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