My most recent publication entitled A Guide to Exploring Abandoned Churches delves into the religiously-oriented supernatural and unknown. Published as a pseudo-list/short story, outlining individual characteristics of horror-related aspects of abandoned churches in particular, fans of the occult will most definitely enjoy this page turner!
Tell us something about yourself.
My background in publishing actually began as being a contracted illustrator for author Rene Ghazarian’s debut childrens’ series The Adventures of Daniel. After completing Books 1 – 30, I eventually decided to pursue writing as an author under both my birth name as Sebastian Schug, as well as under my pen name “Nicolas Parker,” specifically focused on satirical fiction, black humor, and general comedy-oriented material. Often times, I juxtapose my “cartoonish” style with adult themes. I currently reside in Burbank, California, continuously expanding my network to other authors and artists alike through my publishing company Sebastian Schug Publishing.
What inspired you to write this book?
Direct inspiration for A Guide to Exploring Abandoned Churches came from my love of horror and thriller novels, movies, and short stories alike, as well as my love for adapting specific subject matter for publication. This particular story was, in fact, found and adapted through various online posts, discussion forums, etc.
How did you celebrate when you finished writing the book? When it was published?
Upon finishing A Guide to Exploring Abandoned Churches, I typically celebrate with either a simple walk, a drink, or spending time with loved ones – completely (yet temporarily) distant from my projects as a whole. The book was published on December 3rd, 2019.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
Personally, I did not know that I wanted to be a writer until I ultimately came to the decision that simply illustrating was not all that I wanted to practice my talents on. Realizing that the combination of both my then-not yet utilized authorial capabilities and illustrative talents can exist, I figured – through the perspective this time of young-adult fiction – “why not?”
Are you a pantser or a plotter? (i.e., Do you outline and plan your story or do you just sit down and write?)
I find myself simply sitting down and writing, taking time to jot or plan my respective story’s outline, as well as proceeding to edit out any would-be errors (continuity or otherwise). This stage also sees the sketching, editing, and finalization of any particular cover art or in-book illustrations.
Do you have a daily or weekly writing schedule, or do you write only when you are inspired? How many words or pages do you complete in a typical day?
Typically, I try to write only in my fits of minor/major inspiration, but I have recently attempted to schedule when and where I would like a certain amount of my work for a project completed, should it be of a lengthy manner.
How many drafts did you write before publishing your most recent book?
A Guide to Exploring Abandoned Churches only took one draft, with some minor edits throughout.
What software do you use to write? Or do you prefer to write longhand or dictate your work? What made you choose the method you use?
To write, I often find myself utilizing a combination of traditional “notebook” writing, and Google Docs, Microsoft Office, etc. when transferring my ideas digitally. These methods were chosen most definitely out of convenience, seeing as how all three options do not require internet access and thus can be accessible from any given place and time.
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
To do it all over again differently would to not be so incredibly self-conscious regarding my ideas (ranging from child-related to young-adult) in the beginning. I thoroughly believe that up to this point in time, I have one-hundred percent found my voice, my way of writing, and perhaps most importantly, my own distinct juxtaposed style akin to my satirical outlook on life. Had I not believed so little of myself early on, it’s very possible that I may have had many more imaginative ideas not simply shooed away.
Do you read reviews?
When reviews do happen to arrive, I take my time to read each and every one of them – both positive and negative alike. Admittedly, it was a bit tricky to learn how to accept criticism, even in its most constructive form, however with age, experience, trials and patience I have learned to take each review as it comes naturally, hoping to employ thought-provoking suggestions within my next story.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Simply put, start. Being lost within one’s own frame of reference – believing one’s ideas to be either the best in one’s field and/or the worst work imaginable – is neither being too preachy nor too self-conscious, but unproductive, seeing as how it is these emotions that prevent a potential author/writer to even begin the process in the first place. I often cringe even at the mere mention of my first few works, even wincing in humility at looking back through gloss-overs of such. Practice, and with time, your way of writing will come.
Do you have friends who are writers? How do you help each other to become better writers?
As of now, my friends are not as involved into writing as I am, though are heavily involved with other forms and facets of art, such as music, painting, etc. I believe that with our shared talents, they often times will give me insight on the portrayal of their new pieces, while I can offer them insight as to how to shape specific literary assignments.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
The “perfect reader” for my book would be someone who both shares an immense love of horror and the supernatural, while also sharing an appreciation for what goes into storytelling as a whole; that it doesn’t necessarily have to take a long, drawn-out, nearly inexplicable or ham-fisted plot device, and can instead be small quips to make readers feel uneasy.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
Readers can find out more about myself and A Guide to Exploring Abandoned Churches by simply searching the title of the project within one’s preferred search engine, as well as through searching “Sebastian Schug” or pen name “Nicolas Parker” in order to receive itemized lists of respective projects alike. Also through searching various social media platforms (through the same name), such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc., I am also found in those ways!
Website: www.seboibookacct.wixsite.com/ssnmp (Sebastian Schug Publishing)