Author Interview – David Estes

71TWHTIrUML._UX250_Check out the interview that we just did with talented Author of the YA series’ The Dwellers Saga, The Country Saga, Salem’s Revenge, the Slip Trilogy, and The Evolution Trilogy, and the children’s series The Adventures of Nikki Powergloves – David Estes. He also has donated some awesome prizes t be given away which will be done on our FB page so click HERE to check out the giveaways which will be posted in just a bit. Thank you David for doing the interview with us.

What inspired you to write dystopian stories?
Thanks so much for having me on your awesome blog! *waves* Great first question. Surprisingly, it wasn’t The Hunger Games, or even Divergent, that inspired me to write my first dystopian novel. It was Legend by Marie Lu, which was another amazing book/series. I loved the fact that she had opposing male/female perspectives with two characters from very different backgrounds. I immediately began thinking of the possibilities for a dystopian series with a unique setting, but that had a similar gritty feel to it with two characters from completely different worlds whose lives were inexplicably thrown together. The underground world of The Moon Dwellers was born! Since then, I haven’t looked back, writing six sequels to the series, as well as two new dystopian/post-apocalyptic series, the Slip Trilogy (“Someone must die before another can be born…”) and Salem’s Revenge (“The Walking Dead for teens, but with witches instead of zombies…”).

Tell us how you came up with The Slip Trilogy idea?
Great question! To be honest, I never planned to write another dystopian series so soon after finishing the 7-book Dwellers Saga. I wanted to try something new, so I wrote a trilogy about witches taking over the world (Salem’s Revenge). But as I was writing that series, I realized I really wanted to write another dystopia, something completely different than anything I’d done before. The inspiration for Slip came from thinking about the many problems we have in the world today. Overpopulation was one of the first thoughts that popped into my head. It’s mind-boggling to think about seven billion people roaming this planet. It’s even more insane to think about that number doubling, or even tripling. What impact would it have on our ability to live and share resources? How will governments react? With Slip, I decided to take it to a very real extreme, a situation where a government would be forced to control the population, requiring citizens to pay for and obtain Birth Authorizations before having children. Illegal pregnancies would be aborted and children born illegally would be exterminated. That was the dark world I formed in my head. But then I asked myself the question: What if one illegal child slipped through the cracks, giving hope to a nation of people who wanted nothing more than to create families without fear of retribution? From there, Slip took on a life of its own, becoming my highest ranked seller ever, climbing all the way to number 103 on the Kindle bestseller list, and number 5 amongst dystopian novels.

How many books do you have out now? If you had to pick one which would be your favorite?
*Takes shoes off to count* A lot. I’m a fulltime Indie author with an agent who is working diligently to seal my first-ever print publishing deal (I currently only have an audiobook deal for the Dwellers/Country Saga). Since I first started seriously writing about five years ago, I’ve published 21 books, including four Children’s books in a series (The Adventures of Nikki Powergloves). The Dwellers/Country Saga has been my most popular by far, having sold more than 40,000 books; however, Slip and Brew are already starting to catch up in their first year.

Picking a favorite is like picking a favorite child or pet! But if I had to choose just one, I’d pick Flip, which is the third book in the Slip Trilogy. It truly is my best book, one in which I managed to bring half a dozen plotlines and at least that many characters together for a satisfying and action-packed end to an emotional series. That being said, I’m especially proud of all three books in the Slip Trilogy.

If you had to live in any dystopian type world what would you choose and why?
Ugh! Dystopian worlds are so harsh and tough! I’m not sure what kind of world I’d choose, but I’d want there to be Iron-Man-style suits that people could wear to fly around. That would at least make it fun!

Who’s your greatest author inspiration?
Dean Koontz, with Neal Shusterman as a close second. Koontz has been my inspiration for a long time; his ability to weave boring words into something beautiful, suspenseful, and humorous is incredible. Shusterman develops characters so well and infuses every single one with emotion. I can only hope to be half as good a writer as those two guys!

Do you believe we are going to become a dystopian type world in the future?
Yes! It might not be in our lifetime, but I certainly fear for our future generations. Man-made creations, like nuclear and biological weapons, as well as natural threats, like global warming, melting ice caps, and earthquake-driven tsunamis, have the potential to change EVERYTHING. Humans are imperfect beings and leaders do not always make the right decisions. And yet, like the themes in my dystopian novels, I believe there is always hope, and that good people will prevail in the end.

Who’s your biggest supporter?
I’ve done hundreds of interviews, and I’ve never been asked this! Amongst family, my wife supports me each and every day, both as my friend and advocate, and as my editor and sounding board. My mom and mother-in-law are a close second! Amongst my readership are Kelly, Karen, and Jenny, who are all founding members of my Street Team, Estes’ Angels, and who do more to get the word out about my books than anyone else in the world! They started out as my readers and have quickly become my friends! Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my agent, Andrea Hurst, who took a chance on me and never looked back, even when our first couple tries at landing publishing deals fell through. She’s never given up on me!

What’s one sentence that would describe your books?
Action-packed dystopian adventures with unique, funny characters and twists on tops of twists. (as an aside, some of  my readers have begun calling me the King of Twists, a title I wear proudly! I love when I can surprise my readers and make them go “What?!”)

Any advice you want to share with us?
Because I’m lucky enough to have had moderate success as an Indie author, I get asked for advice from other Indies all the time. To more efficiently provide advice based on my own experiences, I started an Indie Author Advice section on my blog here: http://davidestesbooks.blogspot.com/search/label/advice

However, details aside, at the core of being a successful Indie author is a drive to write amazing stories that readers will fall in love with. To do that, I firmly believe that you must practice your craft each and every day, which sometimes means sacrificing other things you’d like to do. It also means realizing that not everything you write will have success. You can’t cling to your first novel like a newborn babe, protecting it from negative reviews and criticism. You just have to push it out of the nest and hope for the best, and then move on to your next fledgling story. I’m extremely proud of the fact that most of my readers tell me my books and writing get better with each new series, and even within individual books in my series. As an author, you have to never give up, and put your craft above book sales on your priority list.

Thanks so much for having me on your blog, I loved your questions! I love connecting with readers and other Indie authors, and encourage them to contact me on Facebook, my blog, Twitter, or Goodreads! Happy reading everyone!

For queries regarding the film options or publishing rights for my books, please contact my agent, Andrea Hurst at andrea@andreahurst.com.To keep up with David and his books here is his contact info:

David’s Blogspot
David’s Facebook Author Page
David’s Official Twitter Page
David’s Goodreads Page

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