Mike Saxton – 7 Scorpions: Rebellion

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

The title is 7 Scorpions: Rebellion. It is the first of a trilogy (book 2 will be Revolution and book 3 will be Retribution).

It is a science fiction, post apocalyptic series set in the not-so-distant future. A mysterious dictator known only as the Zodiac coordinated a global attack by detonating flash bombs in every major city across the world in an event called the Flash Storm, sending the survivors into chaos and anarchy. In the days that followed, he unleashed is dark army of Seekers, who radiate an aura of fear, to enslave or destroy all of those who opposed them. The armies of the world were no more. There was no organized resistance, no apparent means to stop the Grand Army from their sweep of death and destruction until a man, who had been in exile for over a year, re-emerged to fight back. His name is Vincent Black, a former vigilante turned government super soldier. Together with a band of unlikely allies, it is up to them to fight back against Zodiac to save what remains of humanity.

Tell us something about yourself.

I grew up in Vernon, CT. I attended Eastern Connecticut State University starting in 1996 and became a Resident Assistant starting my Sophomore year. The following year, I met and started dating Amy, my now wife (we met because I was her RA). I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Eastern and following graduation, I was hired full time as a Residence Hall Director and subsequently earned my Master of Science degree in Organizational Management. My son, Christopher was born two weeks after completing my comprehensive exams for my Master’s degree. I live with my wife, son, and two cats Padme and Obi-Wan (yes, I am a Star Wars fan).

I was inspired to write by four years of lucid dreaming that began the summer prior to my Junior year of High School and concluded during the summer after my Sophomore year of college. After spending eleven years compiling the dreams and making sense of them, I gained the sudden, intense inspiration to finally start writing them in novel format.

I had decided that he wanted to become a writer during this time of lucid dreaming. Life became busy and I shelved the desire for a while but finally got into it. I am hoping to one day be able to write full time. I find it therapeutic, relaxing, and exciting when I can create whole science fiction and fantasy worlds.

What inspired you to write this book?

4 years of lucid dreaming where the scenes and scenarios that play out in my book came to life.

How did you choose the title?

It came to me one day while I was mentally processing the dreams. The main character has a “7” tattooed on his right eyelid and a scorpion tattooed around the eye (the body below the socket and the tail wrapping around).

What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?

I was fortunate that my wife went to the Book Expo of America last year in New York City and met a contracting agent for the publisher. They hit it off and I ended up contracting with them.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

I knew back in high school, when the dreaming was in high gear, that one day I wanted to be a writer.

Do you have any writing rituals?

I don’t have a particular ritual. Inspirations come to me all of the time. I actually keep a pad of paper on my night stand to take quick notes as many of my inspirations come to me before sleep, during the night, or right after I wake up. When my mind starts flowing with ideas for my writing, I do what I can to get to a computer and write them out. If I can’t, the notes usually trigger the inspiration to come back.

How do you come up with the names for your characters?

Most of them came to me through the dreams. In the cases where names weren’t complete (one of the characters always went by his last name, a couple of other ones weren’t named, etc), I used what came to mind. In the case of the character (Chris Talbot) who always went by his last name, I used my son’s name as his first name but, just as in the dreams, he mainly goes by his last name.

Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?

I learned that if you keep going and don’t give up, you can tackle any writing feat, no matter how large (the book is over 158,000 words). I learned a substantial amount about the publishing industry as well as book marketing (I read 3 books on publishing and marketing as well as countless articles and online guides). While I don’t claim to be an expert, I feel that a lot of what I learned about marketing is applicable to pretty much any field.

If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?

To be honest, I wouldn’t change anything. Regrets and “wouldas”, “shouldas”, “couldas” are counter-productive. Things came together the way that they did for a reason and if I changed them, I don’t know that things would have been better and quite possibly, they would have been worse.

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?

I am a huge science fiction and fantasy buff but I also like non-fiction, self-development, and paranormal studies books. My favorite authors are R.A. Salvatore, Timothy Zahn, John Flanagan, Drew Karpyshyn, and James Luceno.

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

Yes, the second book of the series, “7 Scorpions: Revolution”. I don’t want to spoil the first book by delving too far into the second one but things are coming to a head in the battle against Zodiac and there are some not-so-pleasant surprises awaiting the resistance.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

Write from the heart. Be true to your writing. Don’t sell yourself short in the hopes to get a publishing contract. The biggest thing is to believe in yourself. Being an author is competitive and you face a lot of rejection but all you need is that one right person to say “yes” (and you may be surprised about who the right people end up being). If you really want to be an author, give it your all and don’t quit. Learn all that you can and take as much constructive feedback as you can get.

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

People who like post apocalyptic storylines, people who enjoy action/adventure, and people who like survival against all odds type of stories.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

My web site is the best place to go for more information on me as well as my book. www.7scorpions.com