1) Tell us about your current or last science fiction novel. What is it about and how did you come up with the concept?
I self-published my first novel (the third one I’ve written) on April 4th and it’s called Ten Sigma.
A dying woman has her consciousness downloaded into a virtual world for military training with the promise that if she completes all the requirements, she can return to the real world in a healthy body. However, it’s only when she’s there that she realizes she has to fight her way through an unimaginable set of odds to return to her family. I’d like to think that the book is a cross between Old Man’s War and Gantz.
The concept has changed over time. I started with the premise of violence as the means to create super warriors (a somewhat common theme and specifically used in Dune). My first idea was having AIs in a harsh computer simulation, where if you survived 1,000 battles the consciousness would be transfered to a body in the real world. But I had issues with the inciting incident and having the real world different than the virtual world for the AI. Instead, I switched it to a program what allowed people to become super warriors by going to the virtual world and if they passed certain hurdles, they could return.
2) How did you get started writing science fiction?
I’ve always had SciFi stories going on in my head and started writing seriously about five years ago.
3) What specific sub-genres within science fiction do you write in and why?
Military Science Fiction and I’m planning a Space Opera. My epic (when my writing rises to the right level) will be SciFi/Mythology.
4) What tropes do you think are important for that sub-genre?
I’m not sure about important tropes, I think they are all useful if used correctly and actually required because it allows you to use things the reader already knows without having developed them. I do however favor the strong female protagonists, so for me, the woman warrior tropes are all great.
5) Do you prefer to write in first or third person and past or present tense?
My preference would be 3rd person-past POV by scene. My current works are all 1st person present, which I find easier to structure and write. When my writing is at the right level, then I’ll try to write my epic SciFi/Fantasy in 3rd POV past.
6) What is your favorite part about being a writer?
7) What is the hardest part about being a writer?
Getting all of the nitty-gritty details woven together to create a compelling narrative. It’s easy to think of ideas, a little harder to execute them. A novel really needs to work on many different levels and it’s easy to get lost in the process.
8) What stories or authors influence your writing?
Fred Saberhagen and his Swords Trilogy. The wonderful characters of David Eddings. And I love David Gemmell’s prose. There are more, of course, but these are the ones that standout from an idea, character, and world building standpoint.
9) Recommend a great science fiction book or movie that we might have missed you didn’t create?
I’ve read these books more than once: Startide Rising, 2001, Dune, Forever War, Old Man’s War – Basically look for anything that’s won both the Hugo and Nebula awards. Also, Neuromancer is great too.
As far as movies, go with anything Denis Villeneuve has done, especially Arrival. Also the Annihilation movie was excellent too.
10) Anything else about you or your novel that you would like us to know?
I self-published because I was too lazy to figure out how to write query letters.
Well, Ten Sigma is going to be a seven book series and I’ve already thought through the series after I finish Ten Sigma. And the one after that…
As I said above, ideas are easy. I guess I better start writing faster. 🙂
11) What’s the best way to find you online?