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“How growing up in a world of Appalachian mysticism influenced my writing and art.”

1) What is your Author name; use your Pen name if you have one.

East S.M.

2) What is your genre and what drew you to it?

Occult Fantasy Fiction. I was drawn to this genre based on my own experience as a generational divination artist from deep southern Appalachia. See attached article published on this very subject.

3) Do you prefer writing dialogue, action or other scenes?

I’m a world builder to a fault, scenes are my bread and butter.

4) What is the hardest challenge in being a writer?

Surrendering to the process. When I start to move heavy into overthinking and away from feeling what makes sense, I become blocked.

5) What is the most important bit of information you would want to tell a person interested in publishing a book?

Allow yourself the room to grow with the process. Sure, you’ll research and try to know as much as you can but there will be some on the job learning moments. There’s also ten good ways to do any one thing in this industry. Ignore the “you have to do things a certain way” advice and allow yourself the freedom to know you can always choose what feels right for you.

6) What book protagonist would you love to talk to if he/she/they were real?

Lestat has been my favorite protagonist since the 90’s. I know exactly what we’d speak about. (Backup option: Alice from the Hazelwood series)

7) What is you preferred method of reading a book? (Audio, paperback, hardcover, or eBook)

I love paperbacks when I’m not writing. However, currently I’m writing two books and audible is saving my life. It allows me to squeeze in reading time.

8) Name one book that you have reread several times.

“Murder at Witches Bluff” by Silver Ravenwolf. This book is a nostalgic experience for me and inspired me eventually to write my own witch related fiction.

9) If you had to write in any other genre, what would that be and why?

Sci-fi smut romance all the way! I work as a performance artist in adult themed cabaret shows. There’s plenty of spice in my real life and what a space of research to pull from. I am also a Star Wars, Firefly, space dreaming geek born in the only town created by a meteorite in the United States. I was destined for planetary world building.

10) Do you prefer to read series or independent novels?

I prefer the series but will read both.

11) If you could live in any “book world” what would that be?

Oh goodness right now I am obsessed with sisters Caroline Peckhan and Susanne Valenti’s Solaria world. I flew through all the ZA books in 5 weeks and started RB recently.

12) What is the name of your book/series? Tell me a little bit about them.

I have attached a copy of my press kit which answers a lot of what you may be looking for regarding interview content. Fun fact: My series illustrator is Fabio Listrani (Marvel, Heavymetal, La Scarbeo author creator of many international divination decks)

Recently I turned a creative writing workshop I’m touring into a quarterly digest “East S.M. Presents: Story Crafting w/Tarot & other Oddities” this isn’t listed anywhere publicly yet but I’ll be revealing the cover at my book signing with Fanboy Expo next month.

13) Do you have a website? If so, what is it?

14) Where can we find and follow you? (Name your social media platforms.)

15) If there anything important that you would want my readers to know about you?

I am a seeker of growth. There are so many fantastic things to learn in the craft of storytelling, and I’m committed to grow as far as I can with this journey.


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