Author Interview – James Moran

Today’s SciFi Interview 🙂

Jim is a random guy on the Internet who accidentally fell into this whole “writing” thing. He is terribly inexperienced in virtually every aspect of the writing endeavor, and is currently just making things up as he goes. What fun! He has a blog.

http://www.anexecutorswork.com/

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

In my current work, Focus, I’ve really got a party of four. But if I had to pick single main character, a first among equals, It’d probably be Adam. He and his companions, as an experiment, are press-ganged into learning how to wield an extra-dimensional power. (It’s a long story. Ha! And the story is called Focus.) In Adam’s case, he learns to focus this power in a way that nobody has ever seen before. Since he knew nothing of this power before the experiment, he’s as ignorant of this new aspect as everybody else. Learning what this new aspect of power is, wondering what it might be, fearing what it might be, is a major driver of Focus.

 

Along the way, Adam compensates for the ignorance of his potential abilities via the exploration of more mundane approaches to problem solving. This causes a stir all its own, and this “stir” becomes the driving force for the next story.

 

But of course he doesn’t do it by himself. His companions are as much a part of the story as he is. He just happens to be the source of conflict.

How much research do you do?

My research efforts are all over the place.

 

One of the great things about soft science fiction is that, to an extent, you can just make things up as you go, as long as you stick to the rules that you’ve defined. I don’t have to research my magic system, I just have to invent it.  On the other hand, I do have to follow those rules, and those rules have to make sense, or it’s just chaos. And really, I strive for at least a passing relationship with reality wherever I can’t avoid it.

 

And boy, do I try to avoid it. For instance, my spaceships need to travel interstellar distances, but the narrative requires consistent time scales between planets. So my ships need what I like to call LANGADAR drives. (Let’s All Not Give A Damn About Relativity.) Because I didn’t want to do all the research into the physics of light-speed travel, I eschewed faster than light travel (travelling the entire distance from A to B at some crazy-impossible velocity) for jump drives (disappearing from point A and appearing at point B instantaneously). Voila! No time dilation. No red-shifting. None of that.

 

On the other hand, for Focus, I needed a selection of naturally occurring, relatively basic molecules. H20 of course, and N2, but Fe2O3 also plays a part, and others will later. For Dissonance, I needed an imposing piece of heavy equipment that could reasonably walk on feet instead of roll on wheels. So I learned quite a bit more than I expected to about tunnel boring machines. Just a couple of examples among many.

 

So my research comes in fits and starts, and only as necessary. But it’s very much something that happens.

 How often do you write, and do you have a special time during the day to write?

They say that you should write a little each day, and they’re right about that. I write at least a little every day. It’s not always on my main work in progress; often it’s user documentation, or a critique of somebody else’s work, or a random blog post, or correspondence with somebody. But I approach every writing endeavor as something that should be done well, and that should hold at least a baseline interest for the reader. Proper punctuation, proper grammar, a decent progression of ideas. A narrative that holds together. Even if I’m texting someone, I do my best to observer proper grammar and punctuation. I loathe txtspk.

 

I’d estimate that I write at least three thousand words a day in various formats. Probably more, on most days.

 

If you want me to limit my answer strictly to my works in progress, I don’t write every day, but I do write multiple days a week. I don’t really have a special time of day, but I find that I can better accomplish different tasks at different times of day. I do a lot of plotting and troubleshooting during my commute to my day job, to the point where I rarely listen to the radio. On weekends, I find myself most motivated in the early morning or in the early afternoon. If I have a serious case of writer’s block, I’ve found that relaxing late in the evening with a laptop, a whiskey, and a comfortable chair can work wonders.

 

I don’t exactly have a significant depth of experience, but I’d say that when I seriously buckle down on a work-in-progress effort, I’ll get anywhere from five to fifteen thousand words a week. It mostly depends upon how much “free” time I have.

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

This probably comes down to personal preference. For me, it doesn’t play an important part, because I’ve read any number of books now where the scene depicted on the cover doesn’t actually happen in the story. That’s annoying.

 

On the other hand, the cover art plays a part. It’ll (usually) at least tell me what kind of book I’m looking at. For instance, if I’m in an airport bookstore scanning the rack for a last-minute something for the flight, I’ll steer away from any covers sporting a fainting damsel clutching a shirtless Fabio. That scene may or may not happen in the book, but I don’t really care, because that’s not the book I’m looking for.

 

So, yeah. Judging a book by its cover plays a part in the initial winnowing process, at least for me. But only at that very high level. Otherwise, I could hardly care less. Good cover art is certainly fun to look at, but bad cover art just gets me reading the book’s blurb sooner.

What is your favourite motivational phrase?

Quit whining and do your job.

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Sci Fi Blog Hop – Author Interview – H T Lyon

As part of the Sci Fi blog hop I’m excited to have a new writer aboard for today, here’s my interview with the fab H T Lyon.

———

H.T.Lyon

Bio:

I am aspiring writer of science fiction. A futurist with a keen interest in where our society is heading, I tend focus most of my attention on stories that examine the direction our society is taking or that shows where we could end up. Optimistic my nature, I believe that one day we will look to settle the Solar System as we outgrow our planet and some of my stories examine how this could look. Currently, I have a number of novels underway and some short stories. My aim is to get one of these up and published before the end of the year around the other commitments that exist in my life.

 

Questions –

How often do you write, and do you have a special time during the day to write?

I write when I can. Having Google Docs (and before that One Note) is a great way to make writing portable. I should be able to pick up a device and get writing but I do seem to need some quiet space to get into it. Nanowrimo was a great motivation to get writing. I’d write in my lunchtime and in the evening and whenever I could. I hit the target and it’s the most productive I’ve ever been. I try to write once a day but sometimes only manage once a week. If there was any chance I could make to my writing, it would be to write more often. Style be damned if you don’t have the words to start with!

For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?

Personally, I’ve grown up with paper books so I am more comfortable reading them. I would prefer to be more comfortable with ebooks though. They are more environmentally friendly and also, it would be nice to be more comfortable reading using the platform I primarily intend to publish in. Weight for weight, the ebook has the advantage. You could take one paper book on a long plane flight but for the same weight, 1,000 ebooks. I can and have read books in ebook format and enjoyed them immensely. The main difference I find is that I am a lot faster when reading a paper book.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing as far as content?

The number one challenge for me is injecting personality into my characters. I really struggle there, I want them to pop out and I haven’t managed to get into the space where I can get into the moment and inhabit a character shoes, especially where the character is unlike myself. I do find the best way to get over this is to carry on with the draft and let the actions define the characters. The needs of the plot eventually sorts this out for me! The thing I then need to deal with is their voice. It’s not point the villain and the hero having the same speech patterns!

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?

The first story I remember reading that had a major impact on me was Lord of the Rings. It was a massive book and I tried several times to follow in my brother’s footsteps and read the damn thing but I could never really get it started. Then one day I flipped to page 119 (I think) and was immediately in the battle for Weathertop from then on, I made it all the way through and had enough context to get through the beginning again! What I took from it was amazement that someone could create a world like that and an amazement that I could get lost in it. I think my friends heard about the book for months after that!

Did you have any ideas about being a writer that becoming a writer changed?

I always thought that writing was a job like being an accountant; people would learn to do it and then become good. Being around writers online has certainly been an education. Even the experienced of us struggle. Its the ultimate creative exercise. You can become better at it but it will always be something that is hard. For anyone standing at the edge and wondering whether to give it a go, I encourage you to do so. It only takes one positive reaction and it all becomes worthwhile.

The Next Blog Hop

Many thanks to http://www.writesofluid.com/ for tagging me in this Blog Hop, which consists of ten questions about my current project/s and then tagging other authors/writers. Here goes! This has been hard work. And so sorry that it is a bit late. 

1. What is the working title of your next book?

The Secret King – The Beginning

2. Where did the idea come from for your book?

The original idea for the series came in a dream. Way back in 2007. I wrote my first ever feature film. Titled The Secret King. And it progressed from there. A un-named entity on the internet reviewed it and thought it would make a great series. So the TV series was born. As the un-known person became a ‘known’ person, and a fast friend. I allowed him to take part and we became writing partners. This current novel is basically everything that happens before the TV series. 

3. What genre does the book fall under?


It is Sci Fi / Space Oprah 

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movies rendition?

That’s a hard one. Although I’ve recently started talking to a great actor on Facebook, Rob Talbot and he is so great. I could really see him as one of my leads. We had a conversation about him always playing the bad guys. And I think he’d make a very good ‘King’ in my book. 🙂 I guess you just never know. That is the beauty of writing. 

5. What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

With their sun about to go Super Nova, Kendro, King of The Aonise fights to save his species from total annihilation.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I don’t know yet. I’ve been having coaching lessons with E.J Runyon (highly recommended for any writer) and I would like to try the traditional route before I go self publishing. We’ll see. 

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

It took me 47 days. 80,819 words. 

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I don’t know haven’t had much time for reading with all the editing. 🙂 lol

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Inspiration for this book came just in the nick of time for Nanowrimo. I hadn’t had much of an excuse to write this year bar the Web Series Best Friends so it was great to have the freedom to write un-cumbered with nano. 

10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

The characters are really down to ‘Earth’, although from another planet and a totally different species, they still have the same thoughts and feelings that we do. 

To quote something I have mentioned before….. 

Admiral Octav and his long time friend and bodyguard Chace were out celebrating, food and a few drinks in a bar that they had never been in before. Octav didn’t like the look of his dinner, so Chace ate it instead. Only to find out later the next day that he’d been severely poisoned with a genetically enhanced killing agent. While on his deathbed and with no emotional barrier protecting his feelings for his commanding officer Chace and Octav realize that they’ve been fighting the truth for too long. But their relationship would be very complicated. Octav is married, Admiral of the fleet and Second in command to House Niakrex. Although things are left very tense time really isn’t on their side.

 

Tagging for the next blog hop:

http://tipsyscreenwriter.com/

 
 

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

THE NEXT BIG THING BLOG HOP: Dawn Chapman

I’ve never tried this, but here goes. I got this from SOLOMON J. INKWELL which I found by search results.

http://solomoninkwell.wordpress.com/

I liked the idea so here we go… It is a blog hop, so I’ll check out the person who tagged them and see who else I can make friends with too 🙂 I’ve only had small stories published so this year will be a first for me with a novel…

The rules are fairly simple:

Give credit to the person who tagged you.

Post the rules for this hop.

Answer the following ten questions about your current WIP (Work In Progress) on your blog.

Tag one or more other writer/blogger and add his or her link so we can hop on over.

So, are you excited? Yep, me too. So, let’s get started…

What is the working title of your next book?

The Secret King – The Beginning

Where did the idea for the book come from?

I’ve been working on a TV series with a very good writer friend of mine. Steven Kogan over at

http://cinemasnackbar.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/dr-who-season-1-2005-or-when-does-the-fun-start/

titled The Secret King and I wanted to take part in Nanowrimo so it just sort of happened.

What genre does your book fall under?

Sci Fi / Fantasy

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a move rendition?

Kendro – Gerad Butler

Mika – Helen Hunt

Captain Hadi – Tim Rozon

Doctor Brie – Dana Delany (she looks like a friend of mine)

Octav – Luke Macfarlane

Chace – Justin Hartley

Wow, that was so much harder than I imagined, but such fun. Bonus.

What is the one sentence synopsis for your book?

With their sun dying, Kendro, King of The Aonise fights to save his people from total annihilation.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I am unsure yet. I will test the waters with traditional publishing first, then see alternatives.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Forty Seven days.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I’d like to not compare it to other authors, hoping it will stand on its own.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The love for the world I’d already worked so hard on, and as a TV series script got its first recommend in early 2011. 🙂

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

It will appeal to anyone who loves… fantastic space battles and epic discoveries.

Some of the writers/authors blogs I follow…

http://michaelsomers.com/

http://rebekahhoneycutt.wordpress.com/about/

http://theofenraven.wordpress.com/

🙂 Enjoy and if you see this pass it on and message me… not sure if it works like that but hey ho…