High Adventure History’s OneShot version of To Catch a Copperhead.

High Adventure History’s OneShot version of To Catch a Copperhead.
 
 
 
Last year, Tommy Hancock With Pro Se Press asked me about submitting a few stories for his upcoming anthologies. One of the books, High Adventure History grabbed my attention. I liked the concept behind it, Pulp stories with a historical slant.
 
As a history buff, I jumped on this one along with another historical themed anthology, Tall Pulp. At the time, I was editing my steampunk novel which has alternate elements of the Civil War era. So, I decided to focus on the era. Although To Catch a Copperhead isn’t true steampunk, there are some elements.
At the same time, I was weeding through stories for an anthology I was editing for Dark Oak, Capes & Clockwork. Those stories are all about steampunked superheroes. I’d already written a story but had another one in mind. As it ended up, that ‘other’ story evolved into To Catch a Copperhead.
 
In recent weeks, Pro Se Press has begun pulling a story from their antholgies and putting them online as a ‘single shot’ download. I’m honored that this story was deemed good enough to be a stand-alone product.
 
Read it and enjoy… and please let me know what you think.
 
Oh, and one more thing… Assassin Anne maybe back, but in a place you may not predict. As I was writing about her, I kept thinking of ways to have her meetup some other characters in my worlds. So… be on the look out for more of Assassin Anne.
 
 
 
‘To Catch a Copperhead’ is now available on Amazon.
 

High Adventure History’s OneShot version of To Catch a Copperhead.

High Adventure History’s OneShot version of To Catch a Copperhead.
 
 
 
Last year, Tommy Hancock With Pro Se Press asked me about submitting a few stories for his upcoming anthologies. One of the books, High Adventure History grabbed my attention. I liked the concept behind it, Pulp stories with a historical slant.
 
As a history buff, I jumped on this one along with another historical themed anthology, Tall Pulp. At the time, I was editing my steampunk novel which has alternate elements of the Civil War era. So, I decided to focus on the era. Although To Catch a Copperhead isn’t true steampunk, there are some elements.
At the same time, I was weeding through stories for an anthology I was editing for Dark Oak, Capes & Clockwork. Those stories are all about steampunked superheroes. I’d already written a story but had another one in mind. As it ended up, that ‘other’ story evolved into To Catch a Copperhead.
 
In recent weeks, Pro Se Press has begun pulling a story from their antholgies and putting them online as a ‘single shot’ download. I’m honored that this story was deemed good enough to be a stand-alone product.
 
Read it and enjoy… and please let me know what you think.
 
Oh, and one more thing… Assassin Anne maybe back, but in a place you may not predict. As I was writing about her, I kept thinking of ways to have her meetup some other characters in my worlds. So… be on the look out for more of Assassin Anne.
 
 
 
‘To Catch a Copperhead’ is now available on Amazon.
 

The Bishop is on the loose.

The Bishop is on the loose.
 
My latest book is a collection of intertwined short stories. Below is the official press release from Pro Se Press. 🙂
 
 
 
 
Pro Se Productions, a leader in Genre Fiction and New Pulp, announces the release of its newest title today, one that asks the question-With Ultimate Power, Who is Corrupted More? The Good Or The Evil? The answer is explored in D. Alan Lewis’ THE BISHOP OF PORT VICTORIA.
 
 
First appearing in Lewis’ contribution to Pro Se’s best selling and groundbreaking BLACK PULP anthology, Port Victoria is a city with a history rich in Heroes and Villains, in Good and Bad.  And one man seeks to bring righteousness to the troubled city in any way necessary.
 
“It’s a great concept,” says Tommy Hancock, Partner in and Editor in Chief of Pro Se Productions, “that can not only pack the punch of a classic Pulp tale, but also have a relevance that resonates with readers today.  THE BISHOP OF PORT VICTORIA at first glance appears to be a novel aimed at deconstructing the concept of a hero, but it’s really not.  At the heart of this collection of stories lies an exploration of what it means to stand up and be a hero and if everyone is actually suited for that. The book also dissects the concepts of good and evil and shows not only what makes them different, but also the fearful similarities of each idea.  Add in battle scenes, tense situations, and death defying acts of bravery and stupidity, and THE BISHOP OF PORT VICTORIA is the definition of what New Pulp is.” 
 
At the start of the 20th century in the city of Port Victoria, three college students were given a formula that imbued them with incredible powers; strength, agility, and speed. Donning masks and capes, they took to the streets to fight crime and battle evil. Their tactics were effective but harsh, stacking up a body count larger than the mobs.
But as the decades went by, the heroes passed their abilities through their bloodline to each generation of their descendants. And each generation spawned a hero to protect the Port.
Born into a city when the first generation of heroes fought, Eric Raven struggled in the mean streets of Port Victoria to survive. After witnessing the horrific murder of his mother, he found a home in an orphanage where the men of God taught him right from wrong. Another lesson he learned, however, is that sometimes what is considered right by some is evil in the eyes of others.
Although lacking super powers, Eric transforms himself into The Bishop to bring his own form of justice and peace to the city. But as he grows physically and spiritually, he finds the lines between of good and evil blurred. Are the heroes doing God’s work or is he? And in the end, will he be the city’s spiritual leader or the world’s most diabolical villain? 
 
The Bishop of Port Victoria by D. Alan Lewis chronicles the life of Eric Raven from orphaned street rat to a bastion of power in his nineties in a collection of intertwining stories.  These nine tales not only feature stunning characters and edge of your seat action, but also explore truly what it means to be a hero and a villain…and how a man might just be both.
 
Lewis’ collection features a stunning cover by Jeff Hayes as well as cover design by Perry Constantine.  Constantine and Adam Lance Garcia formatted the book for print and Russ Anderson designed and formatted the eBook version.  THE BISHOP OF PORT VICTORIA is currently available in print at www.Amazon.com and through Pro Se’s own store at http://tinyurl.com/k6zcgko for $12.00.  It is also available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and www.smashwords.com as an eBook for $2.99.
 
For review copies, interviews with the author, or other questions regarding THE BISHOP OF PORT VICTORIA, contact Pro Se’s Director of Corporate Operations, Morgan Minor, at MorganMinorProSe@yahoo.com.
 
For more information on Pro Se Productions, go to www.prose-press.com and like Pro Se on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ProSeProductions.
 



The Bishop is on the loose.

The Bishop is on the loose.
 
My latest book is a collection of intertwined short stories. Below is the official press release from Pro Se Press. 🙂
 
 
 
 
Pro Se Productions, a leader in Genre Fiction and New Pulp, announces the release of its newest title today, one that asks the question-With Ultimate Power, Who is Corrupted More? The Good Or The Evil? The answer is explored in D. Alan Lewis’ THE BISHOP OF PORT VICTORIA.

 

 
First appearing in Lewis’ contribution to Pro Se’s best selling and groundbreaking BLACK PULP anthology, Port Victoria is a city with a history rich in Heroes and Villains, in Good and Bad.  And one man seeks to bring righteousness to the troubled city in any way necessary.

 

“It’s a great concept,” says Tommy Hancock, Partner in and Editor in Chief of Pro Se Productions, “that can not only pack the punch of a classic Pulp tale, but also have a relevance that resonates with readers today.  THE BISHOP OF PORT VICTORIA at first glance appears to be a novel aimed at deconstructing the concept of a hero, but it’s really not.  At the heart of this collection of stories lies an exploration of what it means to stand up and be a hero and if everyone is actually suited for that. The book also dissects the concepts of good and evil and shows not only what makes them different, but also the fearful similarities of each idea.  Add in battle scenes, tense situations, and death defying acts of bravery and stupidity, and THE BISHOP OF PORT VICTORIA is the definition of what New Pulp is.” 

 

At the start of the 20th century in the city of Port Victoria, three college students were given a formula that imbued them with incredible powers; strength, agility, and speed. Donning masks and capes, they took to the streets to fight crime and battle evil. Their tactics were effective but harsh, stacking up a body count larger than the mobs.

But as the decades went by, the heroes passed their abilities through their bloodline to each generation of their descendants. And each generation spawned a hero to protect the Port.

Born into a city when the first generation of heroes fought, Eric Raven struggled in the mean streets of Port Victoria to survive. After witnessing the horrific murder of his mother, he found a home in an orphanage where the men of God taught him right from wrong. Another lesson he learned, however, is that sometimes what is considered right by some is evil in the eyes of others.

Although lacking super powers, Eric transforms himself into The Bishop to bring his own form of justice and peace to the city. But as he grows physically and spiritually, he finds the lines between of good and evil blurred. Are the heroes doing God’s work or is he? And in the end, will he be the city’s spiritual leader or the world’s most diabolical villain? 

 

The Bishop of Port Victoria by D. Alan Lewis chronicles the life of Eric Raven from orphaned street rat to a bastion of power in his nineties in a collection of intertwining stories.  These nine tales not only feature stunning characters and edge of your seat action, but also explore truly what it means to be a hero and a villain…and how a man might just be both.

 

Lewis’ collection features a stunning cover by Jeff Hayes as well as cover design by Perry Constantine.  Constantine and Adam Lance Garcia formatted the book for print and Russ Anderson designed and formatted the eBook version.  THE BISHOP OF PORT VICTORIA is currently available in print at www.Amazon.com and through Pro Se’s own store at http://tinyurl.com/k6zcgko for $12.00.  It is also available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and www.smashwords.com as an eBook for $2.99.

 

For review copies, interviews with the author, or other questions regarding THE BISHOP OF PORT VICTORIA, contact Pro Se’s Director of Corporate Operations, Morgan Minor, at MorganMinorProSe@yahoo.com.

 

For more information on Pro Se Productions, go to www.prose-press.com and like Pro Se on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ProSeProductions.

 




Capes & Clockwork author interview with John G. Hartness

Capes & Clockwork author interview with John G. Hartness
 
Capes & Clockwork is an upcoming anthology from Dark Oak Press which fuses the beauty and elegance of steampunk with the action and adventure of the superhero genre. As part of the ‘gearing up’ to the release of ‘Capes & Clockwork: Superheroes in the Age of Steam’, I’ll be interviewing some of the great authors that contributed.
 
 
 
And now on the stage, right here for your reading pleasure is….  the one and only
John G. Hartness
 
  
 
At what age did you start writing?
I learned in first grade, but my penmanship was terrible. I started writing professionally in about 2006.
 
Where do your ideas come from?
I have a big jar under my bed. Whenever I run dry, I shake the jar until a couple of good ones fall out. Sometimes they bring chocolate!
 
Do you base your characters on people you know or know of?
Yeah, they usually end up a mix of people I know. There’s no one person that is Jimmy or Greg, but there might be three or four people that all have parts of them.
 
 
 
Do you plot out your stories or just make it up as you go?
I outline pretty religiously.
 
Do you listen to music while you write and if so, what do you listen too?
I listen to all kinds of things, but I find that mellow Americana is best for most stuff. The Decembrists, The Avett Brothers, The Civil Wars, other bands with “the” in the band name. Rob Zombie is best for fight scenes.
 
Which of your characters would you most like to meet in person?
All the strippers.
Which of your stories/books/works do you consider the best?
I think “Fair Play,” the story I put into The Big Bad, might be the best thing I’ve written.
 
How much do you write each day/week?
Depends on what else is going on.
 
Can you tell about your experiences working with publishers?
No, they buy me drinks and I want to keep them happy. I love my publishers. All of them. Long time.
 
Do you have a routine when you write?
First I poop, then I write. I find it difficult to do both at the same time.
 
What is your latest project/release?
Capes & Clockworks! And Writers for Relief 3! And Paint it Black!
 
Do you have any signings or appearances coming up?
Always. Follow me on Twitter.
 
Who were your inspirations?
You’re the meaning in my life, you’re the inspiration. Didn’t you know that you are the wind beneath my wings?
 
Favorite authors?
David Eddings! Mercedes Lackey, Neil Gaiman, Brad Willis, Alex Bledsoe
 
What book do you read over and over the most?
The Belgariad. I must have read that series half a dozen times or more.
 
Is there a book or book series that you recommend to people?
The Belgariad, anything by Alex Bledsoe, Thieftaker by DB Jackson, everything I write
 
Do you have a dream project that you want to write in the future?
I have about a dozen
 
Do you have a special way of generating story ideas?
Back to poopin’
 
 
 
How much of you is in your characters?
About 300 lbs. There’s a butt-ton of me in my characters, especially Bubba, Jimmy and Adam (The Chosen).
 
If you could live the life of one of your characters, who would it be?
None of them. I torture those bastards too much!
 
What genre do you prefer to write?  To read?
I guess I’m a horror writer, but I can’t tell the difference between most horror and urban fantasy nowadays. I read mostly horror and urban fantasy, with some epic fantasy thrown in.
 
Do you prefer writing short stories or novels?  And why?
They’re both so different. I like short stories because they can get in, get out, get done. They’re more instant gratification. Novels allow you to explore a problem more deeply, and they have more opportunities to blow shit up. 
 
 
 
 
What are you working on now?
Working on Book 5 of the Black Knight Chronicles and another Bubba story, plus Book 2 of Return to Eden, and a new thing with dragons.
 
Is Writer’s Block ever a problem for you?  If so, how do you deal with it?
 Writer’s Block is bullshit. Either sit down and write, or go vacuum the cat. Don’t be such a pussy.
 
What 3 things do you feel every aspiring writer should know? Writer’s block is bullshit. Tequila landed more book deals than purple prose. Nobody gives a shit how great you were in grad school.
 
What is your funniest/ awkward moment at a convention/signing event?
When a guy came into a bookstore thinking he was going to a John Hart signing.
 
How do you use social media in regards to your writing?
I retweet Delilah Dawson and Chuck Wendig. That’s all I ever do on social media.
 
 
 
 
 
Thanks so much for yout time, John.
Look for John’s story,
White Lightning:
A Beauregard the Monster Hunter short story 
in the upcoming
Capes & Clockwork.
 

Capes & Clockwork author interview with John G. Hartness

Capes & Clockwork author interview with John G. Hartness
 
Capes & Clockwork is an upcoming anthology from Dark Oak Press which fuses the beauty and elegance of steampunk with the action and adventure of the superhero genre. As part of the ‘gearing up’ to the release of ‘Capes & Clockwork: Superheroes in the Age of Steam’, I’ll be interviewing some of the great authors that contributed.
 
 
 
And now on the stage, right here for your reading pleasure is….  the one and only
John G. Hartness
 
 

 

 

At what age did you start writing?

I learned in first grade, but my penmanship was terrible. I started writing professionally in about 2006.

 

Where do your ideas come from?

I have a big jar under my bed. Whenever I run dry, I shake the jar until a couple of good ones fall out. Sometimes they bring chocolate!

 

Do you base your characters on people you know or know of?

Yeah, they usually end up a mix of people I know. There’s no one person that is Jimmy or Greg, but there might be three or four people that all have parts of them.
 
 
 
Do you plot out your stories or just make it up as you go?
I outline pretty religiously.

 

Do you listen to music while you write and if so, what do you listen too?

I listen to all kinds of things, but I find that mellow Americana is best for most stuff. The Decembrists, The Avett Brothers, The Civil Wars, other bands with “the” in the band name. Rob Zombie is best for fight scenes.

 

Which of your characters would you most like to meet in person?

All the strippers.
Which of your stories/books/works do you consider the best?

I think “Fair Play,” the story I put into The Big Bad, might be the best thing I’ve written.

 

How much do you write each day/week?

Depends on what else is going on.

 

Can you tell about your experiences working with publishers?

No, they buy me drinks and I want to keep them happy. I love my publishers. All of them. Long time.

 

Do you have a routine when you write?

First I poop, then I write. I find it difficult to do both at the same time.

 

What is your latest project/release?

Capes & Clockworks! And Writers for Relief 3! And Paint it Black!

 

Do you have any signings or appearances coming up?

Always. Follow me on Twitter.

 

Who were your inspirations?

You’re the meaning in my life, you’re the inspiration. Didn’t you know that you are the wind beneath my wings?

 

Favorite authors?

David Eddings! Mercedes Lackey, Neil Gaiman, Brad Willis, Alex Bledsoe

 

What book do you read over and over the most?

The Belgariad. I must have read that series half a dozen times or more.

 

Is there a book or book series that you recommend to people?

The Belgariad, anything by Alex Bledsoe, Thieftaker by DB Jackson, everything I write

 

Do you have a dream project that you want to write in the future?

I have about a dozen

 

Do you have a special way of generating story ideas?

Back to poopin’
 
 
 
How much of you is in your characters?

About 300 lbs. There’s a butt-ton of me in my characters, especially Bubba, Jimmy and Adam (The Chosen).

 

If you could live the life of one of your characters, who would it be?

None of them. I torture those bastards too much!

 

What genre do you prefer to write?  To read?

I guess I’m a horror writer, but I can’t tell the difference between most horror and urban fantasy nowadays. I read mostly horror and urban fantasy, with some epic fantasy thrown in.

 

Do you prefer writing short stories or novels?  And why?

They’re both so different. I like short stories because they can get in, get out, get done. They’re more instant gratification. Novels allow you to explore a problem more deeply, and they have more opportunities to blow shit up. 
 
 
 

 

What are you working on now?

Working on Book 5 of the Black Knight Chronicles and another Bubba story, plus Book 2 of Return to Eden, and a new thing with dragons.

 

Is Writer’s Block ever a problem for you?  If so, how do you deal with it?

 Writer’s Block is bullshit. Either sit down and write, or go vacuum the cat. Don’t be such a pussy.

 

What 3 things do you feel every aspiring writer should know? Writer’s block is bullshit. Tequila landed more book deals than purple prose. Nobody gives a shit how great you were in grad school.

 

What is your funniest/ awkward moment at a convention/signing event?

When a guy came into a bookstore thinking he was going to a John Hart signing.

 

How do you use social media in regards to your writing?

I retweet Delilah Dawson and Chuck Wendig. That’s all I ever do on social media.

 

 
 
 
 
Thanks so much for yout time, John.
Look for John’s story,
White Lightning:
A Beauregard the Monster Hunter short story 
in the upcoming
Capes & Clockwork.
 

Capes & Clockwork author interview with Konstantine Paradias

Capes & Clockwork author interview with Konstantine Paradias
 
 
Capes & Clockwork is an upcoming anthology from Dark Oak Press which fuses the beauty and elegance of steampunk with the action and adventure of the superhero genre. As part of the ‘gearing up’ to the release of ‘Capes & Clockwork: Superheroes in the Age of Steam’, I’ll be interviewing some of the great authors that contributed.

 

 
And now on the stage, right here for your reading pleasure is…. Konstantine Paradias
 
 
 
 
Konstantine Paradias is a Greek science fiction and fantasy writer. His short stories in English have been published on OHP’s Petulant Parables Anthology, Breathless Press’ Shifters anthology, EveryDayFiction.com, Schlock! Magazine, Static Movement’s Behind Closed Doors and Long Pig anthologies. His first fantasy ebook, Stone Cold Countenance, has been published by bibliocracy. com.
 
At what age did you start writing?
If I’m not mistaken, I started writing when I was 14 (though I might have made a few attempts when I was 12, when I and my brother were trying to come up with a cartoon plot that we were going to call THE ADVENTURES OF KITTENCHILDE, THE RICHEST KITTEN EVER). It had happened a few weeks after I had first read through War Of The Worlds, which was the very first, honest-to-God science fiction book I’d ever read and it had blown my mind.
My first attempt at writing a book was 200,00 words long, in terrible English (as I was still learning the language) and it had begun as fanfiction, then derailed itself somewhere in the 350-page mark. I gave up on writing for 2 years (with the occasional short-if terrible-fantasy story written to pass the time). It wasn’t until I was 17, when I earnestly tried my hand at actually writing an original short story that I could call my own. It was supposed to have been the first book in a fantasy-parody series, titled THE CHRONICLES OF CHOPPINGSTAN, starring every fantasy stereotype ever, including (but not limited to) a Drizzt Do’Urden pastiche that I called The Unwashed Ranger.
While I did begin writing the book in Greek, I unfortunately never finished it. It was about 3 years later, when I was 20 years old, that I began to try my hand at writing on a semi-professional level and began working on my first book,  STONE COLD COUNTENANCE (a fantasy novel) and a rough version of a science fiction book, which I called HER FRACTAL MAJESTY.
While STONE COLD COUNTENANCE has since been completed and its first 6 chapters are available on my blog, I am still looking for a publisher. As for HER FRACTAL MAJESTY, I guess I am not ready to give it the attention it deserves. It might be because I’m too emotional about this book and I will never think that it will ever be good enough to give it the attention or the lustrous finish I believe it deserves.
 
How many words do you write per week?
That depends, really. There was a time (before I actually began working on a book) when I would manage to write as much as 6 or 8 thousand words a week every week for about a year and a half, before I began to exhibit symptoms of serious burnout.
It was the time when I still had no managed to publish any of my stories and had found the only remedy to be searching for anthology calls or magazine submissions through Ralan or Submissions Grinder, writing a story for every single call that caught my eye and I could come up with. I’d get the story done in a day (two, tops) and then I’d edit it for another day, before submitting it. Finally, I would also write a blog post, because I wanted to maintain a schedule, while working on a comic book script (details on question 6) AND writing reviews for Bestsciencefictionstories.com.
As you might guess from the previous paragraph, this much writing might be good exercise, but it’s unmoderated and in general, not a good thing. I was pretty much destroyed by the end of the 18th month doing this, so I decided to switch directions and focus on working on my current novel, while spacing out my blog updates.
Now my weekly word output is down to 5000 words, but I’ve broken it down into smaller segments, instead of just exploding all over my keyboard almost every single day. I still don’t take Sundays off, though.
 
Do you have a routine when you write?
If I’m working on a short story, the routine goes like this:
·         Look for anthologies
·         Find an anthology with a theme that fits
·         Jot down the first thing that comes to mind. If that fails, check what they DON’T want and work borderline on that. Risque moves like that cost absolutely nothing and help you work those thinking muscles.
·         Write the story. Show it to a friend who you’ll know he hates it. If they don’t, you’re on the right track.
·         Edit the story. Try not to stab your eyes in, because you will feel embarrassed at all your typos and other errors.
·         Submit and pray to your God for an acceptance.
·         If rejected, shrug and repeat.
If I’m working on a book, my routine goes like this:
·         Come up with a story idea.
·         Set up a schedule (target word count, personal deadline, a word-per-day output)
·         Start writing.
·         Realize the folly of your plans and that a 350,000 word count with a 5,000 word-a-day output and a January deadline was a terrible, unrealistic idea in the first place.
·         Hate yourself.
·         Stop hating yourself and bump it down to a manageable level.
·         Find cover artist.
I have found it mostly works…mostly.
 
Who were your inspirations?
That’s a tough one, mostly because I have no idea where to even begin. H.G. Wells was my very first science fiction writer, but I didn’t REALLY realize I wanted to become a writer more than anything until I stumbled on an old, dog-eared omnibus of Moorcock’s Elric of Melnibone, which blew my mind into a million pieces, amking me wonder what the hell people even saw in lord of the Rings in the first place.
I started writing fantasy, while reading everything from Moorcock I could get my hands on, until a friend of mine gave away his fantasy books (as he was going through a religious phase, don’t ask) and I discovered a tattered copy of Zelazny’s Lord of Light. After reading it until the pages wore down to ink and dead tree pulp, I began trying my hand at space opera, while looking deeper into science fiction’s roots.
A man working at the local bookstore, whom I inquired whether he had heard of any good sf books, passed me a copy of Sirens of Titan which he described as ‘just the thing I need’. Previously unfamiliar with Vonnegut’s majesty, I began reading, finished the book in 10 hours then went back to the store and bought anything else I could find on the shelves.
I was 16. And on the shelf next to the Cat’s Cradle, there was a comic book, misplaced by a customer. It was called Bloodfeud and it starred Spawn, written by Alan Moore. I picked it up, having only heard of Alan Moore by name. After an extended period of paralysis by awesome, I decided I just had to try my hand at writing comics, eventually.
 
What book do you read over and over the most?
There’s the Sirens of Titan (4 times in a row), Chuck Pallanhiuk’s Choke and Lullaby (4 and 5 times in a row, respectively), Thomas Ditch’s 334 (3 times), Zelazny’s Lord of Light (12 times) and Michael Moorcock’s Stormbringer of the Elric Saga (lost count).
 
Do you have a dream project that you want to write in the future?
Yes, I do. There’s actually more than a couple of them, but I won’t go into detail because, you know, space. But so far my dream projects include:
·         A limited comic book series, titled Rise and Fall, where underdog, z-list superheroes are forced to save the world, when its big-hitters fail it (for a complete outline, go here: http://shapescapes.blogspot.com/2013/02/what-i-think-about-stuff-things-ill-do.html )
·         A story cycle, titled THE FUTURE SUCKS, starring destitute, drunken time travelers trading stories about possible realities.
·         INVICTUS-THE IRRESPONSIBLE SUPERHUMAN comic book series, starring a superhero who looks like Terry Crews, has an attitude like Hulk Hogan and acts like Homer Simpson, while trying to prove himself as an honest-to-God champion.
·         A comic book series, titled POST RAPTURE, starring despicable people in the days before the battle of Armageddon and finally…
·          A single episode of Doctor Who. I mean, just one. It doesn’t even have to be important. Like, it turns out it was all just a dream, in the end. O please, BBC, why won’t you read my e-mails?
 
 
What genre do you prefer to write?  To read?
I personally prefer science fiction, both to write and to read. I prefer to write it, mostly because a man I once knew, wise to the ways of sf (but little else) once told me how ‘Science Fiction is, essentially, socio-political satire’. I think it was those 7 words that changed everything around for me and made me want to find out more about the genre. And the more I looked into it, the more I fell in love with it and its relevance.
I love writing science fiction because it’s the perfect way for me to poke fun or to look at everyday human failings, including my own; but I love to read it, because the masters of the genre (Bradbury and Asimov to Egan and Doctorow) have given me long, thoughtful glimpses into what’s to come.
And even though it scares the pants out of me, I can’t help but being drawn to it.
 
Do you prefer writing short stories or novels?  And why?
I personally like short stories better, mostly because short stories are the telling of events. They can be world-shattering of insignificant, they can be immense historical shifts or mindless, emotionless disasters. But above all, a short story gives you absolute free reign over your narrative, of the kind you cannot achieve in a novel.
A novel is a fiercely structured creation that follows its own rules and controls you at the 30,000 word mark. If you know what you’re doing, you won’t fight it and instead let it take you to all the wonderful places you wrote about and live through the adventures you set up yourself.
But a short story? Now that’s another thing. A short story is more like a car crash, or a freak occurrence. It happens at a distant corner of your mind and exists in and of itself. It is under your complete and utter control and in many ways, it lets you play God. If novels are ecosystems, then short stories are petri dishes that you can chuck into the fire at your whim and watch them burn, before you move on to the next one, like some desensitized evil god.
 
 
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on a novel, called the CHROME HORDE. It is the story of a post-apocalyptic world after its fossil fuels have mysteriously disappeared in a single night, leaving human civilization without an alternative and causing it to crash and burn.
Sixteen years later, from the depths of Mongolia, a familiar terror rises from the rubbgle and rides down across the Asiatic interstates, crossing the A353 through China, to Kazkahstan and the West. Cutting a burning swathe of destruction, the resurrected Mongol Horde, with Batu-Khan (the last direct descendant of Genghis) at its head, return to drain the bad blood out of the dying world, to cut at the diseased flesh of it and to leave behind clean, virginal parchment on which the tenets of the new civilization can be written down.
It starts with a sputter, proceeds to a bang and ends…God, I’m not sure, I need to get back to you on that. It keeps pulling all those fast ones one me…
 
What 3 things do you feel every aspiring writer should know?
THING ONE:  There is no such thing as a rockstar writer. You are not going to come up with that one hit single short story or novel that will make you rich and even if you do, this will probably spell your doom. Be prepared to try, to fail, to give up (I’ve given up so much I’ve given up on giving up, to be honest), to have a fit and then go back to your keyboard and keep writing. Come up with a program and follow it. Try to get at least 700 words in every day, or try to get a gig writing (even if it’s gratis) for a website, so you can work on developing your writing muscles.
THING TWO: Get used to rejection. And I mean like, TONS of it. For every 100 stories you write, perhaps 10 will make the cut and be published. Of those 10, perhaps one will actually be bought for real money. That is more than most people get and you should be grateful for it. Cherish those rejection letters that contain even a short explanation on why a story was turned down, because it means the editors gave enough of a damn to squeeze some time into their day to tell you what was wrong with your story. Work your way around that, or apply those bits of advice to your next project.
Rinse in your own tears, repeat.
THING THREE: Don’t just try everything or TRY to get things done. Just get them done and do at least one thing that’s outside your comfort zone. If you work with fantasy, try sf. If you’re into horror, try your hand at erotica. Do one of everything and get it done, no matter how bad you think you’re doing. You don’t know it yet, but you’re getting better at it. And one day, before you know it, you will find yourself using all those wonderful things you’ve learned in your genre of choice and the results will…be…GLORIOUS!

Thanks so much for yout time, Konstantine.

Look for Konstantine Paradias’ story,

Beneath Familiar Suns 

in the upcoming

Capes & Clockwork.

Capes & Clockwork author interview with Konstantine Paradias

Capes & Clockwork author interview with Konstantine Paradias
 
 
Capes & Clockwork is an upcoming anthology from Dark Oak Press which fuses the beauty and elegance of steampunk with the action and adventure of the superhero genre. As part of the ‘gearing up’ to the release of ‘Capes & Clockwork: Superheroes in the Age of Steam’, I’ll be interviewing some of the great authors that contributed.

 

 
And now on the stage, right here for your reading pleasure is…. Konstantine Paradias
 
 
 
 
Konstantine Paradias is a Greek science fiction and fantasy writer. His short stories in English have been published on OHP’s Petulant Parables Anthology, Breathless Press’ Shifters anthology, EveryDayFiction.com, Schlock! Magazine, Static Movement’s Behind Closed Doors and Long Pig anthologies. His first fantasy ebook, Stone Cold Countenance, has been published by bibliocracy. com.

 

At what age did you start writing?

If I’m not mistaken, I started writing when I was 14 (though I might have made a few attempts when I was 12, when I and my brother were trying to come up with a cartoon plot that we were going to call THE ADVENTURES OF KITTENCHILDE, THE RICHEST KITTEN EVER). It had happened a few weeks after I had first read through War Of The Worlds, which was the very first, honest-to-God science fiction book I’d ever read and it had blown my mind.

My first attempt at writing a book was 200,00 words long, in terrible English (as I was still learning the language) and it had begun as fanfiction, then derailed itself somewhere in the 350-page mark. I gave up on writing for 2 years (with the occasional short-if terrible-fantasy story written to pass the time). It wasn’t until I was 17, when I earnestly tried my hand at actually writing an original short story that I could call my own. It was supposed to have been the first book in a fantasy-parody series, titled THE CHRONICLES OF CHOPPINGSTAN, starring every fantasy stereotype ever, including (but not limited to) a Drizzt Do’Urden pastiche that I called The Unwashed Ranger.

While I did begin writing the book in Greek, I unfortunately never finished it. It was about 3 years later, when I was 20 years old, that I began to try my hand at writing on a semi-professional level and began working on my first book,  STONE COLD COUNTENANCE (a fantasy novel) and a rough version of a science fiction book, which I called HER FRACTAL MAJESTY.

While STONE COLD COUNTENANCE has since been completed and its first 6 chapters are available on my blog, I am still looking for a publisher. As for HER FRACTAL MAJESTY, I guess I am not ready to give it the attention it deserves. It might be because I’m too emotional about this book and I will never think that it will ever be good enough to give it the attention or the lustrous finish I believe it deserves.

 

How many words do you write per week?

That depends, really. There was a time (before I actually began working on a book) when I would manage to write as much as 6 or 8 thousand words a week every week for about a year and a half, before I began to exhibit symptoms of serious burnout.

It was the time when I still had no managed to publish any of my stories and had found the only remedy to be searching for anthology calls or magazine submissions through Ralan or Submissions Grinder, writing a story for every single call that caught my eye and I could come up with. I’d get the story done in a day (two, tops) and then I’d edit it for another day, before submitting it. Finally, I would also write a blog post, because I wanted to maintain a schedule, while working on a comic book script (details on question 6) AND writing reviews for Bestsciencefictionstories.com.

As you might guess from the previous paragraph, this much writing might be good exercise, but it’s unmoderated and in general, not a good thing. I was pretty much destroyed by the end of the 18th month doing this, so I decided to switch directions and focus on working on my current novel, while spacing out my blog updates.

Now my weekly word output is down to 5000 words, but I’ve broken it down into smaller segments, instead of just exploding all over my keyboard almost every single day. I still don’t take Sundays off, though.

 

Do you have a routine when you write?

If I’m working on a short story, the routine goes like this:

·         Look for anthologies

·         Find an anthology with a theme that fits

·         Jot down the first thing that comes to mind. If that fails, check what they DON’T want and work borderline on that. Risque moves like that cost absolutely nothing and help you work those thinking muscles.

·         Write the story. Show it to a friend who you’ll know he hates it. If they don’t, you’re on the right track.

·         Edit the story. Try not to stab your eyes in, because you will feel embarrassed at all your typos and other errors.

·         Submit and pray to your God for an acceptance.

·         If rejected, shrug and repeat.

If I’m working on a book, my routine goes like this:

·         Come up with a story idea.

·         Set up a schedule (target word count, personal deadline, a word-per-day output)

·         Start writing.

·         Realize the folly of your plans and that a 350,000 word count with a 5,000 word-a-day output and a January deadline was a terrible, unrealistic idea in the first place.

·         Hate yourself.

·         Stop hating yourself and bump it down to a manageable level.

·         Find cover artist.

I have found it mostly works…mostly.

 

Who were your inspirations?

That’s a tough one, mostly because I have no idea where to even begin. H.G. Wells was my very first science fiction writer, but I didn’t REALLY realize I wanted to become a writer more than anything until I stumbled on an old, dog-eared omnibus of Moorcock’s Elric of Melnibone, which blew my mind into a million pieces, amking me wonder what the hell people even saw in lord of the Rings in the first place.

I started writing fantasy, while reading everything from Moorcock I could get my hands on, until a friend of mine gave away his fantasy books (as he was going through a religious phase, don’t ask) and I discovered a tattered copy of Zelazny’s Lord of Light. After reading it until the pages wore down to ink and dead tree pulp, I began trying my hand at space opera, while looking deeper into science fiction’s roots.

A man working at the local bookstore, whom I inquired whether he had heard of any good sf books, passed me a copy of Sirens of Titan which he described as ‘just the thing I need’. Previously unfamiliar with Vonnegut’s majesty, I began reading, finished the book in 10 hours then went back to the store and bought anything else I could find on the shelves.

I was 16. And on the shelf next to the Cat’s Cradle, there was a comic book, misplaced by a customer. It was called Bloodfeud and it starred Spawn, written by Alan Moore. I picked it up, having only heard of Alan Moore by name. After an extended period of paralysis by awesome, I decided I just had to try my hand at writing comics, eventually.

 

What book do you read over and over the most?

There’s the Sirens of Titan (4 times in a row), Chuck Pallanhiuk’s Choke and Lullaby (4 and 5 times in a row, respectively), Thomas Ditch’s 334 (3 times), Zelazny’s Lord of Light (12 times) and Michael Moorcock’s Stormbringer of the Elric Saga (lost count).

 

Do you have a dream project that you want to write in the future?

Yes, I do. There’s actually more than a couple of them, but I won’t go into detail because, you know, space. But so far my dream projects include:

·         A limited comic book series, titled Rise and Fall, where underdog, z-list superheroes are forced to save the world, when its big-hitters fail it (for a complete outline, go here: http://shapescapes.blogspot.com/2013/02/what-i-think-about-stuff-things-ill-do.html )

·         A story cycle, titled THE FUTURE SUCKS, starring destitute, drunken time travelers trading stories about possible realities.

·         INVICTUS-THE IRRESPONSIBLE SUPERHUMAN comic book series, starring a superhero who looks like Terry Crews, has an attitude like Hulk Hogan and acts like Homer Simpson, while trying to prove himself as an honest-to-God champion.

·         A comic book series, titled POST RAPTURE, starring despicable people in the days before the battle of Armageddon and finally…

·          A single episode of Doctor Who. I mean, just one. It doesn’t even have to be important. Like, it turns out it was all just a dream, in the end. O please, BBC, why won’t you read my e-mails?

 

 

What genre do you prefer to write?  To read?

I personally prefer science fiction, both to write and to read. I prefer to write it, mostly because a man I once knew, wise to the ways of sf (but little else) once told me how ‘Science Fiction is, essentially, socio-political satire’. I think it was those 7 words that changed everything around for me and made me want to find out more about the genre. And the more I looked into it, the more I fell in love with it and its relevance.

I love writing science fiction because it’s the perfect way for me to poke fun or to look at everyday human failings, including my own; but I love to read it, because the masters of the genre (Bradbury and Asimov to Egan and Doctorow) have given me long, thoughtful glimpses into what’s to come.

And even though it scares the pants out of me, I can’t help but being drawn to it.

 

Do you prefer writing short stories or novels?  And why?

I personally like short stories better, mostly because short stories are the telling of events. They can be world-shattering of insignificant, they can be immense historical shifts or mindless, emotionless disasters. But above all, a short story gives you absolute free reign over your narrative, of the kind you cannot achieve in a novel.

A novel is a fiercely structured creation that follows its own rules and controls you at the 30,000 word mark. If you know what you’re doing, you won’t fight it and instead let it take you to all the wonderful places you wrote about and live through the adventures you set up yourself.

But a short story? Now that’s another thing. A short story is more like a car crash, or a freak occurrence. It happens at a distant corner of your mind and exists in and of itself. It is under your complete and utter control and in many ways, it lets you play God. If novels are ecosystems, then short stories are petri dishes that you can chuck into the fire at your whim and watch them burn, before you move on to the next one, like some desensitized evil god.

 

 

What are you working on now?

I am currently working on a novel, called the CHROME HORDE. It is the story of a post-apocalyptic world after its fossil fuels have mysteriously disappeared in a single night, leaving human civilization without an alternative and causing it to crash and burn.

Sixteen years later, from the depths of Mongolia, a familiar terror rises from the rubbgle and rides down across the Asiatic interstates, crossing the A353 through China, to Kazkahstan and the West. Cutting a burning swathe of destruction, the resurrected Mongol Horde, with Batu-Khan (the last direct descendant of Genghis) at its head, return to drain the bad blood out of the dying world, to cut at the diseased flesh of it and to leave behind clean, virginal parchment on which the tenets of the new civilization can be written down.

It starts with a sputter, proceeds to a bang and ends…God, I’m not sure, I need to get back to you on that. It keeps pulling all those fast ones one me…

 

What 3 things do you feel every aspiring writer should know?

THING ONE:  There is no such thing as a rockstar writer. You are not going to come up with that one hit single short story or novel that will make you rich and even if you do, this will probably spell your doom. Be prepared to try, to fail, to give up (I’ve given up so much I’ve given up on giving up, to be honest), to have a fit and then go back to your keyboard and keep writing. Come up with a program and follow it. Try to get at least 700 words in every day, or try to get a gig writing (even if it’s gratis) for a website, so you can work on developing your writing muscles.

THING TWO: Get used to rejection. And I mean like, TONS of it. For every 100 stories you write, perhaps 10 will make the cut and be published. Of those 10, perhaps one will actually be bought for real money. That is more than most people get and you should be grateful for it. Cherish those rejection letters that contain even a short explanation on why a story was turned down, because it means the editors gave enough of a damn to squeeze some time into their day to tell you what was wrong with your story. Work your way around that, or apply those bits of advice to your next project.

Rinse in your own tears, repeat.

THING THREE: Don’t just try everything or TRY to get things done. Just get them done and do at least one thing that’s outside your comfort zone. If you work with fantasy, try sf. If you’re into horror, try your hand at erotica. Do one of everything and get it done, no matter how bad you think you’re doing. You don’t know it yet, but you’re getting better at it. And one day, before you know it, you will find yourself using all those wonderful things you’ve learned in your genre of choice and the results will…be…GLORIOUS!

Thanks so much for yout time, Konstantine.

Look for Konstantine Paradias’ story,

Beneath Familiar Suns 

in the upcoming

Capes & Clockwork.

Capes & Clockwork author interview with Konstantine Paradias

Capes & Clockwork author interview with Konstantine Paradias
 
 
Capes & Clockwork is an upcoming anthology from Dark Oak Press which fuses the beauty and elegance of steampunk with the action and adventure of the superhero genre. As part of the ‘gearing up’ to the release of ‘Capes & Clockwork: Superheroes in the Age of Steam’, I’ll be interviewing some of the great authors that contributed.

 

 
And now on the stage, right here for your reading pleasure is…. Konstantine Paradias
 
 
 
 
Konstantine Paradias is a Greek science fiction and fantasy writer. His short stories in English have been published on OHP’s Petulant Parables Anthology, Breathless Press’ Shifters anthology, EveryDayFiction.com, Schlock! Magazine, Static Movement’s Behind Closed Doors and Long Pig anthologies. His first fantasy ebook, Stone Cold Countenance, has been published by bibliocracy. com.

 

At what age did you start writing?

If I’m not mistaken, I started writing when I was 14 (though I might have made a few attempts when I was 12, when I and my brother were trying to come up with a cartoon plot that we were going to call THE ADVENTURES OF KITTENCHILDE, THE RICHEST KITTEN EVER). It had happened a few weeks after I had first read through War Of The Worlds, which was the very first, honest-to-God science fiction book I’d ever read and it had blown my mind.

My first attempt at writing a book was 200,00 words long, in terrible English (as I was still learning the language) and it had begun as fanfiction, then derailed itself somewhere in the 350-page mark. I gave up on writing for 2 years (with the occasional short-if terrible-fantasy story written to pass the time). It wasn’t until I was 17, when I earnestly tried my hand at actually writing an original short story that I could call my own. It was supposed to have been the first book in a fantasy-parody series, titled THE CHRONICLES OF CHOPPINGSTAN, starring every fantasy stereotype ever, including (but not limited to) a Drizzt Do’Urden pastiche that I called The Unwashed Ranger.

While I did begin writing the book in Greek, I unfortunately never finished it. It was about 3 years later, when I was 20 years old, that I began to try my hand at writing on a semi-professional level and began working on my first book,  STONE COLD COUNTENANCE (a fantasy novel) and a rough version of a science fiction book, which I called HER FRACTAL MAJESTY.

While STONE COLD COUNTENANCE has since been completed and its first 6 chapters are available on my blog, I am still looking for a publisher. As for HER FRACTAL MAJESTY, I guess I am not ready to give it the attention it deserves. It might be because I’m too emotional about this book and I will never think that it will ever be good enough to give it the attention or the lustrous finish I believe it deserves.

 

How many words do you write per week?

That depends, really. There was a time (before I actually began working on a book) when I would manage to write as much as 6 or 8 thousand words a week every week for about a year and a half, before I began to exhibit symptoms of serious burnout.

It was the time when I still had no managed to publish any of my stories and had found the only remedy to be searching for anthology calls or magazine submissions through Ralan or Submissions Grinder, writing a story for every single call that caught my eye and I could come up with. I’d get the story done in a day (two, tops) and then I’d edit it for another day, before submitting it. Finally, I would also write a blog post, because I wanted to maintain a schedule, while working on a comic book script (details on question 6) AND writing reviews for Bestsciencefictionstories.com.

As you might guess from the previous paragraph, this much writing might be good exercise, but it’s unmoderated and in general, not a good thing. I was pretty much destroyed by the end of the 18th month doing this, so I decided to switch directions and focus on working on my current novel, while spacing out my blog updates.

Now my weekly word output is down to 5000 words, but I’ve broken it down into smaller segments, instead of just exploding all over my keyboard almost every single day. I still don’t take Sundays off, though.

 

Do you have a routine when you write?

If I’m working on a short story, the routine goes like this:

·         Look for anthologies

·         Find an anthology with a theme that fits

·         Jot down the first thing that comes to mind. If that fails, check what they DON’T want and work borderline on that. Risque moves like that cost absolutely nothing and help you work those thinking muscles.

·         Write the story. Show it to a friend who you’ll know he hates it. If they don’t, you’re on the right track.

·         Edit the story. Try not to stab your eyes in, because you will feel embarrassed at all your typos and other errors.

·         Submit and pray to your God for an acceptance.

·         If rejected, shrug and repeat.

If I’m working on a book, my routine goes like this:

·         Come up with a story idea.

·         Set up a schedule (target word count, personal deadline, a word-per-day output)

·         Start writing.

·         Realize the folly of your plans and that a 350,000 word count with a 5,000 word-a-day output and a January deadline was a terrible, unrealistic idea in the first place.

·         Hate yourself.

·         Stop hating yourself and bump it down to a manageable level.

·         Find cover artist.

I have found it mostly works…mostly.

 

Who were your inspirations?

That’s a tough one, mostly because I have no idea where to even begin. H.G. Wells was my very first science fiction writer, but I didn’t REALLY realize I wanted to become a writer more than anything until I stumbled on an old, dog-eared omnibus of Moorcock’s Elric of Melnibone, which blew my mind into a million pieces, amking me wonder what the hell people even saw in lord of the Rings in the first place.

I started writing fantasy, while reading everything from Moorcock I could get my hands on, until a friend of mine gave away his fantasy books (as he was going through a religious phase, don’t ask) and I discovered a tattered copy of Zelazny’s Lord of Light. After reading it until the pages wore down to ink and dead tree pulp, I began trying my hand at space opera, while looking deeper into science fiction’s roots.

A man working at the local bookstore, whom I inquired whether he had heard of any good sf books, passed me a copy of Sirens of Titan which he described as ‘just the thing I need’. Previously unfamiliar with Vonnegut’s majesty, I began reading, finished the book in 10 hours then went back to the store and bought anything else I could find on the shelves.

I was 16. And on the shelf next to the Cat’s Cradle, there was a comic book, misplaced by a customer. It was called Bloodfeud and it starred Spawn, written by Alan Moore. I picked it up, having only heard of Alan Moore by name. After an extended period of paralysis by awesome, I decided I just had to try my hand at writing comics, eventually.

 

What book do you read over and over the most?

There’s the Sirens of Titan (4 times in a row), Chuck Pallanhiuk’s Choke and Lullaby (4 and 5 times in a row, respectively), Thomas Ditch’s 334 (3 times), Zelazny’s Lord of Light (12 times) and Michael Moorcock’s Stormbringer of the Elric Saga (lost count).

 

Do you have a dream project that you want to write in the future?

Yes, I do. There’s actually more than a couple of them, but I won’t go into detail because, you know, space. But so far my dream projects include:

·         A limited comic book series, titled Rise and Fall, where underdog, z-list superheroes are forced to save the world, when its big-hitters fail it (for a complete outline, go here: http://shapescapes.blogspot.com/2013/02/what-i-think-about-stuff-things-ill-do.html )

·         A story cycle, titled THE FUTURE SUCKS, starring destitute, drunken time travelers trading stories about possible realities.

·         INVICTUS-THE IRRESPONSIBLE SUPERHUMAN comic book series, starring a superhero who looks like Terry Crews, has an attitude like Hulk Hogan and acts like Homer Simpson, while trying to prove himself as an honest-to-God champion.

·         A comic book series, titled POST RAPTURE, starring despicable people in the days before the battle of Armageddon and finally…

·          A single episode of Doctor Who. I mean, just one. It doesn’t even have to be important. Like, it turns out it was all just a dream, in the end. O please, BBC, why won’t you read my e-mails?

 

 

What genre do you prefer to write?  To read?

I personally prefer science fiction, both to write and to read. I prefer to write it, mostly because a man I once knew, wise to the ways of sf (but little else) once told me how ‘Science Fiction is, essentially, socio-political satire’. I think it was those 7 words that changed everything around for me and made me want to find out more about the genre. And the more I looked into it, the more I fell in love with it and its relevance.

I love writing science fiction because it’s the perfect way for me to poke fun or to look at everyday human failings, including my own; but I love to read it, because the masters of the genre (Bradbury and Asimov to Egan and Doctorow) have given me long, thoughtful glimpses into what’s to come.

And even though it scares the pants out of me, I can’t help but being drawn to it.

 

Do you prefer writing short stories or novels?  And why?

I personally like short stories better, mostly because short stories are the telling of events. They can be world-shattering of insignificant, they can be immense historical shifts or mindless, emotionless disasters. But above all, a short story gives you absolute free reign over your narrative, of the kind you cannot achieve in a novel.

A novel is a fiercely structured creation that follows its own rules and controls you at the 30,000 word mark. If you know what you’re doing, you won’t fight it and instead let it take you to all the wonderful places you wrote about and live through the adventures you set up yourself.

But a short story? Now that’s another thing. A short story is more like a car crash, or a freak occurrence. It happens at a distant corner of your mind and exists in and of itself. It is under your complete and utter control and in many ways, it lets you play God. If novels are ecosystems, then short stories are petri dishes that you can chuck into the fire at your whim and watch them burn, before you move on to the next one, like some desensitized evil god.

 

 

What are you working on now?

I am currently working on a novel, called the CHROME HORDE. It is the story of a post-apocalyptic world after its fossil fuels have mysteriously disappeared in a single night, leaving human civilization without an alternative and causing it to crash and burn.

Sixteen years later, from the depths of Mongolia, a familiar terror rises from the rubbgle and rides down across the Asiatic interstates, crossing the A353 through China, to Kazkahstan and the West. Cutting a burning swathe of destruction, the resurrected Mongol Horde, with Batu-Khan (the last direct descendant of Genghis) at its head, return to drain the bad blood out of the dying world, to cut at the diseased flesh of it and to leave behind clean, virginal parchment on which the tenets of the new civilization can be written down.

It starts with a sputter, proceeds to a bang and ends…God, I’m not sure, I need to get back to you on that. It keeps pulling all those fast ones one me…

 

What 3 things do you feel every aspiring writer should know?

THING ONE:  There is no such thing as a rockstar writer. You are not going to come up with that one hit single short story or novel that will make you rich and even if you do, this will probably spell your doom. Be prepared to try, to fail, to give up (I’ve given up so much I’ve given up on giving up, to be honest), to have a fit and then go back to your keyboard and keep writing. Come up with a program and follow it. Try to get at least 700 words in every day, or try to get a gig writing (even if it’s gratis) for a website, so you can work on developing your writing muscles.

THING TWO: Get used to rejection. And I mean like, TONS of it. For every 100 stories you write, perhaps 10 will make the cut and be published. Of those 10, perhaps one will actually be bought for real money. That is more than most people get and you should be grateful for it. Cherish those rejection letters that contain even a short explanation on why a story was turned down, because it means the editors gave enough of a damn to squeeze some time into their day to tell you what was wrong with your story. Work your way around that, or apply those bits of advice to your next project.

Rinse in your own tears, repeat.

THING THREE: Don’t just try everything or TRY to get things done. Just get them done and do at least one thing that’s outside your comfort zone. If you work with fantasy, try sf. If you’re into horror, try your hand at erotica. Do one of everything and get it done, no matter how bad you think you’re doing. You don’t know it yet, but you’re getting better at it. And one day, before you know it, you will find yourself using all those wonderful things you’ve learned in your genre of choice and the results will…be…GLORIOUS!

Thanks so much for yout time, Konstantine.

Look for Konstantine Paradias’ story,

Nebeath Familiar Suns 

in the upcoming

Capes & Clockwork.

Capes & Clockwork author interview with David J. Fielding

Capes & Clockwork author interview with David J. Fielding
 
Capes & Clockwork is an upcoming anthology from Dark Oak Press which fuses the beauty and elegance of steampunk with the action and adventure of the superhero genre. As part of the ‘gearing up’ to the release of ‘Capes & Clockwork: Superheroes in the Age of Steam’, I’ll be interviewing some of the great authors that contributed.

 
 And now on the stage, right here for your reading pleasure is…. David J. Fielding
 
David J. Fielding has worn many hats during his time on this spinning globe. He is the actor who played Zordon on the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangerstelevision series. Mr. Fielding is also a talented voice actor who has created characters for many video games including Empire Earth, Dungeon Siege: Legends of Aranna, Zeus, Poseidon, and Anvil of Dawn.
An accomplished actor and comedian, David currently performs regularly with Player One, an improvisational comedy troupe at the Arcade Comedy Theater located in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
He is a rotating actor for Mysteries Most Wanted, a popular murder mystery dinner theater troupe and also authors many of their most popular mystery comedy musical plays.
David J. Fielding has three decades of stage and film experience. He has held many leading roles including Salieri in Amadeus and Quentin in After the Fall.
He holds 2 degrees in acting:
~Bachelors of Acting from Texas State University
~Masters in Fine Art from the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Currently, David is busy polishing several projects including an epic super hero novel, several short stories, and a number of fresh musical murder mystery plays.
 
 
 
Do you plot out your stories or just make it up as you go?
I guess there is the “sculptor” aspect to how I approach my writing – that is, the story I think is there, complete in my head, and it’s my job as an artist to chip away the bits that are obscuring the finished work. I believe that the story – from initial idea to finish – is a process of revealing, and so I trust that my brain and creativity is leading me to uncover it… so, very little plotting out goes on for me – I have tried that technique, but I’ve found that if I put it all down in notes or on post-its I get bored with it, and those stories falter and many go unfinished. I like the discovery of writing a story, and like the reader I am drawn into the story during the process of writing it.
Do you listen to music while you write and if so, what do you listen too?
Music is such a big part of my writing process – in fact a lot of ideas I get come from snippets or passages of music. I listen to a lot of cinematic soundtracks – the music of John Williams, James Newton Howard, James Horner, Hans Zimmer, Jerry Goldsmith and many others – they lift my mind into a place of epic storytelling, one that is filled with grand images and the type of story I am drawn to, ones with epic or mythic themes.
Is there a book or book series that you recommend to people?
I like epic stories. When I was going to grade school in Colorado Springs, I was introduced to the Greek myths and heroes such as Jason, Perseus, Odysseus – and the larger than life adventures they had. That is the kind of story I am drawn to, those that have a mythic quality. I feel this type of story impacts us on two levels (if not more) one being the simple straightforward adventure, the second being the subconscious life-lesson we can all benefit from. For me, Stephen King’s Dark Tower series has that kind of quality. It works on the surface and underneath and by the end of it, you feel you have journeyed far.
At what age did you start writing?
When I was growing up I had a fascination with drawing and comic books. I would spend hours recreating images from Marvel and DC and adding my own descriptive text or dialogue – granted a lot of it was very simple J
From there I graduated to actual story-length illustrations and booklets, mostly drawn to amuse my brother and sister, and then later still when playing rpg’s with friends I started writing intros and prose to describe events and some of the more dramatic happenings that we player’s experienced in the games. I also started writing short stories about this time, trying to emulate some of my favorite authors including Stephen King, Stephen R. Donaldson and some of the pulp/serial authors such as Lester Dent and Mack Bolan.
So long story short, I’ve been writing since about the age of 14 or so.
 
How much of you is in your characters?
I think there is a bit of me in each of my characters, at least the protagonists. I read a lot of my writing out loud and tend to write dialogue as I hear it coming out of my mouth. So to that extant I would say there is a bit of me in each of my characters.
If you could live the life of one of your characters, who would it be?
I think I would like to meet or talk with Jack Miller. He is the main character in my superhero novel, Vigilance. Vigilance tells the story of a Hero War, where superheroes became viewed as a threat and were fought and eliminated by governments and the military. Jack is a superhero whose ability is not to be seen – and so he escapes capture or death during the war and survives a number of years until he can confront those who set the war in motion.
I think I’d like to bring Jack to life, simply because I put him through so much emotional turmoil and pain. The guy deserves a break J
What genre do you prefer to write?  To read?
Again, I prefer grand storytelling, big ideas and big adventure. Martin’s Game of Thrones series or Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant series, Riordan’s Percy Jackson books, Sanderson’s The Way of Kings. I like to tell stories that lead people on adventures, to take them out of the troubles of their lives, if even for just a few hours.
Do you prefer writing short stories or novels?  And why?
A few years ago I would have said novels – because I had grand ideas about being a published ‘novelist’. I guess the title of novelist carries a certain weight, a higher status if you will. But I’ve found the process of writing short stories more rewarding and more successful. I have had a number of my stories published while my novel sits waiting a further revision. I still like the idea of a novel length story and will continue to write with that goal, but for now… short stories are much more at the forefront of my creative writing.
What are you working on now?
I am currently writing a series of stories dealing with the paranormal, and my lead character is a reluctant ghost-hunter type character. He has the gift, or curse, of being able to hear the dead… and he relates these experiences to a friend in a sort of diary type fashion. Each of the stories so far deals with the mystery of who the deceased came to be and the messages they reveal and how these encounters weigh heavy on the protagonist.
What 3 things do you feel every aspiring writer should know?
1.      That they are doing the best they can at the present time, and if they work at it, they will improve.
2.      That not everything they write will be good, not everything they write will be bad, but each blurb or story or chapter is necessary for them to set down, to hone their skill and to also re-visit to learn from mistakes or re-work that same idea at a later date.
3.      That they should not keep things hidden “until they are done”. Get it out there, let friends and family read it. Listen to feedback and learn to take what is good from it and the bad too… to go back and see if the changes that are suggested are needed, and if they are, then make the changes. The stories you write are for the reader, after all, not just yourself. You are a good audience, but your readers are better.
 
Thanks so much for yout time, David.
Look for David J. Fielding’s story, 
At the Quiet Limit of the World
in the upcoming 
Capes & Clockwork.