This week’s guest post is an interview with the wonder Ian Kennedy, author of the Broken Cosmos trilogy.
Q01 – When did you decide you wanted to become a writer?
I have always enjoyed writing, since I was in primary school. It is one of the reasons that I did a law degree at university when I left school.
I was published a couple of times in my university’s writers’ journal with some short stories.
But my major writing did not happen until a couple of years ago when I was becoming jaded with law employment after my graduation, and so I decided to try my hand at writing a novel. Soon enough it turned into a trilogy, which is published now on Amazon. (See below for links).
Q02 – Are there any authors who inspire you?
There are three authors who really inspire me: JK Rowling, for turning her dream into a wonderfully rich world to not just read, but to inhabit. Terry Pratchett, for very much the same reason. And, this is a little weird, Charles Dickens, for his wonderful characters and portrayals of scenes. Bleak House by Charles Dickens is one of my all time favourite novels.
Q03 – What is your dream goal for your writing?
To reach as many people as possible and to get them to live in the strange world that exists between my ears. Hopefully they enjoy it…
Q04 – What is the title (or working title) of your current manuscript and can you tell us a little bit about it?
My current manuscript is the Broken Cosmos trilogy. Volume 1: Florida Station, Volume 2: Martian Flight, and Volume 3: Neptune’s War. It is published, as of last week, on Amazon.
It is a science fiction space opera style trilogy that is inspired by cyberpunk and dystopian ideas and is an adventure through our Solar System that deals with war, addiction, mental health, and humanity.
It follows the journey of Alfred from his home on Florida Space Station that orbits Jupiter. Alfred is a zetter: a technician that plugs his brain into the station’s computer network via a lead to debug the system. Zetting is addictive and dangerous, but a massive rush.
Alfred uncovers evidence of conspiracies and treason and it takes him down an uncharted path.
Q05 – How long have you been working on this manuscript?
I have been working on the Broken Cosmos trilogy for a few years now. It has come to fruition and now I need to work on another manuscript. I have some ideas. In a few more years’ time we will see what eventuates.
Q06 – Do you plan your stories or just leap into the writing?
I plan, or at least I make an initial plan and think about the characters’ characters before I start writing. I brainstorm the aspects of the story I want to explore then I think over a few days/weeks what I want the basic plot and story to be.
Then I start writing. Often things change as I’m writing and better stories or characters are made clear through the development of the story, but I do plan to some extent. It helps cut down the editing process if you plan a bit.
Q07 – Do you have a writing routine?
I try to write or edit every weekday. I treat it like a job. I sit down at my computer, put on some music I like, and I write my 1200-2000 words (arbitrary goals I know, but I like to stick to them. I find I can do 1200 to 2000 words in a couple of hours).
After that, I stop writing but I do not stop thinking about my stories. I plan. I brainstorm. I work out character plot lines and new subplots. It is a blessing and a curse to be a writer: it can be great fun creating stories, but your characters never leave you.
If I am not writing anything then I will be editing some other story that I have written. I try to stick with editing for as long as I can during the day. I have no arbitrary goals there. I just keep at it until my eyes glaze over and I cannot edit anymore that day.
Q08 – What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?
Probably editing my own work and making changes to my “wonderful” drafts. But for help with this I have some fantastic beta readers and I know to be harsh to my own ideas.
If I am not interested in what I am reading, my readers will not be either, so it must be cut! I also find preparing the book for publication to be difficult, as I get anxious at that point that there might still be problems with the manuscript.
Q09 – What are your thoughts on Self Publishing vs Traditional Publishing?
I have self published on Amazon. It seems a great platform and it has really increased the options for new writers like myself. Getting your book seen in the vast sea of other books is a bit of a problem though. I do see the point of traditional publication though, and some people want to go through that, but the freedom of self publication is great.
Although as I am in Australia it has its flaws: their KDP and CreateSpace businesses do not distribute paperbacks to Australia, so all those people who want physical copies of my books cannot have them.
But the way I did my trilogy meant that self publication was probably the best distribution method. In the future, I will probably at least try to traditionally publish just to see if I can go down that road, but to start with, I self published.
Q10 – What is the single best piece of advice you could give to new writers?
As I am a new writer myself, I have little advice to offer. All I can say is, if you want to write, then write. Write as much and as well as you can. Just write. The rest will come later.
Q11 – Are there any authors you would love to meet in person?
The authors I would love to meet in person are those three who I found very inspirational: JK Rowling, Terry Pratchett, and Charles Dickens.
Unfortunately, Pratchett and Dickens are dead, and I very much doubt I would ever meet JK Rowling. But those are the three I would love to meet and talk about their writing processes and story creation.
Q12 – Tells us why you love writing
I can create worlds. Through the musings of my mind I can create characters, worlds, and emotions that affect people, and those people read to be affected. It is a wonderful gift and just to hear my beta readers say how interesting my stories are is a great boost to the ego.
Also, if I do not write/edit on a weekday, I feel empty; I feel restless; I feel agitated. I have to write or at least work on something to do with writing, otherwise I feel somehow, wrong. It is a good thing to be a writer.
Florida Station: Broken Cosmos Volume One
It is the 26th century. Zetting is the process of debugging a computer system by inserting a needle into one’s skull and navigating the computer’s circuits with one’s consciousness. Zetting is addictive and dangerous, but a huge rush.
Alfred is a zetter. He lives and works on the run-down Florida Station, a space station orbiting Jupiter, controlled by the Solar Solutions Corporation.
Alfred uncovers evidence of a conspiracy during a zet. It leads him down a path that will endanger everything he holds dear as he figures out what is going wrong on Florida Station.
Draz is a scavenger on a destroyed Earth ruled over by the Collective Zone. She becomes caught up in a civil war that has raged for decades after she finds an ancient hard drive, while scavenging, that contains important plans. To put things right she has to fight for her survival in a hostile Solar System.
Artisius, the captain of the merchant ship Green Dragon, must negotiate a passage between Solar Solutions and the Collective Zone, which are in a state of cold war. He is trying to make a not so honest living.
Never underestimate the power, and the danger, of hope.
For sale on Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/ikennedy
Connect with Ian
Author website: www.ikennedyauthor.com
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