Author Interview With Maxwell Farmer

Maxwell Farmer is an avid nerd, gamer, and a veterinarian who fell in love with LitRPG back in college. He loved it so much that he started writing his own! He was inspired to write the Ashen Plane Series from the multitude of LitRPG he consumed as well as the games he’s played that have made an impact on him. They opened up worlds of wonder and possibility and brought much joy to him. 

When did you first start writing fiction?

I did some some child comic stuff when I was a kid. I made a super hero called Mega-Me. He used sports equipment for armor kind of like Casey Jones from the Ninja Turtles but more “fully loaded” and had a cape.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading? Paper or eBook?

Paperback is my preference. There’s just something cool about having a physical book in your hands. Plus, I like to underline and make notes if I’m inspired.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated LitRPG novel?

Either Rogue Dungeon by James Hunter & Eden Hudson  or Occultist by Oliver Mayes I don’t know if they “under-appreciated”, but I know they both could use some more press. Both are great. 🙂

Of your books, which is your personal favorite? Why?

I currently only have one book, so it wins by default. Grim Beginnings

You can make one LitRPG book (not your own) a movie. Which is it and why?

Tough one. Something that the main character doesn’t go back and forth between worlds is my preference. The Land, Viridian Gate Online, Life Reset, Eden’s Gate

All 3 are great series with good character and plot development.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

Yes, but I also believe it can be overcome. Sometimes it just takes the act of writing to get the “juices” flowing, even if it isn’t the most “relevant” to the story.

Are you an outliner or pantser?

Usually a mix of both. I like to actually hand-write my outlined plan. For some reason, the ideas flow easier when I physically write. Once that is done, I fill in the gaps between some of the bigger points.

What is your writing process like?

Writing the big points of a plot on physical paper. Afterward, I begin writing in a way to try to connect the dots. Revisions happen during the process too as I evaluate how the plot is going and its long-term viability.

How many hours a day do you write?

I try to get at least 1-2. I often try to use my lunch breaks and in the evenings after my wife goes to sleep. 

Share a photo of your workspace and tell us about it?

I like to use our spare bedroom. Yes, that is a massive dog crate! We use it for our Great Dane. The room can be a quiet place free from distraction. I’ve had that desk since I was at least in high-school and it’s still going strong today.

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Who are some of your favorite authors of all time?

Michael Crichton. His research led to his stories having such a good believability to them! I mean, he made Jurassic Park! His fantasy stories truly pull you in.

JR Tolkien-Admittedly, I’ve never fully engaged all of his books outside of the movies. Still though, this guy made Lord of the Rings! Those stories are some of my favorites and great pieces of original fantasy!

JK Rowling-Harry Potter…Need I say more?

James C. Hunter-The Servant (A great book with wonderful life lessons.)

Where do you get your ideas?

Anything and Everything. Movies, TV Shows, Games, Family, Friends, etc.

What are your thoughts on how VR will affect the future of humanity?

I think it will continue to grow in its capability. I imagine there very well may be situations like what have been written about, or something similar, one day.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Good question. It all depends on what I’m researching on, such as how regular enchanting differs from runecrafting in fictional elements. 

Often, I do race research into fantasy creatures. I have also researched into different system mechanics and such from other litrpgs to see how they did it and get inspiration. Currently, learning about village mechanic options has been one of the bigger research projects I have done/planned.

First video game memory?

Playing StarFox on the Nintendo 64. I remember pausing the game, going to church, and coming back to my room hoping it was still on. It was. 😉

What can fans expect from you next?

I’m already working on book 2 of my series. The Ashen Plane Series will likely be ~7 books. By book 3, I plan to expand into a new series as well. I’m hoping to develop more of a presence online. I recommend following my website, my Facebook page, and Instagram .

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I also recommend that people follow the LitRPG Guildmasters. We are a new Facebook Group with a lot of newer LitRPG authors and potential on there. There are some also well-established ones too ;). It’s a great source to find some new LitRPG gems you may not have found otherwise.

Anything else you would like to add?

Pursue your dreams no matter what others tell you. Be reasonable in that it often will not occur overnight. It’s a process. Make sure though, that no matter what you are doing, it serves others. I personally believe that all humans are made to serve each other, not ourselves.

If you’re unhappy where you are, it’s your own responsibility to get yourself out. You don’t like your job, change it. Your friends don’t support you, find new ones. You have awesome potential in you ready to burst out as long as you’re willing to go through the “growing pains” of letting it come to fruition. Each and every one of you is awesome, you just have to let it out.

Also, thanks to you Paul for what you do for the genre. You are awesome, man! 🙂

Paul Bellow

LitRPG Author Paul Bellow

Paul Bellow is a LitRPG author, gamer, RPG game developer, and publisher of several online communities. In other words, an old school webmaster. He also developed and runs LitRPG Adventures, a set of advanced RPG generators powered by GPT-3 AI. Here at LitRPG Reads, he publishes articles about LitRPG books, tabletop RPG books, and all sorts of DND content that's free to use in your personal tabletop campaign - i.e. non-commercial use. Enjoy your stay and reach out on Twitter or Discord if you want to make contact.