Q&A with Author E.A. Setser

Today’s Q&A Interview is with author E.A. Setser.

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What is the worst thing you’ve written, how did you learn or know it was bad, and what did you learn from it?
This one could go two ways. The worst book I’ve ever written was Fate, a project I worked on from age 11 to age 13. It was about a group of human adolescents traveling to another world and participating in a war between a voodoo warrior, aided by a medicine man, and a demonic arch-mage with a pet minotaur. It was excessively campy, but I wrote it intending to be serious.

The worst I’ve written for my age was Prophecy Nocturne, the first book I completed a draft of. It was about a modern mystical struggle to keep a shape-shifting demon from merging a new Circle of Hell with Earth and damning everyone, thus greatly skewing the spiritual Balance. I finished it when I was 21 or 22, but when I got halfway through the first re-read edit, I realized it was full of plot holes and just poorly executed. Cool idea horribly done.
I learned a lot about character development, self-criticism, and story planning through those experiences. One of my biggest faults was in not planning a sturdy framework for the meta-story. So, I had to implement changes as new ideas came up, which meant the final product was an inconsistent mess.
Why did you start writing and when did you decide to go professional?
Do you remember why you did the things you did when you were four years old? No, seriously, I learned to write complete sentences and got this insatiable urge to write stories pretty soon after. When I was writing Prophecy Nocturne, I decided I wanted to make a living off of my writing. Fortunately, I started holding myself to higher standards before I went slapping my name on whatever I pulled out of my butt. Haha!
Do you write in more than one genre? Which ones and which do you like the best?
I’ve only got one series going – it’s kind of my Mount Rushmore – but I’ve never been able to pigeonhole even one book in it as just one genre. Fantasy figures prominently, but it’s sort of modern fantasy with elements of sword-and-sorcery and mild sci-fi thrown in. I call it industrial fantasy.

But it also includes elements of suspense, thriller, criminal drama, political drama, conspiracy, war, comedy, romance, etc. Not to say it’d ever be shelved as any of those in a bookstore, but the elements are there and integral to the story as a whole. It’s something of a sandbox epic.
Do you read other author’s books when you’re writing? If so, do you read the same genre or something different?
When I do that, I subconsciously try to emulate styles or even copy scenarios and character elements in my own writing. So I make a point to avoid it now.
What is the most difficult part of the entire writing process for you? Queries, pitches, editing..etc.
Marketing. I’m not a people person, and it shows. Most of what I say comes off as abrasive. A lot of people take my input as insulting, even when I’m biting my tongue and keeping my criticism strictly constructive. It’s not exactly good for public relations, but it does attract a certain kind of audience in itself.
If you could have the same type of career as any author currently publishing who would it be and why?
James Patterson. I’m none too familiar with his work, but I know he’s widely successful and generally respected as a writer. You don’t see that combination often.
Author’s Bio: After spending most of his life failing to gain footing in Knoxville, TN, E. A. Setser and his family packed their life into a truck and set their sights on Cincinnati, OH. Being nearsighted, his aim was a little off, and they landed 2 miles short in Covington, KY. But in the spirit of America, they got a rental house with some friends and decided to settle there anyway. Now, he works as a cost estimator, purchaser, machinist, and database administrator for a local sign manufacturing company. He also has an Associate’s degree in Accounting, sort of.
As for writing, E. A. got started at the age of 4, writing short stories for his family. Seven years later, he tried writing a novel for the first time and failed. Another few years later, he tried again, keeping many of the same elements, and scrapped the 540-page end result because it sucked. It wasn’t until he was 28 years old that he finished a novel he was proud enough of to publish under his real name. Elder Blood is the first of seven novels in his The Epimetheus Trial series, and it has nothing to do with vampires, so don’t even ask. Seriously.
 Elder Blood chronicles a military superpower’s quest for autonomy by driving its neighbors into obsolescence. This ambitious pursuit is enabled and empowered by The Avatars of Fate, an obscure organization with technological offerings beyond the most advanced civilizations. In the shadows of their ascent, federal officials are left blind to the rebellion building around their feet as splinter groups — including some unsuspected persons of interest — converge under a common purpose.
Casual mentions of gods and deities by The Avatars of Fate raise suspicions in an otherwise agnostic world. Equally suspicious is the fact that their emergence coincides with the reappearance of an alternate line of hominids thought to have met with extinction several centuries ago. These Hybrids are imbued with inhuman traits and capabilities, perhaps a driving force behind the vendetta issued against them. Every move is awash in possibility, and every new answer brings a wealth of intrigue in this heady epic.
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