Author Interviews

Self Publishing Roundtable Podcast Hosts Justin Sloan

That’s right, I was on the Self Publishing Roundtable Podcast. Check it out!


Layla Marie Hunter and the WGF Veterans Writing Project


616Wb8YEq0L._UX250_As another session of the Writers Guild Foundation’s Veterans Writing Project approaches, I thought I’d highlight a previous attendee. Please let me introduce you to Layla Marie Hunter. Military veteran, and writer!

  1. Tell us about your military experience and how you see this helping you in Hollywood.

I served in the Navy and even though my service was cut short due to an injury it has instilled the utmost respect for ethics and ambitions.

  1. When you were transitioning out, did you have any idea you wanted to go creative? What were some early steps you took to make this transition?

I’ve always been an artistic person and have always wanted to get into that area but with living in Ohio, the idea of it seemed far fetched until, years later, I moved to Los Angeles. A fellow VFT member told be about the program and about 3 months after applying my life and my writing techniques were set on to a different course.


We’ve launched the Military Veterans in Creative Careers PODCAST!

MVICC podcast logoWe’re happy to announce that we’ve launched the podcast titled MILITARY VETERANS IN CREATIVE CAREERS.

iTunes || Googleplay (coming soon) || Simplecast.Fm 

This is a podcast where we discuss how veterans can transition into creative careers such as writing, acting, directing, producing, and even sometimes art and dance. We bring on amazing interviewees, and I’m sure you will love it!

Check it out, and leave a review please. Thanks!

And to celebrate, I’ve dropped the price of the Military Veterans in Creative Careers book to $0.99 – so now’s the time to get it if you haven’t yet!

Nook || Kindle || iBooks

The print and audiobook are now available!


Who are we?

Tom-Morkes-headshot3Tom Morkes is the CEO of Insurgent Publishing, a book publishing and marketing company responsible for numerous bestselling books, the author of “The Complete Guide to Pay What You Want Pricing,” and the creator of, a community, training program, and book launch platform for indie and self-publishers.

Tom has marketed and published books that have been featured on Forbes, Huffington Post, Psychology Today, as well as have reached USA Today, Amazon, and other international bestselling lists. Tom is considered a thought leader on growth hacking, pricing, and digital products and has been interviewed or featured on leading publications, including Forbest, Business Insider,, and where he’s been featured alongside the people behind Twitter, Dropbox, and Apple.

Tom is also the co-founder of, a website devoted to helping veterans make the transition from military to business and entrepreneurship.

Tom is a West Point grad, Iraq War veteran, and spent his last year in the Army in a Special Forces Airborne unit where he got paid to jump out of helicopters.


Trevor Scott VeteranTrevor Scott is a Los Angeles-based actor who has appeared on television shows such as Criminal Minds (CBS), Enlisted (Fox), Days of Our Lives (NBC), The Young & The Restless (CBS), and General Hospital (ABC), and has had lead roles in the films Zulu 6, Book of Choices, and Texas Zombie Wars. He has appeared in numerous national commercials as well. Trevor recently was seen starring on stage in “Tracers,” directed by John Difusco and co-produced by Rogue Machine Theatre and USVAA. L.A. Weekly declared the play their “Pick of the Week,” singling out Trevor’s performance as “particularly compelling.” Trevor holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Loyola Marymount University and has also studied at Lesly Kahn, Margie Haber, and The Groundlings. In addition to his acting career, Trevor served five years in the 1-506th Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division in the U.S. Army, completing tours in both Ramadi, Iraq and Wardak Province, Afghanistan as an Infantry Sergeant.


Justin Sloan HeadshotJustin Sloan is a video game writer on such titles as Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, as well as a novelist and screenwriter. He is the author of such fiction books as Falls of Redemption and non-fiction as Military Veterans in Creative Careers. He studied writing at the Johns Hopkins University MA in Writing program and at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television’s Professional Program in Screenwriting. Justin is also a co-host on the Self Publishing Answers podcast.

Justin was in the Marines for five years and has lived in Japan, Korea, and Italy. He currently lives with his amazing wife and children in the Bay Area, where he writes and enjoys life.



New Podcast: Creative Writing Career

CWC Podcast Logo_v3If you’re anything like me, you love podcasts. But hey, even if you’ve never heard one, you at least have an interest in either writing or understanding a bit more about writers, right?

Lucky you, because we just launched the CREATIVE WRITING CAREER podcast!

So far, we’ve interviewed or have scheduled such folks as Elias Madias (Shadow of Mordor), Tim Powers (On Stranger Tides), Matthew Ritter (Telltale Games, comics, and indie Games),  Jazon Denzel ( and publishing with Tor), Will Wight (The Traveler’s Gate trilogy), Lee Jessup (Getting it Write, Screenwriting coach), and Linda Poitevin (Sins of Angels), and more.

Find it on iTunes or through your android podcast search. You can also find it at Please remember to share and leave a review!

Hosts: Stephan Bugaj, Justin Sloan, and Kevin Tumlinson

Launch date: November 2, 2015


Interviews with ME! by John Lee Dumas

HSLDI often post interviews with veterans in the creative careers, but today I’d like to share a podcast I was recently on, where John Lee Dumas interviewed me about my time in the military and my transition.

Check out High Speed Low Drag! 


And if you want to see other interviews with me/ podcasts, here are some links (sorry if my story overlaps):


Thanks for following my journey!

Supporting Operation Supply Drop with My Book

osd cupA few years back I realized I could no longer ignore my creative passions, and that I never should have ignored them to begin with. The problem was that, when exiting the military, I had no idea what it meant to actually make a career out of what I loved to do. Now I am living the dream, or at least my dream, as a writer on the games Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead at Telltale Games, as well as a novelist and screenwriter.

It is with this in mind that I’ve set out to ensure others no longer have their doubts. Too often the problem is that we don’t know what we don’t know, but I’ve written my advice and interviewed military veterans who have gone on to follow their dreams. Many have succeeded, and many have at least seen progress toward success. Regardless, all are doing what they love, and they have shared their stories and advice with us in my book, Military Veterans in Creative Careers.

Nook || Kindle || iBooks


Veterans in Creative Careers: Eric Johnson, Author (National Guard)

Eric JohnsonEric Johnson is retired from the National Guard. He has been deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan in his 15-year career as an active duty Soldier and a National Guardsman. He has used his experience when writing military science fiction, and aims to relive or transfer those experiences to his writing. He has also written erotica as well as a steampunk short story. He currently lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

His website is and his Twitter is


Find interviews like this one on the Military Veterans in Creative Careers podcast (more…)

Military Veterans in Creative Careers – The Book!

Military Veterans in Creative Careers - Justin SloanI’ve been working on a passion project for some time and finally have it ready!

My book Military Veterans in Creative Careers on Amazon for pre-order (available 7-4-15).

And we all like free stuff, right? Well to celebrate the publication of this book, I have a couple freebies:

1) Everyone who joins my mailing list and follows me on Twitter will be entered in to win one of 10 free copies of my Creative Writing Career audiobook (regular price = $19.95).

2)  If you order a print copy and leave an honest review, shoot me an email and I will give the first 5 people to do so a signed copy of the book and a digital copy of the audiobook when they come out, AND a digital copy of the Creative Writing Career audiobook now. If you aren’t one of the 5, you will be entered into a chance to be one of 20 people to get the audiobook free when it comes out.

And stay tuned, because I will be announcing other freebies and giveaways shortly!

(The above applies to U.S. and U.K. customers only, sorry)


Many of our nation’s men and women exit the military without a clue of what to do next. Others pursue their passions, doing everything they can to break into the life they’ve always dreamed of.

This book provides guidance on how to follow your passions, and includes interviews with MILITARY VETERANS who have gone on to creative careers.

Interviewees include:
– Novelists
– Screenwriters
– Actors
– Producers
– Directors
– People in Video Games (writers, producers, and more)

Brought to you from the author of Creative Writing Career, this book will serve as your mentor and guide as you too pursue your passions.

CALL TO ACTION: If you would like to be part of this campaign and help spread the word, email me at I am happy to provide #free review copies to those of you willing to post an honest review.

Thank you for your support!


To follow Justin Sloan:

#veterans #videogames #screenwriting #film #publishing

Veterans in Creative Careers: Heather Ashby (Navy)

Small HeadshotAward winning author, Heather Ashby is a Navy veteran who taught school and raised a family while accompanying her Navy husband around the United States, Japan, and the Middle East. In gratitude for their Army son’s safe return from Afghanistan and Iraq, she now writes military romance novels, donating half her royalties to Fisher House Foundation in support of wounded warriors and their families. Her son serves as her cover model, helping to raise money for Fisher Houses around the world. Heather lives in Atlantic Beach, Florida with her retired Navy husband. UNFORGETTABLE is the fourth and final book in her “Love in the Fleet” series.

Find interviews like this one on the Military Veterans in Creative Careers podcast


Veterans in Creative Careers: Shawn Garrett, Author (Marine)

Shawn Garrett500 Miles an Hour is a hard-hitting, in-your-face, combat experience seen through the eyes of a Marine serving in Iraq. It details mental, physical, and spiritual injuries that could haunt a person for a lifetime, then guides the reader along a pathway of healing from the traumas of war. Take this journey of friendship, pride, and love with a staff sergeant leading his men into combat, while tackling the walls of protection he builds around himself. If 500 Miles an Hour could be boiled down to one word, it would be survival—man’s most basic and deadly instinct. All stress injuries are different, but the treatment is the same. It starts with you.

After much soul-searching and deliberation, and many sleepless nights counting stars, Shawn decided to join the Marine Corps. He served 13 years, attaining the rank of staff sergeant and deploying twice to Iraq, where he led marines through combat. In his time of service, he endured hardships and victories that will forever link him to the brotherhood of arms.

As an emerging author, Shawn uses fiction writing to help him through his struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder. Writing is cathartic for him, allowing for the painful memories to flow from his brain and heart, down his hands, out of his body, and onto the page. This, along with the love of his family and friends, has brought stability to his life. He currently develops and directs course curricula for the Enlisted Professional Military Education Distance Education Program at Marine Corps University. Shawn makes his home in the beautiful state of Virginia.

UPDATE: See the following TV interview with Shawn about his book –

Find interviews like this one on the Military Veterans in Creative Careers podcast