Friday 7 June 2013

Books, Banter & Bites on my Dock…featuring S.W. Lothian

Welcome to my virtual dock in the wilds of Muskoka, where it’s always sunny and warm no matter what time of the year it is. Please pull up one of the dock chairs, sit your butt down, and be prepared to be entertained and enlightened. Today, I’ve got fellow middle-grade time-travel author, S.W. Lothian stopping by for a visit. If you’ve never heard of this awesome writer, here’s the dossier on him:

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.
Hmm, seems S.W.  is running a little late, and it’s almost dusk. Hopefully he’ll get here before it gets
too dark...wait…is that a helicopter I hear? OMG—it is and it’s landing in the middle of my yard. Great, the whirlybird put the campfire out. Classy entrance, S.W.! Unfortunately, since S.W. possesses the knowledge of time-travel, he’s told me he needs to stay anonymous as there are those amongst us who may track him down and use his knowledge for evil. He even hides behind the guise of a golden scarab to keep his identity secret. Thank goodness I don’t have his problems!

While S.W. makes his way to the dock here’s a little about his newest time-travel book, The Fallen Pharaoh—the third in his Quest series:
Warning:  Reading this book could cause anxiety, laughter and a longing to time travel.

It's time to reunite without the burden of a perilous quest.  Let's just sit back, relax and enjoy the moment.  The idea is simple enough.  What could possibly go wrong?
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.

Sounds like an exciting series, S.W.! Lots of adventure, lots of fun! Before we get started, I’ve poured you a tall frosty glass of Coke® to enjoy with a couple of Krispy Kreme donuts. Later, we’ll have some Tim Tam slams with coffee by the fire – um, that’s assuming I can get the fire going again. Oh, and a word of warning, the June bugs are out in full force tonight. They’re our version of scarab beetles and have a knack of getting caught in your hair, so wear a hat! Okay, so let’s get on with our chat…
Where did you get your idea and inspiration to write The Fallen Pharaoh?

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, which find themselves in amazing adventures.  Hopefully something that everyday kids can relate to.  Ancient Egypt provides a great backdrop for a story that is full of fantastic settings, 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.
I am too! Here’s wishing your dream comes true. What sets The Fallen Pharaoh apart from other books in the same genre?

I think The Fallen Pharaoh is such a mix of different parts of the middle grade/ya genre, it is unique.  As I mentioned earlier, the heroes of this story aren’t born into some ancestral role of destiny, they’re just normal kids.  It’s got the magic of Harry Potter, the action of Indiana Jones, the wonderful mythology of Percy Jackson/Kane Chronicles and the epic settings and fast pace of Matthew Reilly.  All of these things together, create a fascinating story that teaches about history and humanities, while inspiring imagination.  My favourite part of writing is adding in those quirky bits of humour that can provoke a laugh from readers whilst they are in the midst of a mystery or crisis in the story.
I love breaking the tension by slipping in a crack or joke as well. How long did it take for you to start and finish The Fallen Pharaoh?

The idea for this book has lingered within the full plotline of the Quest series for a number of years. I started writing the series in mid-2008, and the original outline for The Fallen Pharaoh (Q3) was born about the end of 2008.  Actually, this book, The Fallen Pharaoh, was to originally have been book 2, but I decided that another book was needed before this one.  After The Cursed Nile (Q2) was released in June 2012, I began writing The Fallen Pharaoh in earnest.
Do you have any advice for writers wanting to write in your genre?

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.  I love reading and writing this genre, as I’m not one of these people who love to watch or read needless violence and murders etc.  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.
I find it’s a little like being caught between the old and new world, isn’t it? What’s next for S.W. Lothian the author?

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.

To help S.W. celebrate the newest release of his time-travel Quest series, he’s having a few great giveaways! Here are the links:

GOODREADS – 1 x paperback edition of The Fallen Pharaoh.

Open for US, CA, UK, AU, NZ.

RAFFLECOPTER – 2 x sets of The Quest Seriesebooks.

Each set contains 1 copy of each book:
The Golden Scarab, The Cursed Nile, The Fallen Pharaoh.

Open internationally.


Awesome giveaways, S.W.! Oh, here, let me top up your glass and please grab another donut, it’s a long helicopter ride back to Australia. Before you go, please let readers know where they can buy your book, and how to connect with you. Thanks for taking the time to share your novel and your wisdom with us on my dock this evening. And don’t forget to say hello to your Mummy for me! Sorry, couldn’t resist. Cheers and best wishes in ALL your publishing ventures, S.W.!

Buy Links: Amazon US /Amazon UK / Amazon Canada / Amazon – other countries

Learn more about S.W. Lothian on his blog and subscribe to his Newsflash
Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter



  1. G'day Sharon,
    Thanks so much for taking the time for the chat, and your cool snacks. I hope you enjoyed the Tim Tam Slam :)
    FYI - Tim Tams are to Australians, what Oreos are to Americans.

    1. I gotta try me some of those Tim Tams, Steve! Great having you on my dock. So sorry about the June bugs...they can be a little unruly! Cheers and best wishes with your newest release!

  2. Awesome post! SW I can't wait until my boys are old enough to enjoy your books!

    1. Thanks Lisa. I'm not sure how old your boys are, but I'm sure they'll love the adventure and action when they read them.

  3. Very entertaining post! Thanks for bringing another excellent author to the foreground, Sharon. SW, my granddaughter will love your books and she can read them on her Nabi!

    1. Thanks, Sloane! I try to give readers a good time! I'm sure K would love SW's books - he's got three out, and the first one is on sale! Cheers and thanks for your on-going support!

    2. I hope that your granddaughter enjoys them, Sloane. As mentioned by Sharon, The Golden Scarab (Book 1) is on sale at Amazon for a limited time. Thanks for checking out Sharon's post.

  4. This looks like a fun book! And great post, Sharon! Btw, I think we all had dreams of time travel or something when we were younger. I remember watching The Phantom Tollbooth (no, I'm not that old, but yes, I watched it), and having these wishes of riding around on my bike and then coming home to find a giant tollbooth in my living room. Needless to say, it never happened...

    1. I can honestly say, Dusty, I've never heard of The Phantom Tollbooth, and I'm a tad older than you! Wink.

    2. Thanks for dropping by Dusty. The series is full of fun, mystery, action and humor. (Am I sounding biased? LOL)

  5. Great sounding books S.W. I love stories about Egypt and this series sounds loads of fun.
    Love your dock Sharon , I can almost smell those donuts!

    1. Well then, help yourself, Susan!

    2. Thanks Susan. If you love Egypt, then I'm sure that you'll love this series.

  6. Your series sounds fantastic, SW! I'm sure my daughter will love it in a few years.
    Thanks for introducing me to a new-to-me author, Sharon.