Pages of Awesome

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Author Scott Appleton Visits!

Hey guys! So I had a unique opportunity today, a chance not many get very often. My school was visited by an author in my field of writing. Mr. Scott Appleton author of the novel Swords of the Six spoke today in first my creative writing class and then during my last two periods. And let me tell you, I had an awesome time.

Mr. Appleton is a well known author and owner of the publishing company Flaming Pen Press. He came to our school to promote Swords of the Six and also to talk to us about his writing life and what he's learned along his own writing journey.

I for one learned a lot from him, and was very impressed. Mr. Appleton knows his craft. I wish I had been able to tape his whole presentation but here is a brief statement he made in my Creative Writing Class. Yes I know the camera isn't steady, and it makes a loud noise when it zooms in and out, and I know that the clip I caught makes no sense, and yadayadayada. I'm a failure :P Enjoy the clip.

So yes, an awful clip. But there was a lot of cool things discussed in that class.

One of my friends asked this question, "If you are trying to publish something, at what point do you give up? And how do you know when you've reached that point?"

To which Scott replied, "You don't give up."

You see, there are a lot of writers out there that simply "like" writing. They don't love it, they don't have to write. To them writing is just something they think is fun. But they don't need to do it. To many writers, often the ones who get published, writing is like breathing. The writers that will continue writing even if they don't ever get published are the writers that will find what they seek. These are the authors that make the bestseller lists.

Because if you love something, you are going to want to learn everything about it. If you love God, you will learn about Him. If you love sports, you will practice. And if you love writing, you will study the craft and practice what needs be done to succeed. Writing is like music, it's like sports, and it's like everything else. Writing is a craft, an art. And so practice does in fact make perfect. The more you read, the more you write, the better you will get. Eventually, you will have created a piece worthy of publication.

That theme seemed to carry that class a bit. I was only present for one of the two classes Scott talked to, but I imagine something similar went on.

Other things discussed included writer's block (how to avoid it), what writing style seems best (third person limited, third person omniscient, first person, etc), paths to take toward publication, and simply that theme of endurance. Run the race. If you love it, the race will be of no difficulty.

So then I had to go back to class. Thankfully, Scott's visit was not yet over. Dixie had planned for him to speak to the whole school. And while this did not exactly happen, Scott did end up speaking to around 100 kids. It was a fair enough turn out, and I imagine sales of SOTS weren't all that bad.

At this larger presentation Scott dwelt more on his own book rather than writing at first. He explained how he ended up writing Swords of the Six and not its squeal Offspring first. And then he proceeded to explain how he first began his novel, which was later changed for a more action-y prelude. Either way, this is where the idea for Sword of the Dragon came from.

Once again, excuse the poor quality of the video and my own stupidity in cutting it short. But you get the gist of it I hope;

He goes on to explain how a sword was stuck up in a tree upside down, as if it had been thrust up out of the ground. The boy looks down and sees a gaping hole in the earth, and clouds inside. And so the story began.

Reading summaries and reviews it really does sound like an awesome epic of a book. Once I finish reading it, sometime during Christmas break, I'll post my own review but in the meantime check out Jacob Parker's review and the Amazon purchasing page. Because I know how much you all want to buy it :)

Anyhow, from there he opened up the floor for people to purchase his book. And it seemed that most everyone went down. How many of them actually bought the book, I am not sure yet. But I certainly hope a good many did.

Scott also was giving away free posters and the like, which I will be hanging in my room shortly. The cover artwork for this book is amazing, and ever since the first time I saw it--maybe a year or so ago--I've wanted to read this book. Now I finally have the chance :)

After everyone had bought, or had the chance to buy, a book Scott opened up the floor for a question and answer session. The group was quiet at first, but slowly hands shot up and a good amount of questions were asked and answered.

The Q and A's were the best part for me, simply because Scott knows so much about the market of writing, how to market, and how to write. It was a very enjoyable session. We had to cut short because the next class was about to begin, or it likely would have gone on for a long time.

When I was on my way out Scott asked me to stick around for a few minutes. And by that I do believe he meant a few hours for I spent the rest of the school day, 2 hours at least, talking with he and his wife Kelley. I have to say, however, that I didn't even notice the passing of time. I was so excited, as I often am around writers lol, and interested that I simply didn't notice. It was very enjoyable. It's always nice to sit down with another writer like yourself, which are few and far between around me, and just talk. Not on a topic, but just talk. And so I thoroughly enjoyed Scott and Kelley's company.

Tomorrow the two of them will be returning to my school to set up a book stand. This is because the student body was not informed quite enough about his coming and so many were not able to buy a book. And SO many wanted to. So I'll have another chance to hang with them tomorrow.

So, is there anything you'd like me to elaborate on? How do you feel around writers who have done what you aspire to do? What kinds of questions would you ask a writer if given the chance? Anything random I haven't stated? lol


Jacob R Parker said...

You did a terrific job covering that, Nathan. Glad to hear you had a great time. It sure looks like fun.

Millardthemk said...

*hehe* You are one tall dude Keeneye :P. Ya did a great job. I wish I could meet you and this guy in person though. I shall check out this book :D

Pyrosian Heir said...

i really don't know anything to say to this. kinda wanna fead the book just based on the title.

Nathan R. Petrie said...

Jacob, I told you I'd have vdeo, photos, and lots of details :)lol.
And it really was a lot of fun. I love meeting authors lol

Millard, You may (probably will) meet Scott next year. Because Scott and Jacob or going on a book tour. So you may meet 'em yet ;)

Ben, you really should read the book. Did you read the reviews? They sound awesome :) I'll let you know what I think of it shortly.

Storyteller said...

Thanks for sharing your experience with us, Keeneye! Wish I could have been there.

Now, what is this about a book tour? *grins*

Wayne Leeke said...

It was nice to meet him; 'cause of you I got to skip 4th bell and ask him some questions. I'll buy his book as-soon-as I get some more money. Hey, maybe someday I'll submit a book to see if he'll publish it.

Wayne L.

Ellie said...

Hi. I found you blog, and decided to comment. I'm working on writing a fantasy trilogy currently, and I've enjoyed reading what you've had to say about the art of writing.

If you want, you can visit my blog at


Fair Maiden said...

Great post, Nathan! You did a great job of describing the day, and all that went on!


Scott Appleton said...

WOW Nathan! That post makes mine look like chicken feed! LOL

I'm going to link to those videos on my blog and tell people to check them out. Awesome reporting should consider freelance reporting on the side (as I've done) you'd do well with it.

God bless and see you this afternoon.

Nathan R. Petrie said...

Storyteller, go hound Jacob for details ::laughs:: If details is a good word for "alleged guesses" lol

Ellie, thanks so much for saying so :) I've enjoyed reading the comments on here. It's good stuff :) I hope you stick around and chat with us sometime lol

Thankies Kelley :)

Scott, you really think so? I've never considered myself a good nonfiction/reporting writer. ::shrugs:: Maybe I've got more of it in me than I think. You'll have to show me the ropes sometime lol
And yeah, feel free to direct people here ;) Always fun to see new readers :D
How did sales go for the trip if you don't mind my asking?

Thanks for coming both you and Kelley!

Gwendolyn said...

Good job on the post, Nathan. It almost felt as if I was there to see it myself:)

What questions would I ask a writer given the chance? Hmmm... A lot! But I'd really like to know how the whole getting a publisher process works; also, how to avoid "typical" plots.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Nathan! I'll defidently have to check out 'Swords of the Six' soon.

Hmm. . . questions for authors. I would probably ask them a lot about technique. (And ask them to splurge a bit on what you said about characters. An awesome post, by the way.) I have had the chance to talk to a few of my favorite authors, and it's a thrilling thing!


Nathan R. Petrie said...

DOL, that it is, meeting authors! I love it. I've met Bryan Davis, and now Scott. I love it. Mainly because, like I said, they are doing what I aspire to do. AndI don't know many writers in real life lol.

"Stand tall now and proclaim what you have seen, speak in whispered roars..."