Interview by Edward FrankMy questions are for Angus H. Day. His responses when completed can be found on his blog here: http://grindingforward.blogspot.com/
1) I see you have three books available through Amazon Kindle listed on your Author's Page: http://www.amazon.com/Angus-Day/e/B009AM45MS/ All are science fiction. Do you consider yourself primarily a science fiction writer?
Yes I do. I particularly am attracted to writing plots which involve how technology dependence can sometimes cripple our basic sense. I avoided the use of the word common because that would imply that it is in abundance which I just don't see. Science Fiction, as a genre, has motivated some of the most outstanding developments of the last century. Some one has to keep that pipeline fed and it might as well be me.
2) How did you get started as a writer?
I got started writing novels as a form of therapy and as kind of a middle years checklist. I wasn't getting younger and as I kept reading more books I would reflect that I could do that or my plot would have been. Every body needs a creative outlet of some form and this seems to be mine. In short I ran out of excuses not to write.
3) Are there particular authors or books that have influenced your writing style, approach to writing fiction, or subject material?
There are a lot of authors that deserve mention in this answer but I will keep to the most contributing to my delinquency. Joe Haldeman, Phillip K. Dick, Ray Bradbury, Peter Hamilton, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Harry Harrison, Douglas Adams, Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlem, Frank Herbert, Ben Bova, Arthur Clarke and many others.
For plot development I would have to say that I have learned the most from Star Trek tie in writers such as Dayton Ward, Kevin Dillmore, David Mack and Keith DeCandido.
A lot of my subject material comes from science as I am a scientist and this is science fiction. Who knew? I am a manufacturing synthetic biochemist.
4) What do you see as the role of sex in science fiction stories as opposed say to romance novels?
The role of sex in science fiction is to ground the character and make them more real. The idea that someone can just run around shooting ray guns, planting cyber or real viruses, fight off hoards of blood thirsty aliens without taking a break every once in a while to get laid according to their preference would definitely convince me that I don't even want to visit that world.
In romance the whole point of that genre is to generate emotion in the reader and make them feel empathy for the main characters. That is also the best use of sex in science fiction, it's just better for the genre if you remember to add some science.
5) How would you describe your writing process?
I start with an overall idea for what I want the story to be about. I'll spend a couple of hours developing a mind map with all of the satellite ideas I would like to work into the story. Then I begin writing with occasional glances at the map, maybe once every two weeks. The story unfurls in my minds eye and I try to keep up with it.
6) What aspects of a science fiction story do you feel is critical to have in the story to hold the reader's interest? Or conversely what would ruin a story for you if it was present?
Subtle hints leading up to a larger plot work for me. I like to tie in multiple plot lines. What sometimes ruins it for me is the plot device known as the "Data Solution". The situation is dire, we've run out of ideas, all is lost--In steps Cmdr. Data or Wesley Crusher with a solution so simple that all others involved should just be fired.
7) How has being a writer changed your life (especially now that you are rich and famous because of this blog interview series)?
Writing has given me something creative to look forward to doing. I enjoy it and it gives me a sense of accomplishment to tell a story.
8) I am sure that as a science fiction author, you are at least casually familiar with Star Trek. What one guest character among all of the others stand out in your mind, and why? (If not Star Trek, a character use an example from some other popular series.)
I don't have the character's name handy but there was a Romulan Admiral who had defected and was fed false secrets to mislead the Federation in an episode of TNG. I'm pretty sure he committed suicide because he had been made into such a fool. For some reason that one sticks with me.
9) What is the most difficult hurdle or problem you have faced when trying to complete a book, and how do you overcome it?
My most difficult writing hurdle is balance. As a self-published author you have to commit more time and effort to self-promotion. This I am very inefficient at and it eats up a lot of the time I would prefer to use for writing.
10) What one question were you hoping I would of you ask during this interview and did not, and what would have been your answer?
I have waited very late to begin my writing career and I don't wish to wait to swim to the top of somebody's slush pile. Self-publishing can be done well without bankrupting the author and the author retains control.
Bonus question for thirty points: I am handing you this metaphorical green rock and asking you "What color is this green rocK?" (Don't spend all of your points in one place.)
This green rock is not a rock at all but a baking potato that stayed in a moist environment for way too long. Where are your glasses?
You can find Edward Frank's blog at http://forrestproductions.wordpress.com/