Authors, Writers, Publishers, and Book Readers
Q1: Thanks for participating in our Authors.com Spotlight Interview series, Sean! Please introduce yourself and your books to help our readers get to know you.
I am Sean Noonan, a former sea Captain. I write Fantasy Adventures for children & the young at heart. At sea, I spent 20 years sailing the globe on super-tankers, which was a great way to learn about life.
Now I run my own company, travelling the world assessing ships’ safety. While I’m away, I miss my family, so awhile ago, I began to write a stories for my kids.
The first 2 tales of The Everlasting and Fantastical Adventures are available as books/ebooks. They're “Of Lights in the Night” & “A First Christmas”. Currently I am writing books three & four “A Salty Seadog’s Tale” & “The Halloween Secret” . There’s many more adventures to come.
Q2: Please explain how you came to be a writer, what inspired you to write your book(s) and how long it took.
My kids are my inspiration. I’m away from home, too much, & I wanted to create a stronger bond with my kids, so I wrote them a story. It was a tale about fireworks night in the Land of Dreams (a passion for which I acquired growing up in Malta - I recall watching the night sky blooming with colours. It was magical).
Q3: What did you enjoy most about creating this book?
The best thing about creating the tales is the fun I have & the look of wonder on my kids' faces when they listen. I love the way their imaginations fly, taking the stories beyond what I had originally dreamed. Both my kids add to the tales with character names, twists in the plots & even illustrations.
Q4: What facets of your life, both personal and professional, are woven into your book, if any?
The stories, like my life, are full of fun & adventure. We all see the world in our own way, tinted by our own experiences. From my love of fireworks & Christmas, to the creation of the characters who help inspire me, such as the troll-wizard Grumphspawn. When I was younger I played D&D and my favourite class was a wizard; the name Grumphspawn comes from a Norwegian troll I bought in Edinburgh. Together the ideas became a likeable, but grumpy, wizard who helps Elannah and Sam in their adventures.
The third book is set on the Seven Sleeping Seas & I have woven wonders from my time afloat into the adventure. Having spent 20 years at sea I have many experiences to draw upon. I heard someone say that “all artists give from their soul, that is what makes them precious to the world” - I like that! Sounds about right, don’t you think?
Q5. How did you get published?
Like many Authors, I was convinced the tales were worthy by others. I was told of a publisher in Colorado, OutskirtsPress I felt a connection with as I had spent time in the Rockies. They agreed to publish me.
Q6: Did you have any surprises or hiccups along the way during the book writing and/or publishing process?
The best surprise was the reviews.
I enjoyed writing the books & knew my family and friends liked them, but to have others, professionals & strangers love them too, not just children but people of all ages, was simply amazing.
I have a couple from India who often write to inspire me & some wonderful folks from the USA who went out of their way to call & tell me the tales are some of the best they have read. It’s all very humbling. I feel blessed.
I was also surprised by my kids. Not just that they liked the stories, but that they wanted to be involved. From Elannah, taking to pen & paper, to Sam with his enthusiasm for naming characters, adding his own ideas to the creative mix. His latest name is “Coco M’Tam”, a monkey that will be in one of the later books. This is not only inspiring for me, it adds motivation & helps the flow of the adventures. Whenever I wonder where the tales with go next, I just ask myself, “What would Elannah and Sam want to happen?”
Q7: What one thing did you wish you'd known before you started this project?
Actually I feel I am more an author by accident than by design.
I was such a novice when I started writing, certainly not connected with the literary world, except as an avid reader of course. I needed a lot of advice. I had finished the first two tales when I found out about the Writers and Artists Yearbook. This for me was a most informative read, full of useful tips & info about the industry. I recommend it to anyone with an interest in becoming a part of the literary world. One particular tip that I hadn’t appreciated, was the way in which stories are edited again & again & again, then proofread. When you first finish writing a story you still have a long way to go with the polishing up. It’s like finding a diamond, all rough & covered in mud. There's a lot of other work to do before achieving its full potential.
Q8: You're a fly on the wall when readers are discussing your book. What would you hope to hear them say about it?
This is a great question, quite unusual for interviews.
It would be good just to have my readers so caught up with the characters & plots that they want to talk about them. The characters in my books have become my friends & it would be nice if they lived in other people’s lives too. Also, as I wish my stories inspire the imagination, I hope the readers will let their imaginations run riot creating their own adventures, either with the characters from the books or from their own dreams. It’s wonderful when I see that happening, I have had kids come up to me in the street (after hearing the stories at school) filled with ideas, brilliant stuff! We should always encourage creativity & curiosity .
Q9: Tell us one thing about you that most people don't know or would surprise them.
Until recently, I never saw myself as a Author. When I was in primary school I was awarded a special prize for my writing. But not for excellence, rather for the worst handwriting in the year. In fact my penmanship is still spiderscrawl. My forte is definitely my imagination, the way the tales come to me. That keeps me going, as we polish up my rough work into something that shines. However, the rewards are well worth the effort. It goes to show, you never know where life’s paths will go. Follow your dreams & you may find yourself achieving them.
Q10: What single piece of advice would you give new authors?
Enjoy life fully. Be determined and true. Give freely of yourself & you may be surprised in return.
Q11: Share a short summary of a typical day in your life with us please.
I am not your typical author, who is really?
My time for writing is not as much as I would like, between travelling for ships & balancing family life with my long periods away from home. I write when I can, on airplanes, in airports or in hotel rooms. Once I even recall waiting in an office in Alexandria, my mind wondered to the tales, so I got my laptop out & started writing. I'm lucky to be able to work anywhere, even in crowds, focusing on the tales blots out any distractions.
Q12: Describe where you do most of your writing. What would I see if I was sitting beside you?
Do you like flying? Most of my earlier tales were written on airplanes. I visualise the next bit of the story as we taxi down the runway, when the seatbelt sign has been switched off, I break out the laptop & tap away. All the years of writing reports has made me a fast typist which really helps.
Personally I don’t see much when I am writing, my attention is fully on the stories, but I am sure if you looked out of the window you’d see all manner of clouds, stars, mountains, oceans, rainbows …
Q13: What's your motto or favorite quote you like to live by?
Muhammad Ali - ‘The man who has no imagination has no wings’. We all need to fly.
Q14: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us in closing such as your website, an imminent book launch or what you're working on presently?
Currently I am polishing the 3rd book - A Salty Seadog's Tale. About a Seadog who has lost his itch & wants to find it again. Elannah and Sam are in there too, as they set out to have a dream holiday without parents to tell them what they can do. There's also a purple pearl that holds the key to happiness, but is lost at sea. It’s fun weaving the threads of the tales together.
The 4th book “A Halloween Secret” revisits some of our favourite characters in the Land of Dreams, when Elannah and Sam go trick & treating to Grumphspawn’s home. However all is not as it should be, the two pigs (Piggywiggy and Oink) run away from a very grumpy Grumphspawn who slams the door in the friend’s faces - only to open it again with smiles & friendly greetings a moment later. The mystery of the ‘two Grumphspawns’ needs solving & the friends find themselves on a Halloween adventure. This tale has lot of high jinks & Sam (my son) asked me to make sure the excitement just keeps getting better & better. I try … LOL!
Thanks for the interview, it’s much appreciated.
My Authors.com profile: http://www.authors.com/profile/SeanNoonan
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