Sean Clarke is an author, blogger and freelance writer who lives in Saltcoats, Ayrshire.
He writes fantasy and supernatural horror fiction.
When he’s not writing, Sean enjoys gaming, swimming, and spending time with his family and friends.
Describe yourself in five words
Ambitious, Imaginative, Reliable, Funny, Creative.
What fact about yourself would really surprise people?
Hmm, that’s a tough one. I love musicals. My favourite is Grease. Although I have a soft spot for Calamity Jane and the Sound of Music.
How do you work through self-doubts and fear?
Sometimes, I get motivated by self-doubt and fear, but other times it can be debilitating, and I’ll have no choice but to wait until it passes. Support from others is a big help when this happens.
What scares you the most?
The prospect of eternal darkness after we die, oh and spiders!
What makes you happiest?
Being a good dad and stepdad.
Why do you write?
It’s hard to explain. I guess for me, it’s like an addiction. I love putting words on a page, telling stories, creating characters and putting my innermost thoughts for others to read. It helps to make sense of my jumbled up thoughts and feelings.
Have you always enjoyed writing?
By and large, yes. There was a period in my life where everything was chaotic and I didn’t have the energy, but I missed writing everyday. It’s a process that has always made sense to me in some way. Once I sorted myself out, I returned to writing in a big way.
What motivates you to write?
I treat my daily writing as a job. Being passionate about a particular subject will usually get me writing in no time. In terms of fiction, I get an idea and I can’t get it down quickly enough. If I’m out and about I’ll record my ideas into the voice recorder in my phone. I often wonder if people think I’m talking to myself.
What writing are you most proud of?
My debut novel, Cresmore: The Lost Elmkey. It’s a wonderful mix of fantasy and science fiction that took me six years to complete. I learned so much during those six years that will stand me in good stead for the future, but proving I could go the distance and complete a full-length novel makes me feel proud. I proved a lot of people wrong as well so that’s a bonus
What are you most proud of in your personal life?
That’s an easy one. My two kids, Jodi (16) and Kyle. (6)
What books did you love growing up?
I was obsessed with the young-adult X-Files books which were written by Les Martin. Each one was based on a particular episode. (and a lot less scary) Also, Jurassic Park and The Lost World by Michael Crichton. I remember my sister bought the goosebumps books and although I pretended to hate them, I would read them in secret. They were fantastic.
What do you hope your obituary will say about you?
“He couldn’t play the piano but my goodness, give him a microphone and he was some chanter.”
Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?
I grew up in Ardrossan which is a small town in Ayrshire, Scotland. It’s a fantastic place where you can get a ferry to the Isle of Arran, take a stroll along the beautiful promenade at South Beach, or check out the ruins of a medieval castle. Ardrossan has a very interesting history. The people are generally lovely as well. Nowadays, I’m living in Saltcoats which is also a great wee town. Even so, I’ll always be an Ardrossan boy at heart.
How did you develop your writing?
Practice! Practice! Practice!
What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?
Marketing by far. It’s like this whole other industry that I don’t understand.
What marketing works for you?
I wish I knew. Sadly, I’m very much in the trial and error stage right now. Maybe, I’ll be able to answer that question in a few years.
Do you find it hard to share your work?
Yes! My new novel is being read by beta readers right now, and the thought of them seeing my work makes me feel physically ill. Not because I think the book is bad but because writing fiction is like an extension of yourself. If a writer doesn’t have his blood, sweat and tears in a novel then they are doing it wrong. I’ve been told sharing work gets easier. I really hope that’s true because it’s not healthy to worry so much about something that’s out of your control.
Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you?
My partner, Samantha is by far my biggest supporter. She’s a diamond. Also, my sister Stephanie has always believed in me. My friends are generally supportive but in that typical depreciative Scottish way. It’s not meant to be harmful, it’s just what we do.
What else do you do, other than write?
I love gaming. Anything from Fifa to the Final Fantasy series. I enjoy swimming and plan to get back into it when this terrible pandemic is over.
What other jobs have you had in your life?
I worked as a labourer in a sheet metal workshop. My workmates were great but I was horrendous at the job. It wasn’t something I could turn my hand to. I’m much more suited to retail. My last job was as a supervisor in a local shop. It was a great place to work. The manager was supportive and made us all feel like a team.
If you could study any subject at university what would you pick?
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
I don’t think I could move away from the town I grew up in. It might sound strange but we all have our comforts.
Tell us about your family?
There’s my fiancée Samantha, my son and daughter Kyle and Jodi, and my stepdaughter Tia. I love them all.
How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?
I use a desktop computer at my desk. Writing with a pen and paper isn’t an option. My writing is so bad that I can’t read it.
How much sleep do you need to be your best? .
A good 20 hours a day. No seriously, it depends on my mood. Usually 8 is enough.
Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge and thank for their support?
My fiancée, Samantha, my sister, Stephanie and my best friend Marc,. If it wasn’t for them I would never have got so far with the book. The rest of my family have been pretty awesome since the book went on pre-order as well.
Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?
I’ll settle for some nice reviews and for my work to make readers happy. Of course, if writing happens to make me rich then I won’t be cursing the gods.
It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign?
Well, there’s author interviews like this one. I’ve got some fantastic content for my Facebook author page coming up as well. I’m targeting readers who like fantasy/science fiction. I believe Crestmore: The Lost Elmkey, is a good read for those who enjoy that kind of book.
Tell us about your new book? Why did you write it?
It’s a real labour of love. There are some great characters in this novel who have their own story to play out. In many ways, Crestmore: The Lost Elmkey is a good old fashioned page turner, filled with action and adventure. I wanted to write an urban fantasy, coming of age, adventure novel that showcased the themes close to my heart. In that respect, it’s EXACTLY the book I set out to write at the start. I’m immensely proud of the finished product and hope readers enjoy the book as much as I enjoyed writing it.
If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask?
That’s an easy one. Laurel and Hardy. Has the world ever seen such comedic genius before or since? Not for me.
When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?
I don’t have much time to relax but when I do, I’ll usually be on the PS4.
What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel?
I hope people enjoy my work. Yes, it would be great to write a book that changes the world but realistically, I’ll be happy if just one person comes up to me and says, “I really enjoyed your book.” That will do for me.
My website – www.seanclarkeauthor.com
My Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/seanclarkeauthor