We’re pretty excited about this week’s author interview with Lincoln Farish, author of Junior Inquisitor, Soulless Monk, and The Witch’s Lair, better known as the Inquisitor series. This jokester, father, Army veteran, and writer was a pleasure to get in touch with, especially since we think readers can benefit from his knowledge and advice.
Check out what he had to say:
1. You describe yourself as an “almost horror” writer. How would you describe your novels to anyone who’s never read them?
Most of the time I say,”Like a dark version Harry Potter, but for adults, and the witches are the bad guys.” I might also use Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files as an example. I’d said “Like a blacker, grittier version of The Dresden Files, but magic is the problem not the solution. I’ve also used Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia as a comparison, and again while similar, my books are much darker more focused on magic and the people who use magic than the monsters.
2. You’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback over Junior Inquisitor, Soulless Monk, and The Witch’s Lair. Could you tell us a little about how you came up with the concept? Was it one book concept that grew into a series, or did you go into it knowing you wanted it to be a series?
It started off when I asked myself, “What would happen if people could suddenly do magic?” While some might believe that the world would suddenly be filled with puppies, and rainbows, I have a darker view of human nature. This morphed into a book, kind of an origins story. When that was done I realized I’d created characters and a world that had many stories in them, and kept going.
3. Is the series complete, or will there be a fourth book?
I am working on The Vampire of Rome as we speak. I expect to have it out by October 2016. And lest anyone, worry, these are not the emo vamps of other series, but the sanguineous monsters of old who will kill you for breathing loudly. Also, there will be evil monkeys.
4. You seem to do a lot of spotlights for other writers, helping to get them exposure. Is there a particular reason?
When I started my blog, I had 17 people visit it that first month. I had no followers on Twitter and just a few friends on Facebook. Some rather big name authors helped me out when I started, and I’ve grown a bit on social media since then. I’m reciprocating the favor I received. Everyone should read more, and probably would if they knew about all the terrific stories that are out there. Since I know a few people online I help out some of my fellow authors, and those who read my blog.
5. On your blog, you mention that you think outlines are OCD behavior. What tips would you give to aspiring novel writers, in regard to outlines, or lack thereof?
The OCD snark was to tease some of my fellow writers, who do outlines. It works for them, and they produce great stories for it. Imitating their methods for story construction would bore me to tears. My process is a bit more chaotic and it horrifies some which makes me grin. For anyone who is new to this, do what works for you, if it is forced, it will show, and your work will be poorer for it.
6. What do you do when you’re not writing?
I read, a lot. I’m a Reservist, which keeps me busy at least one weekend a month. There is my family, which is about to get a little bit bigger, and of course, there are all the others things in life, like mowing the grass. I shoehorn in writing around my life, perhaps, when I’m a full-time author (my end goal) it will be that I shoehorn in my life around writing.
7. What’s the single best tip, or bit of advice, you’ve ever gotten? How did you apply it in your career?
Anyone can be a writer, few will be an author, even fewer will ever be a professional author. The difference between a writer and an author is an audience, the difference between an author and a professional author is the size of that audience.
Crafting a good story is work. If you can not drag the reader into your world, can not delight and entertain them while they are there, they will find something else to do with their time. And it’s not enough to write a great story, you have to find a way to let the world know they can be entertained by it. If you want to be an author, you have to find/create an audience, and that’s marketing.
Without marketing, the best story in the world is a book sitting unread on a shelf. Field of Dreams was a movie, “If you build it they will come,” is a lie. If you want to be an author, it’s not enough to be able to tell a great story, you have to create an audience. Even then there are no guarantees.
I know; it’s brutal, but it’s true.
8. Who would you say inspires and motivates you the most?
Reviews. When someone tells you that your story captivated them, entertained them, it validates all the work it took in birthing that book.
9. We have a literary following, with a lot of aspiring authors. Are there any gems of wisdom you’d like to share with them?
Build your audience. Hone your craft. Be nice to people.
10. What are you currently working on now, and when do you think it will be available?
The Vampire of Rome, title kinda gives away some of the plot. Not the evil monkeys. Or why the Vampire is hunting Cardinals, or the is betrayal of Sebastian’s team to the monsters, but there is some of the plot in the title. I hope to have it out by October.
11. Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
If you like it, leave a review, if you don’t like it leave a review. Good reviews encourage writers, bad reviews encourages them to do better.
We enjoyed getting to know Lincoln Farish, and we certainly enjoyed some of his answers. It is our hope that readers will learn a thing or two, and want to pick up the series, which has gotten some pretty rave reviews. If you’d like to know more about Farish, check out his blog and follow him on Twitter!