I decided to consult the Internet for common author interview questions, then interviewed myself!
- Why did you write your book?
I wrote it because I had a story to share with the world. Writing is my forte, so it seemed like a natural path to follow.
- What inspired you?
A large part of my inspiration came from science fiction works such as Star Wars (movies and books), as well as animation. The largest, however, was from my time as a sci-fi roleplayer on the Internet. Without that experience, Riesel would not be as it is today.
- How did you settle on this story?
It was the best thing I could think of at the time. I didn't have any other ideas for stories besides novels that were too complex for my then-current level of writing skill. And fan fiction, but you can't sell those without explicit permission.
- How did you come up with the main characters?
My roleplaying days. I created well over a hundred characters, and I picked Runge and Ramy because they best fit the bill.
- Why did you choose the setting of Riesel?
It seemed to be the best choice for an adventure setting. I love sci-fi and large-scale settings; the idea of being dwarfed by technological monuments that we probably won't see in our lifetime. Riesel is just that: a planet covered in cityscape whose rooftops reach anywhere from five to fifty miles above the ground, and even more cityscape floating in the sky. Add in a bunch of ships ranging in size from motorcycles to mountains, as well as countless alien species, and you've got a recipe for amusement.
- What research did you have to do before you could start writing?
Years upon years upon years of gradual knowledge accretion, not just in the realm of science fiction, but real science. You must have at least a basic understanding of existing and theoretical technology and science in order to create a story that doesn't seem like a total fairy tale...IN SPACE.
- Your stories often feature cynicism as a central topic, but there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel. Why?
No matter how dark life can seem, I believe there is always a way out to greener pastures. Perseverance and courage are key to surviving in a gritty setting such as Riesel.
- Are you a cynical individual?
Absolutely not! I try to see the world as being at least half full, even if the sky is falling. This isn't to say that I refuse to see reality in a grim situation, but it's good to have a healthy amount of optimism in any case. Otherwise, life becomes miserable.
- Do you have a specific writing style?
Rich with detail, but concise. Gritty, but with a lighthearted side.
- How did you come up with the title?
The setting is Riesel, and it deals with two bounty hunters. Could there have been a better title? Perhaps, but I stuck with this one regardless.
- Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
Never give up in a world full of bitterness. You'll always find a light somewhere -- a light worth holding on to.
- How much of the book is realistic?
I try to keep things real. When I say "real", I refer specifically to the depiction of realistic life events and societal issues. It has little bearing on the issue of why there are bipedal alien analogues of wolves and dingos running around the galaxy.
- Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I get inspiration from everywhere, including my own life and the lives of those around me. I know what it's like to live in an atmosphere of bitterness, poverty, and decay.
- What books have influenced your life the most?
Several Star Wars books, as well as books from Tom Clancy and Corrie ten Boom. Books were only part of the influence, however. TV played a major part as well, including shows like 24, cartoons like Invader Zim, and anime such as Ghost in the Shell, Ergo Proxy, and others.
- If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
"Mentor" is a bit of a stretch, but I consider Tom Clancy to be an excellent writer. May he rest in peace.
- Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Parker J. Cole writes very compelling romance, and I'm not even into that genre...which is saying a lot. I'm not just saying this because we're friends, either.
- What are your current projects?
Developing Riesel Tales: Two Hunters, Volume 2 and other related projects.
- Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Parker J. Cole, as well as a few other friends.
- Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely! I look forward to the day when my entire collective income is from writing.
- If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your first book?
Unlikely. It is how it is.
- Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I've been a writer since 6th grade, perhaps before that. It wasn't until I was in my mid-twenties when I realized this as my desired career, however.
- Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Work that's currently under development? It'll be more random adventures with Runge and Ramy, but with more new characters. I'll be adding a bit more emotion as well...and humor.
- Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Sometimes I try too hard to give a plot too much depth. Keep it simple, then build as needed.
- Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not yet, but I do look forward to attending conventions at some point in the future.
- Who designed the covers?
As it stands, I am the sole artist for my covers.
- What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Getting every scene to flow properly -- that is, keeping the writing style and lore consistent, as well as thinking of the most appropriate plot components. I have strained myself to the point of a burnout several times. Don't push yourself too hard! If you have writer's block, take a break and read someone else's work. Watch a new TV show. Go see how other people have been creative, then glean inspiration from them.
- Did you learn anything from writing your book?
- Do you have any advice for other writers?
Research well, don't rush things, keep a cool head, and don't let someone's insensitive words discourage you from writing.
- Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for reading! It means a lot! Please tell others!
- What genre do you consider your book(s)?
Science fiction mixed with snarky humor and a bit of drama. Also slice-of-life.
- Do you ever experience writer's block?
Yes, especially when I try to take on too many projects at once (writing or non). Take a break and go outside, watch TV, play a game, or read a book.
- Do you write an outline before every book you write?
For me, it's essential. I have a method, too: Start with a basic description of the story as a whole. I call this a Tier 1 outline. Tier 2 occupies a separate document and gets a bit more detailed, fleshing out deeper points of the story. Tier 3 is a basic chart of each chapter and how they will plan out and work together. Tier 4 expands on that, getting down to plot and dialogue cues per chapter. Think of it as a painting: start simple, then gradually add detail.
- Have you ever hated something you wrote?
All those old fan fics...to an extent, anyway.
- What is your favorite theme/genre to write about?
Life and action in a sci-fi setting.
- While you were writing, did you ever feel as if you were one of the characters?
I didn't necessarily feel like one of the characters, but I did connect with Ramy the most. She tends to see how crazy everything is while Runge wallows in the insanity.
- What are your plans for the book?
I plan to keep the series going for a long time. Bonus points if it gets turned into an animated series.
Find the book here!