Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Meet MG Time Traveling Author S. W. Lothian

Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes S. W. Lothian, MG author of the Time Travel novels The Quest Series. He talks today about the third book in the series The Fallen Pharaoh. His first book in this series The Golden Scarab was a 2013 Readers' Favorite Award Finalist. Get comfortable and prepare yourself for a treat!

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:

Tragedy sends a shockwave across the land, and rumours begin to surface and spread. Has the very thing that protects the Pharaoh gone missing? An ancient Egyptian legend foretells that without it, the safety of the Pharaoh is doomed. Khafre calls upon his trusted friends from the future to seek out the fabled Ankh of Life.

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.

In my day job, I’ve written hundreds of corporate documents that have thrilled my colleagues (in a corporate kind of way) in Australia and the UK over the years.  As far as novels go, The Fallen Pharaoh is the third book I have written in the Quest series.  The others are The Golden Scarab and The Cursed Nile. Each of the books is packed full of fast-paced action and my dry sense of humor pops up throughout them.  I have two others planned that will complete the series with a fantastic climax.  With such a great story churning around in my head, it has been my writing focus for the past five years.  The adventures of JJ, Linc, Rani and Patra still have a way to go.

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? 

S.W. Lothian




My books are available at Amazon throughout the universe in eBook and paperback editions.

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Amazon DE

Amazon JP

Amazon BR

Other Countries and Planets


  1. I just finished the Golden Scarab today. Mau is my favorite but then maybe Katrina made me type that. ;) Nice interview and funny author photo.
    Have a great week!

    1. 3 cheers. I hope you liked it ... Mau is a legend .... 8^)

    2. 3 cheers ... I hope you liked it !!!! Mau is a legend ... 8^)

  2. Thank you for this post!

  3. Hiya Cheryl. Thanks for having me on board for the interview. It's great to be here 8^)

  4. Lovely interview! I'm beginning to imagine SW as a kind of half-man, half-scarab. Well, maybe he is! He just takes human form on Earth :) Happy Hopping...

    1. Hmmm ... here's a tip ... if you search my blog you may find a couple of secret pics lingering. Clue = Egypt

  5. I adore Phil Dunphy ;) Sounds like SW and I would be great friends! Thanks so much for sharing with the KLBH, Cheryl!

    1. We're big Modern Family fans here. Phil is such a dill, but a funny dill.

  6. This was a fantastic interview with Steve. We are huge fans and the Fallen Pharaoh was my favourite so far. I can't wait for Time Square though, I loved the references in book 3. Hurry up Steve......

    1. Cheers for dropping in Julie. Time Square was such a great part of The Fallen Pharaoh, that it just had to be explored further. So the series was born. Keep your eyes peeled.

      If anyone wants to see what my new characters look like, then race at top speed over to www.swlothian.com for a sneak-peek

  7. Very well done interview! I love the fact that the author Lethian has not given up on his dream and making this real. The fallen Pharoah sounds very exciting and fast! I am sure MG readers will be pulled to it. Great job and congrats!
    Thanks for sharing on kid Lit blog hop Cheryl!
    -Reshama @Stackingbooks.com

  8. I've heard a lot of great things about S. W. Lothian and his books. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Glad you've heard good things, Katie 8^)

  9. Yay you Steve/Scarab Man - can I call you that now? lol It turns out you don't look a thing like a scarab (I've uncovered a photo!) hee, hee ...

    Yes, all great books, and 100% middle grade friendly (i.e., no violence, no bad language, etc.)

    Thanks so much for this great interview Cheryl and for hostessing the Kid Lit Blog Hop once again! :-)

    1. Ahhh Renee. Your detective skills are good.... Sounds like you managed to solve the clever clue I left.