The Empire | IFWG Publishing | Science Fiction Romance | Dec 1, 2010
"It will be interesting to discover which will make you beg. Will it be the pain or the pleasure?"
How do you tame a man without breaking his spirit?
The galaxy is under siege from alien invaders. The Empire is the only force that stands in their way, trading the freedom of its citizens for a tenuous security.
Amidst this chaos, Lt. Adrian Stannis is a brilliant scientist trying to stay out of the limelight. He hides on a research vessel plying the Outer Rim and finds peace of a sort with Kali Mirren, a psi-enabled humanoid. But his days of anonymity may be coming to an end. Someone has discovered his secret and is determined to make him pay for his treachery. He must finish the project he abandoned years ago, one the Council deems essential in its fight against the aliens, but things are never that simple where Adrian is concerned.
Is he more man than machine, or have years hiding behind a mountain of logic eroded his humanity? Can he survive the tangled web of political expediency and psychological manipulation that surrounds him? Will Kali be able to save him from himself, or is there a mystery surrounding him that may explode in their faces?
Everyone wants to know the truth, but will it set them free?
What main genre do you write in?
Science Fiction / Fantasy
Please tell us your latest news!
I'm currently working on book 2 and 3 of The Empire series, The Rebels and The Andromedans. They're scheduled for release 2012.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I love Tolkein's work. His worlds are richly realized and I love the different threads that run throughout his novels, all the characters and their personal journeys.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I had written a couple of stories when I was very young, but stopped and primarily became a reader instead. I used to devour books by the dozens.
About four years ago, I was introduced to an old British sci-fi series called, Blakes 7 that was just being released on DVD. It was love at first sight, particularly with one of the characters, Avon.
The show ended badly, with all the characters dying, which was very unsatisfying. That inspired me to write my first fanfiction to keep my favourite characters alive. Twenty novel-sized stories and several dozen short stories later, I was hooked on writing and decided to venture into original fiction. That was the start of The Empire.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Sometimes, as writers, we get so caught up in our creations that it's hard to take a step back and look at our works critically. One thing I've learned this past year in writing The Rebels is not to hang onto your favourite scenes, snippets or even characters, if it doesn't serve the story.
Do you have a favorite object that is pertinent to your writing?
I'm learning to love my iPad. When I travelled, I used to carry my netbook and my Kindle plus the assorted accessories necessary to use them. Now, I just stuff my iPad in my (big) purse and it goes everywhere with me. I find myself doing half my writing on the iPad now.
Please describe your writing environment.
I write at a desk with a computer, which is not particularly interesting, but to my right, outside a large bay window is the back of a mall and the local library across the street on my left. To my right, are the lush greens of a golf course which edges my condo complex.
What's been the most challenging part of writing for you?
Writing is a joy for me, but my in current novel, The Rebels, I created a hero/antagonist who embodied some characteristics I dislike, namely a self-righteous bully. This created a lot of problems in writing because he kept butting heads with my hero/protagonist and nothing got done plotwise.
Halfway into writing the novel, I realized the story had ground to a halt and I made myself take a good, hard, critical look at how I was writing and decided that I had to get rid of the protagonist, which meant going back and rewriting major parts of the story and moving some timelines around.
For a couple of months, it was like pulling teeth but I finally created a new character that worked with the story and things started rolling after that. But it was a great learning experience. Sometimes, what makes a good story isn't what you put into it, but what you take out and that can be very painful for a writer.
Who has been your best supporter? How have they been there for you?
My greatest supporters are my online writing friends. They were there at the beginning of my foray into writing, giving me encouragement and criticism.
Do you like to mix genres?
Even though I write with a science fiction backdrop, I don't write with any specific genre in mind. All I'm concerned with is writing a good story. The Empire may be science fiction but there are strong elements of romance and humor in it.
What inspires your writing?
My inspiration was the characters. I had been writing some short stories with this cast and I was having so much fun that I decided to expand them into a proper story.
The storyline came from a desire to explore the issue of the ends justifying the means and looking at it from various angles. In THE EMPIRE, it looks at it from the perspective of the leaders of the Empire. In THE REBELS, the second book, it explores it from the view of those opposed to what the Empire is doing. The final book, THE ANDROMEDANS, looks at the enemy, the aliens, trying to take over their galaxy.
The intent was not to come to any conclusion but to understand the motivations of each side and to raise the question so that the readers can decide for themselves.
Thanks for the interview. It's been a pleasure.
"You're not a writer unless you bleed."