I’m excited to be talking about another touring title today, and this time the author is here for an interview. But first, you know the drill – let’s check out the book!
Title: A New Threat
Series: The Psygen Chronicles
Author: Aaron Demott
Published: April 21st, 2015
Publisher: AltWit Press
Genre: YA Science Fiction
When an alien ship lands unexpectedly in the middle of her clan’s territory, Bast is sent to investigate as part of her scout trial. After an accident, she meets these new visitors. She and her senior scout Rrrark are invited to return with the aliens to their home planet to open diplomatic relations. What started out as a simple diplomatic mission becomes complicated when they discover a pirate scheme that might be more than it seems. Only Bast, Rrrark, and two of the aliens called Pysgens are capable of stopping the pirates.
I love it when authors agree to drop by and talk writing process and genre with me, so this tour is especially fun. Let’s see what Aaron has to say about A New Threat, as well as his other work, shall we?
SJ: Every writer has some sort of process. Give us a glimpse into yours. Do you meticulously outline? Do you write depending on what calls are out there?
AD: I’m a “seat of the pants” writer. I get an idea for a character, and start putting them in interesting situations and relationships. That said, I usually have a vague idea of where the story’s going before I start writing.
SJ: Bonus question – Do you put on a cape and do a chant before hunkering down to work? Sacrifice anything? Along with your process, what’s your quirkiest writing habit?
AD: Uh, no… I’m kinda boring that way…
SJ: Are you a meticulous planner or do you believe in the muse? Where do your ideas come from? Do they filter in through your dreams? Do they show up at inopportune times and whap you upside the head? Do they result in a shady deal with a dark power?
AD: As I said, seat of the pants. If I plan everything out, I’m bored with the story before I start writing. Not to mention, if I was writing all that time planning, I’d have the book done before the planning.
I daydream a lot, so that gives me a lot of time to try out things that might not work before I put them down on paper, and also work out writer’s block, so by the time I get to the computer I can just go for it.
No, I’m strictly a light-side user.
SJ: bonus question – If your muse had a physical manifestation, what would he or she look like and how would she or he act? Is it a sexy superhero version of Callisto? A sharp-tongued rogue? A reptilian alien? Do they have a catch phrase?
AD: She’d look and act a lot like the character Ara from my book… Redhead, cute, snarky personality, and a quirky sense of humor.
SJ: What’s the book/story that’s closest to your heart? Is there a piece that you clearly feel is a piece of you? Do you play favorites?
AD: That’s like asking me to pick a favorite kid…. Possibly Dragonflight by Anne McCaffery, because it’s so effective in sucking me into the story.
SJ:If you could only write one genre ever again upon pain of being sacrificed to Cthulhu, what would it be and why?
AD: No contest. Sci-fi. Cool gadgets, exploration, limitless options.
SJ: What’s your biggest frustration as a writer? What do you consider the downside, or is there one? Is there any cliché that makes you want to wring people’s necks?
AD: My biggest frustration is that I’m not consistent. Some days I can crank out 10,000 words no problem, other days pesky real-life gets in the way and I get nothing done.
Ug, cliché’s… The one’s bothering me most are the cookie-cutter hero’s journey (farm boy? Check. No skills to speak of? Check. Only one you can stop the bad guy? Check. Level’s up from one to 60 in a few pages with little training? Check. Drives me nuts…)
The other thing… oh, you’ve started a rant, now… Why is it that every single fantasy book I’ve read lately is “one story spread across three or more books”? Look, just because Tolkien did it does not mean you can. He did it because he wrote such a long story it wasn’t possible to publish it in one hunk. It wasn’t planned that way. Yes, I love series way more than just a stand alone book, but EVERY book in the series MUST follow the three-act structure. You can’t put one act per book.
SJ: If you had to be stuck in one of your own books/stories for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? If you had to stick a loved one in one of your own books, what would it be and why? An enemy?
AD: Probably the Psygen universe. I could explore space, and it’s still fairly safe the average citizen. Ditto for a loved one. An enemy? I’d probably leave them here… 😉
SJ: Do you think it’s possible to develop a sure-fire recipe/formula for success as a writer? Would you want to, or does that compromise the art or the fun of it?
AD: I don’t know. I’m not sure I’m qualified to say that. A lot of authors that are qualified to say that say that it comes down to effort + dedication + luck. Anyone can improve their craft by practice and learning, you can learn about marketing and timing and such, but even the experts have trouble predicting what will hit big.
SJ: Everyone has words of wisdom for young writers, so I’m not going to ask you about that. With a few unknown writers becoming success stories, a lot of people seem to think it’s an easy career choice. What would your words of wisdom be to these people?
AD: They’re either going to get a wakeup call, or quit. Even if you just start writing with no prep and have fun with the first draft, it takes a lot of time and dedication to write 50,000 words (the minimum to be considered a novel). And some seem to think they don’t need to read any writing craft books… well, as Justice Brandeis said, “There is no great writing, only great rewriting.”
SJ: It seems like everyone likes to gang up on certain genres as being inferior, less meaningful, or cheap entertainment (especially if it’s speculative in nature). Make a case for the genre you write.
AD: But it’s so much more fun to pick on the other genres…. 😉 Just kidding. I read a little in almost every genre…
Science fiction is great because not only is it fun and adventurous, it inspires people. Talk to the people who invented the cell phone, 3D printers, and most other recent inventions, and ask them where they got the idea. The answer is usually Star Trek.
Science fiction is also great because it enables us to have safe conversation about things that matter and make us better people. Start talking about hot-button topics such as racism, the environment, or religion, and people start fighting, hating each other, or both. Take that same issue, remove all the hot-button words, set it on a faraway planet with aliens, and suddenly you can have a civil conversation where people on both sides of the issue are willing to at least consider the other side of the argument.
SJ: What do you want people to instantly think of when they hear your name or your work mentioned?
AD: Fun characters in awesome settings that they want to spend more time with.
SJ: Please tell us about your latest/favorite work or a little bit about what you’re working on right now. It’s plug time, so go for it!
AD: Right now I’m working on a story that’s tentatively titled Wings of Truth. It’s set on another planet that’s a sci-fi romance story. Here’s the blurb-in-progress:
“Elrund’s views of the evil Vincetii are turned around when he captures their new, young queen. To further complicate matters, a group of Vincetii are threatening to destroy Elrund’s country–and the rest of the world.”
I’m also working on a sequel to A New Threat as well.
Aaron has had a few different jobs, ranging from computer tech support, to real-estate, and lawn and farm sales and service. He also enjoys photography and reading, and has been a Star Trek and Star Wars fan for as long as he can remember.
The Psygen Chronicles, Book 1: A New Threat is Aaron’s first novel.
Be sure to check out the Rafflecopter for the tour-wide giveaway, too! You could win a Signed Print copy of A New Threat (US only). If winner is INT the prize is an ecopy of A New Threat