Interview with Kyle Pratt

When did you start writing?
I read novels for many years before I ever seriously considered writing one. Often, as I read a book, I would think, I would have done this or that with the plot or characters. I wrote a short story titled Grandma’s House in 1985 while living in Japan and then another three short stories while deployed on board ships in the Pacific before and during the Gulf War, in late 1990 & 1991, but I didn’t even try to get these published at the time.

It wasn’t until I retired from the navy and started attending a local writer’s critique group that I learned enough, and grew confident enough, of my writing to attempt a novel. Twenty-seven years after writing the original draft of Grandma’s House, I released my first novel, Titan Encounter, in July of 2012.
Which books and writers have influenced you?
I didn’t start reading novels until I was in Middle School. The first book I read was Starman Jones by Robert A. Heinlein. After that, I read all of Heinlein’s works. I read many of the science fiction novels of Arthur C. Clark and Isaac Asimov, including his Foundation series.

Also during my teen years I started reading end-of-the-world books, a genre we now call post-apocalyptic. The first book in this genre I read was, The Earth Abides, by George Stewart. Later came books like Alas Babylon, On the Beach, Lucifer’s Hammer and many more.

I have never stopped reading and the list of authors that I enjoy continues to expand.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Yes, the first book I read was Starman Jones by Robert A. Heinlein. The year was 1970 and I was in the eighth grade. My family had recently moved to a very rural area of Colorado, beyond the reach of television and most radio. One day in desperation for entertainment I borrowed the book from my sister who was also interested in science fiction. I never gave the book back to her and still have that original paperback copy of Starman Jones in my library. That book taught that reading could be fun. I doubt that I would have ever written a story if I hadn’t first learned to enjoy reading.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When my first three books were published I still taught in the Alaskan Yup’ik Eskimo village of Eek. This tiny village of about 300 people is in the Yukon, Kuskokwim delta region of Western Alaska. There are no roads to this village, so you get here either by bush plane or cross country via snowmobile. The school is by far the biggest building in the village and a big part of the social life of the community. Since there are only a few teachers, we stay busy. Writing was what I did in my spare time.

Now I am a full-time writer. I live on a small hobby farm in western Washington state. On the farm, my wife and I grow a large garden, tend an orchard and raise chickens. I also keep two hives of bees and, of course, I read.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, it is a short story titled Grandma’s House. It is a Twilight Zone style sci-fi mystery. I wrote the first draft in 1985 and will soon be giving it away free on my website.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I do most of my reading on a Kindle Fire, but I also have an iPad, a PC with Windows 8 on it. All of the devices have at least one ereader system on them.
What’s the best thing about being a writer?
I enjoy many things about being a writer. However, one thing I really enjoy is the commute. When I taught in the Yupik Eskimo village of Eek, the commute from my apartment to the school was 34 steps. Such a short commute was helpful on days the temperature was -40, but now my commute is shorter, six steps from my bedroom to my office chair—and the temperature is much more pleasant.

The other thing I enjoy is the freedom. I devote the morning hours of the workweek to writing and I rarely allow any deviation from that schedule, but I set up that schedule and, if necessary, can adjust and shift it. Having that freedom every day is fantastic.
How do you deal with writer’s block?
I’m a pantser (seat of the pants) writer and never write a story in a linear way. Sometimes, I have a limited outline, but often I’ll write the last chapter and then the first and figure out the middle as I write. With many author this does lead to writer’s block. However, since I don’t write in a linear way, I have the freedom to work on any part of the story that I feel inspired about that day. So, if I wake up with an idea that inspires me, I work on that.

Another way I get around writer’s block is by working on several stories so if I have difficulty with one, I can take a break from it and work on another.
Published 2014-12-13.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Grandma’s House
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,750. Language: American English. Published: October 9, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
A man wakes up after an accident, or does he? A cold rain poured down in torrents as Marcus Donaldson drove home from work a few days before Christmas. His car slid on the wet pavement and then everything went dark. He wakes up staring into a blue sky surrounded by tall green grass. Then he heard a scream. Kyle Pratt is an Amazon bestselling author of post-apocalyptic and science fiction novels
The Promise
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,020. Language: American English. Published: October 7, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Military
Do the spirits of the dead in space return home or drift forever between worlds? His father died in the war years ago. Now his grown son will leave the planet of his birth with his wife and son, but his mother refuses to go unless they first visit an old war memorial on a desolate part of the planet.
Infinite Darkness
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,220. Language: American English. Published: October 7, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Military
A young man wakes up and discovers he is the new guy in an army unit on an alien world. Infinite Darkness, my third tale in the Final Duty universe, examines one day in the life of Denton Alexander, caught in combat on an alien world. I quizzed my youngest son, an Army veteran, for procedural details while writing it.
Doppelganger Smile
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,300. Language: American English. Published: October 7, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
On a leisurely sailing trip with her boyfriend, a sudden squall hurls Lisa into the raging sea. Sinking ever deeper she knows death is certain. Then she stares into the eyes of another woman with her in the waters. The woman looks just like her.
Strengthen What Remains Stories
Price: $1.89 USD. Words: 33,420. Language: English. Published: November 1, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Men’s adventure, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
America is under siege! This set includes two stories from the bestselling Strengthen What Remains series. In Nightmare in Slow Motion, Peter helps with the evacuation of Seattle when terrorists explode a nuclear bomb. In The Long Way Home, five cities have been decimated by nuclear bombs when Trevor Westmore sets out to bring Sue, his pregnant daughter-in-law, to the safety of the family farm.
Strengthen What Remains
Price: $8.99 USD. Words: 247,530. Language: English. Published: August 26, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
America is under siege! All five books of the nuclear terrorism series, Strengthen What Remains, are included in this box set. First is the bestselling novel, Through Many Fires, followed by the bestselling sequel, A Time to Endure and the bestseller, Braving the Storms. Also included are the novella, A Long Way Home, and the novelette, Nightmare in Slow Motion, over 245,000 words in total.
The Long Way Home
Series: Strengthen What Remains, Book 5. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 20,940. Language: English. Published: July 15, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action
Five cities had already been decimated by nuclear terrorism when Trevor Westmore sets out to bring Sue, his pregnant daughter-in-law, home to the safety of the family farm. He also hopes to find his daughter Lisa and bring her home. But, almost immediately upon finding Sue, in the suburbs of Seattle, terrorists detonate another nuclear bomb and the two must flee amid the chaos and fallout.
Nightmare in Slow Motion
Series: Strengthen What Remains, Book 4. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 13,190. Language: English. Published: April 16, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action
Police officer Peter Westmore is helping with the evacuation of Seattle when terrorists explode a nuclear bomb. In the novel A Time to Endure we glimpse the end of Peter’s life. In that novel his brother Caden, on a mission to destroy gangs and terrorists living on the fringe of the Seattle blast zone, goes to his older brother’s abandoned home and discovers Peter’s body.
Braving the Storms
Series: Strengthen What Remains, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 77,810. Language: English. Published: December 18, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
Braving the Storms, is the third book of the Strengthen What Remains series. In this latest novel, new and even more lethal problem emerges. A swift and deadly flu epidemic sweeps out of overcrowded FEMA camps and strikes the nation with horrific results. Caden Westmore struggles to keep his family and community safe, while others use the plague to advance their own military and political agendas.
A Time to Endure
Series: Strengthen What Remains, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 66,360. Language: English. Published: December 12, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
In the second book of the Strengthen What Remains series, A Time to Endure, the nation’s economy teeters on the verge of collapse. The dollar plunges, inflation runs rampant, and the next civil war threatens the wounded country. In the face of panic, and growing hunger, Caden Westmore struggles to keep his family and town together. But how can he save his community when the nation is collapsing?
Through Many Fires
Series: Strengthen What Remains, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 72,820. Language: English. Published: November 3, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Adventure » Action
Terrorists smuggle a nuclear bomb into Washington D.C. and detonate it during the State of the Union Address. Army veteran and congressional staffer Caden Westmore is in nearby Bethesda and watches as a mushroom cloud grows over the capital. The next day, as he drives away from the still burning city, he learns that another city has been destroyed and then another. America is under siege.