Tiffany Passmore, Galaxy of Authors

Tiffany Passmore, Galaxy of Authors

Tiffany Passmore

‘If you can not find the book you are looking for, then it up to you to write it.’

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In the beginning…tell me what made you decide to start writing?

When I first started writing with a serious purpose in mind, I was a babysitter/nanny for my nieces and nephews and my younger siblings. They truly enjoyed it when I would read to them before nap and bed time. The stories they enjoyed the most were the fantasy and the sword and sorcery stories. As they became older, I began to search for stories about people that looked like us. People of color are rarely seen in the genre as more than the bad guys, or the comic relief, etc. So, I began to tell them stories that were based on research into African mythology. Now when my niece wants to dress up as a warrior princess for Halloween, she does not have to wear a blond wig, she can wear her natural hair and rock the look.

Are there any authors or artists who influence(d) you?

There have been many greats over the years that I have read and grew inspired from. My first love was romance. Johanna Lindsey. I then moved on to fantasy greats like Tolkien, Gaiman, King, Catherine Asaro and Elizabeth Haydon.

Tell me about your book / series.

The first series is The White Lion. It is a mash up of sword and sorcery, urban fantasy, action, adventure and a bit of romance. I have always been a bit of a genre soup writer. A Seraphim is mourning the creation of humanity and the way that they treat the world and each other. She infuses her tears into the blood of several families. When the children who can utilize the gift of her tears are born at the same time, that is when the battle for humanity and the Earth begins.

“We will show the heavens that there is something left here worth fighting for.”

The main thing is there is a demon that wants to take over the Earth and the humans with the gifts are having a hard time deciding if humanity is even worth saving.

What’s your opinion on the practice of ‘banning’ books?

It really is a foolish attempt at controlling the masses. If you can control what the public reads, you can control what they think. Banning books stagnates the growth of society.

Tell me about a principal character in your books. What makes them memorable?

The principal characters in The White Lion are actually a trio; the High Princes and a High Princess. The High Princess (Tiffany – I know, she is named the same as myself) is relatable to readers because she is not a perfect warrior. She has an autoimmune disorder, she is spoiled and cries a lot, yet when it is time to battle, she comes through. The High Prince Kenneth is beautiful on the outside, yet he has insecurities and is prone to hyper-sexual activities. The other High Prince, Nicklaus, he was a vampire made human by his good deeds, has a past of cruelty that he turns to the benefit of the group.

It’s said that to write well, you need to read a lot. What do you think?

Reading is fundamental to writing. They are flip sides of the same coin. You can better your craft by studying the masters.

Tell me what you feel the worst, and the best, aspects of being an author are, and why.

The best is the ability to reach people that you may never meet. The worst is the lack of sleep.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

I love hiding secrets in books. Most, okay, all of my books and series, while stand alone, are connected in some way.  Not to mention, the characters in The White Lion are based on actual friends that I have or people that I know. When reading it, there is always a guess of ‘did this actually happen?’

Tell me about one favourite hobby or pastime that isn’t writing or reading.

Tap dancing. I perform in charity shows for children with cancer or women and families in need through Our Art Of Giving.

What are you writing at the moment?

At the moment, I am writing the sequel to Sheherazade’s Princess and a new series called Elemental Bonds. As well as my online free fan-fiction, The Sugar Series.

What is your favourite genre to write, and why?

My niche is Fantasy, whether in blended genres or urban.

Tell me three unique things about you.

I enjoy painting ceramics.

My home is referred to as the Library due to the mountain of books that I have collected.

I am a crazy cat lady.

Tiffany, thank you for participating in Galaxy of Authors!

W H Mitchell, Galaxy of Authors

W H Mitchell, Galaxy of Authors

W. H. Mitchell

‘Explore the stories of W. H. Mitchell’s dark, dry humor.’

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In the beginning…tell me what made you decide to start writing?

I drew a lot as a kid, even making long picture stories with plots and different characters. Once I started writing, I began doing that a lot more than drawing, and things just grew from there.

Are there any authors or artists who influence(d) you?

I read fantasy when I was younger, including the works of Lloyd Alexander (The Black Cauldron). Although I watched a lot of sci-fi (Star Wars and Star Trek), I didn’t really read much of it until I was much older (Douglas Adams among others). Shakespeare, especially his use of tragedy and comedy, was also a big influence on me.

Tell me about your book / series.

The Imperium is in turmoil! Seven centuries after the sleeper ships brought us to Andromeda, our human empire is plagued by war, intrigue, and a mysterious secret that may tear it apart!

The Imperium Chronicles follows the citizens (human, alien, and robots) that live in the Imperium. From the highest nobles of the aristocracy to the lowest dredges of the Underclass, we learn the stories of their lives.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I’m currently working on a novel called the Robots of Andromeda, the third book in the Imperium Chronicles series. I self-publish so I really don’t work on anything that I don’t intend to publish myself.

What’s your opinion on the practice of ‘banning’ books?

I think you’d be hard pressed to find many writers who are in favor of banning books. I’m a very strong believer in freedom of speech, regardless of whether people like what’s being said. I remember getting a little too zealous with a fellow high school student who had issues with all the sex in A Brave New World. I guess the idea of stopping people from reading or even having access to stories is something that triggers me on an emotional and intellectual level.

Tell me about a principal character in your book(s). What makes them memorable?

I have many characters, probably more than I should if my reviewers are right. One of my favorites is Magnus Black, an assassin who appears in my first two books. He’s kind of the personification of Death; outside of our definitions of good or evil. He’s very much how I view the universe in an existential nihilist sort of way. 

Indie, or traditionally published – and why?

I’m 100% indie. I didn’t want to wait for an agent and then a publisher to deem my works acceptable or not. This allows me to tell the stories the way I want. On the other hand, indie authors are viewed differently than traditionally published writers so getting recognition is an even greater, uphill battle. 

It’s said that to write well, you need to read a lot. What do you think?

Well, I could tell stories before I could read, so there’s some innate narrative skills that we are born with. However, I think reading is a great way to learn the craft. My only issue would be if you started imitating someone else’s writing. It’s important to have your own voice, even if that means writing more and reading less.

Tell me what you feel the worst, and the best, aspects of being an author are, and why.

For me, the act of imagining and having a finished product brings me the most happiness. The process of writing itself, however, is like torture much of the time. I often have terrible trouble writing, partly due to my dyslexia and attention deficit, but sitting on the toilet and having the solution for a plot pop into my head is a lot of fun.

Are you a plotter, or a pantser? What do you think of the opposite approach?

I’m both. I have a very loose plot structure in mind without necessarily knowing how it’s going to end. While I’m writing scenes, ideas present themselves naturally, and I try to use those in the rest of the writing.  I call it emergent writing/narrative because it comes into existence without planning it.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Yes, I’ve hidden references to things, especially from my favorite show Futurama. Sometimes I just put it in for my own amusement, knowing that no one else will notice or even give a damn if they did.

Tell me about one favourite hobby or pastime that isn’t writing or reading.

I play video games, either strategy or first-person shooters. I used to play MMORPGs but I’ve been playing mostly solo games the last few years.

What are you writing at the moment?

I’m working on the third book of the on-going Imperium Chronicles series. It’s been much more difficult than the first two novels, partly because I didn’t have existing short stories or ideas to draw on. Most of what you’ll see in the book is brand new.

What’s your opinion on the belief that indie books are badly edited and lower quality than traditionally published?

Well, editors and especially good editors cost money. Most indie authors, myself included, lack the money to pay the prices necessary for the really best editors out there. With that in mind, it’s entirely possible an indie book is going to have more errors than one published by a large publishing house (who can afford the editors they have on staff). My question would be: is bad punctuation or typos more important than the narrative? It’s really up to the reader to decide.

What is your favourite genre to write, and why?

I write mostly science fiction, although I purposely include fantasy tropes into what I write. I have space elves and space dwarves / orcs, and I have starships called the Gorgon and the Sorcerer. I even have an evil mega-corporation called Warlock Industries.  I’m attracted to sci-fi, but I read tons of fantasy when I was younger. I guess I just enjoy mixing them up.

If you could, would you live in the world you’ve created? Why / why not?

Absolutely. I love fictional robots and to live in a world where I could interact with them daily would bring me great joy (compared to interacting with humans that is).

If you could go back to the start of your writing career, what is the one piece of advice you’d give yourself?

I probably would have suggested writing books sooner. It takes a long time to build up an audience and, at my age, I might be dead by the time I reach that goal.

Do you listen to music when you write, and if so, what do you like?

I listen to music to help drown out other sounds. However, I can only listen to music without words because that distracts me too. I ended up listening to Bebop Jazz because of the energy and lack of singing.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

I lived half my life thinking I couldn’t write a novel and now I’ve written two in only a couple of years. No one is more surprised by that than me!

Tell me three unique things about you.

I have a dark sense of humor/worldview, but I also love cute things like Hello Kitty!

When I started college, I was a Physics major before switching to English.

In the 90s, I co-founded a poetry magazine called The Wolf Head Quarterly (now defunct).

W. H., thank you for participating in Galaxy of Authors!

Dan Melson, Galaxy of Authors

Dan Melson, Galaxy of Authors

Dan Melson

‘Aren’t there any adults on your planet?’

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In the beginning…tell me what made you decide to start writing?

I couldn’t not write.

Are there any authors or artists who influence(d) you?

Too many to mention them all individually.  Robert Heinlein was probably the strongest single influence, Poul Anderson, H. Beam Piper and many others. Outside of the genre, Rudyard Kipling.

Tell me about your book / series.

The technology is godlike, but the people are still human – or a little bit more.

The technology can move ships millions of light-years in quantum time, keep you young and healthy indefinitely, or destroy unshielded planets almost without noticing.  But it is still a fundamentally human society.  The rulers expect to be around long enough for mistakes to catch up to them personally, and the higher they go, the bigger the consequences of failure.  This forces them to hold each other responsible.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Right now, I have 3 that will probably remain forever unpublished, although events in them are referenced in published works.  I have one I’m actively working on, and 7 at the idea to plot and character creation stage.

What’s your opinion on the practice of ‘banning’ books?

It is without exception pure cowardice.

Tell me about a principal character in your book(s). What makes them memorable?

Graciela Juarez begins as a 28 year old college student with a troubled past who is trying to put her life on track.  She has an experience that without spoilers can best be described as a day and a half of massive repeated culture shocks, which break her out of her former mold.  But she retains a talent for finding trouble – or having it find her.

Indie, or traditionally published – and why?

Indie – I was reading an interview with Christopher Stasheff, a multi New York Times bestseller when that really meant something, and he was talking about how he was no longer politically correct *enough* to land a publishing contract.  But the political gatekeepers can’t keep you from publishing Indie.

It’s said that to write well, you need to read a lot. What do you think?

I think that’s pretty close to the truth – but you can’t just read things you agree with or that stroke your own ego and preferences.  You need to interact with things you disagree with, and play the devil’s advocate.  You need to be merciless about challenging your own comfort zone.

Tell me what you feel the worst, and the best, aspects of being an author are, and why.

The best is when you get direct feedback from the end consumer.   That’s rare in other professions.  The worst is marketing – to try and get folks to pay attention to your work when there are a large and increasing number of very worthy competitors for that attention.

Are you a plotter, or a pantser? What do you think of the opposite approach?

I’m a plotter, but not obsessive.  I want to know the main characters, the main opponent, the basic story I want to tell, and the principle gates I intend to go through in telling that story.  But particularly in the stories with connections to the Empire of Humanity, I’ve become used to the characters stepping up and telling me, “Wait, I thought of something better!” and them being correct.  This has happened in every one of my novels except the first.

I don’t understand how real ‘seat of the pants’ writing can really work.  That said, any opinions I would express have obviously been formed in ignorance.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Judging by the reviews, a lot more than I thought I did.

Tell me about one favourite hobby or pastime that isn’t writing or reading.

History, particularly military and economic history.  I’ve been nuts for it since my teens.  Computer gaming, when I have the time. Math and physics and economics.

What are you writing at the moment?

Setting The Board, Book Three of Preparations for War.  The Empire discovered a planet (near Earth) where the fractal demons were breeding humans to have the same genetic augmentation that is propagating through the gene pool of the Empire.  This planet is useful for Imperial agents as an access point to the realms of the fractal demons, and it will be for the war that is eventually coming as well.  But in the meantime, the human inhabitants of the planet are demonic slaves, and there are some people who are determined to help them better their lot, which includes the main characters of the series, Joseph Bernard and his native wife Asina.

What’s your opinion on the belief that indie books are badly edited and lower quality than traditionally published?

It depends upon the Indie book.  Some are guilty of that, others are not.  It largely depends upon how much effort the author makes.

What is your favourite genre to write, and why?

Science fiction.  It my favorite genre to read, and my mind seems to like asking the basic questions that define science fiction: What if, if this goes on, etcetera.

If you could, would you live in the world you’ve created? Why / why not?

Absolutely.  The Empire of Humanity is a wonderful place to be one of the common folk.

If you could go back to the start of your writing career, what is the one piece of advice you’d give yourself?

I would tell myself to start self-publishing earlier, so I’d have more stories out by now.

Do you listen to music when you write, and if so, what do you like?

Not generally.  I’ll listen while I’m thinking about story ideas, which is generally while I’m driving or doing other chores.  My music collection can best be described as eclectic.  Rock, Pop, Country, musical soundtracks, and classical.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

That the characters would stand up and give me better ideas once I spent a certain amount of time developing them, and that I’ve learned to enjoy the story being hijacked thus.  Petra in Fountains of Aescalon was originally a minor character, and she hijacked the story twice, becoming second in importance only to the main protagonist.  Grace has hijacked her stories any number of times.  Etcetera.

Tell me three unique things about you.

I try to write stories for people that think.

My first novel was published when I was 52.

I have far more ideas in the pipeline than I will ever have time to write.

Dan, thank you for participating in Galaxy of Authors!

Margret Treiber, Galaxy of Authors

Margret Treiber, Galaxy of Authors

Margret A. Treiber

‘I’ve done far worse than kill you. I’ve hurt you, and I wish to go on hurting you.’ – Khan

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In the beginning…tell me what made you decide to start writing?

I don’t know.  I just started as a kid and that was that.  There was no decision one way or another.  It just kind of happened.  I read a lot, so that must have been what started it.  I did stop for years, before trying again.  I’ve been serious about it for a decade now.  I still have no idea what motivates me.

Are there any authors or artists who influence(d) you?

Douglas Adams.  I fell in love with SF books from reading Hitchhiker’s Guide as a teenager.  My mother thought I’d dig it and provided me the fuel.  Since then, I loved SF humor.

Tell me about your book / series.

I have two fairly recent books out.  One is Sleepy Time for Captain Eris.  Eris is pretty much a disgruntled powered individual with a crap attitude and a tendency to get killed a lot.

The second one is Japanese Robots Love to Dance, which is a collection of shorts about Gary Legal, attorney to the robots.  Despite how that sounds, it’s not that glamorous.  However, he does have a certain swagger and some interesting clients.  One of the main characters from Sleepy Time for Captain Eris has his origin in this collection, along with a couple of minor characters.  So it is kind of a prequel.

If you want something crude and irreverent, read my shit.

Maybe I shouldn’t describe my work with the word shit.  Maybe:  If you hate people as much as I do, you may want to read my books.

Eh, that may attract the wrong crowd.

Perhaps:  Yeah, fuckers, I got issues; read my dysfunction.

Because they really show up in my writing.  Some of my short stories really bleed.

Sleepy Time for Captain Eris: Captain Eris, AKA Death Engine, former military DNA tweak and mercenary, is unexpectedly pulled out of her retirement in Champion Acres and dragged back into the shit by an idiot in a mech suit.

Feeling pissed off and miserable about losing her retirement lifestyle and subsequently, her chances of dying of old age, she searches for the reasons why she was reactivated. With the help of her old friend Al, an incognito artificial intelligence; and Om, a twenty-something emo tweak-girl, she discovers a plot that goes a lot deeper than losing her death. And in doing so, she finds a reason to survive.

Japanese Robots Love to Dance: It’s tough being a robot – unrealistic expectations from humans, long hours, lack of social interaction. And what do you do when unscrupulous owners break the law? Humans have attorneys and so should you. Sometimes you just need a good lawyer to do what a robot can’t. I am that lawyer. Gary Legal, attorney at law.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Two.  I have a really serious one about the horrors of commercialism and technology.  I keep trying to get back to it.  But then, I start writing some crazy thing here or a short story there.  I never get back to it.  I also wrote an entire book that I hate.  I’m about to start re-crafting it into something irreverent and crude.

What’s your opinion on the practice of ‘banning’ books?

I want my books banned so I can get more readers.  Oh yeah, forbidden fruit.  I want to be that evil tainted thing that mustn’t be read.  Bwa-ha-ha.  Maybe I should write more cell phone porn.

Tell me about a principal character in your book(s). What makes them memorable?

Wow.  I think most of my characters are me on one level or another so it’s hard to choose.  Although, I’m kind of partial to Al the Robot.  Everyone and everything around him is complete chaos, yet he remains chilled out.  And it’s not because he is a robot, instead, it’s because of his strength of character which was given to him by good upbringing.  His father is a flawed man but still managed to give Al a strong moral compass and faith in humanity.  Al does have some self-worth issues, but who doesn’t from time to time?

Indie, or traditionally published – and why?

Oh.  Oh, that’s hard.  I would love to be traditionally published, but the waiting and the begging are so hard.  As much as I try, my skin is not as thick as it should be for a writer.  I have been traditionally published by a very small market and there were perks and some pain.  I’m not going to bitch about anything, but I think I’d like a market to publish me that will do some serious editing instead of leaving the typos in.

I’m not so great at marketing and editing to self-publish well.  I don’t really have the cash to pay for a good editor and cover.  So I’d have to do it all myself.  Then again, I could set my own prices and have giveaways, so it’s possible.  Maybe for my next book…

It’s said that to write well, you need to read a lot. What do you think?

Yes and no.  I try not to read too much while I’m writing so I don’t accidentally copy someone else’s ideas.  However, I do read for magazines, so that keeps me sharp.

Tell me what you feel the worst, and the best, aspects of being an author are, and why.

It sucks.  I’m miserable when I write.  I’m more miserable when I don’t.  I hate the rejection and wait on pins and needles whenever I submit.  I never felt more anxiety as I do waiting for a submission to be accepted or rejected.  I never felt more self-loathing than I do when I get a bad review.

However, if I could, I would do it full time and live inside my head.  Because I prefer my realities to the one I’m stuck in.  And no, I don’t want any meds.

Being judged by strangers sucks when you can’t even get out of the starting gate.  But being judged by strangers rocks when you have a book out and everyone is reading it.

I guess the worst is losing and the best is winning – like anything else.

Are you a plotter, or a pantser? What do you think of the opposite approach?

I’m a pantser with some plotter tendencies.  I start with a  spark for wherever ideas come from, start going and then form an outline and notes.  I think how you write is a personal thing, like how you organize your closet.  Nobody can make you conform to their neatness.  You just have to go with what feels right.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

I sometimes make references to things my friends would find funny. Like I’ve named characters after friends as a shout out.  I don’t put things in that a stranger wouldn’t get.  But I do put things in that some people will think “Oh crap, I remember that!”.  In fact, I have an entire short story that would probably make some people cringe if they read it, remembering some of the events within.

Tell me about one favourite hobby or pastime that isn’t writing or reading.

Pooping.  I am an excellent pooper.

What are you writing at the moment?

A rewrite of a serious story into humor.  It will be called Space Assholes.  Please, nobody steal the title.  I love it.

What’s your opinion on the belief that indie books are badly edited and lower quality than traditionally published?

My last two “traditionally” published novels were very badly edited.  That’s what I have to say about that.

What is your favourite genre to write, and why?

I love to write snarky, dark superhero stuff.  I write serious SF but there is nothing more satisfying to me than writing a dysfunctional asshole with superpowers.

If you could, would you live in the world you’ve created? Why / why not?

It depends on which one.  I kind of decimated the entire universe in one of my short stories, wouldn’t want to live there.  Maybe I’d dig one of my superpowered universes.  I mean, superpowers.  Yeah!

If you could go back to the start of your writing career, what is the one piece of advice you’d give yourself?

Try a writing career first, then if you fail, get a shitty cheese job.  Don’t screw up and do it backward.

Do you listen to music when you write, and if so, what do you like?

I should, but I don’t.  Mostly because I have to write when I can find free time to do it.  So I don’t really plan my space so well.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

I’m a very angry person and it all just flows out when I write.  Yup, angry.

Tell me three unique things about you.

I’m not the extrovert everyone thinks I am.  In fact, I prefer solitude to people these days.

One of my birds calls me by name.

I fear blue cheese.

Margret, thank you for participating in Galaxy of Authors!

Lawrence Oliver, Galaxy of Authors

Lawrence Oliver, Galaxy of Authors

Lawrence N. Oliver

‘Fucking robots.’ -Ben Corbin

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In the beginning…tell me what made you decide to start writing?

I’ve always loved fiction, especially science fiction and my imagination runs wild often to the point of distraction. Writing had always been something I enjoyed as a young person and I had wanted to pursue it as an adult but never made the time. One day I found myself unexpectedly off work for a few days so I was catching up on my reading (The Helmsman Series by Bill Baldwin). But as I tried to read I kept finding myself staring out of the window and thinking about another story, one I wanted to tell. So, I put down the book I was reading and I started writing.

Are there any authors or artists who influence(d) you?

Oh wow, Robert Heinlein, Frank Herbert, Tolkien, Burroughs, King, Koontz, McMurtry, Homer, Shakespeare (his stories, not the annoying Old English we were forced to read him in). Many more I’m sure …

Tell me about your book / series.

A soldier out of his time struggles to find closure at the loss of his wife. Earth’s new government presses him into service as an ambassador to our alien allies in a war against another alien species attacking Earth’s off world colonies and assets.

Having been replaced by robots and drones, veterans Ben Corbin and Sam Garrett go into business for themselves, towing derelict vessels and space junk out of the shipping lanes around Mars. Business was good, but a couple of malfunctioning service robots forced them to return to Earth for replacements. Aliens attacked the freighter they’d booked passage on, slaughtering and feeding on the crew and passengers. Only Corbin and Garrett managed to hold their own until they could hide in stasis pods. 200 years later Earth and her colonies, governed by the Commonwealth of Nations, are at war with a race of aliens known as the Nineteenth. Not with the Gar Rei Jhi who had attacked Corbin and Garrett so many years past. That war had been fought and humans lost. The Nineteenth is a new alien threat whose origins and motives are unknown. What information humans have on this new enemy comes from the uneasy alliance with the Gar Rei Jhi who’ve been fighting an even longer war with the Nineteenth. Though long ago, Corbin and Garrett’s history with the Gar Rei Jhi hasn’t been forgotten. They are to be ambassadors serving at the pleasure of the same aliens that attacked them. Thrust into a new age of engineered soldiers, interplanetary politics, and self-aware robots, Corbin has to quickly decide who he’s going to trust as he journeys back to the Mars colony. But his search for truth may come at the cost of his life, and the fate of the Commonwealth may rest on his decision.

WARNING: If you don’t like space battles, cyborgs, diverse flawed characters, aliens, AIs, mechs, robots or bad language this book may not be for you.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

The sequel to The Last Marines is in the self editing/ revisions phase and will hopefully be available by the end of the year. And I’ve got another WIP on the back burner along with the third novel in The Last Marines series.

What’s your opinion on the practice of ‘banning’ books?

Banning books is wrong as long as the book doesn’t provide dangerous information. I don’t mean ideas or themes that aren’t mainstream or that challenge established cultural norms etc. …By dangerous information I mean Boris’s Meth Cook Book or Dirty Bombs for Dummies. America was founded on the principle of freedom. Even if I don’t agree with everyone’s views, I will fight for their freedom to express them.

Tell me about a principal character in your book(s).

What makes them memorable? Norton. She’s a disabled Fleet Infantry veteran making her way as a VIP shuttle operator on Mars and making a few extra credits whenever she can even if she has to bend the law to get it done. Norton doesn’t take shit from the books’ MC or anyone except maybe her wife Eidnam.

Indie, or traditionally published – and why?

Indie. I like the freedom of independent publishing but honestly, I did try to go the traditional route at first and couldn’t find an agent that felt my manuscript was right for their list …

It’s said that to write well, you need to read a lot. What do you think?

I think everyone is different but that stimulation is often the father and mother of imagination. That said, I would stop short of saying you need to read in order to write well. As for myself if I had the time to read as much as I’d like I’d never get anything written. I still have a frick’n day job…

Tell me what you feel the worst, and the best, aspects of being an author are, and why.

The worst probably the marketing and the expense of hiring good quality support people like editors, proofreaders, cover designers. Though they are certainly worth the investment. The best part, other than being able to express my imagination and let it run wild at times, I’d have to say it is when other people love your story.

Are you a plotter, or a pantser? What do you think of the opposite approach?

If I had to pick one I’d say I’m a panster, just because I don’t really do an outline. I’m not afraid to use a rough draft like an outline and do major rewrites. I like to get it down and move on then come back and work out any details that may need ironing out. Again, everyone is different and sometimes I wish I was more of a planner where my writing is concerned. I may even explore trying to be just that in the near future. It’s funny really because in most other aspects of my life I always have a plan and a back up plan and a back up plan for the back up plan. Drives my wife nuts.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Yes, oh yes.

Tell me about one favourite hobby or pastime that isn’t writing or reading.

I love 3 gun competitions, drawing and art in general.

What are you writing at the moment?

Revisions to The Last Marines sequel, book 3 in the series, and a zombie western.

What’s your opinion on the belief that indie books are badly edited and lower quality than traditionally published?

As an indie author that spent a considerable amount of money on editing, proofreading and cover design my knee jerk reaction to this question is pretty much “Who the hell said that? Get a rope.” Though in truth it is a fact but like most things this issue isn’t as black and white as some people claim. Of course, not all indie books are badly edited or low quality but many are. There are very few standards that have to be met to publish a book on Amazon but I’m pretty sure almost all traditionally published books have fairly high editing standards. Many indies don’t have the filters or financial resources that a traditionally published author has access to or lack the patience to save up to afford them. It’s the double edged sword that is Amazon, having come about as a result of the relatively cost effective print on demand technology that now exists. IMHO.

What is your favourite genre to write, and why?

Science Fiction/ Space Opera hands down. I honestly can’t tell you why for certain. I grew up watching science fiction and fantasy movies and TV. The first novel I read was The Hobbit, followed by The Foundation. Maybe it’s just all of the possibilities available when you have the freedom to build not only characters within known environments, with all the rules that entails, but entire cultures and worlds. Or it could just be because I think aliens, blasters and space fighters are really cool.

If you could, would you live in the world you’ve created? Why / why not?

Hmm… Damn. Certain aspects would be pretty cool, space flight, backwater terraformed frontier worlds, nanite healthcare plan, blasters, anti gravity (jetpacks), self aware robots … However, on the other hand, there would be the blood sucking aliens, cyborgs, AIs and self aware robots dominating the job market, compulsory military service to qualify for higher levels of citizenship and voting rights, government instituted nanite healthcare system, The Cutts (big thick aliens warriors with four arms and ten tentacles for legs) bent on destroying humans as they encounter them. Yeah… I’m gonna say yeah, I think I would.

If you could go back to the start of your writing career, what is the one piece of advice you’d give yourself?

Pay attention in English class, take some creative writing courses. Do more market research, make a better effort to spend more time writing.

Do you listen to music when you write, and if so, what do you like?

I mostly listen to one of my Pandora radio stations (see links below if you want to give them a listen). Either “Ollie Radio” (mix of 80s and current indie music mostly) or most of all “Ollie’s Epic Movie Scores” (scores from movies like ‘Gladiator’, ‘The Last of the Mohicans’, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’, ‘Lord of the Rings’, etc… etc…) I find it is easier to concentrate without the lyrics but just as rousing.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

That I didn’t know jack crap about writing a book … As I went on chapter length, fighting the urge to explain and info dumps were things I had to be mindful of and things my editor Amber Helt with Rooted in Writing help me with greatly.

Tell me three unique things about you.

I grew up in a small Texas town working on my grandfather’s ranch and for my father in the oil field.

I’ve been married for over 20 yrs, father to an autistic son (20) and a daughter (21).

I love art and worked closely with my cover designer to come up with cover that is pretty damn close to my own design sketches and ideas.

Lawrence, thank you for participating in Galaxy of Authors!

Emanuel Andrei Cosutchi, Galaxy of Authors

Emanuel Andrei Cosutchi, Galaxy of Authors

Emanuel Andrei Cosutchi

‘If you can’t provoke any emotion, there’s little point in writing.’

Buy the books!

Coming soon!

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.

Thanks for having me. Friends call me Andrew. I was born in August ’77 therefore I chose my nickname ACE977. I do NOT use a pen name.

I live in the European Union, Romania – you know, the country of Dracula and the World Tennis Associations number 1 ranked, Simona Halep. I work as an IT Engineer and I write in my spare time.

Andrew, thank you for participating in Galaxy of Authors!

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