Which writers inspire you? In no particular order:
Fantasy: David and Leigh Eddings, Robin Hobb, David Gemmell, Tolkein, Rowling, Dahl, Pratchett, Jordan, Feist, Abercrombie.
Science Fiction: Orson Scott Card, Joe Haldeman, Poul Anderson, Alfred Bester, Asimov, Herbert, Creighton, Bradbury, Clarke
I’m sure I’ve left loads of worthy mentions off the list but I’m drawing blanks. I haven’t read any of Stephen King’s stuff but his book on writing inspired me a lot. In fact, I owe that book for giving me the push I needed to finally take the plunge into writing.
What genre are your books? Science Fiction and Fantasy. I also have a few children’s fantasy novels in the pipeline and ideas for a few non-fiction titles.
What draws you to this genre? The freedom to let your imagination run wild. In science fiction the imagining is bound by a set of stricter laws that in fantasy, of course. But the future, the stars, the universe! Those are things dreams are made of. And everyone loves to dream.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? I reached the ripe old age of 29. Seriously though, when I reached 29 I sat down and took a real long look at my life. What I saw was great. I had and amazing wife and two wonderful kids. I worked a full-time job I actually loved. Not only did I enjoy it but it paid really well and allowed my wife to stay at home and raise the kids, while focusing on her own writing career. In many ways, my family and I were (and still are) living the stereotypical dream. But when I hit 29 and seriously evaluated my life I still felt there was something missing. I guess as humans, we are rarely content with what we have. That was when I decided I had to publish a book by the time I hit 30. I started writing when I was a kid and had big plans for an epic fantasy trilogy since I was 14, but despite lots of writing never got around to finishing anything. So I sat down and read Stephen King’s book On Writing and that gave me the kick in the ass I needed. As it happens, I hit 30 tomorrow! I released my first short story collection, PARADIGM, two weeks ago and will be releasing my first full length novel on May 4th.
Do you write full-time or part-time? Part-time with a view to full-time mid-2018.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? I find that my creative energy is strongest earlier in the day. Since I have a family and full time job, finding time to write can be a challenge. This means making a special effort to “make” the time. I get up at 0600 most mornings, hit the gym for an hour, then grab a cup of coffee, have breakfast with the kids and lock myself in my cozy little home office for an hour before heading off to the day job. Well, ideally this is what happens. It doesn’t always work out that way. I also book off a week here and a week there from the day job so I can focus when a big deadline approaches. This means less time for holidays/vacation. But that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make to be able to write full-time in the very near future.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you? It’s very much a case of different strokes for different folks isn’t it? I tried “pantsing” for ten years and that’s why I haven’t been a writer until fairly recently. Full on “pantsing” just doesn’t work for me. I need structure. That being said I don’t believe in sticking to a strict, regimented system as that can inhibit creativity and prohibit new directions and ideas. So, I aim to strike for a balance between the two. I loosely write out my plot in scrivener using the structure K. M. Weiland teaches. That way, I have a rough idea of where I’m going. I often liken it to three different ways of getting somewhere. You can start with nothing but your starting point and a compass. You can start with an old fashioned road map. Or, you can start with Google Earth. I prefer the old fashioned road map.
For example: I’m half way through my first novel THE FURY AND THE STAR and just the other day I changed the first three chapters as a new and better idea occurred to me. It would be hard to do this if all the details were already filled in by Google Earth. I like it when nothing’s ever written in stone.
If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it? The Fury and the Star is the first book in a series called The Lost Starchives. The story is told through the eyes of an outlaw and the marshal who’s been chasing him down. It’s set in a distant galaxy where the last remnants of the human race settled after almost being wiped out by an alien presence.
Very little is known about Earth and the early history of mankind. This information was loaded into, and preserved in, a set of disks known as The Lost Starchives. No one knows what happened to the disks. Some believe they were destroyed; others feel that they have been hidden by the oppressive political system that controls the star system. Some of Earth’s history becomes unraveled as the outlaw seeks revenge for the murder of his family. The book is action packed and contains plenty of twists, some of which even took me by surprise.
Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about. This is a tricky one. My wife is a designer and photographer by profession, so we are working on getting the covers made in house. The problem is I have a very definite idea of what I want and my and this includes a lot of illustrating. Think of concept art. That’s the style I’m going for. We are experimenting to see if we can pull off what I have in my head. If not, I’ve had a few excellent illustrators recommended to me by fellow authors.
How are you publishing this book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both)
I’m indie publishing. Why? Because it gives me control. I decide when to release, how to market, what price to charge, what book cover to use. Most of all it allows me to engage with fans on a very personal level. As the cherry on top, I get a lot more royalties than I would if I went down the traditional path.
That is not to say I wouldn’t seriously consider a publishing deal if one were offered early enough and the terms were favorable. Self-publishing is A LOT of hard work. But the more you put in the more you get out.
Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years’ time? I’d like to give anyone reading this a tip. If you think in terms of “I would like to see myself in xxxx in 5 years’ time,” read MJ DeMarco’s book “The Fastlane Millionaire.” Here’s a secret: That book’s title is intentionally misleading. And even though it discusses large sums of money that is by no means the focus. The principles therein will help anyone to readjust their attitude to life.
This will sound arrogant, but it’s not a matter of where I WANT to be, but where I WILL be in 5 years’ time. I KNOW where I will be in 5 years. However, I’m more concerned with where I’ll be next year, which is working on my writing four hours a day and spending the rest of my time with my loved ones. My ultimate goal isn’t to become famous, or get rich. I simply want the freedom to spend as much time as I want to with my family, and if I get to help people by entertaining them with my writing along the way… What more could anyone hope for! ....(Well said Killian)
How can readers discover more about you and you work? You can find me on my WEBSITE, BLOG, FACEBOOK and on TWITTER as well as INSTAFREEBIE (3 shots of Sci-Fi)