Satchel Pong and the Great Migration by Adam G. Fleming
Thank you so much to Adam G. Fleming for stopping by to chat today on the blog. Find out more about Great Migration and Adam, below.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey, please?
Yes! I went through a long process to complete my first novel, beginning with writing a play for the stage, getting that play accepted for the 2012 season in a local community theater, expanding the storyline into a novel, editing, querying for agents and finally deciding to self-publish so that I could sell copies at the premiere. In 2015 one of my nonfiction books (The Art of Motivational Listening) was published by a small press; I kind of lucked into that relationship and was glad for them to take on the cover design and editing costs, but after that experience I’ve gone back to self-publishing for a variety of reasons. While working as a co-author on a book that isn’t yet released, I was discovered by another publisher and have just begun my second ghostwriting project.
How do you decide who to dedicate your books to?
It’s kind of self-evident sometimes. Maybe someone inspired me, gave me the seed of an idea, for example, I dedicated Satchel Pong and the Search for Emil Ennis to my brother because the name for this character came from something silly that he used to say.
What was the inspiration behind your latest release?
My latest release is The Prophets of Doom and the Leaping Hedgehog, which is the 5th and final book in the Satchel Pong Chronicles, the entire series is inspired by a massive project, the Zeppelin Zeke project, which I’m still working on. In that manuscript, some characters are in a rock band together and the lead singer finds a steampunk fantasy book he falls in love with; he writes a bunch of songs about it. I wanted to create a great backstory for that novel, so I wrote Satchel Pong and the Great Migration and next thing I knew it turned into a five-book series…
Do you find it hard to let your characters go when you finish writing the book?
I don’t really let characters go. They find their way into other books. Either the characters in other books might talk about them, or they might appear in a way that’s unexpected. I create worlds within worlds.
What was your favourite read of 2021?
My wife and I read a book called The Pyrates out loud to each other and laughed our heads off. I really love humor and this one has it going on. The author is George MacDonald Fraser. If you like pirates and archetypes and satire, this book is the bomb that will blow your gunwales off. Avast! There’s not a single pirate trope that gets the short shrift!
Who is your favourite author?
Mark Twain. Only two of his books stand out to me as truly great (Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn) but I feel that he set the tone for American satire. My dream is that my magnum opus would rival what Huck Finn is for race in America, except that my theme is a satire of religion in America.
Was there a point in your life that a book helped you get through, and which one?
Sure. When I was a 13-year-old kid my family moved from the cornfields of Illinois to the middle of Congo, when it was known as Zaire. My dad wisely packed a lot of books because we were homeschooling. I don’t recall all the books we had, some were over my head, like A Brave New World., it’s not that any particular book helped me through that cross-cultural experience, but all the books were a link to the Western world when I had no peers during an age when peers are so important socially.
Is there anyone that you would like to mention and thank for their support of your writing?
My wife Megan. We’ve been married since 1998. She has been my sounding board, the canary in the coal mine, the one who gets to hear snippets of my rough drafts. If she laughs or cries or says, ‘this is deep’ then I know I’m on the right track. Stephen King says you should write for an audience of one. I agree. My audience of one is Megan.
If you had the power to give everyone in the world one book, what would it be and why?
Allow me two. The Gospel of John and the Tao Teh Ching. Why? We all need to examine our lives from a spiritual perspective and decide for ourselves how we’re going to live, but as someone said, the unexamined life isn’t worth living. You have to make choices about what you want, instead of just letting life happen to you. And if I chose a book of my own fiction that presents a similar challenge, it would be St. Kipstofer and the Miraculous Yarkarma, the fourth book in the Satchel Pong Chronicles.
What are you working on now?
Aside from two ghostwriting projects and a co-written project that’s already in the editor’s hand, I’m working on a book of reflections on my experience hiking the Camino de Santiago from Porto, Portugal to Santiago de Compostela, Spain, last November; this one will be titled Old Roads, New Friends. It’s a series of essays about friendship. Megan is beginning to edit that for me now and we’re working on cover design, so it won’t be more than another month or two.
For fiction, I’m doing the audio recordings for The Stetson Jeff Adventures books 1-3 in preparation for editing books 4-5 and writing book 6 this year. Stetson Jeff is a sort of cross between Chuck Norris and Forrest Gump, a kick-butt Texan who’s a bit daft.
I have an editor looking at the first third of the Zeppelin Zeke project. That project might take a couple more years. I have so many manuscripts in editing phase that I’m not really drafting anything new these days except the ghostwriting stuff.
Lastly, do you have any questions for your readers?
For people who have read at least 2 of my 12 books so far… which one did you like better, and why? I’m not asking for anyone to stroke my ego, but I’m a friendly guy and always eager to hear how a book impacted someone. What was your favorite moment of humor? What made you want to cry? What made you ponder the universe in a new way?
For those who haven’t read any of my books yet, I’d ask, What do you like to read most? Fiction, nonfiction or what? I’m always happy to help people find one of my books that they might enjoy. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a note about what you like to read and I’ll let you know which book I think you’d enjoy the most.
Satchel Pong and the Great Migration by Adam G. Fleming
Dystopian Steampunk Adventure! Satchel Pong is a big-shot Meteorologist with a secret: A rising heat wave threatens to destroy Turan City. Although he is both arrogant and afraid, Pong soon finds himself the only hope his tribe-in-migration have of a future. The Dirigibles have given them instructions via the Wireless, but can he trust them? Can he save his people– and countless souls across the sea?
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