Frequently asked questions to the author, and some quirky facts

When is the next book coming out?
Right now I launch about once a year, and shoot towards releasing books in early December.

Why can’t I preorder it?
I don’t currently do preorders. The reason is the books I write are large, and thus require a large commitment. In my industry, the average published book is in the 40,000 to 60,000 word range, whereas mine generally range between 160,000 to 250,000 words. Thus I’m oft right up against the wall when it comes to self-imposed deadlines.
So although it would maybe be more advantageous for me to do preorders financially speaking, I don’t like the stress of hard deadlines as they can sometimes impede on quality. I’m much happier releasing when the book is 100% ready to launch. For me, quality is paramount. I’m already a full-time author, which is a dream come true. I don’t need to kill myself and work every single angle ;)

How do you pronounce your first and last name?
Sever, which rhymes with never. And Bronny is pronounced the same way as brawny (yeah, I know). I’m polish by birth, so the names are pronounced differently in the Polish tongue (yes, I am still mostly fluent in Polish). Interestingly, Sever in Polish is spelled Sewer (w‘s are pronounced as v‘s in Polish), but luckily when my family immigrated to Canada in late 1985, someone had the forethought to correctly translate the name, otherwise I would have had a much harder go of life.

What are some mildly interesting things about you?
I love cooking for friends. I love rewatching certain movies, especially my favorite of all time, absorbing new nuance: Blade Runner, Margin Call, Brazil, Highlander, Aliens, Limitless, Edge of Tomorrow, Interstellar, Lost in Translation, among others. My parents dragged me around the world as a kid (lived in Nigeria Africa for roughly four years, visited many countries). I grew up going to a Polish scout camp (Baltyk), which served as the inspiration for many of the characters and adventures in my work. I generally live a frugal, simple lifestyle, and gain the most pleasure from my work. English is my second language as I was born in Poland. I love chess, and have pretty much watched every single video of Agadmator, a chess channel on Youtube I follow. But I no longer play chess, just watch it =P

What is the saddest you’ve ever heard?
Song of Seikilos, a song I sometimes listen to on repeat. It’s the oldest song in the world, and composed by a grieving husband to honor the death of his beloved wife, dated to around 2100 years old. Here is the original, and
here it is preset on repeat, the way I listen to it when writing particularly tragic scenes.

How would you feel about turning your books into a movie franchise?
I get this question a lot, almost as much as “When is the next book coming out!?” I originally wrote The Arinthian Line with the idea of it becoming a movie franchise—at least in my head. I never actually thought it would be a serious consideration, of course. I just wrote it that way because I think in pictures, so to speak. I can “see” and “hear” the characters interact, and I see it as a film in my head already. It’s just so much easier that way for me.

What’s floored me is that the work has seen quite a bit of success, with people constantly emailing me about it, so I guess anything is possible. Thing is, I’m so busy writing I don’t have time to pursue the movie path, so unless it comes to me or someone in the film industry happens on it by chance, I’d say it’ll be a luck of the draw situation. But you know what? I’m at peace with that. I mean, I’m a full-time author! How cool is that? It’s a dream come true as is, and everything else is a bonus, including a film.

But just for fun, in my mind’s eye, I would cast Dame Judi Dench as Mrs. Stone, and perhaps an Anya Taylor-Joy type as Jezebel Terse.

Can you please turn your work into a video game?
Strangely I get this question a lot too. Unfortunately, my reply would be similar to the above regarding film.
Time is the issue, guys. I wish I could do it all, but I’m middle-aged and have to choose my battles. But I’m always open to listening to opportunities :)

What inspires you?
Besides day-to-day life, history, movies, books, friends, politics, circumstance, the world. I’m the type to mid-discussion write a note to self about some idea that came to me, on whatever is available: Post-it, cell phone, the proverbial napkin. As to the stories as a whole, their greatest influence is my time spent in a Polish boy scout camp known as Baltyk. I think I put in 15 years there. So much adventure and so many different characters. As to Augum, he is mostly me, but also partly inspired by Orson Scott Card’s Ender Wiggin. Fun facoit: I now share the same Grammy-winning narrator (Stefan Rudnicki) with Mr. Card for The Arinthian Line.

Fun factoids regarding The Arinthian Line:
I began writing Arcane (The Arinthian Line, book 1) on Jan 5th, 2011.

I started that series writing completely by the seat of my pants. In fact, upon first starting, I wasn’t even sure if it was going to be a fantasy or a sci-fi novel, and only decided well into chapter 3 or so.

Had Augum started as a female character, he would have been named Autumn.

What’s your writing/editing process like?
I write the first draft.
I go over the draft and rewrite it as needed.
I pass it to my wife, who does a thorough developmental edit.
I approve her developmental edits, editing as I go.
I pass it to a line editor
I approve the line edits, editing as I go
I perform a TTS (text to speech) pass, listening to an electronic voice verbalize what I wrote. This is my last chance to edit. It’s also the phase I do far more removing than adding.
Proofreading stage.
Final approval post proofreading.
Formatting (among a million other pre-launch details)

What’s your daily writing regimen like?
On average I write 2000 to 4000 words daily, and I do it with an iron daily regimen, so that I don’t even have to think about it. It’s a simple regimen too:

  1. Get up
  2. Brush teeth
  3. Make coffee
  4. Stretch
  5. Meditate, read Marcus Aurellius
  6. Sit down behind desk, start laptop up
  7. Skim what I wrote yesterday, editing as I go.
  8. Take first sip of coffee only after I’ve written my first paragraph. This is key as it rewards the pleasure center of the brain for being productive.

What was your best wordcount day?
My best day was 10,000 words in one day. My best month was 100,000 words.

What’s the most complex book you’ve ever written?
By far, Legend (The Arinthian Line, book 5). And that’s because of the time travel stuff. Those concepts made pretzels of my mind. Seriously, it was difficult as heck. I don’t think anything I’ve written comes close to the complexity of writing time travel ideas (okay, well, maybe some of the plot complexities in Champion’s Wrath, but still, as a writing idea? Time travel was like pulling teeth).

Which part of the process do you love the most? Which do you hate?
I love writing the first draft, and the subsequent couple edit rounds. The edit rounds beyond that start to become a touch tedious, though I still find ways to entertain myself by advancing and polishing. Usually I’ve read the book 6-8 times by the time it’s published.

What sort of music do you listen to while you write?
I actually created an entire subreddit solely comprised of music I listen to on repeat while I write. Prepare for a lot of viking music =P

What is the time cycle for Sithesia in year/month/day/hours?

360 days per year, 30 days per month, split into three tendays each / six quints (each quint is five days, mostly used in the academy). Standard 24-hour days, but use quarter of an hour increments. Heartbeats are used as seconds (minutes are not used, though I’ll probably implement something along that line eventually). There is a moon, but the world itself is not earth. Fantasy religions are a component, as are various gods. Planes (other worlds) exist.

Can I interview you for my paper/blog/etc?
Depending on my schedule, probably! Just use the contact form on the website to reach me.

Where can I buy a signed copy?
Nowhere! =P
I currently give them out only for special occasions such as contests, sometimes on Instagram, sometimes on Facebook, or the other social media sites I’m on. I like to spread these sorts of things off so I maintain some basic presence on the various sites. I do this because I learned the hard way that putting all your eggs in one basket is a bad idea. I spent 16 years trying to become a pro musician, but invested all my social media energy into my band’s Myspace profile. And we all know what happened to Myspace.

Speaking of, where can I get your music?
Hmm, I should probably get that up somewhere seeing as there’s three albums (but please don’t try ordering one right now from my site. I’m serious, the ordering system doesn’t work, and that’s on purpose. I have ZERO interest in becoming a shipper and receiver again for physical product). I’ll see what I can do about uploading the content though sometime to some notable platforms.

Where can I find more questions you’ve answered?

The discussion page of this very website, as well as its blog history. I also have an author subreddit, as well as a profile. You can scroll back through the comment history or the submission history at your leisure. I’ve also answered a few questions on the fan mail page.

Can I ask you a question I’d like to see in this FAQ?

Sure can! Simply leave a comment below :)

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12 thoughts on “Frequently asked questions to the author, and some quirky facts

  1. Can you put together a pronunciation list for names, items, locations and spells? Both my son and I have read all of your books and pronounce most of them differently. Thank you so much!

    1. I do not have any definitive plans as of yet for future series’ length, but both The Arinthian Line and Fury of a Rising Dragon series’ are complete and self-enclosed. That said, the trio will return in a brand new future series!

  2. Will you ever stop writing, because I wish with all my heart and if possible wishes that you become immortal and can write forever

  3. Hi sever love the books! First I want to say how much I like your writing, I love the action scenes and the way you write about war not only makes it interesting but keeps me enraptured (many other fantasy novels get boring in the later books when it’s all about war and strategy. (Throne ir glass), but I love the way you write it!

    Also, do you ever see a future where autumn and the trio become Unnameables? I feel like they are already on the path to becoming legends and once they can teleport between the stars a whole amazing host of worlds and adventures arise (wuxia novels).

    1. Thank you, glad you enjoy my work :)

      It is possible, I suppose, that the trio could become Unnameable. But is it likely? Would they choose such power and the immortality that comes with it? I am not so sure. But perhaps they would live longer than others, given certain circumstances, and given they don’t die in their dangerous adventures. But yes, there are a host of opportunities and possibilities ahead one way or another!

  4. This might be a dumb question but is there a box set for The Arinthian Line series? I’ve looked but I can’t find a set or do they just need to be purchased separately? I would love to have this collection and to have them on my shelf instead of just the audible versions I have! Thanks!

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