Ink Smith Publishing is extraordinarily proud of our authors and want to show them off in any way we can. This week, S.A. Check, author of the recent release Maxx Fragg, VPI, talked about some of his writing techniques and favorite authors.
Q: Who are your favorite authors/books?
A: Wow, that’s rough to only pick a few. I’d have to say I have, or at least I think I have, a rather eclectic taste in books. In no particular order – let’s see where this goes….
1) I make no qualms about the fact I’m a geek and in my early geekly training one of the greatest influences has always been comic books. The late 1970’s to early 80’s Marvel comics, Ditka / Shooter / Lee / Kirby / Simonson era played a huge role in my literary development. (I know that’s not one book. I’m warming up here.)
2) Robert Asprin’s “MythAdventures” series has always remained a favorite of mine. This series was just straight up fun. It pulled you in to a brilliantly imagined world with compelling characters that you just loved more and more with each new book. I can still remember pestering the guy at the book store waiting for the next one to come out. (Still not a single book but I’m getting closer.)
3) Piers Anthony – On a Pale Horse (See, I did it.) Truly a classic that just blew me away the first time I read it. The first of his Incarnations of Immortality series and the one that will always stand out to me.
4) Dan Brown – author – I love all his books. As a writer, he stretches the line so thin between reality and story that it makes a seamless step for the reader to get lost in his worlds.
5) A. Lee Martinez – I’ve been enjoying a lot of his books recently from Gil’s All Fright Diner to Monster. He’s entertaining and finds a great balance between comedy and horror, a genre-blend I’ve always loved.
That wasn’t nearly as painful as I thought.
Q: Where do you do most of your writing?
A: While I always wanted a “writing room” like a Ray Bradbury, stuffed with trinkets to inspire creativity, I have to admit, most of my writing takes place on the couch, as unglamorous as that sounds.
Q: What is your writing process like?
A: My writing process is ever-evolving but I stick to the same basics for each book. When I have an idea that I think is book worthy, I’ll usually put three or four paragraphs together to capture the main points or ideas and put it in my “books I need to write” file. When it’s time to start a new book, I’m a firm believer in outlining but this is the one point in the process that I like a more organic feel, meaning I’ll set aside the laptop and go straight to pen and tablet. I can fill up a tablet with notes and arrows, scribbles and sometimes even sketches. It becomes my story roadmap but like any good trip, a few detours make it all the more interesting. I can’t say I’ve ever started a book that ended how I originally planned.
I sum up my writing with this philosophy – It’s there, in the brief moments that we allow fantasy to reflect into reality that as authors, we are given the privilege of building worlds to capture a reader’s imagination and try to hold on long enough to leave them with something more than when we started. If I can change a perception or add to a perspective, then I’ve accomplished something worthwhile.
Q: How did you come up with the idea of this book (Maxx Fragg, VPI)?
A: I was always fascinated with virtual reality worlds and the endless possibilities that they bring to a writer. When I considered crossing the paranormal with that, it was an exciting blend that needed explored to me. While ghosts and technology aren’t exactly a new theme in literature, mixing the two genres using the idea that virtual reality could be the bridge to crossing over to the other side was something I hadn’t seen done before. Having Maxx run a virtual ghost hunting business to deal with the death of his brother pretty much sealed the deal for me to start writing.
Q: How long did it take you to write?
A: It usually takes me about six months to get a rough draft for a novel done and then the editing process starts, which can take me weeks to months to get it where I’m comfortable releasing it to the world. With Maxx Fragg, the book took on a few versions and travelled quite a few paths before finding a home with Ink Smith Publishing.
Meet the Author
S.A. Check is a Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Comic Book writer living in Southwestern Pennsylvania with his E.R. nurse wife and tween daughter, enjoying all the small dramas that come his way. He earned his degree in English / Writing from Penn State University and has been writing all his life.