Eight Questions: Interview With Carl Sinclair

Carl SinclairCarl Sinclair spent several years working in software engineering, insurance, and being a chef.

After years of changing careers to find something that fit, he decided to follow his passion for writing.

He currently lives in Perth, Australia.

Sixth Cycle –  (on pre order now)

Pandora’s Gate: Origins (coming soon)

twitter – @carlsin81


What is your daily creative routine like?

Until recently it wasn’t much of a routine at all. I mostly write at night, as I have three kids and a day job. I have started a new system of trying to get a block of hours in (with no internet on) in the morning, then I do another in the evening.

What does your writing space look like? What are some of the must-have devices and apps that make up your writer’s toolbox?

I have an office with a double desk that allows me to podcast, and write with plenty of space. I have an iMac and a MacBook Pro that I use for most of my work. There is a comfy sofa behind me in case I want to chill out and read on my Kindle.

Carl Sinclair's writing space

You’re doing something smart in blogging more than a year before you publish your first book. What is the reasoning behind that?

I’m not sure about smart, but I did change things up about 8 months ago. I found that most indie authors were blogging at the wrong audience, me included. While my posts on writing were popular within the indie author community, I didn’t feel I was going to attract many readers. I rebranded my site to talk mostly about geek related content I loved to consume (movies, tv, games, tech, geek news and stories) and started to blog about that. I set up the Geek Academy and things have gone well ever since. The sign ups to my mailing list stopped being joeblogsauthor@gmail.com, and are now seemingly more related to the content I’m putting out. Which is good because it should mean they also like my books… in theory. Either way I’m enjoying blogging more now than I was before.

You were well known for your Self-Publishing Roundtable, what are some of the best things you’ve learned from writers on the show?

I learned a lot. I set it up to meet authors and make connections. I figured a sound business needed partners. Now I can cross promote, and have made some long lasting connections and business relationships. I learn something almost every week from my guests, that I then adapt into my own business.

How long have you wanted to be a writer, and what are your other creative goals?

I was writing stories from a young age. I never really considered fiction to be a possible career until recently. I wrote a lot of story content in video games in the past. I have built some pretty in-depth story modes and custom modes in various video games (mainly Blizzard titles) in the past, that I got fairly well known for. I’ve always been a big reader, so when I got my Kindle and saw people were doing the author thing, I figured I would try it out. I had no idea how to write (typing fast does not mean writing fast I learned) and spent the past year learning the craft and business of being an author.

Who are some of your strongest influences?

I would say Brandon Sanderson, Robert Jordan, Patrick Rothfuss and George Martin. I think those four guys have made epic fantasy (my favorite genre) something special in recent decades. There were a lot of Lord of the Rings clones around for a long time, I think all four of those guys took it in a new direction in their own way. I’m also fond of Stephen King’s work, especially Dark Tower.

If you could work with any author’s world/characters, other than your own, which author and world/characters would you pick and what would you do with them?

Mistborn. I think the world & magic system Brandon Sanderson built are amazing. His bigger Cosmere universe (that covers all of his series) would be a dream. Maybe one day he will co-author with me. What do you say Brandon?

Sixth Cycle book cover

Let’s test your geekiness with a little mini quiz:

Which is better? Star Wars or Star Trek?

Star Wars. I think it is the bigger genre defining franchise for sure. I do love Star Trek (DS9 particularly for it’s political side) but nothing beats Jar Jar Binks…

DC or Marvel?

I’m a DC guy. I love what Marvel is doing with their comics & movies of late, DC are definitely falling way behind. I’m a huge Batman (& family) fan and Green Lantern is another favorite character. I named my son Grayson (after my favorite comic character, Richard Grayson aka Robin/Nightwing)

A Song of Ice and Fire or Lord of the Rings?

Game of Thrones has redefined epic fantasy. It just has. It’s made it mainstream, perhaps even more than Lord of the Rings did. Those movies were huge but Game of Thrones is must see (and talk) TV. It’s darker and grittier, and more modern. Garrett Robinson will stab me shortly.

Better series of games? Elder Scrolls or World of Warcraft?

Tough. I love both a lot. Blizzard are my all time favorite game company, I have played Warcraft 1 – 3 (RTS) and WoW (over a year of real time) and now Hearthstone. I think I’ll go with Warcraft. I have read all of the comics and books too… and there is a tattoo…

Which Doctor? Tom Baker or Tom Baker?

I love Tom Baker, but Peter Davidson was my Doctor. Time Crash (web minisode) was one of my favorite episodes in a long time. He came back to play alongside David Tennant’s Doctor. I was a huge fan of Tennant in the role as well. Capaldi has done well so far too.

What is the best creative advice you’ve every received? 

Write good books. I guess more in-depth would be to ensure that every word means something, that it’s fun to read and it’s a genre that will actually be read.

What do you want your legacy to be? 

As a funny guy, that also wrote some books people liked.


About David Wright

Dave is the co-founder of Collective Inkwell, in which he and Sean Platt re-invented serial fiction. Hailing from the quaint town of [REDACTED], Dave's renown for putting children in jeopardy (in his fiction, anyway) has made him world famous.


  1. “Garrett Robinson will stab me shortly”
    I’m still giggling! 😀

    And this interview must have collected a bit of dust, since there have been 3 episodes of SPRT without Carl now 😉

    A book from Carl is definitely on my TBR list in the future. How could I not want to read it. He’s everywhere. I have to read his book(s). Oh, and I loved how clean that work space looks. Mine is always a mess, filled up with cats and stuff! 😛

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