First, a bit about S. W.:
S.W. Lothian is a funny and cool guy from Australia. His kids call him ‘Phil Dunphy’ because he reminds them of the dad from Modern Family. He isn’t sure whether this is a compliment or not, but he takes it as a compliment.
As an imaginative kid, he dreamed of creating exciting worlds and funky characters and thought he’d be the most famous person to ever do this. He loved to draw and was dux of Art in high school. Top of his dream list was to be an animator. He loved watching all those classic cartoons on TV - Scooby Doo, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Road Runner (surely, Coyote would win one day), Wacky Races, the list goes on and on.
BOOM! Then reality hit. As weird as it may seem, there were not a lot of opportunities for world famous animators in his home city. The dreams were parked, as reality and the corporate world beckoned. Then 25 years later, the long-held dream to create erupted like a jam donut in a microwave, and S.W. started writing children's fiction for kids. Perhaps his awesome stories will become so popular that they will be animated one day.
Note to my readers: When I asked for an author photo, I received this answer and the picture you see! I don’t have a headshot to provide, so I’ve attached my scarab. As I am lucky enough to have the knowledge of time-travel, I need to stay anonymous – it’s a bit like witness protection. There are some amongst us who may try to track me down, so they can use my time-travel knowledge for evil.
Why did you pick to write books for MG?
I am a huge fan of books that are full of magical settings (like Harry Potter), action and adventure. I love reading and writing this genre, as I’m not one who loves to watch or read needless violence and murders, etc. When I write, it’s for my kids. I try to excite, inspire, and teach them the importance of respect and teamwork. My books are full of awesome edge-of-your-seat action and adventure which is scattered with plenty of humor and fun. I also hope to help adults remember the dreams of their own childhood.
What types of books do you like to read?
I mainly read Middle Grade at the moment as I’m really keen to learn and experience all that this genre has to offer. Other than that, I do enjoy fast-paced action books, and also anything that delves into solving mysteries that are locked away in relics, ruins and legends.
When you are not writing, what do you like to do?
I’m usually so busy that there isn’t much time left for other interests. I love spending time with my kids, of course, but I suppose my interests revolve around creating things. I really enjoy a bit of video editing when I get the chance. The other thing that I love is to plan and experience travel. Living down under is great, but all of my favorite places for travel are on the other side of the world. Given the great distances we have to travel, our holidays usually end up being highly organised month long adventures crammed full of amazing places and accents.
Tell us about The Fallen Pharaoh, and how the story came to be.
The Fallen Pharaoh is Part 3 of the Quest series. My inspiration for the series was my lifelong fascination with ancient Egypt and my love of fantasy and action/adventure. I have always been a huge fan of Indiana Jones and Harry Potter. I wanted to create a tale about normal everyday kids, who weren’t long lost descendants of powerful ancestors, who find themselves in amazing adventures. Hopefully, it’s something that everyday kids can relate to. Ancient Egypt provides a great backdrop for a story that is full of fantastic locations, legends and magic. I relish the grand scale of the settings and love to take my characters to amazing places. When I write, I can see the movie playing in my head, it’s so vivid. I dream of my books becoming CG movies one day, as I’m such a fan of them.
Now a peek at The Fallen Pharaoh:
It’s a quest to discover if the legend is true. If it is, our heroes need to find the ankh and return it to its rightful place. The awesome foursome from the future (JJ, Linc, Rani and Patra) are in the race of their life – against the passage of time and mysterious forces that want them stopped.
This edge-of-your-seat adventure weaves its thrills and mystery through the very crossroads of time itself. From ancient Egypt, to the centre of time, to modern Paris. The gang of four must face their most amazing encounters so far.
The pressure is on. Who is trying to stop them? Will our heroes overcome the danger and challenges of their newest quest? Only time will tell.
The time has come for the legend to rise and protect.
Have you written other books? If so, tell us a bit about them.
What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?
I have a few projects on the go. The trouble is I need to work out which one to focus on next. Of course there are books 4 and 5 in the Quest series, but I also have a great idea for a spin off series called Time Square. Once you read The Fallen Pharaoh, you’ll understand more about what this would entail. I also have another single book in mind called Flipside. Without revealing too much, it’s essentially taking what we deem as the norm, and looking at everything in a totally different way.
What advice do you have for other authors?
Be forewarned, writing is only half the battle. Once the book is out there, the hardest thing is being seen and discovered by the audience. I had no idea that there would be so many others out there on the same journey. Ebooks are definitely the future, but in my experience, readers of this genre still prefer (or it may just be old habits) to have a physical book. So I think having physical books in stores (if possible) is still an important driver for middle grade books sales. Stay focused, and be prepared for a long overnight on the path to overnight success.
Anything else you want readers to know?
I love hearing from my readers. One of the strangest things about writing is the huge length of time from when you pen the words on the page until the time that a reader engages in the story. It’s very fulfilling when readers contact me to share their thoughts and questions about my books.
Where can readers find you and your books?
My books are available at Amazon throughout the universe in eBook and paperback editions.
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