Kev’s Author Interviews Presents:
When I was little, Mom used to read to me, but it was not until the third grade that I discovered books for myself. My third-grade teacher took our class on a field trip to the public library. I’ve been reading ever since.
The Dragonlance Series by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, inspired me to write my own novels. I like the idea of a group of friends going on an adventure together.
All my life, I’ve been creative. As a child, I loved to draw and paint. I went to college for fine arts, graphic design and photography. The graphic design now helps me with book cover design.
Many years after college, I became interested in writing and started on the path of learning how to write novels. I took English and writing classes at a nearby community college and at the Loft, a school for creative writing. I read how-to books on writing and joined writers’ groups.
It wasn’t until I started to blog and joined a few writing challenges and I discovered that I liked to write short stories. I also love to explore the outdoors through hiking and biking where also I get inspiration for painting and photography.
Because of a recent injury, I had to quit my job. So now I’m a full-time author. I’m working on my first science fiction trilogy, People of Akiane. I just published the first novel, Pegasus Colony and am working on the second book, Storm’s Coming.
Kev: What is your latest book about?
In the year 2144 Earth sent three spaceships to the Pegasus Constellation to start Earth’s first galactic colony. They were never heard from again. It was thought all had died. The project was abandoned.
Three hundred years later it was learned the colony had survived. All of Earth is ecstatic, but the colony wants nothing to do with Earth.
Kev: Who or what influenced you to write it?
I think the biggest influence on Pegasus Colony was the Minnesota weather. I’m originally from the south where summers are hot and humid. In Minnesota, winters are cold with long periods of below freezing temperatures.
One year, for about two weeks, the high had been -5, then it warmed up to about 26°. I was at work and had been outside. When I came back in, someone asked what it was like out there. I said, “26 it’s nice.”
“That is nice,” my friend said. I kept walking, but mentally I came to a complete halt. I had just said 26° was nice. Me, a good southern girl who loved the heat and now thought a day below freezing could be a nice day. My next thought was, what if there was a world that was so cold 26° was summer? That seed was the beginning of this novel.
Kev: Did you do any specialised research for your story?
I always planned to write fantasy so I could create my own world, make my own rules and not have to do any research. So what did I do? I wrote a science fiction novel about cold and ice and snow with some geology, genetics and astrophysics thrown in. So yes, I have done some reading and research.
I’m not an academic scientist therefore this book is not terribly technical. It’s written to my level of understanding which matches the level of understanding of most of my friends. Not that we’re uninformed, we just don’t spend a lot of time reading dense scientific material. We have a laymen’s understanding of science.
Kev: What challenges did you face while writing the story?
I think the biggest challenge was finishing the book. There were a couple of times I thought, why bother, it’s not like it will ever get published. Discouraged, I put the book on the proverbial shelf and walked away. Each time someone new came along and encouraged me to finish it.
Kev: Who is the protagonist?
The protagonist is Lt. Jessica M. Hewitt who just wanted to get her head straight. Her father was a famous young adult author. His death was a world-wide media event. She left Earth to get away from the media harassment, memories of her father, too many sympathetic family members, friends, and her messed up life. Now 28 light-years away, she might never see her family, friends or Earth again.
Kev: What would you say is the protagonist’s greatest weakness or obstacle and why?
Jessica’s greatest weakness is her insecurity. She believes it’s her fault that her parents divorced, and believes her father only kept her out of obligation when he really preferred her mother. She also blames herself for her father’s death even though it was an accident. Now she’s been commissioned to negotiate peace between Earth and the colony on Akiane. A job she whole-heartedly believes she is ill-equipped to do.
Kev: Who is the main Antagonist?
High Priest Adumie is the Antagonist. The first people to settle the planet Akiane came with the promise that Earth would keep in constant contact and send regular support ships.
But they never heard from Earth again, even after repeated attempts at communication.
The settlers survived and built everything without Earth’s help. Now Earth comes to claim them as if they are their property, their colony. No!
Adumie does not want anyone from Earth on his planet and is determined to banish those who have come.
Kev: What would you say is the main antagonist’s greatest strength?
Adumie’s greatest strength is his intense compassion and love for his people; it’s also his undoing.
He’s a warrior at heart, but is unable to save his people from a slow lingering death. He’s filled with bitterness, despair and hopelessness. With his whole heart, he has prayed, begged, pleaded, cursed, but God is unmoved. He does not realize that God has does have a plan.
Kev: Could you provide a short passage from your book to give us a taster?
Captain Fontner’s Office
The captain’s office door unceremoniously flew open.
“Captain!” the first mate called.
“Computer, stop and close.” The holographic computer screen disappeared. “Yes, Commander?”
“We’ve lost control.” The commander’s usual calm demeanor had crumbled. She slouched in the doorway. Worry lines etched her young face. Her hands trembled.
The captain tensed. “Lost control of what?” he asked.
“All of it, Sir.” Her voice shook. “Everything. We’ve lost the ship.”
Captain Fontner stared at her. “How is that possible?” he asked weakly.
“I …” Before she could answer, the ship swayed.
Like an old eighteenth century windjammer, the Eagle gently creaked and groaned.
The commander looked up and around searching for the source of the noise. “A space ship doesn’t make those kinds of noises,” she said. Tears of fear rolled down her cheeks.
“Commander, control yourself,” the captain said.
The creaks and groans became louder.
She was right. Something was wrong; whatever was happening, it wasn’t normal. Captain Fontner’s head pounded with anxiety.
The ship tilted.
The first mate lost her footing and disappeared behind the wall. Captain Fontner gripped the armrests of his chair.
The ship tilted in the opposite direction. The commander slid past the doorway.
Eagle seemed to twist in awkward angles then dropped several meters.
Fontner hit the ceiling. When Eagle righted herself, Fontner dropped belly first onto his desk with a “Humph.”
He first heard the impenetrable glass in the bridge observatory window crack. Then the window in his office did the same.
He thought of his wife and children. He would not get to say good-bye.
In the next instant, everything flipped upside down.
Screams of fear came from the bridge as people were tossed about like rag dolls.
The captain’s shoulder dislocated as he slammed back into the ceiling. Eagle tilted to one side. Fontner slid toward the window in his office. Bits of glass disappeared as they were sucked out. Oxygen whistled as it escaped into space.
The window twisted. He knew it was illogical, but Fontner felt his blood start to boil as the vacuum of space invaded his office.
WSC Eagle exploded.
Kev: Favourite author’s book… What lured you to it?
My favourite book is the one I’m reading at the present time. When I find an author I like, I want to read more of their books and figure out why I like them so much. I tend to lean toward series, such as the Dresden Files, Mary “Jacky” Faber, Stephanie Plum, Cork O’Conner. I’ll read five or six books before I wonder to something else. I usually come back and finish the series.
Why do I like these characters? They’re all larger than life. Yet, none of them is flawless. They have doubts, insecurities and moments of defeat, but they always pick themselves up and finish the job victoriously.
Kev: When you write, do write off-the-cuff or do you use some kind of formula?
I’m not one of those who has to have everything quiet to write. I can write in my head while I’m driving or taking a bike ride. Give me a place to sit, and I’m ready to go. But I do most of my writing at home on my computer.
Kev: How do you deal with writers-block?
There’s always something going on in my head. When my brain is quiet, I figure it needs a rest, so I do something fun and let it relax. It doesn’t take long before I’m ready to get back at it.
Kev: Preference for writing: Day or Night?
I try to set a time in the morning and early afternoon, so that I have a routine and don’t get involved in other things. Some time in the middle of the afternoon, I’m ready to do something different like take a bike ride and hang out with friends.
Kev: What is your process for editing your work?
Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite.
I like being part of a writers’ group and I have well-read friends who read and make great comments.
I think I have the story all together and brilliantly written. It continually surprises me what others have to say in the way of improving my story.
Then I rewrite.
As the book is coming to completion, I work with a professional editor. A professional helps me smooth out the rough edges.
Kev: How do you come up with your book covers?
I searched Istock for the cover image. Rhys C. Ethan of Ethereal Ealain designed the font: http://www.etherealealain.com/
He also designed my company’s fairy quill logo and Moore’s Myths header. I think he’s brilliant.
Kev: Do you think the book cover is important?
Very much so. A well-executed cover gives a great first impression and the impression of being professionally published. Readers are visual. A brilliant cover pulls people in and encourages them to see what the book is about. A boring cover might very well be passed over.
Kev: Which publishing platform do you prefer and why?
My original thought was to go with traditional publishing, but in the end, I decided to self-publish.
A small publishing house did pick me up, but a year later they decided I was too science fiction for them. At first I was disappointed, but I looked back and realized all that I’d accomplished in the year I was with them.
I’d hired a professional story editor, finished the book, hired a public relations person, planned my web page, and started a marketing plan. All of which might not have happened without the encouragement of the publishing company. I started Myth Rider Publishers, with the intention of eventually publishing other authors.
Kev: Do you face any daunting obstacles during the publishing process?
YES! I knew self-publishing was a lot of work, I just didn’t realize how much a lot of work really was. I made a lot of mistakes and things took far longer than they should have because of my inexperience.
I’m looking forward to the next book being much easier.
Kev: What methods do you use to promote your work?
I hired Rachel Anderson, a professional public relations person and followed her advice.
She is working to get articles in magazines and newspapers, and speaking engagements.
RMA Publicity http://www.rmapublicity.com/ I get the word out through social media that’s how Kevin found me.
I talk to everyone I know, which has sold books in some unusual places like my dentist office and grocery store. Many of my friends bought a book, even those who didn’t read science fiction and some who never even read novels. They all wanted to support me.
I don’t try to be obnoxious, but when the conversation lends itself, I say I’m an author and it goes from there. Pegasus Colony is available on Amazon. E-books are available on Barns & Noble, Apple ibooks, and Amazon Kindle Books.
Kev: Do you have any advice for new authors?
Speaking from experience, I’d say impatience is a new author’s greatest enemy. We authors work hard to write a great novel. Once it’s finished, we want to publish and move on to the next great idea, but often the story is not ready.
The story needs to evolve, mature and solidify. Characters need to be fully brought to life. Description needs to sparkle. That takes work.
Don’t cheat the story. Take the time to learn how to write. Read how-to books, take classes, join writers groups, and join professional writers or publishers’ organizations. Help those not as good as you, and seek help from those better than you.
Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite, even if it takes years.
Don’t settle for less than the best for your novel.
Kev: Which social media platforms do you use the most?
There are so many social media opportunities out there, it makes my head spin just thinking about it.
My two favourites are WordPress and FaceBook. I love the community of both. It’s how I found Great Indie Authors.
Actually, Kevin Cooper found me and I check out his page, liked it, joined, and asked if he’d be interested in interviewing me.
Here I am.
Kev: Do you have a blog or dedicated website for your books?
My blog is MythRider
My Facebook is Moore’s Myths
My webpage is Moore’s Myths
Myth Rider Publishers
Kev: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Rachel Anderson and I are just getting started. She’is working on newspapers and magazines a few have been interested. She’s also working on bookstores and book signings. I’m dong my best to get the word out while working on the next novel. As my name becomes popular, interest will increase.
I am working on the second book after Pegasus Colony, called Storm’s Coming:
Lt. Jessica Hewitt is working her way across a frozen planet for what she feels is no good reason. She’s angry with WSC Space Force that has ordered her as negotiator to an alien Earth colony. Now for the sake of public relations, she’s been ordered on an expedition that could kill her. She’s furious.
She has to endure the companionship of two natives, who travel with their own agenda, and thirty-three dogs, all of whom want attention. The planet is warming, whiteouts and blizzards are coming, and a traumatizing, planet-shaking storm is on its way. For her personally, things are only going to get worse. Jessica must face down her old life, and stand up to her new one. She must cooperate with her companions. Her chances of surviving are slim.
I’m also making notes for my second trilogy, Topaz, Jewel of desire. It will be a fantasy.
At the bottom of the mountain, Topaz was forged in the depths of secrecy. It was created with the best of intentions, but Magic has a way of folding in on itself.
The gift became a Jewel of Desire, a curse to anyone who possesses it.Topaz reaches into the depths of one’s heart to reveal the truth of one’s nature. It becomes the master thereby enslaving mortals to their desires.
Only the True of Heart can hold Topaz with no ill effects. For the True of Heart’s only master is Love.