My interview this week is with first time author Sean Robins.
Sean’s debut novel, The Crimson Deathbringer has been doing quite well since its release in early May.
Thanks, Sean, for being my guest this week.
About Writing/Books/Being an Author
1. Do you remember the first book you read that had an impact on you – in what way and what was the name of that book?
Dick Sands the Boy Captain by Jules Verne. I was 8 years old at the time. That book opened up a new world for me and turned me into the bookworm I have been ever since.
2. When did you first realize you wanted to write?
I’d always wanted to be a writer. This is literally a childhood dream, one of those you give up when you grow up. In fourth and fifth grade I used to write short comedy stories that the teachers led me read out for the rest of the students at school.
3. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?
My favorite author is Jim Butcher (The Dresden Files), which is probably how I ended up writing in a first-person POV with the same light-hearted, funny tone as he does. The fact that my MC’s name is Jim is purely coincidental though.
4. Where do your ideas come from?
This needs some background information: I have got purely obsessional OCD. What this means is a thought enters my mind—usually something negative—and doesn’t leave. I end up having to think about it 5000 times a day, and once this starts, my life is ruined for a week, two weeks, a month, or six months. I’d tried a lot of different ways to get rid of this problem: therapy, medication, meditation… Nothing ever worked, until I read an article that said the people who had this problem had an overly active imagination, and it would help if they channeled it into something productive, like writing.
I had the story of The Crimson Deathbringer in my mind for years (even started writing it and stopped a few times). When I read that article, I was going through a tough time in my marriage (fighting with your wife is no fun, even for sane people), and my mind had gone into its life-destroying over-drive, so I told myself, “Well, you’ve tried everything else, let’s give this a shot.” And then a miracle happened.
My mind put the same energy it used to put into producing BS and making my life miserable into coming up with stories. Ideas would come to me fast and furious, and I had to stop whatever I was doing several times a day to write them down. I’ve been OCD-free since then (I know, I sound like a recovering alcoholic). When TCD (cool, eh?) was finished, it took my out-of-control brain half a day to plan my second novel, which is about a nerdy scientist and a sexy female mercenary who use a time machine to defeat an alien invasion.
5. I’ve often found that creative people have more than one talent, what is yours?
Does stand-up comedy count as talent? 🙂
6. If you could jump inside a book for one day (as an observer) what book would it be?
Any Star Trek novel/movie you can think of.
7. When you create characters are they completely made up or do they resemble or remind you of people you know?
People I know. You know the Ukrainian girl in The Crimson Deathbringer? My wife, who is also Ukrainian, says, “You thiefed (!!) my life story.”
8. Have you ever created a character “out of thin air” only to run into someone in real life that reminds you of that character either in personality or their features?
No. It’s normally the other way around.
9. How do you come up with titles for your books?
I was torn between “Winterfell”, “Tarq’s Gambit” and “The Crimson Deathbringer”. I chose the last one because it sounded cool. 🙂
A Little More Personal
10. Do you have a favourite vacation spot? Where?
Kiev, Ukraine. That city is heaven on Earth.
11. If you aren’t writing (or doing anything associated with writing), what are you doing?
I have a day job: I am a college/university level English teacher. When I am not working or writing, I spend my time watching movies, reading or swimming.
“Who am I? I am Spiderman.”
Well, not really, but this should tell you all you need to know about me and my writing style.I’m a huge Marvel (plus Game of Thrones, Star Trek AND Star Wars) fan, which shows since my novel is loaded with pop culture references. If you are a sci-fi fan you will enjoy them tremendously. I even went full Deadpool in my first draft and broke the fourth wall multiple times, until my editor told it was distracting and kept taking her out of the moment. Shame. Those fourth-wall breaks were hilarious. Still, I can guarantee a few laugh-out-loud moments. Case in point: The “good” aliens in my novel are a race of pranksters, whose main goal in life is pulling other people’s legs (They have four legs, hence the slight change in the idiom).
The Akakies, a technologically advanced species also known as the “Galaxy’s Pranksters”, are under attack by the Xortaags, a military race bent on conquering the universe. But Tarq, the Akakies’ chief strategist and legendary prankster, has a plan. Meanwhile on Earth, Jim – a wise-cracking, movie-quoting, OCD-suffering fighter pilot with an infuriating ability to take nothing seriously – is about to propose to his girlfriend Liz, when his childhood friend Kurt abruptly shows up at his house, covered in blood. Soon after, their lives are set on a crash course with a galactic war that threatens the very existence of the human race.
Can our heroes save humanity from the wrath of an overwhelming enemy?