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Rapture (Rapture Trilogy, #1)
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Author Interview of the Month > Author Interview with Phillip W. Simpson

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Sylvia  | 13086 comments Mod
Okay members, this month we are featuring Male Authors Only and our 1st interview is with Phillip W. Simpson, author of Rapture (Rapture Trilogy, #1) by Phillip W. Simpson Tribulation (Rapture Trilogy, #2) by Phillip W. Simpson Apocalypse (Rapture Trilogy, #3) by Phillip W. Simpson The Unseen Country by Phillip W. Simpson Overdrive by Phillip W. Simpson The Smallest Trolley Racer (Kiwi Bites) by Phillip W. Simpson Hamsterboy The Birth of a Hero (Hamsterboy, #1) by Phillip W. Simpson Hamsterboy and the Case of the Missing Lunchbox (Hamsterboy, #3) by Phillip W. Simpson Hamsterboy and the interschool vegetable-growing competition (Hamsterboy, #5) by Phillip W. Simpson Hamsterboy and the agents from SHAC (Hamsterboy, #4) by Phillip W. Simpson Hamsterboy and the Case of the Trapped Kitty (Hamsterboy, #2) by Phillip W. Simpson . This is our 61st Author Interview since we started and it is conducted by one of our moderators. Please read this interview and we hope you will be able to pick up lessons about her experience.If there are any questions you would like to ask Phillip W. Simpson please post them here. Thankyou.

1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Since I was a boy but seriously - possibly about 10 years ago when I took the time off to write my first novel. It was a steep learning curve and I don’t think I was terribly successful. I’ve got better since (I hope). It taught me one valuable lesson, however – writing is a discipline. Anyone can write books, you just have to be dedicated. That means spending a certain amount of time each day doing it.

2. How long does it take you to write a book?
If I write for a whole day, I’ll usually get about 4,000 words done. That’s 20k a week. You do the math – you can have a whole novel written in about 4 weeks. Of course, it may be terrible, but that’s what the editing process is all about. Generally speaking, if I write full-time, I'll have a novel written in about 2 months (not including a couple of weeks planning and thinking time).

3. What do you think makes a great story?
Good world building and an engaging character or characters that the audience can relate to or empathize with.

4. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I teach during the day and my wife and I have a baby boy (Jack), so I don’t have much time during the week. To be honest, I’m too tired when I get home to summon up the creative energy you need to write a novel. During school terms, I write in the weekends. Usually both days from 8am until about 4pm. I can get on a bit of a roll then. In the holidays, I’ll write every weekday for about the same time. I have the weekends off.

5. How do you balance family and writing?
See above. Family time is after school and the few months I have off between novels.

6. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
I read a lot and I like to do research (a product of spending almost 10 years studying at college). I watch the news religiously and watch far too many movies (when my son is in bed). I'm always thinking 'what if?' and surf the internet obsessively.

7. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That no-one had done this before. The left behind series covered the Rapture but nothing like this - not this amalgam of fantasy and religious dogma.

8. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
About 50 books for young readers (almost all with an educational bent). Five novels, 2 chapter books, 2 picture books, a host of short stories and numerous articles. My wife's favorite is the 'Unseen Country' but I personally love Tribulation, the second book in the Rapture Trilogy.

9. Are your characters based on anyone you know?
Adam, the leader of the Black Ridge survivors is based on one on my friends. His name is, well, Adam. He’s solid and dependable, too. I killed off quite a few of my other friends in the book too. Grace’s Aunty and Uncle (Greg and Linda Muller) are good friends in real life. I killed them off without giving them a scene. Lots of friends have asked to be included in the next book (their names in any case), but I keep warning them that they will probably die.

10. Do you have a favorite place you love to write?
Anywhere where my son can't find me. If he does, I have to pick him up which makes it impossible to type. He, of course, is able to and has almost succeeded in deleting several pieces of work with his busy fingers. I generally hide in the garage now.

11. Tell us one thing we wouldn’t know already know about you.
I play drums in the school band. I’ve been playing for years but I’m still pretty rubbish.

12. What do your family and friends think about your books?
Most have been very supportive. My wife is my biggest fan and reads everything I write. My brother is not much of a reader. He's very supportive but I don't think he's read any of my novels.

13. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Are you implying that I have free time? Sleep mostly. Family time. When I can, play football and golf. Go fishing. Read. Drink single malt whiskeys. Read some more.

14. Do you have any suggestions to help aspiring writers better themselves and their craft? If so, what are they?
This sounds trite because every author says it but it’s true – write, write, and then write some more. Read lots. Write in the genre you love. I’ve become a better writer because I read and write a lot. Practice makes perfect.

15. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
An archaeologist. I trained to become one and worked as one for a while. It didn't quite live up to my expectations (Indiana Jones lied to me!). I would've liked to have become an astronaut but I don't think I could handle the G's (I tend to scream a lot on rollercoasters).

16. What are your favorite books and which authors inspire you?
Like many, I got into fantasy because of Tolkien. I must have read the Hobbit when I was seven. Jack Vance is my all time favorite author. He is just such a wordsmith. His writing is magical and has a timeless charm. Effortless. He is very descriptive though and I really wanted to try and get away from that with my latest works (I have been guilty of it before) because it has a tendency to slow down the narrative. I wanted this to be very fast paced. I’d read a few of Lee Child’s books (Jack Reacher novels) just before starting Rapture and I really liked his pared down, thrifty approach to his prose. I think he has definitely influenced my writing style.

In terms of favorite authors, I love Jack Vance, Iain M. Banks, Peter F. Hamilton, China Mieville and Tolkien of course. My favorite book of all time though is The Forever War by Joe Haldeman.

17. For an aspiring writer what do you feel are certain do's and don’ts for writing a successful book?
You've probably heard it all before but show, don't tell. Let the characters tell the story (it can be hard when you only have one main character). Don't be over descriptive - let the audience picture the scene. Do your research. Figure out what your target demographic is and make sure your idea hasn't been done before.

18. What are you working on now?
I'm having a little hiatus at the moment. I wrote three novels (not including some education books) in two years and I feel a little drained of creativity. I'm going to have 2013 off in terms of novels. I have a few writing contracts to complete this year including the possibility of a rather large textbook but 2014 is going to be all about the novel. I've already started one and the plan for the second is all but complete in my head. So hopefully, I'll write two novels next year.


Sylvia  | 13086 comments Mod
Thank you so much Phillip for doing this interview with our group and I love your Rapture series and can't wait to read the final book to find out what happens :)


Tracy | 7239 comments Mod
Great interview Phillip. I LOVE Rapture and Tribulation!


Marni (wonderwmn999) | 3578 comments Awesome interview. I'm currently reading Tribulation and have had the pleasure of woking with him in our R4R program.


message 5: by Brenda (new) - added it

Brenda (brendareads) | 151 comments Awesome!! Thanks for taking the time to do the interview, I'm a big fan. :)


Phillip Simpson (phillipwsimpson) | 18 comments Thanks guys! You've all been really supportive and I appreciate it.


message 7: by Allyson (new) - added it

Allyson (allysonmichelle) Hey Phillip, great interview your books sound like some good reads they will be added to my to read list. :)


Phillip Simpson (phillipwsimpson) | 18 comments Thanks, Allyson. I take it you're pretty good at lighting fires?


Karen’s Library Thanks for the interview. I have both Rapture and Tribulation (signed copy - woot woot). Great series!!


message 10: by Brenda (new) - added it

Brenda (brendareads) | 151 comments Karen wrote: "Thanks for the interview. I have both Rapture and Tribulation (signed copy - woot woot). Great series!!"

^ jealous


message 11: by Megan (new) - added it

Megan Totally adding Rapture to my TBR riiiight now. Just finished the Left Behind series and would love to see what spin these take! Pumped!


Phillip Simpson (phillipwsimpson) | 18 comments Thanks, Megan. For those who are interested, I'm currently in the process of uploading the books to amazon's createspace so I can provide print copies of Apocalypse. Rapture and Tribulation were both printed by my publisher but since getting my rights back, I only thought to get Apocalypse out as an ebook. That's about to change. Stay tuned!


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