Today at On The Way Up, we're talking with sci-fi author Mike Saxton, author of the thrilling new novel 7 Scorpions Rebellion. It's getting rave reviews on Amazon, so it comes very highly recommended! I've gotten to know both Mike and his wife, Amy, at Facebook, and Mike's a regular fixture at the Writers Digest online community. (Photo: Mike with wife Amy and son Chris.)
When did you realize you wanted to become a writer?
I used to "bat around" the idea when I was in my early teens and I was into role playing games. It was solidified when I was 19, two years into a lucid dreaming period that would serve as the inspiration for my novels.
You've said that, like many of us, the first book you fell in love with was Charlotte's Web. What was it about that novel that had an impact on you?
As a kid, I really liked the dedicated friendship between Charlotte and Wilbur, especially the lengths to which Charlotte went to insure that her pig friend was not slaughtered. It was also exposure to dealing with the death of someone close to you (although it was and still is heartwarming that three of the baby spiders remained behind with Wilbur).
Who are some of the other writers and books who have influenced you and why?
Stephen King was big for me. Funny enough, Eyes of the Dragon was the first "adult" novel I ever read and I finished it in two days. Considering that I'm dyslexic, that was quite a feat. I liked his style and the depth to his characters and some of my own writing style is what I learned from him.
I know I'll catch hell for this, but I also admire Stephenie Meyer (I have never read the Twilight series but my wife says that I would like The Host) and J.K. Rowling (I have read Harry Potter). I have to admire the success that they have attained in light of the rejections that they suffered through. Most people would have given up after what they experienced and I know that the majority of authors do indeed give up, often before they ever truly begin. Meyer and Rowling have shown that if you stick with something, you can become a success at it no matter what others think or say.
Tell us about 7 Scorpions Rebellion. Where did you get the idea? Why did you choose this genre?
The formation of 7 Scorpions is interesting. It is based on four years of lucid dreams that began right after my sophomore year of high school and ended right before my junior year of college. For those that are unfamiliar, a lucid dream is when you are consciously aware that you are dreaming. The 11 years that followed involved me attempting to make sense of what I had seen during those lucid nights and to organize it into a coherent story (which is not as easy as it seems, dreams are notoriously full of holes and paradoxes).
Science fiction and fantasy has always been my favorite genre but as far as choice, it is a genre that chose me. I really have no idea how I would even attempt to write outside of the genre (except maybe nonfiction).
You have a family and a day job. How do you make time to write?
To me, writing is something that I do for enjoyment. Like anyone else with a busy schedule, most of us manage to find the time to do something that we like. I am also self employed so I make my schedule. Of course, time will be a little shorter now that I am pursuing a doctorate.
This one's for your wife, Amy: is it tough to live with a writer?
No. Sometimes it is tough to live with Mike when he is in a joking/teasing mood! :)
Amy, I have no trouble whatsoever believing that, which brings me to my next question....about this world domination business. You and William Kendall both seem to be plotting a takeover. Who's going to win and why?
The winner is unclear but I think William and I have a lot to gain from at least a temporary alliance to weed out the rest of the competition. We can later battle for domination Sith style so that the more powerful wins and the true ruler can be revealed. In the meantime, I think that, of all times, conditions will be ripe quite soon for a worldwide takeover.
You've become a favorite target of internet spammers. It's a regular topic on your blog. You seem to be wearing a SPAM ME sign. How do you deal with that?
Funny enough, about ten years ago a friend of mine decided to load my email address into spam engines as a joke. Of course, it quickly got out of control. Fortunately, spam filters have helped curtail that and I pulled myself off of the legitimate lists. Once your email address makes it out there though, you become a target for the fraudulent emails that I've been posting on my blog.
With phishing emails, they spammers know that most people are not going to fall for it but there is always someone who does. Especially nowadays, in desperate times, people grasp onto false hopes and fall victim to scams that they may not have normally. Many of the emails that I have gotten have not made it onto spam alert web sites.
Thank you, Mike and Amy. I have a feeling we're going to be seeing a lot of this author in the future--whether it's as an exciting new author, a crusader against spam, or when he eventually takes over the world.
I'm posting a link here for anyone interested in purchasing 7 Scorpions Rebellion, and if you have any questions for Mike, feel free to post them here. I'll have an interview with poet and advocate April Morone next time.
7 Scorpions Rebellion