In the beginning…tell me what made you decide to start writing?
I started writing in August 2016, because I love the Sci-Fi and Fantasy genre and I wanted to share my stories with people. My goal is to become a professional writer and my dream is to have one of my books turned into a movie.
Are there any authors or artists who influence(d) you?
I will pick only a couple of authors, like Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Arkadi and Boris Strugatsky, Ursula K. Le Guin, Frank Herbert, Joe Haldeman, Norman Spinrad, John Scalzi, Paolo Bacigalupi, J. K. Rowling, J. R. R. Tolkien, George R. R. Martin, Clayton Emery, Joe Abercrombie.
Tell me a bit about your books.
The Restoration: A reptilian species uses time travel as a weapon to enslave other civilizations.
I published a revised edition of The Restoration in the summer of 2018. This book is available on all Amazon websites.
SS Vagabond: In a distant dystopian future, Captain Edward Turner is struggling to survive, transporting goods and passengers with his freighter, SS Vagabond. Eileen, the second in command and Edward’s lover, urges him to accept a risky yet lucrative mission to Mars.
I am only a couple of chapters away, and I will release SS Vagabond in the autumn of 2018.
Starship “Apple of Discord”: The Galaxy would not be the same, after the kidnapping of an alien crown princess.
I finished the first three volumes of Starship “Apple of Discord” on November 11, 2017. Between the three they cover more than 1300 pages and 350k words. Now I am waiting for an answer from several publishing houses from the US, UK, Canada and European Union. It will take a while and I am not sure that those publishers will agree to publish my space opera, since I am a debutant author. So, if you know any literary agents or publishers send them my way.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I will continue to write more volumes on Starship “Apple of Discord”, because this saga isn’t finished yet. However, I plan to write other Sci-Fi and Fantasy books. I started already to write a Fantasy novel, and I hope to publish it by Christmas 2018.
Tell me about a principal character in your book(s). What makes them memorable?
I believe that a person is defined by their actions. The same applies to a book character. I tried to create realistic characters, regardless they are humans, aliens or from folklore (elves, dwarves, pirates etc.) Also my characters are evolving during the story and they are inviting the readers to care about them.
Indie, or traditionally published – and why?
I don’t have the support of a publishing house therefore I am an independent author now. Yet marketing is my kryptonite so I am looking for a serious publisher that will take care of this.
It’s said that to write well, you need to read a lot. What do you think?
That’s true. People can’t live only with the daily bread. Reading enriches your knowledge and this helps you evolve as a human being.
Tell me what you feel the worst, and the best, aspects of being an author are, and why.
I will start with the infamous writer’s block – I experienced this too but I learned how to deal with this issue. When I am exhausted or I have no inspiration, I leave my writing desk for a while and I try to recharge my batteries by traveling, reading, swimming etc. As I wrote before, marketing is my nemesis. Although I don’t care too much about money, I consider that a book without readers is like a flower without pollinators. According to my beta readers, my books are good and I enjoy every time when they tell me this. Actually, I’m embarrassed and my face turns red like a lobster when I hear that.
Are you a plotter, or a pantser? What do you think of the opposite approach?
I always start with the title. Then I create a short plot that would become the backbone of my story. I add characters and details on the fly. I like to be creative and to write genuine books. My beta readers can confirm this. I used knowledge of physics, mathematics, biology, psychology, genetics, history, geography, computer science, chemistry, astronomy and xenology to create my books. Also, I invented genuine names for everything: planets, animals, plants, items, ships, characters etc. I made a database with all this information in order to keep track of them. The readers will not be bored with science facts and this huge dictionary, because the story line will flow easy and naturally. Also, I created some bits of alien languages for my space opera Starship “Apple of Discord”.
Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Yes, I love to plant Easter eggs in my books and in my book covers too. For example I know about the unlucky numbers from different cultures around the world and I use them to warn the readers that something terrible would happen in my book. Friday the 13th is the most common example.
Also I love to design my book covers. I don’t like to buy pre-made covers. There are high chances that these wouldn’t fit with my story line. I love designing my covers. Sometimes I paid artists to bring to life my vision – this is the case of the famous redheaded android of my space opera Starship “Apple of Discord”. I am aware that I am only an amateur designer, a newbie, a rookie etc., but this doesn’t stop me to try. I am an indie author with a limited budget and I am not ashamed for I tried GIMP and many other freebies. I am grateful because they exist.
For the cover of my book The Restoration I chose a reptilian alien eye that dwarfs a city in flames. Also this city is mirrored upside down accordingly with the title.
The cover of my Sci-Fi novel SS Vagabond raised a tsunami of opposite opinions when I presented it in public. The cover depicts a woman and a cat having in background the highest volcano in our solar system, Olympus Mons. I was accused that I use a cliché – beautiful women who are selling wellness products and the cats that are damn popular on Internet. In my defence, I can tell you that the science fiction novel SS Vagabond is really about a woman and her cat that are doing a voyage to Mars. Most critiques I received from established cover designers who were upset because I didn’t ask for their services. They accused me of being stubborn too, although I didn’t disregard their advice and I fixed some minor artistically issues that had my cover. I want to thank Keith Draws (https://keithdraws.wordpress.com/) and author & cover designer Louise Blackwick for their invaluable help.
Tell me about one favourite hobby or pastime that isn’t writing or reading.
My hobbies are Science fiction and Fantasy genre, movies, gaming, traveling, cooking, nature, wildlife, geography, history, astronomy, science, space exploration and weird phenomena as UFO and USO (unidentified submerged objects – possible alien vehicles or living fossils like Megalodon).
If you could, would you live in the world you’ve created? Why / why not?
Yes, I would love to live in the universe of my space opera Starship “Apple of Discord”. I did what George Lucas did it for Star Wars, minus the movies and the lightsabers. Although George Lucas was my model, Starship “Apple of Discord” is not a clone of Star Wars and I have introduced in my space opera cool features too.
If you could go back to the start of your writing career, what is the one piece of advice you’d give yourself?
Write earlier and publish more books.
Do you listen to music when you write, and if so, what do you like?
Sometimes I listen to epic music when I write. I like Two Steps From Hell, Audiomachine, Lindsey Stirling & Peter Hollens, Hans Zimmer and Jan Chmelar.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
Ignorance is bliss.
Tell me three unique things about you.
#1: The Restoration is my first published book. Although I was working on Starship “Apple of Discord”, in the spring of 2017 I decided to take a break and learn more about Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Therefore, I created this Sci-Fi story. The initial impression was favorable and The Restoration received 4.5 stars. Unfortunately, later, Amazon decided to change the rules in the middle of the game and removed all reviews posted by people who received free books on promotions. This happened to The Restoration. Now it has 3.5 stars, because the person who posted this review said that this is a great book but complained about my English skills. My English was rough when I started writing, but the more I write, the more my writing style has evolved.
#2: As I wrote above, I started working on my space opera Starship “Apple of Discord” long before The Restoration. Actually, I had the idea for this book from when I was a student. One day I had a stomachache and I decided to skip class. It was a cloudy day and nobody was walking down the street. There were no cars either. I remember the appeasing silence and the dim light – the same happened during a solar eclipse that I observed long before that. An idea crossed my mind, “What if…”
When I got home, I started writing in my notebook the story that later became Starship “Apple of Discord”. Unfortunately, I was busy with my studies, then I needed to search for a job, and then I started a family. I kept postponing the writing of this book. In the spring of 2016, I went to the hospital, because I had peritonitis. After the intervention, I was in coma because of the anesthetist. When I woke up, it was the middle of August. I was thinking a lot of what happened to me and I decided to write again. Of course, technology has evolved a lot therefore I adapted the original story to accommodate these advancements. Also I expanded it.
#3: I was inspired by Greek Mythology to choose this title. I like the ancient legends of the golden apple. Eris, the goddess of discord, was not invited to a party. So, she threw a golden apple into the ceremony. Three goddesses claimed the apple: Hera (the symbol of power and influence), Athena (the symbol of glory and wisdom), and Aphrodite (the symbol of beauty and desire).They brought the matter before Zeus, but he was cunning and declined this responsibility. Zeus assigned a man named Paris to solve this conflict. He made his choice and the aftermath was that the Trojan War started. You will find an unusual interpretation of this legend in my space opera.