Author Spotlight no.43 – Joseph V Sultana

Complementing my daily blog interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the forty-third, is of medieval post-apocalyptic novelist, fellow Radio Litopianinterviewee (and friend :)) Joseph V Sultana.

Joseph V. Sultana was born to a Maltese father and Scottish mother and hails from London’s East End when it was not known as Canary Wharf. He is proud of his mixed roots and heritage, and has taken to writing as a cure for a midlife crisis that did not happen (yet).

His first novel, Three of a Kind, is the first in his planned Unsceptred Isle series and was published as an ebook by Book Sanctuary in June this year. It has so far received several five star reviews on Amazon and he claims to have once spotted someone reading it on London’s underground.

Whilst Three of a kind is not winning any records or out-selling too many others, you can hear the pride in him about his accomplishment of not just writing a book and getting it published but mainly that other people, complete strangers, have read it and enjoyed it.

Joseph is a straight-talking kind of a man whose cockney accent loses his sounding of ‘aitches’, but this “rough exterior” (his words :)) hides the warm and helpful chap he really is.

He openly admits of his love of helping people where he can and is often found twittering advice or telling about other people’s writing and that could be why book 2 will be later than his self-imposed deadline of December 2011.

Nowadays he is an erratic visitor to the Litopia website to join in with the chat and being somewhat of a maverick, he will often go off in a direction way off topic, but always in the hope to bring a smile to anyone’s face.

And now from the author himself:

I know it’s been said many times and by more important people than myself, but nonetheless, I have a dream. A dream where I am like Ian Fleming sitting in my summer retreat drinking a soft drink while tapping away at my worn keyboard on the latest in the Unsceptred Isle series. Alas that dream is no closer than me winning the lottery. I have however, made a start by writing and getting Unsceptred Isle – Three of a Kind published.

I am not a purist, nor am I traditional in my writing or my approach to the industry. And at times I have been accused of breaking the rules and therefore I am somehow not seen as published. My reply is, ‘Thankfully we all have opinions and I happy you are exercising that right.’ To which I ignore any further comments and continue bashing at the keyboard as a child would while playing the whack-a-mole machine at the seaside.

In recent years there has been a global technological revolution and with the advent of eBook readers I think it is really important to understand about what’s happening to the publishing world. In my eyes these little gizmos are causing the same stir as the printing press, the custody of the written word has fallen back to the people.

Formula writing, sales models and demographics are the babies being thrown out with the bath water and I don’t know if that is a good or bad thing. All I see though is writers springing up everywhere, all vying for a piece of the action, and all being published along the way.

People like Colin Barnes and his co-published Killing my Boss or Minnie Lahongrais and her novel Sinners ride are only two of the many amazing books I have recently read. Neither will likely win a Booker or Costa but the stories are well-crafted by unknown writers who may have never had this chance without eBooks.

The development of the eBook must come from the publishing world though, because we are like children let loose in a sweet shop. Rules need to be in place, guidance is to be given because it’s a real free-for-all out here.

We need ePublishers, eAgents, more online outlets in place for us to be organised, else chaff and wheat will remain unsorted. If it was not for eBooks, Amazon and Book Sanctuary (my ePublisher), I would be an unpublished author, but what I’d like to see is the whole industry adapt faster, the British Library and others acknowledging that eBooks will be accepted as legal deposit and finally that eBooks are sold for a reasonable price, much less than their printed counterpart.

I don’t believe eBooks are going to replace the paperback like CD replaced tape, but there are here to stay, and will compliment what for me is an exciting and vibrant industry.

But that is just my opinion.

And mine. Thank you Joe. Lovely to have you back. You can find more about Joseph and his writing via… his website ( and Twitter.

The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with novelist, playwright, short story author and blogger Stella Duffy – the two hundred and twenty-eighth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me. You can read / download my eBooks from Smashwords (Amazon to follow).