Posts Tagged ‘5MinuteInterview’
If you’ve been around here very long, you’ll already know Nicole. She was an early and frequent participant in 5MinuteFiction, back when it lived here. But life got busy for me with the release of Fighting Gravity, and I asked for someone to take care of and look after my baby, 5MinuteFiction, and love it like it deserved. Well, Nicole has been doing that for over a year now. In fact, with the release of her new novel, The Trajectory of Dreams, she’s passing the baton as well. But more on that later.
Because now we’ve got a 5MinuteInterview with Nicole, and at the end, there are PRIZES!!
You’ve got a novel out now, The Trajectory of Dreams, give us your novel pitch in 140 characters.
The Trajectory of Dreams is billed as a psychological thriller. Where do you think your interest in things creepy or frightening started?
Rumor has it that my father forced my mother (and me, of course) to see The Exorcist at a drive-in movie theatre when I was about a year old. I don’t remember the experience, but I think it sort of set me up for a lifetime of being warped. I also grew up in a very rural area–it’s just way too quiet, and there’s a cornfield next to the house where I grew up. Bad things happen in quiet cornfields . . . or at least I always imagined it that way. So I guess I blame my hometown (Berwick, PA) for making me the twisted woman I am today.
One of your non-writing related pursuits is promoting locally grown foods and sustainable living. Tell us a little bit about this.
My grandparents were dairy farmers for a lot of years, so I grew up hearing about how hard it is to farm. A lot of people, and I was one of them, never think about the difference between small farmers and commercial growing operations, and we really never think about the chemicals commercial food producers use or about they way they treat their animals. After I moved away from my hometown and finally learned to cook, I started reading about commercial food production, and it wasn’t comforting. It’s more than just food miles or supporting your local economy or keeping smaller farmers afloat–it’s really an issue of biodiversity and food safety on a mass scale. I started gardening (in the heart of South Philly, no less), growing a small portion of my food, and trying to find a greater portion of my food grown by small producers from the immediate area. At the time, it wasn’t easy, so I founded Farm to Philly in 2007, a website devoted to locally grown foods and sustainable living. There are about half a dozen writers or so, and we write about everything from federal and local food policies to local farm markets. It’s been a real thrill to see Philadelphia become a food town devoted to keeping our local artisan food producers afloat and be a part of all that’s happened.
For a year or so, you’ve hosted 5MinuteFiction. How was that experience and what do you think you, and the participants, got out of it?
When I inherited 5 Minute Fiction from you, I didn’t really know what to expect. I’d been submitting entries while it was hosted here, and I think I guest-hosted once or twice, but you never really know what it’s going to be like to take over something so established. It’s been really great to host–I’ve met some amazing people and had fantastic opportunities because of it. I will say that I missed participating, though, which never feels possible–I’m such a worrywart, I’m always camped out over my email in case anyone has trouble submitting! When I was a participant when you hosted, though, and I assume this is true of all participants, it was a rare chance to think fast and make snap decisions without any consequences. There’s a freedom to being forced to just blurt things onto the page without obsessing about it. My writing got sharper, or at least I’d like to think so! Now that the care and feeding of 5 Minute Fiction has passed to Wendy Strain, I hope I have some time to play again!
Many thanks for the interview, Leah!
And now, Prizes! Enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card. So get on that!
Welcome back to a little thing I like to call the 5MinuteInterview! Today’s guest is Bryan Thomas Schmidt, @BryanThomasS. He’s visited here before and he’s a lovely man that I’m happy to have here any time. He’s on a blog tour just now for his newest release, The Returning, sequel to The Worker Prince. He was also kind enough to host my post yesterday: Your Punctuation Personality Type.
1. You’re getting some pretty big names on #sffwrtcht these days. Do you ever get nervous about some of them?
If you were interviewing AC Crispin, Robert Silverberg, Robert J. Sawyer, Joe Haldeman, Stephen R. Donaldson and James Gunn, would you get nervous? OH YEAH! Silverberg, Crispin and Donaldson’s books have been on my shelves since I was a teenager. The others I discovered more recently. Especially because of the technology I deal with, the live interviews, like we did with Sawyer and Crispin, are especially nerve wracking, sure. But they have all been pretty kind and gracious and generous with me and with their time. And they seem to genuinely enjoy and be humbled by fans’ interest and mine. So, in the end, since I’ve done this for 19 months now and have it down to a science, as long as they feel I know what I’m doing and it’s organized and easy for them, they just have fun with it and so can I.
2. Since you were last on here, the anthology you were working on, Space Battles: Full-Throttle Space Tales #6, has been published. What was that experience like?
Well, it was nerve wracking in the sense that I was editing one of my favorite authors and a guy who’s taken me under his wing, Mike Resnick, and he was trusting me with his story. On top of that, I was editing friends and they were trusting me, and some were still waiting on that elusive first sale, so to speak. So I really felt pressure to do right by everyone. In the end, people respected the role I played. They took my notes and discussed the ones they had questions about, accepting most of them. In fact, Mike Resnick and Brad Torgersen, who co-wrote the story with him, didn’t even hesitate. They agreed I was right and made the change. One unusual situation is that, because of timing, my being new, etc., I wound up having more time to really work with authors to craft their stories. I wound up with less submissions to sort through than expected and a really long lead time for the deadline, so we pushed back the date I had to turn in the anthology and I worked with several writers to really fine tune their stories. They seem appreciative of that and it was a good experience. Hearing reviewers later praise their work is very rewarding, too. I met and worked with some great writers on this thing, and it may not be perfect, but I’m certainly proud of it and planning to do more.
3. What was the biggest surprise you had when writing The Returning?
Other than my personal life falling apart? Honestly, if I can survive what I went through behind the scenes during this, which I’ve blogged enough about that I don’t need to bore you with it here (you yourself are well aware anyway since we’re friends,) then I can’t say much surprises me. The one thing I guess that did surprise me is that the first draft, when I went back to it after finishing and letting it sit for two and half months, wasn’t a total piece of crap. In fact, it was actually better than I ever expected. My beta readers had told me it was better than the first book, but it was written in such chaos, I didn’t want to believe that. After all, I polished The Worker Prince with nineteen drafts, some partial and focused on specific aspects but still. This was just first draft. When I went back through, the surprise twists surprised me. I had forgotten them. And it felt like the same series, characters, etc. Also, it was really MY story. The first one borrowed heavily from the biblical Moses story as the setup. This one came totally out of my head, although, as with The Worker Prince, I do put some pop culture nods in, including some obscure lines from Star Wars said as dialogue, etc. Those are rewards for readers in the know who like that and for me. So writing the first totally original tale in that universe and having it come out so well was a pleasant surprise, I’d say.
4. Had you planned all along to write the prequel story, Rivalry on a Sky Course, or was that something that came out of the creative process on its own?
Rivalry came about because of a briefly described incident told in flashback early in The Worker Prince about how Davi Rhii, the protagonist, and his buddies Yao and Farien, became rivals with their military academy classmate Bordox. I knew there was more to that story which could be told, and, honestly, I thought getting some shorts out there with these characters, in this universe, would help bring notice to the novels. Once I started writing it, it took off, and, in fact, I revised the flashback in The Worker Prince before publication because of changes I had to make to make “Rivalry” work.
5. Have you already started the third book, or do you need a break to refresh your muse?
I have been playing with an outline for about six months but I had some other obligations including Space Battles, the second half of my North Star short story serial, and a children’s book with deadlines first. And, yes, taking a break and doing something else really help get you focused and refreshed after spending so much time immersed in that world, so the break would have happened even without that, although maybe not this long. My plan is to start The Exodus as soon as my epic fantasy novel goes to betas which should be about the time this interview posts, in early July.
Thanks again, Bryan, for visiting, and best of luck with The Returning!
In Bryan’s second novel, The Returning, new challenges arise as Davi Rhii’s rival Bordox and his uncle, Xalivar, seek revenge for his actions in The Worker Prince, putting his life and those of his friends and family in constant danger. Meanwhile, politics as usual has the Borali Alliance split apart over questions of citizenship and freedom for the former slaves. Someone’s even killing them off. Davi’s involvement in the investigation turns his life upside down, including his relationship with his fiancée, Tela. The answers are not easy with his whole world at stake.
Bryan Thomas Schmidt is the author of the space opera novels The Worker Prince, a Barnes & Noble Book Clubs Year’s Best SF Releases of 2011 Honorable Mention, and The Returning, the collection The North Star Serial, Part 1, and several short stories featured in anthologies and magazines. He edited the anthology Space Battles: Full-Throttle Space Tales #6 for Flying Pen Press, headlined by Mike Resnick. As a freelance editor, he’s edited a novels and nonfiction. He’s also the host of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer’s Chat every Wednesday at 9 pm EST on Twitter under the hashtag #sffwrtcht. A frequent contributor to Adventures In SF Publishing, Grasping For The Wind and SFSignal, he can be found online as @BryanThomasS on Twitter or via his website. Bryan is an affiliate member of the SFWA.
It’s here! If you don’t know about the Evan Gabriel series yet, you haven’t been here long. Steve Umstead, @SteveUmstead is a friend and a talkented author and at last, with his latest, Gabriel’s Revenge, the Evan Gabriel series is complete. All three of the books, Gabriel’s Redemption , Gabriel’s Return, and Gabriel’s Revenge are available as well as a the complete series in one volume: Gabriel’s Journey.
Pretty cool, huh?
So, to celebrate, let’s have a quickie. Ummm, I mean, something not dirty that we like to do around here, a 5MinuteInterview.
1. Tell us what this trilogy is about in less than 140 characters.
Scifi story of a man who crosses galaxy searching for Redemption, Returns to where it all began, & seeks Revenge on those responsible. (Whew, made it by 6 – I usually only talk about one book at a time in a tweet…)
Not sure on that one; it hasn’t really sunk in that the “arc” is complete. I think I may miss the secondary characters more than the main few, as they never had much of a stage, and won’t have any future possibilities. Several of them could have been developed much more, I believe, and that’s probably something I could/should have done.
3. I’ll admit I’m jealous that you’ve finished your trilogy as I’m currently stressing over book 3 of mine. How does it feel to have them finished? What’s next?
I knew exactly what it would feel like to write the final scene of book three, as I had had it in my head from the moment I wrote the opening scene of book one. I never planned a trilogy, but when I finished book one, I knew I had an arc that could continue, and wrap up with that scene I had imagined before. So as I was typing that last chapter of the last book, it was flying out of me faster than I could even type, and it felt great. So I’m not sad or disappointed it’s over, as I know I wrapped it up exactly how I wanted to, right down to the cold beers in the sand.
As for what’s next? I’ve been stewing on a couple of ideas unrelated to Gabriel, but after I’ve had a few people inquire about more within the same universe, and since I had already set up quite a backstory for the main character, I’m currently slapping together an outline for a prequel. Something that shows how Gabriel became…Gabriel, I suppose.
4. What’s the first thing you’re going to do on that day when you hit the New York Times bestseller list?
I’ll double check the NY Times list, then wonder who the hell submitted my name…unless they mysteriously and suddenly open their lists to independent/self published authors, no reason why I would ever show up there. I’m indie and happy. More than happy, actually. Like uber-happy.
5. When you accept a lifetime achievement award for your contributions to the literary community, who are you going to forget to thank?
Oy…my writing certainly isn’t going to contribute to any literary community. I never had any illusions about that. I wrote/write purely for entertainment, I write what I enjoy reading. So any lifetime achievement award will be for the most coffee drunk, or the most nails bitten, or something along those lines. But…I’ll probably forget to thank my high school English teachers, Mrs. Graves & Mr. Jones. I thought they were both pure evil back then, but man did they set me straight going forward…
So… bought yours yet?
Steve Umstead has been the owner of a Caribbean & Mexico travel company for the past ten years, but never forgot his lifelong dream of becoming an author. After a successful stab at National Novel Writing Month, he decided to pursue his dream more vigorously…but hasn’t given up the traveling.
Steve lives in scenic (tongue-in-cheek) New Jersey with his wife, two kids, and several bookshelves full of other authors’ science fiction novels. Gabriel’s Redemption was his debut novel, published in February of 2011; Gabriel’s Return, the second in the trilogy, launched in August; the finale, Gabriel’s Revenge, book 3, hit the virtual shelves in December.
This week on 5MinuteFiction we had as our guest judge Bryan Thomas Schmidt, @BryanThomasS of the new sci-fi space opera The Worker Prince and the popular #sffwrtcht on Twitter. He’s been lovely enough to stop by for a 5MinuteInterview.
I attended Cons and realized how awesome it was to network with professional, successful industry people and learn from them. Then I realized how rarely I’d get to do it in person but that Twitter had offered me many chances. I wanted to provide a focused opportunity for that for writers on the web and started asking pros I knew if they’d be willing to participate. It just took off from there. It’s the largest part of my platform, networking relationships and my reputation in this industry and I’m grateful and thrilled to keep doing it.
2. The Worker Prince is clearly a sci-fi take on the Moses story. Why that one?
It’s a story for the ages and a fascinating framework to use. I depart from the story in Worker Prince after chapter 3 for the most part, only a few scenes after that revisiting it and take it in my own directions. It’s more interesting than telling a story everyone knows already. And it worked better with the things I wanted to do with the story and themes.
3. What would you say is Davi’s fatal flaw, and what do you think in you/your life/your beliefs made him that way?
His fatal flaw is his tunnel vision focus on goals. He is so focused on getting to the envisioned end point, he sometimes has to be reminded of the bigger picture and to be confronted about that. He’s also a little ignorant of the larger world and self-confident at the beginning, which he has to come to terms with. I think these are struggles we all go through in coming of age and in broadening our safe little boxes as we’re confronted with a world that’s bigger than we’d imagined it to be. I’ve been through that, watched others go through it, and it’s always interesting to deal with in character.
4. Your website says this is book 1 of a trilogy. Are the next books going to stick close to the root Moses story, or does this go somewhere wild and crazy?
Book 2 departs quite a bit. Book 3 will go back to it and actually, I think I will be doing 4 books, not 3 because I have decided there’s a bit more story than I thought. Won’t know for sure until I get into it early next year. Book 2 got turned in and is awaiting edits and I’m working on a new project in the meantime.
5. What’s one thing you always wanted to write but probably never will?
A movie. And I kind of see that as a pipedream these days. I’m much better with novel craft than I ever was with films. But we’ll see.
Bryan Thomas Schmidt is one of the hosts of #sffwrtcht and the author of the space opera novel The Worker Prince, the collection The North Star Serial, and has several short stories forthcoming in anthologies and magazines. He’s editing Space Battles, an anthology for Flying Pen Press, as well as working for authors like Ellen C. Maze and Leon C. Metz. He’s also the host of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer’s Chat every Wednesday at 9 pm EST on Twitter. He can be found online as @BryanThomasS on Twitter or via his website www.bryanthomasschmidt.net. Excerpts from The Worker Prince can be found on his blog at http://bryanthomasschmidt.net/tag/excerpt/.
1. Tell me one thing about little Richy Wood that, looking back now, you think was proof that one day you’d be a writer.
I loved stories of all kinds when I was younger. Even at an early age I wondered what went into creating a story from the imagination—and I’d try it on my own.
Plus, as a kid, I always hated waiting for the next “Hardy Boy” book, so I’d try and create my own in the interim. Frank and Joe hardy were probably glad I wasn’t writing their stories as they ended up in far more trouble in my tales than in Franklyn W Dixon’s.
All those fantasy stories about magic have this throw-away line about “magic can’t be known/used in front of ‘normal’ people. I started off with the idea—“What if non-magical folks started figuring out what was going on?” And the series started from there.
3. Name two people from all of history you’d love to take to the pub, and one you’d avoid like the plague (or punch his/her lights out.)
I’d love to go drinking with Theodore Roosevelt and Mark Twain. Avoid? YOU know the real answer to this one, but I’ll pick Adolf Hitler because he was a serious Jackwagon.
4. What was the biggest surprise in this whole writing/publishing game?
How supportive and open to questions professionals in the business are. Once I started to connect with writers, editors and the like via social media, everyone was VERY patient with my newbie questions and either answered them directly or pointed me to helpful resources. It’s been a wonderful experience—and I was expecting a lot less.
5. Give me one sentence, no more than a dozen words, of wisdom you’ve learned since you decided to write TPF.
I have ten words left…
6. Your favorite place to be/One place you never want to be again.
My favorite place to be is anywhere with my partner, Tina. Never again? Hong Kong. Long story.
7. You get to name one person who had been the biggest influence on you as a writer, only one, from any point in your life, whether you know them or not. Why?
Oh bugger. I can pick only ONE? Well, I’ll say my parents (two people, one partnership) who encouraged me to do what I enjoy.
8. You have an unlimited amount of time and money: Where are we going drinking?
Ireland. We are going to every bloody pub in the 36 counties.
Back to your host: I bet you can tell I had fun with this interview. The book’s better. Go get it!
R.B. Wood is a technology consultant and a writer of Urban Fantasy, Science Fiction and quite frankly anything else that strikes his fancy. His first novel, The Prodigal’s Foole, is now available from Pfoxchase Publishing. Mr. Wood is currently working on the second book of his Arcana Chronicles series and is host of The Word Count podcast.
R. B. currently lives in Boston with his partner, Tina, his dog Jack, three cats and various other critters that visit from time to time.
Find him on his blog: http://www.rbwood.com
Feel free to contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org