Tag Archives: The Beast Hunter

#amtalking: Interview with @LindsaySchopfer, Into the North #BeastHunter

One of my good friends, Lindsay Schopfer, whose work I have featured on this blog before, has a new book launching on this coming Saturday (April 15th, 2017). Into the North is the second Keltin Moore adventure, and is a fitting sequel to the first book in the series, The Beast Hunter.

I will be participating in the official online launch party on Facebook. Four other wonderful authors will also be participating, helping to boost the signal:

Into the North Online Launch Party

Log on and engage with some fantastic fantasy and steampunk authors as we celebrate the release of Lindsay Schopfer’s latest novel, “Into the North.” Our lineup of authors is as follows:

4:00 to 4:30 pm PDT – Pembroke Sinclair (7:00 EDT) (US)

4:30 to 5:00 pm PDT – Terry Persun (7:30 EDT) (US)

5:00 to 5:30 pm PDT – Katherine Perkins (8:00 EDT) (US)

5:30 to 6:00 pm PDT – Connie J. Jasperson (8:30 EDT) (US)

6:00 to 6:30 pm PDT – Nicole J. Persun (9:00 EDT) (US)

6:30 to 7:00 pm PDT – Lindsay Schopfer (9:30 EDT) (US)

All the participating authors will share tidbits about their work, and some will have games. Several are offering prizes to participating visitors. I will be talking about the genesis of the Tower of Bones series and giving away Kindle downloads of Tower of Bones to two lucky winners.

I will post the lineup and times again on Friday, along with my review of Into the North!

I had a few questions for Lindsay about his newest book:

CJJ: When did Keltin Moore first become a character you were compelled to write?

LS: I’ve told the story before in other interviews about playing a video game and getting the initial idea for the character of Keltin Moore, but it took a while for me to really get interested in writing more about the professional monster hunter. What’s now the prologue of The Beast Hunter was originally just a standalone flash fiction story. It was almost a year later before I  wrote what is now chapter one, originally the first episode of an online serial. It was while I was working on that serial that I really came to love the character of Keltin Moore along with his unique world and adventures. By the time I’d written the first three episodes, I was hooked.

CJJ: How much of you and your personal values is in Keltin? Where do you and he differ?

LS: There’s definitely a lot of me in Keltin. He has a strong sense of responsibility for those that he cares about, and he tries to take the moral high ground regardless of how much harder it will make things for him. We also both struggle with social situations, and sometimes have a tendency to bottle things up to our detriment. I guess the biggest difference between us is that I recognize my need for people and do my best to draw them to me. Keltin is still learning about the limitations that come from trying to do things alone.

CJJ: Once a new work is in progress, what are the main hurdles you have to overcome in laying down the first draft?

LS: The biggest issue I run into is the temptation to start over. I do the same thing with video games. I could be half-way through a game and realize “Oh shoot! I’m not going to be able to do that side-quest now!” And I’ll start the game over to have a ‘perfect’ run. With stories, it’s very tempting to go back and get it right from start to finish. I’ll confess that I did start over with Into the North four times (once when I was more than a hundred pages in) before I finally made it to the end of the first draft.

CJJ: Into the North, Keltin’s second adventure, has many of the fans’ favorite characters returning. What was your favorite plot twist for your returning side-characters?”

LS: Hmm… that’s a tough one. I think I’d have to say the resolution of a few subplots at the very end of the book. I won’t give any spoilers, but there were definitely some moments when I couldn’t stop smiling as I wrote about how Keltin’s friends and close associates really feel about him.

CJJ: What are you working on now?

LS: I’ve got several projects in the works, but the one that I’m the most excited for right now is a new collection of short stories. This will include a Keltin Moore short story, as well as stories that have previously appeared in anthologies printed by Writerpunk Press and Clockwork Dragon. I know that I’ve got fans that have been wanting to read them, so I’m excited that they’ll finally be able to get all of them in one place.

CJJ: What books can you recommend for new writers who are just beginning to learn the craft?

LS: Bird by Bird is a classic by Anne Lamott. Most of the other books that I’ve read on the craft are pretty obscure or out of print, so it’s hard to recommend them.

CJJ: Where can writers find your classes and seminars?

LS: I’m actually planning on making some changes in the way I offer my classes and workshops, but people that are interested can sign up for my newsletter to keep updated on that along with other news about my books and appearances.

CJJ: Finally, where will you be making live appearances this spring and summer?

LS: I’ve got a book tour this month for the release of Into the North that will include stops in Washington, Utah, and Wyoming. You can find all of the dates and locations below:

Dates and Locations for my Book Tour

I’m also planning on teaching at the PNWA summer conference this year, and will also be making an appearance at the Brass Screw Confederacy in Port Townsend.


If you would like to know more about author Lindsay Schopfer and his work, he can be found online at these places::

Lindsay Schopfer’s Author Central page at Amazon

Lindsay’s Website

Lindsay Schopfer on Facebook

Lindsay’s Blog

Follow Lindsay on Twitter: @LindsaySchopfer

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#amwriting: Interview with Lindsay Schopfer, author of The Beast Hunter

Today is the kick-off post for a series of four interviews, featuring writers who are not only working in the craft, they are teaching it. As part of my lead up to NaNoWRiMo, the next four posts will feature a different guest instructor who has kindly agreed to talk about the craft of writing.

The Beast Hunter, Lindsay SchopferI’m welcoming Northwest author, Lindsay Schopfer to the blog today.  As a long-time fan of his books, and especially The Beast Hunter,  I was curious about how he approaches his work.

CJJ: Are you an outliner or do you write as you think it?

LS: I like to think of myself as an organic writer, as I let the story grow naturally as I write. That’s the way that my mentor, Steve Charak, taught me. His mantra was “just get it down” and it’s served me well. Of course, it often means that I end up having to do extra revisions to make everything tie together in the end, but to be honest I actually prefer editing to first-draft writing, so it really works out for me.

CJJ: How many drafts did The Beast Hunter go through before you had it ready to publish?

LS: The Beast Hunter was something of a special case since it began life as an online serial. Each episode went through three or four drafts before being posted, and then the entire piece had to be reworked at least three times before I was satisfied with the novelization.

CJJ: A critical aspect of every story is the story arc. How has your experience in writing for the stage and developing screenplays shaped your approach to writing fiction for readers as opposed to viewers?

LS: You can get away with a lot of things in a script that you can’t do in a novel or short story. For example, all the setting description in a script is purely functional, it isn’t meant for the audience and will never be seen by anyone but the actors and crew. Also, interior description is almost totally missing in a script, unless you’re writing something with a lot of monologues and soliloquies. Because of this, I’ve noticed that I tend to write stories that focus more heavily on action and dialogue rather than elaborate set pieces or internal struggles.

CJJ: You have designed several role-play games. When you visualize an event and set it in a scene, do you see it through the character’s eyes, or through yours as GM/narrator?

LS: I’m still pretty new to the creative side of gaming. My primary experience in designing role-playing games has been developing a set of rules for a game that takes place in the world of The Beast Hunter. Currently, these games are hosted by myself and are exclusively for active members of my street team. When it comes to the storyline, I usually don’t have any specific scenes in mind for each gaming session. I’ll come up with a few instigating events, and then let the players chose where to take the story from there. It’s a lot of fun to share in the creative process in such a spontaneous way, and everyone seems to have a great time. Interestingly, I’ve noticed that some players will actually put themselves into more difficult situations rather than do the simpler thing, and I sometimes wonder if it’s their inner storyteller that wants to introduce conflict to the story, rather than simply “winning the game”.

CJJ: You are a musician. Does poetry come into your work? How does music shape your writing?

LS: You’re making me sound like quite the Renaissance Man! To tell the truth, I don’t think my music affects my writing very much. I recently started playing lead guitar in a band, but we’re just playing for ourselves right now. While I’ve dabbled with lyrics in the past, I prefer letting my guitar do most of the talking. I will say that I have some selective tastes when it comes to the music that I listen to when I write, but I haven’t seen much crossover between my musical and creative writing endeavors.

CJJ: You have a series of classes coming up in the South Puget Sound area.  Can you tell us a little about them?

LS: I’ve been wanting to do more with indie bookstores in my hometown for a while now. Through a happy coincidence I happened to connect with the owner of Browsers Books in downtown Olympia, and we’re currently looking into doing some kind of regular writing class in the store’s upper room. On September 15 we’ll be hosting a free workshop called “Making the Most of Your Writing Time to gauge local interest. My hope is to eventually have a regular class featuring a combination of my most popular workshops, peer critiques, and free-writing time.

CJJ: How can people connect with you as a writing coach and also with your online writing course?

LS: While I’d love to do an in-person writing class, I realize that most people who are interested won’t be able to come to it. As a result, I’m developing an online variant that works via Google Hangouts and Google Docs. I’m still working out the details on this, so if you have any ideas of what you’d like to see in an online writing course, feel free to let me know.

>>><<<

Lindsay, thank you so much for your candid answers. I hope My local area authors will seek out your classes, as I have found you to be an instructor with a sense of humor.

Lindsay SchopferLindsay Schopfer can be found:

Lindsay Schopfer’s Author Central page at Amazon

Lindsay’s Website

Lindsay Schopfer on Facebook

Lindsay’s Blog

Follow Lindsay on Twitter: @LindsaySchopfer


Next up we will have an interview with Northwest poet and author, Terry Persun, who has agreed to talk poetry and prose!

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Lindsay Schopfer, ‘The Beast Hunter’ launch

The Beast Hunter, Lindsay SchopferToday, Lindsay Schopfer, well-known Pacific Northwest author of science fiction and fantasy, instructor, and writing coach has consented to answer a few questions for us. His second book, The Beast Hunter is launching today, and I’ve been privileged to read an advance copy of it. If you are looking for an action-adventure in set in another world, brimming with political and personal intrigue, this is the book for you!

CJJ: Lindsay, you were one of my daughter Meg’s closest friends in high school. I’ve followed your career from the early days of your first play, “Techies,” knowing you had a wonderful future in writing ahead of you. Your own real life tale has been a wonderful journey, so tell us a little of early life and how you began writing:

LS: I started writing as a little kid, and I guess some people would have called me a prodigy. I wrote and produced my first full-length stage-play at 13, and went on to do five more, including two runs of “Techies.” After high school, I took a break from writing and spent two years as a service missionary on the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico. That experience, coupled with a health condition which could randomly cause me to be paralyzed for hours at a time, taught me important lessons of hardship, hope, and love.

I went to film school in Canada for a year, thinking that I would continue my passion for acting and directing, but I eventually realized that I just wouldn’t be able to tell the fanciful stories in my head unless I put them into novels. While I still daydream about film adaptations of my stories, I have to say that I’m very happy with my work and life right now.

CJJ: My favorite Lindsay Schopfer quote says it all, “I only write when I’m inspired, and I make sure I’m inspired every morning at 9 a.m.”  How do you channel the randomness of inspiration into an appointment?

LS: Actually, that quote originally comes from Peter De Vries, but it’s something that I try to live by as well. For me, turning on my inspiration means creating a mental place where I feel safe to be creative. I map out the times of day I have available when I seem to be the most productive and set them aside. I listen to music that fits my mood and the kind of writing I’ll be doing. I also try to remember that I can write whatever story I want to, so that I enjoy my work rather than feel confined by it. Ultimately, if I make writing my break from the world, then I don’t feel the need to take a break from my writing.

Lost Under Two moons, Lindsay SchopferCJJ: I read Lost Under Two Moons, and really enjoyed it. I find that your work is well-structured, with creative environments, good tension, and deep characters. Do you have a specific ‘Creative Process’ that you follow, such as outlining or do you ‘wing it’?

LS: My ideas for stories usually come in two parts, the beginning and the ending. Once I have those two points established in my mind, writing the novel is just a matter of connecting those two dots. I don’t do a lot of outlining because I find that I start to lose interest in a story if I feel ‘chained’ to a guideline I’ve set for myself. I do enjoy doing world-building early on, though I usually just sketch out enough details to get me started and only add to it if I get stuck. Of course, once the first draft is done, I always go back and fill out the rest of my backstory and world-building notes, but that’s usually a case of noting what I came up with as I was writing and trying to maintain continuity throughout the story.

CJJ: You are highly involved with the Pacific Northwest Writers Association, which I am also a member of. You gave a workshop on May 2nd, regarding turning off the inner critic. What advice would you give new authors, who may be struggling with this common problem?

LS: Like I said earlier, turning off the inner critic and getting inspired is a matter of creating a place where you feel safe to write. For some people, this means writing when you’re not fully awake. I do my best writing at three different times, when I first wake up, at around two in the afternoon (siesta time), and just before bed. Another way to turn off the inner critic that’s especially useful to new authors is to work on multiple projects at a time. Too many first-time authors have this mindset that they have to put all their good ideas into their first novel, or that the first book has to be perfect. By working on more than one project at a time, the writer is constantly reminded that she will have more chances than just this one book, which can be a common anxiety. Having a second project also means that you have a creativity lifeboat, and if you get writer’s block on one project you can “run away from it” and yet still be writing until you’re ready to go back.

CJJ: I absolutely agree, and I usually have three projects going at a time myself. So, I know why I chose the indie route for my work, but I’m curious as to why you’ve chosen this path.

LS: Actually, I never intended to be an indie author. When I finished Lost Under Two Moons, I pitched it to agents for a while before releasing it as an EBook and later in print. My decision to indie-publish that novel came mainly from a desire to start selling books and establishing a market for myself. I wanted credibility as a generative artist, and to be honest I felt like that happened once I finally had a book people could buy and read.

The Beast Hunter was also originally intended for a traditional publishing route. In 2012 I went to PNWA’s summer conference and asked agents what it would take to become a hot commodity to them. The answer I got was that I needed a built-in fan base, so I wrote The Beast Hunter online serial. Once I had the fan base, I went back in 2013 with my completed novel and loyal readers, and pitched it. I was shocked that the same agents who had encouraged me to do the serial now said I had ruined my chances for success with this book because I had already “saturated the market”, though I’d like to think that there are plenty of people who would like The Beast Hunter who haven’t read the serial! I decided to keep the serial going as a way to reward loyal fans, and indie-publishing the novel seemed like the best way to tie-in the serial with my novels.

I haven’t given up on traditional publishing. I have two additional book series that I’m working on that will be intended for a traditional book deal. I’m hoping that the exclusivity of these stories combined with the fan base from my indie publishing will finally allow me to be a hybrid author with both traditionally and independently published books.

CJJ: That is a great plan of action—one that addresses negotiating both sides of the publishing dilemma.  What advice would you offer an author trying to decide whether to go indie or take the traditional path?

LS: Don’t give up on traditional publishing. While the industry is still trying to figure out how to handle the electronic revolution, it is filled with very intelligent professionals that really know the business of selling books. On the other hand, I don’t think writers should give the industry any more power than it already has. An author desperate for representation and publication is an easily exploitable resource. I would advise authors to try for traditional publishing first, but don’t be overly eager. Remember that the greatest power you have is to say no, no to an agent that isn’t good for you, no to a publisher that won’t push your book, no to a book-deal that demands too many rights. Keep that in mind, and if you feel like your project isn’t right for traditional, go indie.

CJJ: Your new book, The Beast Hunter is launching today. This is a book with an interesting history! Tell us a little about it and how it came to be.

LS: The Beast Hunter actually started as a 1,000 word flash fiction story that I wrote more as an exercise for myself than anything else. I wanted to see if I could write an action sequence, something I hadn’t tried doing in my fantasy writing since becoming serious about pursuing a career as a novelist. At the time, I was playing a steampunk CRPG called Arcanum Of Steamworks & Magic Obscura, so I decided to try writing about a hunter using 19th century technology to bring down a monster.

I liked the result, and decided to expand on the character of Keltin Moore by continuing his adventures in a free, online serial.  A little more than a year later I’d finished the first season and The Beast Hunter had gained an international following. It’s kind of funny, because for a long time this story was my side-project, something that I wrote on to relax and just enjoy writing. To see it in print now is kind of like inviting all the world to play make-believe with me, and I’m excited to continue the adventure.

CJJ: Lindsay, thank you so much for being here today! I must say, I am looking forward to hearing your presentation at the PNWA convention on July 18, 2014 on UNLOCKING CHARACTER MOTIVATION.  I will be taking notes!

The Beast Hunter Books For Africa Fundraiser Event

To celebrate the launch of his latest book, Lindsay has decided to donate one dollar to Books For Africa for each verified copy of The Beast Hunter that is sold in the next two months!

Here’s how it works. Purchase The Beast Hunter in paperback or EBook form and then take a picture of yourself with your new book. Post that picture on this event page, and Lindsay will make a donation. Only one donation per copy of The Beast Hunter.

Books for Africa is an organization with just one goal: to end the book famine in Africa. BFA is the largest shipper of donated text and library books to the African Continent, and has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest charity evaluator. A donation of 50 cents is enough to send a book to a child in Africa. For more about this amazing organization, check out http://www.booksforafrica.org.

 

Lindsay SchopferAbout Lindsay Schopfer:

Lindsay Schopfer is the author of the rural steampunk adventure novel The Beast Hunter (2014) and the fantasy adventure novel Lost Under Two Moons (2012) . His short fiction has also appeared in The Daily Times, an international newspaper based in Pakistan. When he isn’t writing, Lindsay is a writing coach and instructor for Adventures In Writing, where he helps writers learn about and improve their craft.  He is also a mentor for Educurious, a Gates Foundation-funded program designed to connect high school students with professional writers.

Lindsay’s books are available at amazon.com and through his website, http://www.lindsayschopfer.com

You can also sign up for his wonderful workshops through his website at Adventures in Writinghttp://www.yourwritingadventure.com

 

 

 

 

 

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