Today, I’d like to welcome author and close friend, E. S. Skipper.
His first short story, ‘No Worries, Mate’, has recently been published in Wayward Ink Publishing‘s Bollocks! anthology.
Congratulations on a fabulous story and for the wonderful reviews you’ve received so far. It was a pleasure to work alongside you as your boys came to life on the screen. I’m glad I helped steer you in the right direction with their story and was there to support you every step of the way on your route to publishing.
Oma’s interview at E.S. Skipper’s Bollocks! Release Day Party on Facebook.
Can you tell me how you came to want to write?
I started reading fanfiction a while back and I enjoyed it a lot. There were many great stories out there, but also some really bad ones that were getting heaps of reviews. The authors hadn’t even studied the subject properly. And yes, it is fiction, but some of these people were moving into dangerous topics. People could have gotten hurt if they thought it was all right to try things they were reading. So after moaning at my friend, he said he had enough of my complaining and told me to put up or shut up. So I put up.
My stories can be found on fanfiction as Emmett’s Submissive
When you create your characters do they come strictly from your imagination, people you know in real life, or a mix?
Oh, so not a fair question. Without realising it, I tend to see people I know in my characters. Although my novel I am trying to write at the moment is about two very close friends. I have used them as inspiration. They are whom I imagine in my head when I write. But other than that, they are nothing like the characters and they have become unique in a way but still hold the characteristics of my friends. They love it, so I am happy about that.
I’ve had the privilege to watch you write. It’s amazing how your process works. How do you develop your writing ideas?
Okay, you’re making me give the secret away. Actually, I have none. I sit down and write. I don’t think my characters talk to me. I don’t pause or make changes until the chapter is done normally. Take Rangi and Jake from ‘No Worries, Mate’. A friend on Facebook said something so small, but made it click in my head. Yep, she had visited New Zealand and commented on how laid back and nothing was a bother. As you know, I say No Worries all the time. It’s a common New Zealand, and yes, I have to admit, Australian saying. So out of her simple comment ‘No Worries, Mate’ was born.
You’ve recently been accepted by Wayward Ink Publishing for an original story. How did you feel once you’d submitted?
Oh, you are so freaking mean. You know how I felt. Scared, worried, regretful, but mainly proud I had actually taken that step. But I wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for my amazing beta and friend Lily G. Blunt aka Bob Loving. She is my mentor and held my hand every step of the way. When I say that I seriously mean she held my hand. Hell, she even set the document up. I basically typed the story and handed it to her. She did the rest. You have seen my writing. I never go back and edit. Oh wait, I do now. *Blushing here. Thanks, hun*
What was your reaction when you learned you had been accepted?
I am not ashamed to say I cried. I was never a scholar at school. Basically told I was a no-hoper. Well, I can’t wait for a school reunion now and go and say, well guess you were wrong. Don’t give up on a dream. Hell, writing was never my dream, but now it is a passion.
Tell me about the publishing process; what you enjoyed most, and liked least.
It’s horrible! It honestly is hard. You have to go through so much. But an author is just a slice in the whole process. EDITS are the bane of my life. I hate them. Normally you go through two edits. I HAD four! As you know, I am new at this game. I handed over a story but got told that in a few places I was telling rather than showing. Thankfully Wayward Ink Publishing saw something in me. I had to fix it after the first submission before it went to the next partner in the business. Then it had to go to my first editor. I ADORE her and can’t thank her enough. But guess what? I didn’t gel with my next one. I didn’t mind her, but her style was not to my liking. She is brilliant at her job, but she didn’t get me as a writer. And best part? I have yet to find one. Although holding your book in your hand is incredible and it makes it all seem worthwhile.
Do you have any plans to publish again?
*hangs head* Yes, as much as I moan about it, I can’t not do it again! Although this time I will be better prepared.
Do you have other stories in the works?
Yep! That is all I am saying at this moment in time. I don’t know what I will be finishing or submitting next.
Name the five biggest distractions from your writing.
Facebook (worse one) – Sorry, I know I contribute to this distraction for hours at a time, but we have fun in between the hours of work, don’t we!
Helping others trying to write
Where do you hope to see your writing career, say, ten years from now?
Honestly, I can’t think that far ahead. I hope I’m an established author. Or maybe, I give it up and try my hand at other interests I have. All I know is that I have a lot in my head and these buggers won’t keep quiet.
Jake Bullock stared in embarrassed horror at the sign BOLLOCKS being held aloft by a tall man with skin the color of a good café latte—something Jake felt in dire need of. People sniggered as they walked past the placard held so high and so proudly in the air it looked positively jaunty. After traveling for God knows how many hours, the last thing Jake had was a sense of humor.
Walking over to the man, Jake looked up. “Are you from the Department of Conservation?”
“Yep, Kia ora, mate. Welcome to Aotearoa—land of the long white cloud.” The guy grinned, showing perfectly straight white teeth.
“I thought I was in New Zealand.” Jake looked around. He saw flags and silver ferns, just as he’d expected.
“This is New Zealand—but it’s also known as Aotearoa. My name is Rangi Hapakuku. You must be Jake Bollock.” He finally put the sign down and held his large hand out.
Accepting the hand, Jake jerked back when the guy drew close to his face. Rangi tapped his nose to Jake’s once, then paused for a split second before he went in again. Jake could feel heat rising on his cheeks. He should have remembered this was a customary greeting. Holding his breath, he rubbed noses with the man. It only lasted a few seconds, and Jake had to admit it wasn’t as intrusive as he thought it would be. Rangi peered behind Jake, as though looking for something.
“Oh, my travel partner couldn’t make it. She contracted chicken pox from her granddaughter,” Jake said, thinking it was the reason why the sign had an ‘s’ tagged on the end. “I’m Jake Bullock. That’s Bull…ock. Not Bollock!”
“Well, no worries, mate. It’s better there’s only the two of us. You have been given a great honor to visit our island.” He started to take the camera off Jake’s shoulder.
“Please, I’ll carry it.” Jake grabbed hold of the straps and held tightly onto his camera, his livelihood. Hell, truth be told, it was like an extension of his arm. Rangi might as well have asked him to detach his hand.
“No worries, mate! We best get a move on if we want to make it to the island before dark.”
Follow E.S. Skipper here:
THANK YOU, E!