Interview with Bill Parker

What's the story behind your latest book?
Five Moons: Resurrection is the story of Dallas Blake. By the end of the Corporate War, he had lost everything: his wife, his daughter, his whole family. He was a man in need of far more than just a new beginning. What Dallas needed was a resurrection. Five Moons: Resurrection is the story of his crew of misfits, every bit in need of resurrection as Dallas.
Dallas went to the Union Fleet space docs to buy a war surplus scout-class ship. Instead, he unknowingly buys the Tesseract. Its alien technology and artificial life forms become mysteries that he must solve as the action-packed rescue of Emma from more than just the mercenaries that kidnapped her leads Dallas and the crew of the Five Moons into danger.
Between the mysteries of the ship and the danger all around, the action never stops for Dallas Blake. But Dallas is outworlder to the nines and ready for whatever life throws at him, except maybe for Mariah. She is extremely smart and multi-talented, but she can drive a sane man crazy and frequently does. And, oh, by the way, did I mention that Mariah is techno?
However, I must warn you – this is not your father’s science fiction. It is funny. It is a love story. It is a mystery. It is science fiction with the full flavor and robust action of a guns-blazing Western. It is full contact, take no prisoners sci-fi that doesn’t quit on your mind to the very last word.
Why do you write?
Because I have to. It’s not possible for me not to write.
What genre are your books?
Science fiction, action adventure, love stories, mysteries… I guess my science fiction crosses all the boundaries. You might say that I think outside the box. Unless it was a thirteen-dimensional quantum box, of course. But then you might have a hard time defining the ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ of such a box.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I used to write stories that I liked. I thought they were very good. Several readers thought so too, but we all were wrong. They were not good enough to publish. As hard as I tried, all I got were rejections. Why? Because publishers demand perfection. And so I got a copyeditor and discovered how imperfect my ‘good’ stories were. But that was still not enough. And then I got another rejection!
“What are you talking about?! I can write the ass off of that story!” I cried out in anger. It was like my head suddenly exploded. She made me so mad that I began to write my anger, my passion. I turned up the heat until the pages burned, and I did write the ass off of that story. I wrote my first real novel in six weeks as I rehabbed from shoulder surgery. I sold that story to a publisher in 19 days and I never turned back.
Now I am my own harshest critic. Every word of all my work is meticulously edited and re-edited until I am happy with it. It is then copyedited and proofread by my own select reader group. All of their comments are addressed. I only send my publisher my best work, period.
I am determined to burn every one of my readers to the ground with every story that I write.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you?
I am the worst pantser to the nth degree. I say that, but that starts with strong, well-defined characters. The characters write the stories. I don’t. I wear the characters like a second skin. I become them. I don’t think the story. I become the story.
What are you working on next?
Five Moons: Zep Tepi
Before the time of man, according to the ancient legends, the gods walked the earth. The Egyptians had a name for this time. They called it ‘Zep Tepi’ -- the First Time. That time is where this story began in a place called Gobekli Tepe. But something went horribly wrong along the way. It took a Great Flood to cleanse the Earth of that terrible wrong. Mankind continued on his way, but the story didn’t end there. Five Moons: Zep Tepi picks up the story ten thousand years later, on a distant outworld known only as Soloreon-3…
In the beginning was the ship. And the ship was a light unto mankind. And the light shines into the darkness. But the darkness does not comprehend the light. And so the ship took a name unto itself -- the Five Moons.
It all started with an emergency call from a world at the farthest edges of explored space.
“You are our only hope,” they told Dallas Blake and the crew of the Five Moons. A deadly virus would kill them all if the Five Moons didn’t get the vaccine to them right away. But, like every other mission the Five Moons has taken on, this was but the tip of the proverbial iceberg. To save these people, Emma would have to pull a quantum rabbit out of her hat, and Dallas would be in for the fight of his life.
One thing was for certain: someone tried to kill these people, all of them, but why? Hunting down a mass murderer was a job for Special Forces, but they could use all of the help they could get. None of the clues made any sense. Every step they took was one step closer to killing all living things on Soloreon-3, but how were they to know that when they started?
Except the mysteries didn’t end there. Like, where had these people come from, and, with no modern technology, how did they get here? The answers to those questions would test the Five Moons and its crew to its very limits. It would bring dark forces out of hiding. It would bring the planet to the brink of war.
But the Five Moons was the Nexus of Fates. It had chosen each member of the crew for a reason. It chose Iyo and Dallas to save the ship. It chose Mariah, Jessica, Jane, and Henry. It chose them all to save Emma and Sophie. It chose them all to be a light unto mankind, but the light was not yet complete. Then it chose Star, but it wasn’t done with them yet. Its next choice would become a light, shining into the darkness.
Any advice for aspiring authors?
WRITE YOUR PASSION! There. Did I say that loud enough? It is the single most important thing you will ever do as a writer.
Which writers inspire you?
Ian Fleming was the first. I read James Bond novels in high school. Then Robert Heinlein. Wow. His books became and obsession.
How do you approach cover design?
Steeped in the story, I first look at all kinds of background images on the major stock photo sites. Then I pick one of the major characters to feature on the cover. Then I pick a major event inside the heart of the story. Now close your eyes and see the cover. A lot of images will go through your mind, but one of them will be the EUREKA image. Now take all of that, the background, the character, the event, and the picture in your mind and give that to a professional cover artist. Give her your vision and let her run with it. Then she can send you some draft covers and you can work from there.

Sometimes, I start out looking for a background image, but find a main character. It has to be a very open process. I find it much more reasonable to goto a professional cover artist such as Tatiana Villa than to pay for software and then pay for image rights and then try to do it myself. I am a lousy artist. Tatiana is incredible. I use her because she does such wonderful work for me, but there are quite a few excellent cover artists out there.

Believe me; I would much rather be writing than struggling with cover art. It is worth every penny of their fee.
Tell us something unique about you.
I am a crazy man, but it’s a good crazy.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Please visit my website at fivemoons.org. Please read my free short stories here on Smashwords. Like me on Facebook. Pin me on Pinterest.
Published 2016-02-26.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Legend of the Crystal Dragon
Series: Scifi Short Stories by Bill Parker. Price: Free! Words: 4,320. Language: English. Published: January 17, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
(4.50 from 2 reviews)
This is the story of a legendary starship. It was made out to be a pirate vessel, but was it really? Memories of the truth had faded over time and the people of Benara-3 had forgotten the truth. But the Jatarians did not forget ...
Life 2.147
Series: Scifi Short Stories by Bill Parker. Price: Free! Words: 3,610. Language: English. Published: January 16, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Science fiction » Hard sci-fi
(4.00 from 2 reviews)
Life has an energy all its own. It thrives where no one would ever believe. It clings to the smallest toehold. It flourishes given any chance at all. Jane Markett was an up-and-coming exo-archeologist.. She was not about to let a bunch of stodgy, slow colleagues slow down her search for Zat-Mat-Kut, an ancient alien religious site. What happened, though, was not what anybody expected.