Interview with Skyler Peterson, author of The Isle of Falidor
Skyler E Peterson was born in Roswell Georgia and spent most of his youth either having adventures out in the world, or at home in written one’s. After spending so much time imagining himself alongside his favorite heroes in books he decided it wasn’t enough and has been writing ever since.
What is your favourite dragon in literature?
Unfortunately, I’ve not read a lot of books that have had Dragons in them! I kind of feel that people either worry about not representing dragons with the proper power they should have, or have the thought that “Oh everyone knows about dragons, let’s try something else!”. Though, now that you’ve brought my attention to that, I think I may have to add a Dragon to one of my future books! As for my answer, I think Tolkien did it right with Smaug. This extremely greedy and powerful creature who knew how powerful he was, to such a degree he failed to worry about his weakness until it was entirely too late.
Everyone has a ‘first novel’, even if many of them are a rough draft relegated to the bottom and back of your desk drawer (or your external harddrive!). Have you been able to reshape yours, or have you abandoned it for good?
Oh gosh, I do still have it saved and have occasionally looked over it. Though I don’t think it will be dusted off and reshaped, that’s only because my last reading through I noticed that the series I have been writing has a lot of correlation with it. I think I may have subconsciously given it new life with a different story.
Over the years, what would you say has improved significantly in your writing?
Punctuation, without a doubt. I keep all my old writings so I can look back so I can see how far I’ve come, and looking back at my original longest fanfiction it’s always both embarrassing and uplifting. It was only ten pages, but at that time that was very impressive, and it has all of about four periods. It’s embarrassing seeing all that, and seeing how the story wasn’t so great, but it’s also so uplifting and humbling knowing I’ve grown so much. I think that’s an advantage writers have, at least if we keep our old works. We get to see our growth over the years and get to see that we’re better now than we have been.
Some authors are able to pump out a novel a year and still be filled with inspiration. Is this the case for you, or do you like to let an idea percolate for a couple of years in order to get a beautiful novel?
I like to think I am constantly filled with that inspiration, largely because I do spend a lot of time thinking over my books, noticing where there are flaws, and finding ways to fix them. I’ll take time to deepen a character that was lacking in growth and try to figure out where I’m going to put that. Though I’m also very aware of how long it’s taken me to put together this novel, so the answer is a bit of column A, a bit of column B, mostly B though haha.
I have heard of writers that could only write in one place – then that cafe closed down and they could no longer write! Where do you find yourself writing most often, and on what medium (pen/paper or digital)?
Thankfully I don’t struggle with that, well I suppose not to that degree. I do somewhat require some quiet to write of course, but location wise it’s never been a problem. As for medium, I’m fine with both pen and paper, as well as digital! Though digital is far superior, largely due to how quickly I can type compared to handwrite, Isle of Falidor was initially handwritten. I was on a mission for my church when I had started, in my free time I got my notebook out and just started writing, and when I got home from it I put it all into Word.
Before going on to hire an editor, most authors use beta-readers. How do you recruit your beta-readers, and choose an editor? Are you lucky enough to have loving family members who can read and comment on your novel?
I am indeed very lucky in having family and friends who took the time to read my books! I have nieces and nephews who are huge fans, and I do my best to not let it inflate my ego, haha. I am very aware though that you can only take the word of family and friends so far, that’s always been in the back of my mind, so when I have had editors look over the books and give their reports and said they also think they’re good that’s when I first thought I was onto something. Not to disregard my families’ kind words, because they were very much a driving force.
I walk past bookshops and am drawn in by the smell of the books – ebooks simply don’t have the same attraction for me. Does this happen to you, and do you have a favourite bookshop? Or perhaps you are an e-reader fan… where do you source most of your material from?
I have my book on all forms of media! Listening to my book being read by S L Albert (Hopefully I can give her a shout-out, she did amazing work) was the first time I didn’t physically cringe when someone read my work out loud. With that being said, there will never be a proper replacement for the physical copies! My brother is very forward-thinking and he knows the future is E-books and digital media, and I agree it is. But there will always be those of us who want to hold the books in our hands, read the real words off the pages, and of course smell them! There’s nothing like it.
I used to find myself buying books in only one genre (fantasy) before I started writing this blog. What is your favourite genre, and have your tastes changed over time?
It has to a degree. Fantasy has always been a love of mine, but I used to be so much more into Sci-fi, and horror! I grew up reading the Goosebumps series and Animorphs, both of which really kicked started my desire to write, but it wasn’t until Harry Potter that I leaned much more into Fantasy and started reading Tolkien and R A Salvatore, and from there it’s been magic and sword.
Social media is a big thing, much to my disgust! I never have enough time myself to do what I feel is a good job. What do you do?
I am right there with you, I am not a big fan of social media at all! I’ll admit it’s a good thing when it comes to keeping up with friends, families, and new books coming out, but it has such a downside too. I’ll simply leave that there, because I don’t want to rant, if I do that I’ll have to get my stick and demand kids get off my lawn, haha. What’s honestly terrible, for me anyway, is that I’m horrible with keeping up with social media, and that’s especially bad since I am self-published and I very much rely on the internet to get my voice out there. So you have discovered my missing Scale, so to speak, as it is something I need to work on. Thankfully I have an amazing Fiance who does her best to help me keep up on it, but we’re both busy and you simply just forget. My primary platform is Facebook and as for time it’s quite bad, I would say at best about an hour a week. I really am horrible at it. I really don’t mind doing it so much, I suppose it’s more you can only advertise yourself and shout about what you’ve done into the void hoping you’re heard, so I overall wouldn’t say I hate it, nor do I enjoy it, just neutral.
Answering interview questions can often take a long time! Tell me, are you ever tempted to recycle your answers from one to the next?
They certainly can, and I kind of enjoy it to a degree! I put on some of my writing music and get myself zoned in and just go! I haven’t been tempted yet, I don’t think I ever will either, simply because I want people to see the genuine me! They’re not going to get that from a copy-paste of my answers. There certainly are some stories I like to repeat and tell because I think those are fun, but overall not a chance. I think it’s quite fun to answer interview questions and give people an insight into how I think, even if being in my head is a bit scary! Haha.
About the Book
It all started with disbelief. When Earth stopped believing in magic, and began to believe in science, another world was created. A realm where magic ran wild. On this world is an island named Falidor where war has raged for five hundred years. For months General Kalibrach has had recurring dreams that he would find an answer to the bloodshed, an answer in the form of a hero from Earth. Yet will this hero be what they expect, or will she be something more?