I decided I needed a place to vent and/or to celebrate about writing. I'm a Wordsmith: stories, novels, poems, religious statements, political commentaries. I Post on writing: how to-venting-updates on my writing, and on anything I'm excited about. I will also be posting a story or three. And I review on books and /or writers I'm reading and anything else that might strike my fancy such as concerts I've been to, adventure dreams I recall etc..
I currently have three novels. Dissolution of Peace, Volition Agent, and Broken Trust (published in that order for those keeping score at home).
Where did the idea for the latest tale come from? If it’s on your blog, could you repeat it?
Ah, Broken Trust came from a short story. I wanted to write a short story about a survivor from a mass extinction event. The story ultimately ended with the survivor finding a settlement of people. Well, when I finished the short story, I realized that I really liked the story that wasn't told. The story of what people did when simply surviving a disaster became rebuilding from one. And that spiraled into the novel Broken Trust.
Who is your favorite character in this book?
Oh man, that is a tough one. I think I will have to go with the same choice that my editor and beta readers picked: Talya. The funny thing is Talya was supposed to be just a minor character in the novel. Perhaps not even a minor one, but more of a background character. Well, she seemed to find herself more and more prominent. And in the first revision, I really wrote her in as one of the three main characters. And people seem to love her.
How long did it take you to write-you mentioned deleted scene on your blog. How many and how large where these scene?
Broken Trust took about a year to write from the first words to the final edits. Which was way longer than it was supposed to take. But I tend to get sidetracked with running Plasma Frequency and of course that darn day job.
I do recall one scene I cut. It was almost an entire chapter that revolved around one of the minor characters and a certain nameless character (spoilers and all) who had a long conversation about various topics. Including world affairs and such. I originally put this scene in to give a broader world view, which the world that this book takes place in is very thought out on a global scale. But, I realized that it dragged the story, and was not really important to the story. So I sprinkled a bit of that scene into another chapter and a bit more into a later chapter. Thus giving a little bit of insight into the global world, and the plot point, without slowing down the story. I am happy with that cut.
Any embarrassing scenes in this book or a previous one?
This book doesn't really have any scenes that were embarrassing to me. Thought there were a few that were to the characters. But, Dissolution of Peace does have one scene I wish I had cut before print. Well that is not so true, I still like the scene, but my readers seem to wonder what the point of it was. It is a scene where one of the main characters walks in on two of the other characters in the middle of a sexual act. I cut a ton of sex from that book, especially with the rewrite of one major plot point, but I kept that one because I thought it was important to the characters' relationship. But, apparently I missed the point with the readers and for that reason I am bit embarrassed by it. It is always a tough moment for a writer when they miss the mark.
Which scene--without too many spoilers--gave you the most fits?
So back to Broken Trust, there were a few scenes that gave me trouble. But the toughest one was the climax scenes. There was a lot of set up to many story lines in this book. There are several main story lines, there are a few subtle story lines, and there are even a few that are almost hidden until the end. Well, I wanted to bring those all together for a big climax. And that was a pain in the butt. Without giving anything away, there were characters who finally were discovering who they are, there were conflicts to be resolved, and there was even a romantic storyline that needed tied up. And to combine war, love, and character discovery into one big climax scene took four rewrites and several editing passes. In the end, I am absolutely in love with it.
What outfit would you wear, if you were the Main Female Character?
There are two main female characters in this one. If I was Talya, I would be a tank top and jeans (or running shorts) type of woman. I would prefer comfort over appearance, especially uniforms. But, I would also understand the practicality of what I am wearing in terms of the job I need to do. So when working, I'd substitute those jeans for cargo pants.
Now Rachel on the other hand, she would be more of T-shirt and pants, or even more girly with like a sundress or something like that. She hasn't really had to adapt her tastes to a collapsed world, and so she still thinks it is important to be well dresses when the occasion calls for it.
Is this book in any way modeled after another published book?
No, not intentionally anyway. I haven't read one just like it. And so I think it makes its own mark on the post-apocalyptic realm. I don't even know that is falls under that category. Nor is it really a dystopian novel. So I think it is more along the lines of a story about rebirth. And for that I think it takes a new spin on the genre.
What other book would you take your Main Character to for a day on the town?
I've talked about Talya, and even a bit about Rachel. But we've missed Liam. I think I will take him out on the town for the day. I think we'd visit a fantasy novel. For some reason I think Liam would prefer it over a novel of his own genre. And I think I'd take him to one of the books in Emma Newman's The Split Worlds series. Liam and Newman's main character, Cathy, have a lot in common. They both want to see change and a better life for the people of their world, but they also both don't want to be the one in charge of doing it. Not that either of them has much choice.
Who is your favorite writing teacher? A pro writer who also shares how to write or a college teacher?
Oh, definitely not a college teacher. I never studied writing formally. I took the path of self study and for that I have to thank Jeffrey A. Carver and Orson Scott Card. Carver has an excellent website on how to write SF that I spend a long time reading, and rereading. And Card put out two books that have helped me immensely in how I look at writing. I think it is fair to say that I got started because of what I read from them.