Meet Kelly Epperson, author of The Seeker's Stone and Nathan and the Knights. "Kelly is a Wyoming native, transplant to South Carolina and has lived all across the earth adventuring as a US Marine. He lives with his wife Margaret, surrounded by four kids, two dogs and unlimited hobbies. He holds a Master's degree in Mathematics and a Bachelor of Arts in Music Composition from the College of Charleston and enjoys playing guitar, chess, board and video games, soccer and practicing martial arts. He stays busy writing fiction for kids that he hopes make a difference in their lives and inspire them to become the super-heroes they were born to be." Read Kelly's interview below.
How long have you been writing? I've been writing since high school, so about 19 years in various capacities. I spent 9 years on active duty as a Marine pilot, so I wrote a lot of technical stuff as well as journaling my travels (not going to publish that any time soon, or probably ever), writing illustrated children's books for my kids when they were younger, novels while aboard a ship, a bit of non-fiction and recently some short stories exploring what I think are some serious problems our society faces and needs to figure out.
What is your most recent literary/artistic project? Currently, I'm working on a new science adventure chapter book series called The Seeker's Stone. Think of it as The Magic School Bus meets Magic Tree House with more sci-fi flavor. The protagonists are Emily and John, two adopted kids, and Catie, the intelligent computer pilot of a mysterious ship the kids discover at science camp. Each book explores another STEM topic, and the kids learn universal character values like courage, compassion, and self-reliance along the way. Meanwhile, Catie learns more about what it means to be a good friend.
What inspires you to write?
I love telling stories. It's a fantastic way to transport myself into fascinating imaginary worlds. I hope my readers enjoy going there too! I love writing children's books because I want to inspire kids everywhere (I have four of my own) to dream big dreams, plan to achieve them and work hard to reach them. We shape our culture through our stories, and I want to make our world a better, more peaceful place with mine.
Who’s your favorite author and why?
Hmmm... That's a tough one. There are so many. I love Robert Jordan and J.R.R. Tolkien for fantasy, and I love J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter"! For sci-fi, I love Timothy Zahn, Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov (of course). I've read just about all the Star Wars extended universe novels (no, really... I'm normal, I promise...). I also love Michael Crighton. For kids' books, there are too many to list. Seriously, there are a million good children's book authors out there!
What advice can you give to other authors or writers? Read "On Writing" by Stephen King. Although I don't enjoy all his fictional subjects, he's a masterful writer and these ideas come from him. Write the rough draft straight through. Write to a minimum word count every day so your mind learns to produce. Write, write, write, and shape the story with themes later. I use a mixture of "plotting" and "pantsing" (writing by the seat of your pants) and sometimes that means I have to adjust my pre-planned plot when a character does something unexpected. Fix your grammar on a first edit, then go back and kill adverbs, eviscerate the passive voice and try to say everything the most understandable way. Save your purple language for when it makes sense. It's like a strong spice. It's nice in the right balance, but don't overdo it! I'm sure I don't achieve that all the time, but it's a moving target. Every editing pass, every draft, and every project make you better. When you just can't take reading your work one more time, get beta readers to make suggestions, do one more pass yourself, put a great cover on it, plan your marketing (I hate marketing, but that's life) and then publish. Leave everything on the field, as they say. Give it your absolute best when it's time to launch. Don't fear failure. The only way to fail is to quit!
Where can readers go to find out more information about your work?
Information about The Seeker's Stone lives at: Website: https://www.TheSeekersStone.com,
You can follow my author profile on:
Wow, that's a lot of different ways to follow. No wonder it feels like I'm refreshing pages constantly!