Tag Archives: Interviews

Interview with Patrick Prescott

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.

Bonus Questions

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 PatrickI’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.

Interview with Berthold Gambrel

Welcome, Berthold! He was the third person to respond to my speculative fiction interview post, and I’m thrilled to share his answers with you today. 

What was the first speculative story you ever remember reading?

A children’s adaptation of a science fiction story called “The Legion of Space.” The original story (which I’ve never read) is by Jack Williamson, and the children’s adaptation is called “Unleashed in Space” by Alexander Steele.

Who is your favourite author? Why?

Oh, that’s hard! There are too many to choose from. I suppose for an all-time great example of speculative fiction, I’d say George Orwell, for 1984 and Animal Farm. I love both because he found such interesting ways of using fiction to comment on human nature and society as he saw it. For current authors, I’m a big fan of Audrey Driscoll’s reimaginings of Lovecraftian ideas. But there are so many great authors out there, I could never list them all.

What do you like most about the genre(s) you read?

Well, I read so many, this could be a long list. I love horror that hints at mysterious forces beyond humanity’s conception, and I love science fiction that examines human behavior and examines how societies are shaped. I also enjoy a good mystery where the big twist is that the cause of the trouble is something supernatural or alien. 

More and more authors seem to be writing cross-genre stories these days. How do you feel about this trend?

I love it. Blending genres creates some great concepts. A good example of this is cyberpunk–it began as a hybrid of two genres, hard-boiled noir detective stories and science fiction, that turned into a new genre of its own. 

If you could name a pet after one character, which character would you choose? Why?

I actually own a cat named “Mighty Cthulhu.” I named him this because my father found him as small kitten, and I thought it was funny to name him after a famous supernatural monster.

What fictional world would you never want to visit?

Oh, most of them, really. I’d certainly never want to go to Fantasy-type worlds–Middle-Earth, Westeros, etc. are out for sure. 

What fictional world would you want to visit?

This is tough. Most fictional worlds have some obvious problems/dangers–they have to, because that is what makes for a compelling story, but it also means you’d have to be very brave to go there. But I think I have one book-world I’d like to live in: Sheila Hurst’s Ocean Echoes. I’m not sure if it counts  since it largely takes place in the real world, but with some science-fiction and fantasy elements. It’s a tough book to categorize, but I’ve seen it referred to as “Magical Realism,” and I think that’s a great description. Hurst’s prose is so dream-like and evocative that when I read it, I feel like I’m transported onto the research ship where most of the story takes place.

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?

I grapple with this issue often, because I write reviews of lots of things on my blog. I find I can’t write a satisfyingly informative review without discussing every aspect of a story, which typically means spoiling it. I warn readers up front that I’m going to be giving plot spoilers, and then warn them again right before I do. Part of this stems from my own frustration in the past at wanting to find spoilers for a movie, and being unable to because all the reviews were spoiler-free. This is particularly important to me in the case of films/books etc. that contain disturbing content. I recently reviewed a horror film with some very disturbing scenes that were also key to the narrative. I felt like I had to spoil it–with appropriate warnings, of course–just in the interest of making sure people who might be sensitive to such things would be forewarned.

Which series do you think should be made into a TV show or film next?

It’s not a series, but I’d love to see someone try to do an adaptation of the short story “The Repairer of Reputations” by Robert Chambers. Although it would be next to impossible to film it… The “Bobiverse” series, by Dennis Taylor, would also be interesting to see on screen, though I’ve only read the first one so far. Oh, and Carrie Rubin’s books–I’d love to see a film of The Seneca Scourge, for example. And also–okay, I’ll stop; this could get out of hand.

Which TV show or film do you think should be turned into a book?

Oooh, that’s a good one. People rarely think about adaptations going from screen to page. Now that you say it, though; that horror film I mentioned in question 8 (called The Wind) might honestly work better as a book than as a film. So much of it involves what’s going on in the characters’ minds. I admit, so many of the movies I’ve seen are based on books, I’m struggling to come up with more ideas.

Bonus Questions

What is the most unusual or interesting way you’ve come up with an idea for one of your creative works?

Well, maybe the most interesting was the time it felt like I didn’t come up with the idea. For most of my books, the ideas came together very gradually. I would have in mind a hazy, vague concept of what I wanted to do, and then gradually refined it. Usually, it started with “I’d like to do a science fiction adventure, or a conspiracy thriller,” and then slowly built from there. But there was one story that came to me one day, as if by magic, 90% done. Characters, plot structure, everything was just ready to go. In mythology, you’ll sometimes read that people believed Gods or spirits would whisper ideas to them–this felt kind of like that.

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?

Usually when this happens, the character is right. I try to revise the story to accommodate what the character is doing. (Although, I sometimes don’t realize my characters are getting out of control until beta readers point it out to me.)

What is your favourite trope?

Unreliable narrators. To me, there is nothing cooler than gradually realizing I can’t trust everything I’ve been reading/seeing. I love it.

What tropes do you try to avoid in your stories?

There are a lot of tropes related to the portrayal of female characters that I find sexist. These range from the ancient “helpless damsel,” to the “wicked step-mother” archetype for villains, to putting female characters in peril as a cheap hook for a plot. (Most revenge stories do this.) I try to avoid these kinds of tropes in my stories; one, because they annoy me when I see them in other fiction, and two, as a male writing about female characters, I try to make sure I don’t get lazy and fall back on tired cliches.  

About: Berthold Gambrel is an author and blogger. You can find his blog here: https://ruinedchapel.com.

 

Interview with KristaLyn A. Vetovich

Say hello to KristaLyn A. Vetovich! She was the second person to respond to my speculative fiction interview post, and I’m excited to share her answers with you today. 

What was the first speculative story you ever remember reading?

My mother hooked me on reading with the Harry Potter series. She would read them to us every night, but I would read ahead because I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next.

Who is your favourite author? Why?

At the moment, Neil Gaiman. Not only are his stories incredible, but his perspective is so encouraging and grounding for me as an author.

What do you like most about the genre(s) you read?

I love speculative fiction because it’s the best way to unleash everything my imagination can come up with, whether it’s through my own writing or leaping into a world of someone else’s design. It helps remind me that anything is possible and I can make a better reality.

More and more authors seem to be writing cross-genre stories these days. How do you feel about this trend?

I love it! Why not get creative and complex as long as it’s entertaining and makes sense for the reader? We have plenty of people (editors, publishers, etc) who keep our feet on the ground while we take our minds further into the clouds.

If you could name a pet after one character, which character would you choose? Why?

I usually let my pet’s personality inspire their names, but I did give my corgi the middle name Mikleo after a character in the Tales of Zestiria video game.

What fictional world would you never want to visit?

Any world with zombies in it. Zombies aren’t my thing.

What fictional world would you want to visit?

I want to visit the world of Good Omens and just get coffee (or tea) with Crowly and Aziraphale. I feel like that would be an excellent way to spend an afternoon.

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?

I take responsibility for my own exposure to spoilers and if I happen upon one I see it as just another reason to experience the story as soon as possible. I’m not one to spread spoilers though. Everyone deserves the right to choose what they know going into a story.

Which series do you think should be made into a TV show or film next?

That’s a tough one! So many are already coming to the screen. As long as they’re done well, I’d watch all of them to promote the authors and their series!

Which TV show or film do you think should be turned into a book?

Avatar: The Last Airbender. Those characters would translate so well into books!

Bonus Author Questions

What is the most unusual or interesting way you’ve come up with an idea for one of your creative works?

For the Shifted series it was just people watching and imagining how hard we must make it on spirit guides to get through to us. The story exploded from there.

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?

I’ve had entire characters introduce themselves and I don’t realize it until pages later. I welcome them. If my creativity is flowing, I’m all for it and I like to think it usually works out better for the story than what I’d originally planned. I can always adjust in revisions if I need to.

What is your favourite trope?

I love the unwilling or unexpected hero. It shows that heroes come from everywhere and that being a hero is a choice anyone can make.

What tropes do you try to avoid in your stories?

I avoid love at first sight—though I believe it can happen. I like romance to be a secondary part of the plot in my stories so I can focus on the individuals and what makes them heroes in their own right.

 

About: KristaLyn is an internationally bestselling author, certified holistic practitioner, and intuitive coach who helps people attract the lives they want to live with the one thing they can’t control: divine timing.

KristaLyn lives in a treehouse in Pennsylvania with her husband and corgi, Jack, and cooperates with her family to help revitalize the Coal Region of Pennsylvania to a new, sustainable glory.

Website: www.KristaLynAVetovich.com

Email: info@KristaLynAVetovich.com

Social Media Handle: @AuthorKristaLyn

Interview with Portia Kitcher

Portia Kitcher was the first person to respond to my speculative fiction interview post. I’m excited to kick this series off with her responses! 

Image credit: Arthur Rackham.What was the first speculative story you ever remember reading?

Grimms Fairy tales – being read to at first and then reading them myself – over and over!

Who is your favourite author? Why?

Justin Gustainis. I like him because he writes characters I like and care about. His Occult Crime series combines my two favourite genres of fantasy and crime solving.

What do you like most about the genre(s) you read?

Good guys vs. bad guys with the good guys generally winning.

More and more authors seem to be writing cross-genre stories these days. How do you feel about this trend?

That depends – I don’t like a lot of romance in my books – always keen to get back to the action, but I do like it when magic/occult combines with crime.

If you could name a pet after one character, which character would you choose? Why?

Yoda – because he is wise and small.  I am small and aspire to be wise.

What fictional world would you never want to visit?

Wonderland.

What fictional world would you want to visit?

Middle Earth.

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?

I personally wouldn’t read the end of a book first so I don’t want to read spoilers, and don’t really understand why people do.

Which series do you think should be made into a TV show or film next?

Justin Gustainis Occult crimes series.

Which TV show or film do you think should be turned into a book?

Interesting question – I would watch a film/TV show of a book I had read but not the other way around.

About Portia: My plans to become a doctor were change due to family circumstances at the age of 17 when I left college and started work as a laboratory technician.  I got married at 18 had my two children, then went back to work 15 years later as a science technician in a school.  I then worked in Social Services as an administration officer for a supported employment agency.

I am now at home with my retired (second) husband.   I am an amateur musician and classical singer and also make celebration cakes.  I am currently doing a project where I am donating 60 of my hours to good causes.

https://thegiftoftime.home.blog/

If You Love Speculative Fiction, I Want to Interview You

I’ve decided to try something new on my site. This was loosely inspired by what Downright Dystopian started doing with her interviews earlier this spring. I’m hoping I’ll be able to tap into a new audience since I’m focusing my questions on people who like speculative fiction and have multiple social circles that don’t seem to overlap much with Krystianna’s sphere of influence at all.

What do I mean by speculative fiction? Well, if you read about, watch, listen to, or write about:

  • Fantasy
  • Science Fiction
  • Fables, Fairy Tales, and/or Folklore
  • Alternate History
  • Superheroes
  • Myths
  • Horror
  • Monster Movies
  • Utopians
  • Dystopians
  • Magical Realism
  • Supernatural/Paranormal Tales

Or any combination of these types of stories, I want to hear from you.

Yes, this includes people who prefer, say, paranormal romances that only have the slightest touch of fantasy added to them or mysteries that are pretty hardboiled until the final scene when the audience discovers the killer was an 900-year-old vampire. TV shows and films count, too, especially if they are in any way tied to a book or graphic novel.

Everyone is welcome.

If you’re interested in being interviewed, I’ll need the following things from you:

 Answers to the Following Questions

  1. What was the first speculative story you ever remember reading?
  2. Who is your favourite author? Why?
  3. What do you like most about the genre(s) you read?
  4. More and more authors seem to be writing cross-genre stories these days. How do you feel about this trend?
  5. If you could name a pet after one character, which character would you choose? Why?
  6. What fictional world would you never want to visit?
  7. What fictional world would you want to visit?
  8. 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?
  9. Which series do you think should be made into a TV show or film next?
  10. Which TV show or film do you think should be turned into a book?

If you are an author or other creative person, feel free to substitute some of these questions for a few of the ones above or answer them all for extra credit:

  1. What is the most unusual or interesting way you’ve come up with an idea for one of your creative works?
  2. 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?
  3. What is your favourite trope?
  4. What tropes do you try to avoid in your stories?


A Short Biography 

Tell us who you are in a few sentences. Feel free to drop links to your website/blog, social media accounts, or similar pages if you’d like to.

A Photo 

Send a photo of yourself, the cover of a book you’ve written (if applicable), the logo from your site, or any other bookish subject matter.

Email your answers to interviews@lydiaschoch.com

There is no time limit on this offer. I will share your submissions once they begin to arrive and continue on for as long as there continues to be interest in this project.

These interviews have tentatively been assigned to Thursdays, although this may change depending on how many of them are sent in.

I’m looking forward to seeing what you all come up with!

My Interview at Downright Dystopian

I was recently interviewed about books, blogging, and other bookish things by Krystianna at her blog, Downright Dystopian. Click here to read it. If any of my followers would like to be one of her future interviewees, this post of hers will give you all of the information you need to sign up for that… Read More