What inspired you to write your first book? Dissolution of Peace, my first novel, is largely inspired from the space operas and military science fiction that has come before it. The idea came to me in a passing thought. What if we had peace on Earth? What if the money the world spends on war was turned to science? That sparked the idea. Then I took it to the next level. Would we be able to abandon our “warrior ways” and if not, how long could we really stay unified and at peace? The idea snow balled from that.
What made you want to be a writer? I wanted others to enjoy the thoughts, worlds, and characters that reside in my head. See only a writer can say that without sounding like they need to go to the loony bin.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? The most challenging part is what those outside the writing world think is the easy part, coming up with an idea. People seem to think that everything that pops into their head is going to be the next novel. But taking that fleeting idea and growing it into a novel takes a lot of work. What keeps the reader turning pages? An idea is a spark. Just as a spark doesn’t warm a room, an idea doesn’t make a story.
Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it? Writing this book in particular taught me a lot about the revision process including the importance of an editor. I don’t hire editors for my short stories, it just isn’t cost effective. I wrote the original manuscript for Dissolution of Peace back in 2003. Back before I had self-studied in the art of writing Science Fiction. I’d also had a lot of life experiences since then. The manuscript wound up needing a full rewrite as well as two revisions and a final coat of polish.
I learned to be flexible. There are many things that I had to cut and rework to make that book what it is today. So many opinions came in from by beta readers, and it took a lot to make it work to what I liked. I was scared to change anything. One aspect in particular included the romantic tension in the novel. The original manuscript didn’t have it, I was skeptical about adding it. It is now one of the most praised parts of the book.
Do you intend to make writing a career? I would love to make writing my career. If I didn’t have a day job, I would easily spend eight hours a day writing novels and short stories. Someday I hope my readers enjoy my work enough that I can simply write more stuff for them to read. This is why it is important for those that enjoy a writer to say so. Tell a friend so that someday the writer can write more novels for you to read.
Have you developed a specific writing style? If I have, I haven’t noticed. I’ve been told all my published works, the three short stories and this novel, are all very character driven. I enjoy my characters the most, so I can see why people see that. Perhaps that will become my writing style.
What is your greatest strength as a writer? My willingness to learn has to be it. I am always reading new articles, books, and posts on writing. I participate in writing groups and workshops. Growth is a necessary part of this industry and I love to learn more about it.
Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? Any writer who claims to never have writer’s block is a liar. That may not be true, but I know most of us get it. I get it a lot and in various degrees. The easier block to deal with is the “what comes next?” block. This I can usually solve by just continuing to type what the character does that day until I hit a positive line of thought and build on it. I can edit out the boring stuff later. The full-fledged, “I don’t know what to do” block is very hard for me. I just have to walk away and let it come to me when the time is right.
How did you come up with the title? Dissolution of Peace came to me after so much drama. The original title for the manuscript was “Serenity” after the main character. But, as the serious SciFi fans know, the movie of the same title took that. While the association with Firefly might have been good for sales, I didn’t want to make that false promise to the readers.
Instead the name didn’t come until the 11th hour. I was using random generators and other things just to see words. While reading this long list of titles to my wife, none of which worked for me, the idea of dissolution (dissolving) peace really fit what I thought it was about. So I pitched the idea of Dissolution of Peace to my wife and editor. Eventually that was the title I stuck with.
When Earth Navy Captain Christina Serenity is brutally attacked by a traitor, her life is saved by Security Forces Corporal Michael Carlson. On the heels of her recovery, her ship is attacked by terrorists, and she is thrown into a difficult assignment. She must chase after the only clue they have, a Martian ship called the Phobos, and find out what secrets it hides. To make matters worse, someone still wants her dead.
Her ship, E.S.S. Australia embarks on a mission that leads Serenity on journey of discovery, friendship, betrayal, and revenge. She quickly learns the only thing harder to prevent than war, is love.
Now Serenity must trust her protection crew to keep her alive long enough to solve this puzzle while trying to prevent an interplanetary war.
The line has been drawn. Who will cross first?
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Genre – Science Fiction
Rating – PG13 to R (Language)
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