Our next author interview is with Justin Lincoln. A marketer by day, he built Great LitRPG before launching his own book in our burgeoning genre. The novel, Martyrs: Legends of the Great Savanna Book 1, shot up the charts on its release. Its also managed to rack up a few really nice reviews. Enjoy learning a little more about him as we continue our series of LitRPG author interviews.
When did you first start writing fiction?
I started seriously writing fiction at the end of last year. I have dabbled in writing beforehand, but it was always marketing & business communications related. I can say that I have already learned a ton, and had fun while doing it!
Can you tell us more about your children’s book?
I published my first children’s book when I was in Afghanistan and away from my son for almost a year. I had the idea to write a book for him that would teach him the life lessons I should have been teaching him at that age, but couldn’t. It turned out to be a great idea and many other soldiers wanted to do the same. I ended up creating a short-lived publishing company to publish children’s books from military parents. It lasted a few years until I took on other projects. As far as the book goes, I don’t even think my son even remembers it anymore. I should have probably learned to code a video game for him instead ha!
What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
I love reading fantasy books. Anything that can take me away from the real world momentarily, like a mini mental vacation. For LitRPG books, I am a huge fan of Town Building & Dungeon Core!
Do you deal with writer’s block?
All the time. When it hits I usually just transition to another project or accomplish other things from my to-do list.
Outliner or pantser?
Pantser, for sure, but I think it is because I don’t know how to properly outline a book yet. At the very least, I have trouble outlining a book in such a way that my characters will stick to the plan!
How many hours a day do you write?
I consistently write for an hour a day. Occasionally I can reach up to 6 hours though… Those are good days.
Of your books, which is your personal favorite? Why?
Definitely the Legends of the Great Savanna. Bringing the playful-but-powerful Martyr race to life was an absolute pleasure.
Share a photo of your workspace?
That right there is the best dang coffee mug money can buy.
Where do you get your ideas?
My ideas almost exclusively come to me when I am driving or laying down for the night. I am happy they come to me, but getting a great idea moments before I should be falling asleep can be troublesome!
What is your writing process like?
Hmmm, I do a brief outline to make sure I am on track with the main plot and then write – No Excuses! I usually post on Royal Road to get some chapter by chapter feedback and use it to improve my next chapters.
If you had a superpower, what would you like it to be?
The ability to pause time!
Here is a secret – I am terribly afraid of getting old. I know it is supposed to be a beautiful thing, but… I would rather not haha. As soon as I can get my consciousness uploaded into a robot I am going for it.
What advice do you have for writers?
Don’t write one story, write many & weave them together.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
I have spent $0 as a writer so far! Scrivener and Dragon software are both on my to-buy list though!
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I am an original writer. I try to write things that challenge perspectives and get people thinking about aspects other authors have ignored. For example, in the second book of Legends of the Great Savanna I explore the real consequences of being transferred into a fantasy world. I discuss PTSD from killing mobs, I discuss the absence of hygiene items, how that leads to the occasional woman with facial hair, and how that affects their emotional well being, etc.
What can fans expect from you next?
I am writing the next installment to Legends now, and also have another interesting series in the works on Royal Road called Super Important Message.
Anything else you would like to add?
I discovered the LitRPG genre right around a time when there was a lot of internal drama and controversy. I ended up building Great LitRPG as a way we can all feel welcomed, not worry about getting banned, and not worry about being able to market our books if we aren’t ‘in the clique’. We have a great book sorting tool that updates in real time by category and popularity. We also give the revenue earned from ads on the website back to LitRPG authors. Last quarter we earned $200 to giveback to the community!