Monday, October 14, 2019

Q&A with 'Dread Pirate Arcanist' Shami Stovall

Shami Stovall grew up in California’s central valley with a single mother and little brother. Despite no one in her family earning a degree higher than a GED, she put herself through college (earning a BA in History), and then continued on to law school where she obtained her Juris Doctorate.

As a child, Stovall’s favorite novel was Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. The adventure on a deserted island opened her mind to ideas and realities she had never given thought before—and it was at that moment Stovall realized story telling (specifically fiction) became her passion. Anything that told a story, be it a movie, book, video game or comic, she had to experience. Now, as a professor and author, Stovall wants to add her voice to the myriad of stories in the world and she hopes you enjoy.


Tell us about your book! What is it about and what inspired you to write it?

Dread Pirate Arcanist is the sequel to my award-winning fantasy novel, Knightmare Arcanist! It follows a teenager by the name of Volke Savan, and he lives in a world where people can bond to mythological creatures to gain magic. People who bond to phoenixes get fire and healing, whereas people who bond to leviathans get wind and storms—and the possibilities are endless!

I wanted to write a fun adventure novel because at the time I was writing a rather dark and gritty post-apocalyptic novel (and I needed something to balance me out). I had a lot of fun with it, so now I’m continuing the series.

Tell us about your publishing process. What was it like? Did you go indie or the traditional way?

I’ve gone both! I started traditional (with an agent), and then I went indie.

I know a lot of people think traditional is the best, but after jumping through all the hoops, it just wasn’t worth it. Everyone takes your royalties, every editor wants to change your work, and there are constant rejections or delays—it’s very frustrating.

When I went indie, though, everything was different. I had complete control, I made way more money, and the only delay is on me. If I work fast, everything gets done fast. No need to wait on a large publishing house editor who has to take four weeks of vacation because they twisted their ankle (true story).

How did you choose the title for your book? Did it come to you right away, before you started writing it, or did it come later?

The main character of the first book, Volke, bonded with a knightmare. That made the title easy—anyone who bonds with a mythological creature gains the title “arcanist” so he was “the knightmare arcanist.”

For the second book, the villain is a dread pirate (any pirate who has sunk more than five ships) and since he’s bonded to a manticore, I figured the title of the book should be either “manticore arcanist” or “dread pirate arcanist.”

In the end, Dread Pirate Arcanist definitely sounded the coolest!

Tell us about the cover design process. Did you have a basic idea of what your book cover would be like?

Yeah, I really like simplistic designs for books in a series. Dread Pirate Arcanist has a manticore (because of the pirate) and two flintlock pistols (because of the setting). The pirates use those handguns to do their dastardly deeds, so it seems a fitting visual representation.

Who is your cover designer and how did you find him/her?

I found Darko through a website called 99Designs. He’s amazing—his work is outstanding, he’s very professional, and he does exactly what I ask him to do. If anyone is in the market for cover designs, please visit the website and browse their catalogue of talented individuals.

How was your experience working with the designer?

Very positive. I told him to make something striking, yet simplistic, and to incorporate the manticore, and he did just that.

What has been the readers’ response to your cover?

Again, very positive. It’s a striking cover that’s easily seen even in thumbnail size. Everyone loves it. I haven’t heard a single complaint.

What tips would you give to authors who are looking for a cover designer?

Like I said above—go to 99Designs and hire an artist. They do good work, and the website is set up to facilitate transactions.

Anything else you’d like to say about your book?

It’s super amazing and will definitely fill that void in your heart you didn’t even know was there. Purchase it today (paperback, e-book, or audio).

Thank you again for having me, and please remember to check out Dread Pirate Arcanist!

Author: Shami Stovall
Publisher: Capital Station Books
Pages: #437
Genre: YA Fantasy

While protecting the newborn griffins on the Isle of Landin, Volke Savan and his adopted sister, Illia, run afoul of the Dread Pirate Calisto, the same cutthroat who carved out Illia’s right eye. As a master manticore arcanist, Calisto’s strength and brutality are unrivaled. When Illia suggests they bring him to justice, Volke wonders if they’ll have what it takes to fight the corsairs on the high seas.
A fast-paced flintlock fantasy for those who enjoy How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell, Unsouled (Cradle Series) by Will Wight, and Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan.
Praise for the Frith Chronicles!
Perfect for those who enjoy the Codex Alera series, the Homas Wildus series, and the Harry Potter series. Stovall is quickly becoming a name I look for.”
Seattle Book Review
An addictive series. Shami Stovall has produced a mesmerizing story of magic, intrigue, and true adventure.”
Absolutely brilliant.”
Now continue the Frith Chronicles with the second book, Dread Pirate Arcanist!

No comments:

Post a Comment