Interview with Thomas Walker

What are you working on next?
I'm currently working on a further two short stories set in the same timeline as my first two, as well as a stand-alone fantasy novel.
Who are your favorite authors?
Kevin J. Anderson and Alastair Reynolds. Anderson got me into reading in the first place, transferring my love for television science fiction into one of sci-fi literature at an early age, whilst Reynolds has what is, in my opinion, a unique ability to paint vast, fascinating, detailed science fiction universes whilst at the same time creating inspiring, moving and thrilling character stories.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The knowledge that I am always capable of achieving more than I currently am, and that there is a world, not to mention a universe, waiting for me to see and explore.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Being a nerd, basically. I spend a lot of time traveling the country (or others) perusing my other interests in transport, architecture and photography. I also devote a lot of time to reading about science, especially astronomy.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Certainly. It was called 'Night Light'. I wrote it at the age of 10 and it was essentially a massive rip-off of Stargate SG-1. Nevertheless I still find myself looking back to it and borrowing names and elements to this day.
What is your writing process?
Create a word document to serve as a bible for the story. This will include a chapter-by-chapter story summary, planned out in full before I type a word, a character list with basic features of each major player, an in-canon timeline and a space below all that for important continuity notes. Then I'll write the book in the order it'll be read, usually going off the track I've set out in the chapter plan a bit and editing that as I go. After that I'll go back and re-read several times, tweaking as I go, sometimes adding in extra chapters where I've made too much of a plot jump. After that I'll bounce it around trusted friends for opinions, make final edits and call it a day.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Not really. Ann Fine's Step by Wicked Step was an early one though. That made me realise reading was something I enjoyed.
How do you approach cover design?
Being a photographer I'm already fairly adept with photo-manipulation so it's really not something I give much thought. I use a combination of Paint.NET and GIMP (both free) to create the effects I want. Often I'll use NASA photography as it's copyright-free most of the time, editing that and mixing it to create scenes from the story.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Alastair Reynold's Century Rain, as it just knocked me off my feet. Kevin J. Anderson's Of Fire and Night, which I loved so much I wrote a song about it. Frank Herbert's Dune, for teaching me to 'stick at it' even when a book seems impossible to get into. Douglas Adams' Restaurant at the End of the Universe for its laughs and sheer bizarre intrigue, and lastly probably Arthur Conan Doyle's 'The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' collection.
What do you read for pleasure?
Whatever takes my fancy really. About 60% sci-fi, with the rest being a mix of classical literature and whatever friends or other influences have turned me onto.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Milton Keynes. My first book, 'Night Light', was set here, and this city's modern style and layout has probably given me some of my love of urban environments and futuristic imagery. At some point I'll return to using it as a location.
Published 2013-11-05.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Kingston's Legacy & Nothing but the Stars
Series: The Unity Saga, Episodes 1 & 2. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 25,540. Language: English. Published: May 14, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
In Kingston's Legacy, the failed assassination of a dictator begins a series of events that will dramatically change one planet's future. In Nothing but the Stars, a stranded cargo ship meets a frightening new threat in the emptiness of deep space. These two short science fiction stories that offer the first look at an expansive and varied future universe.