My special guest author for August is Bryan Prosek, author of the science fiction novel Earth United. It's got action, adventure, mystery, revenge, world-destroying weapons, and a little bit of romance. What more could we want?
Bryan has offered to give away a copy of Earth United absolutely free to one lucky reader of this blog. Not only that, but if you win you can either choose an e-copy of the book (multiple formats to choose from), or you can be one of the first to get a print copy, which will be released very very soon. So check out Bryan's interview below, and then scroll down and enter to win!
Hi Bryan! Thanks for stopping by! (And, sharp suit, by the way.) Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am an author and an attorney. I live in Columbus, Ohio with my wife, DeAnne, and two children, Luke and Lucy. When I am not writing or practicing law, I am coaching my daughter's soccer team and my son's basketball team. I love spending time with my family hiking, biking, camping, or just hanging out.
What are three of your favorite things? Three of your least favorite things?
Three of my favorite things are peanut butter (or any dessert with peanut butter), a crisp fall day, and science fiction and action movies. Three of my least favorite things are any outdoor activity in the rain, heights, and arrogance.
When did you start writing? What inspired you to start writing your own stories?
I have written a lot of legal articles and publications throughout my legal career, but my first non-legal writing was Earth United, which I started about six years ago. I have always had a passion for science fiction and ideas for books, but with a family and a job, I never had the time to write. Finally, I decided to make some time, even if it was an hour here and there. By writing here and there over six years, I completed Earth United.
What is Earth United about? How did you get the inspiration for the book?
Earth United is set on a future Earth and the events take place within the Milky Way galaxy. It is a combination of traditional science fiction and a government conspiracy, with plenty of adventure and a little romance. I have always had a good imagination. As a boy, I would think up and play imaginary games with imaginary creatures. Science fiction related games were my favorites. I think that has carried through with me to an adult. The characters, setting, and plot of Earth United are just another one of these imaginary games.
Why do you choose to write science fiction? Why do you think it appeals to readers?
I write science fiction because I love to imagine new places, new settings, new worlds. I also love to think up adventures, obstacles for my characters, and battles. All of this just happens to fit nicely into the science fiction genre. I think readers either like science fiction or they do not. There's no in between, nobody that reads it occasionally. I think that there will always be that core audience that keeps looking for new science fiction novels.
Is there a book or a story that has had a profound impact on you at any time in your life? What was it, and how did it impact you?
There really isn't any book or story that had a profound impact on me. I never read a lot growing up. I watched a lot of television and movies. Again, action and science fiction were, and still are, my favorites. Out of all the movies, shows, and books, Star Trek is my favorite. I suppose, in a way, Star Trek helped lead me to science fiction.
Have you been influenced by other writers? Who and how?
I would have to say no. As I mentioned, I never read a lot until recently. While there are a lot of great writers out there, I don't try to pattern my writing after anyone. By no means do I think I write better than others, just maybe a little differently.
What are some of your favorite words? (Syllabub? Xylophone? Whizbang? Taradiddle?)
My favorite is probably ginormous. I have never used it in writing though. My son says it a lot. I think it actually might be in the dictionary now.
Do you have a writing routine?
Not at all. I am pretty routine in most areas of life, except when it comes to writing. Given the little amount of time each day that I have for writing, I do it whenever I can. My most productive writing seems to come late at night after everyone is in bed and the house is quiet, when I'm able to get a second wind!
Do you use an outline? Or just write the first draft “as it comes to you?” What other prewriting/story planning activities do you do, if any?
Yes, I use an outline. I like to have the whole story or plot outlined before I start writing. That really helps in science fiction because it's hard to keep things straight when you are making up timelines and jumping through space. As I am trying to put together an outline of a story, a lot of ideas come at odd times, driving in the car, waiting for a hair cut. When I think of something, I write it down on whatever is available so I don't forget it. If I'm in the car or have nothing to write on, I'll call my office voicemail and leave myself a message telling me what I just thought about.
Do you write your first drafts from page 1 through to the end, or do you jump around?
Because I have a detailed outline, I generally write from page 1 through to the end. However, when developing the outline, I often jump around. For example, I might come up with the beginning and the end first, then fill in the rest, and even jump around doing that.
Besides your main character, Jake, do you have a favorite character you’ve created? Which character is it, and why?
Yes, besides Jake, my favorite character is probably Frank Cantor. I like him because he's a throw-back from the "old days." He's a no nonsense, tell it like it is guy. While he's a high-ranking military officer, with power, he likes to get down into the trenches and isn't afraid to get dirty.
What are the hardest types of scenes for you to write? The easiest?
The hardest scenes for me to write are descriptive scenes, early in the book, describing the surroundings. Having a great editor (thanks Lauren) really helps though. The easiest are the action scenes. I can see both types of scenes in my head, it's just easier for me to describe the action.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I like to do anything outdoors (as long as it's not raining) with my family. We also enjoy playing board games together indoors.
What’s something people wouldn’t be able to guess about you just by looking at you?
That I love the outdoors so much. I'm always behind a desk or computer writing or working, often with a suit and tie on. People are surprised when I tell them I'm going camping or fishing for the weekend.
If you had a genie that could grant wishes, what would you wish for?
That's a tough one. I like to think that I would be like Solomon and ask for wisdom.
What can we expect from your writing in the future?
I am currently working on the outline for a sequel to Earth United called Earth United - The Conquest. I also have a rough idea for a third and final Earth United book. Hopefully, I can complete the second book sooner than six years.
How can readers get more information about you and your work?
Facebook (like): www.facebook.com/BryanKProsek
Facebook (friend): https://www.facebook.com/bryan.prosek
link to Earth United at publisher's website:
Enter below for the chance to win a copy of Earth United! The winner can choose an e-copy of the book (format of your choice), or a copy of the forthcoming print edition, which will be available soon.
__Lauren Sweet is the author of the Bitter Snow series, a modern fairy tale in nine novellas, and Aladdin's Samovar, the first of a series starring Amber Polaski and Jasper the genie. Lauren lives near Portland, Oregon, where she is a freelance writer and editor.