Tell us about your current or last science fiction novel. What is it about and how did you come up with the concept?
My current WIP is the third book in the “Gates to the Galaxies” series, tentatively titled “A Search through the Gates!”. The First book, “The Gates to the Galaxies” was originally written for my youngest grandchildren and follows the exploits of the crew of a giant spaceship. While not a children’s book, the story lines were meant to entertain and educate them with an interaction, through time travel, with Apollo 13. The second book, “A Return to the Gates” was written for my older grandchildren, and several of the characters are based on them. It introduces the reader to the “Ones” who, through genetic experiments, have turned their race into one that is now dependent on drinking human blood in order to function during the daylight. The “Ones” were once the rulers of the universe and ruled from a huge “Dyson Sphere”! The WIP is written just for my enjoyment and continues the story line with a more adult style where the ”Ones’” original warriors are awakened from centuries of sleep in stasis pods. Then they try to re-gain rule of the universe. In my humble opinion, I think, It’s my best work yet!
How did you get started writing science fiction?
I never intended to be a writer! In 2016, I was diagnosed with CML (Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia). Thankfully, I am now in remission! After the initial shock, I was thinking about my legacy to my grandchildren. How would they remember me and how I influenced them? I decided to write a story with all my grandchildren as characters in it. That was the beginning of “An Unexpected Trip! (Through Time and Space). This was my first attempt at writing, and I wanted it to contain a moral lesson for my Grandchildren to learn. By telling a story in a book, it took my mind off my own problem. The kids liked it and I self-published it on Kindle. It actually sold several copies! Looking back, I wish that I had had enough money to hire an editor and an illustrator. I think that would have made it a much better read and more marketable. But, after my Leukemia diagnosis, I was forced to retire. I’m on a fixed income now and I can’t justify those expenses, just for vanity. I would never recover the expense.
After that, I realized that I really liked writing stories. I wasn’t doing it for the money, I was doing it because I enjoyed it! I decided that I would take the basic concepts in my original short story and write a series of science fiction novels. That was the start of the “Gates to the Galaxies” series.
Do you prefer to write in first or third person and past or present tense?
I usually write in third person. I find it more difficult writing in first. It takes too much effort to figure out all the mental stuff that goes along with that.
What is your favorite part about being a writer?
I really enjoy the writing, the telling of a story. Figuring out how the twists and turns intertwine, to finally end up with what was originally just a fleeting thought, floating around in my mind! I think that, as I continue to write, I’m getting better. I’ve had no formal training, so it’s kind of “learn as you go” for me!
What is the hardest part about being a writer?
I think that the hardest part is the editing! Knowing what to keep and what to dump. I tend to be very “wordy” as my wife would say, and punctuation can be a problem for me. I’m trying very hard to work on that, but affording an editor is usually just not an option for people who self-publish.
What stories or authors influence your writing?
I’m a voracious reader, especially of sci-fi! I often go through a book in a day or two, and like to read a huge variety of indie authors. I try to understand what moves me in a story line and, what I find annoying. Sometimes, a writer does a great job and then ruins the story by trying to end it too soon, by rushing the last chapter or two! That bothers me and I try to work on that in my books. Growing up, (I’m not done with that yet), I was a huge fan of the Star Trek series and anything involving space travel!
Some of my favorite authors are M.R. Forbes, Douglas E. Richards, Ken Lozito and Terry Mixon
Anything else about you or your novel that you would like us to know?
I am not a fan of using conventional sci-fi concepts. I don’t use “Warp Speed” for my star ships. Instead, they use “Folded Space Drives”. I my books, I show how the concept of time travel is possible through the application of math and the use of “Dark” matter. I also have several other unconventional concepts coming in my WIP.
I ALWAYS leave a review on every indie book I read. If you want to support an indie writer, leave a review when you finish! Those help move the books up the search list!
What’s the best way to find you online?
I don’t have any social media other than twitter but, you can find me there at @JDalton69679184
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