Interview with Gabe Sluis

What book should I read first?
I recommend checking out Beyond The Gate first. It's a collection of short stories, so you can try little bites of my work and see if you wanna bite off something bigger. There is lots of connections in BTG, so it's also a good place to find tie-ins to the novels as well as the trio of stories that led to the creation of ARROW OF TIME!! Check out the podcast Tales From The Multiverse on iTunes for weekly audio versions of my work.
Give me a down and dirty inside description of each your books.
Easy:

OWTT- This is all about the character at the center of my universe. It is the end of his story, an epic journey through existence where he tells how it all started. It's a bit slow on the uptake, but I love it to death and the story I'm most proud of.

SJ- My best friends dad died, and I wanted to write a story about it. Inspired by ideas close to home, I wanted to bring to life the type of relationship childhood friends have. One big thing I really wanted to do was capture the essence of the stories we tell from our past. My friend had a new girlfriend and we were telling her funny stories about the two of us growing up. I told one story that made my friend bust up, and he admitted that he had forgotten all about that instance. The act of recording ideas like that was very satisfying for me, because now they cannot be forgotten. Thats what this book is to me, a token to fight off our own forgetfulness as well as a huge tribute to my two best friends. But it's all fiction. I've never thrown poop at anyone...

BTG- A conglomerate of old and new shorts I had written up to this point. I think this is my favorite short collection so far (even though I feel Movement is a bit more mature). It's stories from beyond the chaos gate that Aros goes through in OWTT. These are snapshots of his adventures during the time he is still roaming the levels of existence.

5DoP- Pimu is the old Indian name for Catilina island. It's not my favorite, but I enjoyed writing each story and building it into a collection. There are some highlights, a Non-Fiction essay that some may find funny as well as a little story about the Death of Aros. Once again, lots of tie-ins with other stories.

AOT- In the Army I was taught, crawl, walk, then run. This is my run. It's a time travel story with all the crazy things that make you scratch your head and wonder about causality that you expect from this genera. I wanted the description to read: 'Lizard-men, clones, and war robots, oh my!' But that was shot down. Even though this is less personal to me than stuff like SJ, I really love this book and I think it came out amazing.

Movement- Another collection with some tie ins to SJ, a few of the 19 other stories, and a bit from AOT. I tried to channel some O.S. Card for the story 'If Your Right Hand...' with all the differing logical opinions that can befall a single idea. AOT came directly out of some stories in BTG, so you never know what story may be a the starting point for future works!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the woods of Northern California. My parents moved our family to a five acre plot because my dad didn't want his boys to grow up in a city. I think this was a huge shaping point in my life; growing up exploring the woods and playing in my tree fort. I think my care free childhood spent in this type of environment fostered my imagination into a love for Sci-Fi and Fantasy.
When did you first start writing?
I tried writing here and there, my whole life. I would rarely finish things because I could see the lack of skills I possessed. After reading Steven King's 'On Writing,' I decided if I really wanted to get some of this stuff I saw in my head onto paper, I needed to read a lot first. So I did. My senior year of college, almost 10 years after I started devouring books, I began work on my first novel.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest full book I have published on here is called Arrow Of Time, but it's under the author G. Sluis. It's not hard to find if you look. There was an issue with my awesome publisher, Mythic Dragon, in being able to use 'Gabe Sluis,' when I already had for my free stuff. Not a big deal, so here is the story: wanted to write a time travel story for my third novel. I was playing around with ideas and came up with the trio of stories that start with The Treasure Map in my short story collection Beyond The Gate, just for fun, and realized I could keep on going with the story! So I did, and it became Arrow of Time. I'm super proud of all the hard work I put into this book, as well as getting it published. You should really check it out! I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The catch-22 of trying to get published. Unsolicited manuscripts are nearly impossible to get in the hands of publishers, you need an agent. Agents don't want to take you on without compensation unless you have been published. So thats fine. My aim is to build street cred, while I get better at writing, by self publishing. Maybe after a few attempts, lots of downloads and nice reviews, I will have the gravity to break into the cycle.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has been super great, a real advocate for the little guy. Having my stuff available in tons of different formats as well as shipping to the big ePublishers, is super awesome. I doubt I'd have half the readers if it was not for smashwords. So if you read my stuff, drop a quick review. I'd love to know how you stumbled on my stuff!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
A couple of things. First, The ability to do absolutely anything I want with what I write. There are no rules when you are in charge. Its freeing and super exciting at the same time. Second, when the climax of a story starts to come together, I love the way it takes over me and I cant stop till its done. Last is something i really experienced in my latest book; it is something I was told about, but now really understand. The ending. I knew how I hoped the book would end, but had no idea how it was going to end. The book really takes on its own life.
What do your fans mean to you?
I bet most are family and friends, which means a lot to me. But, to the people who stumble upon me and take a chance on reading my stuff, that is really cool. Every time I see that another person has downloaded my book or placed it in their library, I get a huge smile on my face.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It was probably some version of Legends of the Dark Star, a chapter in Other Worlds. I had to write stories and stuff for school, but this idea was the first I went after unprompted. The idea of Aros has been on my mind since I was fourteen.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The Hobbit, way before it was required in school. I found a copy in a storage cabinet of my dad's stuff. It was like a secret, ancient thing I found. I hid it from everyone and it was my first little taste of the magic certain stories contain.
How do you approach cover design?
I want mine to stand out, to look like a real person made it. Not the polished stuff most book covers get. That's why I make all my own covers, in one way or another. I may be too DIY for my own good.
Published 2016-05-06.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Everything Follows
Price: Free! Words: 26,050. Language: English. Published: October 18, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
A collection of ten science fiction and fantasy short stories by Gabe Sluis.
Arrow Of Time
Price: Free! Words: 57,470. Language: English. Published: September 14, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure, Fiction » Science fiction » Hard sci-fi
(4.00 from 1 review)
Time Coins Stolen! An Impossible Crime And The Thief Remains At Large! Greg Thompson is nothing more than an average 16-year-old boy living a carefree life in Grass Valley, California. But that all changes when he witnesses a hit and run accident. Before the homeless man dies, he hands Greg a handwritten notebook leading to a treasure cache.
Drake the Pit Bull Puppy
Price: Free! Words: 180. Language: English. Published: April 4, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Animals
(5.00 from 1 review)
A children's picture book- Drake tries to get a pair of wings just like the Blue Jay.
Movement
Price: Free! Words: 26,390. Language: English. Published: January 31, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
A collection of nine Sci-Fi and Fantasy short stories by Gabe Sluis
Five Days on Pimu
Price: Free! Words: 16,990. Language: English. Published: June 19, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
(3.00 from 2 reviews)
A collection of seven Sci-fi and Fantasy short stories by Gabe Sluis.
Beyond The Gate
Price: Free! Words: 27,100. Language: English. Published: November 6, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
(4.00 from 2 reviews)
A collection of twelve Sci-Fi and Fantasy short stories by Gabe Sluis.
Saving John
Price: Free! Words: 51,370. Language: English. Published: October 11, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
(3.50 from 2 reviews)
In the vein of Ray Bradbury's "The Halloween Tree," this fantasy adventure follows three friends on their quest to stop a deranged survivalist that has eluded capture and is known as the Redwood Reaper.
Other Worlds Than These
Price: Free! Words: 40,350. Language: English. Published: January 9, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
In 2217, an unknown race of aliens attack Tellus, an alternate/parallel version of Earth. After a brief invasion attempt, the aliens, nicknamed Scalies, are pushed back. A Rift in space is left by the aliens leading to another system.