In fiction writing, I typically begin with the mid-point crisis or a nutshell prologue that introduces an enduring mystery. This scene will be rewritten many times, yet for me, the introduction of a core dilemma centers the framework of the story, and from this, I can work out the rest based on how reader generally experience a story. Once I have the basic dilemma in hand, I spend an equal effort writing farther back in time to pre-place symbols and ideas that will be used later, and add a series of conflicts that drive to a conclusion based on the earlier material. Once everything is written end-to-end, I rewrite and rework the whole thing several dozen times through before handing it out for reader comments -- then another dozen or more edits end-to-end after that.
Why is the Lengend of Cyclone Young free?
The painful reason is simple. By making one story free, I am hoping to show the world that I exist and that my other writing is worth the purchase price. All other stories are listed solely on Amazon Kindle. This may change over time.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I had no other option. The book publishing business no longer functions beyond a simple logistical business model that sells books by authors who already have a brand name. Except in extremely rare instances, most writers are entirely ignored by the publishing industry---an industry that does not read books, edit books, or even care about the content of books beyond how many they might sell. For this reason, emerging writers are on their own to make a name for themselves. Fortunately, readers can find indie work and decide for themselves.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. If there no one read my books, I would have no reason to write.
How do you approach cover design?
For an ebook, I keep is simple -- clear text and a photo or artwork that feels appropriate. For something printed in hard-copy, I'd hire a graphic artist who specializes in book covers.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest 'latest' book is called Inducing Reality: The Holy Grail of Storytelling in Video Games. As a storyteller, I was convinced that building a story into a video game was possible and likely to improve the gaming experience. In practice, this turned out to be true, and based on what I learned, I wrote an online series of seven essays on the topic for my fellow game designers. This book has a target audience of video games, yet it is also a concise introduction to storytelling for all media. Much to my amazement, these essays became required reading at at least three university film programs. The thoroughly updated release (~100 pages) is due for early August, 2016 on Kindle (at least initially) for $2.99.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I am a research scientist and I spend a lot of time studying the moons of Mars. At lot of my work with physics modeling for objects in space is derived from physic engines I once used to design video games. Evey thing we do in life builds toward something new. Writing fiction for me is simply the latest layer in a life full of amazing experiences.
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