Say hello to Patrick Prescott ! He responded to my speculative fiction interview post shortly after it was published, and I’m so pleased to share his answers with you today.
What was the first speculative story you ever remember reading?
It was an anthology by Isaac Asimov called Nine Tomorrows. I was thirteen.
Who is your favourite author? Why?
Just one? Harlan Ellison, JRR Tolkien, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, James A. Michener, Harold Robbins, Jacqueline Suzanne, Anne McCaffery, Colleen McCullagh, Tony Roberts, Tom Clancy, Joseph Badal, I could go on ad infinitum. Why, because they caught my interest and held it. All of them have influenced me and my writing.
What do you like most about the genre(s) you read?
I’m eclectic reading all genres. I avoid mad slasher, bloody gory horror, but enjoy ghost stories and stories of suspense. When I get tired of action adventure, I’ll turn to historical romance or love stories, then move on to something else that looks like a good story.
More and more authors seem to be writing cross-genre stories these days. How do you feel about this trend?
The more the merrier. Harlan Ellison wrote in so many genres, yet he was fascinating in all of them. Asimov wrote some of the best historical textbooks out there. He has books that explain science in a lay person vocabulary. McCullagh is known for The Thorn Birds, but her First Man in Rome series greatly influenced my first novel Optimus: Praetorian Guard. Tony Roberts writes the Casca books but has two fantasy series of books that are some of the best ever written, and I’m waiting impatiently for the next book in those series, he also has a contemporary series on a female rock star.
If you could name a pet after one character, which character would you choose? Why?
I have a fifteen-year-old cat named Pippin after Peregrine Took. I rescued him when the Lord of the Rings movies first came out. He is a “Fool of a Took!”
What fictional world would you never want to visit?
Halloween, Friday the 13th, Whatever world Steven King creates.
What fictional world would you want to visit?
Pern. I want a fire lizard.
Sharing spoilers with people who haven’t read the book or seen the film/show is a hot topic on Twitter and across many fandoms. How do you feel about sharing or overhearing spoilers?
There should be a law, punishable by being lashed with a wet noodle for writing anything about the latest episode of GOT until one week has expired from its airing!
Which series do you think should be made into a TV show or film next?
Dragon Riders of Pern. It’s inexplicable to me that it hasn’t been done. Casca the Eternal Mercenary, now at 50 books. It would great on the History Channel or Sci Fi network.
Which TV show or film do you think should be turned into a book?
Nothing comes to mind since most movies based off of a script are turned into a book after the fact. Asimov wrote the book Fantastic Voyage after the movie came out. Fan fiction took off with Star Wars and Star Trek.
What is the most unusual or interesting way you’ve come up with an idea for one of your creative works?
My novel Vander’s Magic Carpet came from a friend who was a physics professor at UNM. He was giving a speech on cold fusion and super conductivity. He asked me to edit the speech, he speculated that super conductors could be used to make flying cars and cold fusion would be cheap means of fuel. I used his idea on making a flying car, discarded cold fusion and focused on how to market flying vehicles after the fall of the Twin Towers in 2001.
Sometimes characters don’t do what their creators want them to do. If this has ever happened to you, how did you deal with it?
Each character has its own stream of consciousness. Go with the flow as the creativity comes. Sometimes the characters can get out of hand and later you have to clean up the mess, but that’s better than an empty page.
What is your favourite trope?
In Human Sacrifices I tried to explain the how belief in God follows two paths. Same god, but the choice between a god of death and destruction of a god of forgiveness and love. Ayn Rand used the same trope in Atlas Shrugged only as a philosophy of life or death.
What tropes do you try to avoid in your stories?
A character that is pure evil.
About Patrick: I’m a retired English/History educator. When I started writing Optimus: Praetorian Guard I could write over summer breaks but stalled during the school year. It took me ten years. I struck out trying to get a publisher until I found out about Print On Demand. Optimus was published in 2006 using P.M. Prescott. Cost me a fortune buying books and selling them at different bookstores.
I retired a few years later after 27 years of teaching and discovered e-books. I bought the publishing rights and converted Optimus into e-book and started writing full time. I dabbled in adult fiction under the name Javan Tenebrae. Got that out of my system and went to more mainstream as Patrick Prescott: Vander’s Magic Carpet, Human Sacrifices, Fletcher Family Battle Trilogy, Fan Plan Trilogy, Apple of Success, and Cloisonné Heart.
All of the e-books are available on Amazon for free if you have Amazon Unlimited or .99.
In adult e-books Corrupt or Convert was ranked 38th for a week. In mainstream Vander’s Magic Carpet sold more in the UK market than US for some reason. Optimus has been a consistent seller.
Back then e-readers were new and demand for e-books was high, but now there’s a glut on the market of writers and less demand. Many writers are e-publishing a book a week or month. I’m not that prolific.