Lit Literature member interviews

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Point Given, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. patchworkz7 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2004
    star 4

    17) I think Republic Commando was wonderful because Ryan Kaufman and team really managed to capture a lot of different things and had you said; "First person shooter Star Wars style!" I would have rolled my eyes, but they actually made it work and work really well with a script that was completely on point. What happened with LucasArts is just a real shame, but I do think that EA is obviously very invested in the IP and it'll be interesting to see what they come up with.

    I think people sometimes forget that EA is the big monolith and that the games will be made by various studios contracted by them...now, that doesn't mean EA won't put their own spin on things, but I think after getting burned on a few things EA is going to back off some of their practices like making microtransactions so obnoxious and some of the DLC BS.

    Other games are obviously the X-wing games because I am a space fighter sim junkie and dearly miss that genre.

    18) That is a big, big topic...wow, let me cut it down by listing things I say, sometimes a lot, but I think these sayings are true:

    "It's a good life if you don't weaken." - which is a saying I picked up from my dad and traced back as far as an old New Yorker comic.
    "Start as you mean to go on." - popular saying.
    "Play the hand you're dealt." - explains itself, yes?
    The absolutely sublime:


    On the serious quote side:
    "We're all out there, somewhere, waiting to happen." -Jeff Noon, VURT
    "Et en Arcadia ego"- title of painting by Nicholas Poussin
    "What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn"- Rabbi Hillel

    There's hundreds of wonderful quotes...but I'll leave it there.
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  2. Todd the Sock Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Dec 13, 2013
    @patchworkz7 19. What would you do if you won the lottery?

    20. What would you do for a Klondike Bar?
  3. Todd the Jedi Mod and Sitcom Dad of SWTV

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Oct 16, 2008
    star 5
    @patchworkz7 Bump.
  4. patchworkz7 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2004
    star 4

    Arrghh... my bad, I missed the tag under my alerts.

    19) If I won the lottery...besides taking care of my dad, I would probably buy a small place maybe in Marin...somewhere close to SF, or it'd be a small place somewhere in the Pacific Northwest...just a modest place to come back to, and then I'd travel. I'd take my dad back to Korea where he was stationed in the Army so he could see that, make sure he got back to Hawaii because he loved the islands, and my wife and I would just travel where ever and whenever we wanted. I would criss-cross Europe, and eventually do some US roadtrips.

    20) I would pay retail price...maybe. See, if you want me to get crazy offer me some Thomas Kemper's Black Cherry soda...that stuff is INSANELY good, and it was impossible to get back in Michigan. Thankfully BevMo carries it. And I might literally kill a man to get a fresh bottle of Like Soda. Now...Like Soda was an attempt by 7Up Corporation in the 80's to release a soda, and it's one of those things I just remember from my childhood as being allowed to have a nice cold bottle of Like Soda if I was good. For all I know it tastes like toad squeezings, but to my childhood memory it was the nectar of the gods.
  5. Todd the Jedi Mod and Sitcom Dad of SWTV

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Oct 16, 2008
    star 5
    @patchworkz7 21. If time travel were possible, what is the one period of time/year/specific event you would want to travel to most?

    22. What's the funniest thing you've ever seen/done?
  6. patchworkz7 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2004
    star 4

    21) I'm going to treat this as the spectator question because if I think in terms of changing history I'd never be able to decide, but I wouldn't mind going back to the late 1950's and early 1960's and seeing the world change in front of my eyes. I think if I had to pick another time to be alive... wouldn't mind that. Modern medicine and indoor plumbing plus an absolutely amazing time musically and socially. Maybe if I could go back and have a drink and chat with Mark Twain. And it wouldn't so much be about talking to the great thinkers as just seeing how the regular people really lived and thought and just get a feel for it, whether it was the 1920's or later in the late 50's. It'd be the ultimate road trip, but to a time and culture I could understand and blend with. Summer of love here I come.

    22) Wow, that is possibly the hardest question...I think I've been blessed with knowing some funny people, but I think my honeymoon drink-up in London, where about thirty or so of my UK friends showed up, and we just remembered the good times for the summers I'd spent there before and drank until the pub closed and we stood on tables and sang 80's hair metal songs and I pretended to start a fight with one of my friends for dancing with my wife and demanded that I got the first dance with him which just made everyone fall about the place...that is a night and memory that just cracks me up every time I think about it. It was a wonderful night that I have trouble remembering thanks to the copious amounts of drink but I laughed my way through it and laugh thinking about it.
    Barriss_Coffee likes this.
  7. Todd the Jedi Mod and Sitcom Dad of SWTV

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Oct 16, 2008
    star 5
    And that's the end of the interview! Give a round of applause for patchworkz7. =D=

    We'll be back with a new interview soon, but right now the floor is open for anyone else to ask patch any questions.
  8. Gamiel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2012
    star 5
  9. Sniper_Wolf Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2002
    star 4
    Favorite Gears novel, character, and game?
  10. Findswoman Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2014
    star 4
    So, Patch—given the presence of the Hillel quote among your favorite quotes, I hope you (and the mods) don't mind if I ask: are you Jewish? (Even if you're not, that's still an excellent choice of quote! :) )
  11. patchworkz7 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2004
    star 4

    Half Romany/Half-Jew, hard of hearing, and a leftist....if I were gay I'd win Nazi Bingo.

    I think that Rabbi Hillel quote pretty much says everything there is to say about religion and how one should approach it.
  12. patchworkz7 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2004
    star 4

    Last one first; the first game is my favourite...despite the story not having been fully worked out you had Rick Remender doing plot work and a script by Susan O'Conner (who did the script on the original Bioshock) and Greg Mitchell as the series video/visual director and Greg's small touches along with the small touches Susan made with dialogue turned it into something spectacular. The problem with video games is still that over the level designers do all the work first and then hand it to the script writer to make sense of why the heroes are suddenly on a submarine or why there's a random "deactivate bomb" objective or a turret shooting section.

    Favourite Character...hard...I would say Marcus, but maybe not for the usual reasons. What fascinates me about Marcus is that we only really see him from outside his head. We see how other people react to him. Even in Traviss' books he's the unseen POV, and that makes him something that the narrative folds around and he became something larger than the usual protagonist, by being held at arm's length he's given a mystery that I really like. I think when you have someone who writes tight third person like Karen Traviss writing a character she can't get in the head of that can bring out some fascinating effects, and the same is true of how Susan, Rick, and Josh Ortega wrote him. That distance forces writers to really work to make him a rounded character, so you get more out of the small moments and comments than the large.

    Favourite novel...I think JACINTO'S REMNANT might be my favourite, as it takes a look at the events of the Hammer of Dawn strike as well as the fallout from the second game and it really brings a lot of things together.

    I'd also have to say I love KT's run on the Gears of War comic, especially when she was grace with comic book legend Colin Wilson on art.
  13. patchworkz7 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2004
    star 4

    I am normally not a fan of catsuits, I have Mara Jade's, but I have to say that I really like the Mistryl_Shadow_Guard
  14. Findswoman Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2014
    star 4
    Where in San Francisco are you? (I lived in the Bay Area for several years while in grad school at Berkeley.)
  15. patchworkz7 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2004
    star 4

    I used to live in Pleasanton but moved closer in around the Fremont-Union City-Hayward area. It's close to where both mine and my wife's work places and you can hop on the Dumbarton and head over the bay or run up 880 to Oakland or even into the city, and I'd not that far from the BART line.
  16. Cynical_Ben Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2013
    star 4
    What sort of career move would you recommend for someone looking to get into fiction/novel writing? Try to become a professional or don't quit your day job?
  17. Gamiel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2012
    star 5
    Favourite non-human species?
    Last edited by Gamiel, May 7, 2014
  18. patchworkz7 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2004
    star 4

    People always say they want to be a writer, but the answer to being a writer is to write.

    If you want to make a career out of it, specifically fiction writing...you're looking at something most "professional" fiction writers don't actually do. They have second jobs, have money from media sales, have jobs you don't see like script doctoring and working in other areas of media.

    If you really want to just be a writer I advise looking at self-publishing (NOT VANITY PUBLISHING) and look at blogs like The Passive Voice and others that have sprung up in the wake of the explosion of e-books and the way Amazon and technology changed the market. If you use a Mac you can use Scrivner and export directly into a Kindle ready e-book with the built-in tools and Amazon tools.

    If you want a gig writing that pays you, is pretty much thankless, and is harder than ever to make a living at...start with writing anything. Write a blog. Write columns. Write books reviews. Contact your local paper and see if they're hiring stringers. I earn about $3 a quarter on the royalties of a non-fiction essay I wrote years ago that still sells. Write everything you can. Submit. Write. Get rejected. Write. Submit again. Write. And just keep going and MAYBE you'll make a crack.

    There is no roadmap to becoming a novel writer. I've written two novels (one spiked due to issues with getting the video game company tanking) and another on an editor's desk right now, and both those grew from a short story that grew from me asking an editor; "What are you looking for?"

    If you do go into writing; be a professional. Your manuscripts should be clean and you should deliver under deadline. If you can't do it, don't take the job. All that you have is your reputation and your name. Remember that it's okay to say no to a job too. Despite my wanted to be published I've passed on gigs. Most writers have. Don't bother with agents but get an entertainment lawyer to read any contract you don't understand. Don't be afraid to question boilerplate language. Often there's some general language in there that gives a company more than is needed and you can have it struck out by challenging it.

    GET PAID.

    In your rush to get published, do not give your work away free. GET PAID FOR YOUR WORK.

    If you don't think you're worth being paid for your writing then why should anyone. If you decide to give something away for free, don't have any illusions about what it may or may not get you.

    Last of all, I'll leave you with a few things that are some of the best things I've heard;

    "A contact is not a contract." - Until you have it in writing and signed...it's nothing.
    "No one will do it for you." - I can't write your book for you. No one can. You have to fill the page.
    "No is a complete sentence." - it's okay to say no to things.

    The landscape is rapidly changing and the world of e-publishing may be opening up some exciting worlds that could allow writers who want to work an ability to reach an audience on their own, and while the legacy/big 5 publishers look down their noses at it or cite the vanity press rip offs; I'm talking about the last five years which has seen an explosion of self-published authors making decent money. Not everyone can do it or make money, but your contract with a publishing house isn't the golden ticket either.

    Be flexible and ready to adapt as the medium changes.

    Lastly, and most important....don't quit your day job ;p
  19. patchworkz7 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2004
    star 4

    Sorry, Gamiel, I didn't mean to ignore this question, it rather stumped me at first and then I got caught up with work.

    Hrmmm...I actually really like Twi'leks but the default assumption of them as the sexy dancer is rather off-putting, but I would have to say Twi'leks.

    Talking about favourites; my favourite starfighter is the ARC-170 with the Chiss Clawcraft close behind while my favourite capital ship is the Star Forge Interdictors. They look enough like ISD's to carry that fear factor but also just look cool on their own.

    I'll admit a soft spot for the Chimera. She really was a historic ship, and I always liked the idea of the Bloodfin, a "pocket" Star Destroyer that was smaller but packed almost as much of a punch.

    Off-topic: I also will add that I still think one of the great untold stories in SW are the Centrality tales. Introduced in the Lando trilogy (afaik) it was a separate government that was allowed autonomy and was behind the battle of Renastasia, which was supposedly one of, if not THE, bloodiest battles of the Rise of the Empire era. It makes me wonder why that was the case, and while I have my own head canon for that (Skirata and Djinn Altis must have taking their extended families to a VERY secret place to hide)...I still wish more about that and the Rise of the Empire era in general had been done.

    If I were the type who did fanfiction (nothing against it...but I've got loads to write already with an original character book halfway written at the moment and plans for more), I would write the story of Mij Gilamar out and flesh out his backstory and his hunt for his first wife's killer.

    And Scout was saved partly because I reminded KT she was a creation of our Clarion instructor Sean Stewart's and she fit a role Karen wanted someone to play; namely a young girl who would remind Kal of Etain, and she did lie about just being a weak Jedi, as foreshadowed when she ran circles around the Nulls at sports and beat Bardan at lightsaber combat. She would have been officially knighted by Altis and remained a Jedi after being adopted by Gilamar and Uthan.
    Barriss_Coffee and Iron_lord like this.
  20. Ordo Skirata Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 2
    Where would you recommended someone start with Warhammer 40k fiction? Any must read series or novels?
    Last edited by Ordo Skirata, May 14, 2014
  21. Findswoman Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2014
    star 4
    Do tell us more about the original-character novel you're working on, and whatever you'd like to share about your plans for the next one. :)
  22. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Hmm, sounds like Warren Ellis' advice. ;)
  23. patchworkz7 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2004
    star 4

    I would recommend Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghost work to start with. It'll ease you into the setting without tossing you into the deep end and Dan's work is always wonderful.
  24. patchworkz7 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2004
    star 4

    THE INNOCENTS is an urban fantasy in the style of Simon Green and Jim Butcher and the main plot is about a werewolf enforcer and the Navajo witchy woman with a shotgun loaded with blessed and cursed shot who attempt to find said werewolf's kidnapped niece while discovering there's a race of humans known as the Innocents who've been hiding among humanity all along.

    After that I've been talking to a writer who has done a few military SF anthos who I may do a novella for to jumpstart GENERATION LOST, which is about what happens to super-soldiers after the war is won.

    And somewhere in there is a full YA novel adaption of my story from Mota 3 that got me invited to Wiscon which is a story about a girl who discovers she has AIS (genetically male but develops as female due to not reacting to testosterone) which is a real genetic disorder and follows her as she's kicked off her girl's track team for...well, not being a genetic girl. The short story was originally written at Clarion in 2000 from a prompt by Karen, who had done a somewhat similar story, and support from award-winning author Maureen McHugh, who offered kind advice and encouragement to someone who wasn't sure about a cisgender dude writing about a technically trans teen girl in a story that wasn't science fiction at a SF & fantasy writer's workshop.

    I've always wanted to adapt it to full novel length.

    Somewhere in there as well resides my insane steampunk by way of Assassin's Creed by way of Star Wars story that I've been scribbling notes on lately.

    And in all that are my contracted works...which Warhammer 40K: SNIPER, a story of the Imperial Guard, is with the editor as we suddenly find ourselves scrambling with the fact that there's been a couple of massive canon changes that we may have to work around. My hope at one time was that this would be the first of a series of books about THE RIFLES, and the previous editor had given me a verbal for two more books, but they've been making changes to their line that may alter those plans.

    Publishing is in a very, very weird place right now, and I've seriously been thinking of following Karen Traviss' advice and not shopping THE INNOCENTS, or any of my OC work, to traditional publishers and instead go with hybrid publishing...which for me would start with e-publishing via Scrivner to Amazon Kindle and going from there. Since I have a good idea of how few authors actually break even or sell any serious amount of books (many authors never break 1K, and right now midlisting authors are rather happy if they get through a print run of 10K), I'm looking at it as being able to offer a lower price point, always own my material, constantly tweak my books, and also be able to negotiate sales to places like Audible.com on my own. Karen's experiments with her new OC novel GOING GREY are informing a lot of my decisions...despite not having her brand value I've seen what's happening to authors at traditional publishers right now and it's bloody and brutal and not at all fun.

    When I said "A contact is not a contract" I meant it. I've had four potential novels and one completed novel fall through. The completed one fell through because of problems with the game studio, but the strength of that got me a multi-book deal, and I've had instances where editors have asked me for pitches and I've spent days and weeks preparing full pitches including outlines to find out they hadn't secured the IP rights and when they went to secure the IP rights they couldn't get them...or what's happening a lot are "cattle calls" where multiple authors are called to submit and the editor just picks the biggest name or if the person has an agent they make a backroom deal that gets a writer one book that kills their career when it's released too late to tie into the IP and sinks without a hope in hell.

    I can't think of any other business that is run like publishing...it's insane.
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  25. Gamiel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2012
    star 5
    The Gaunt's Ghost series is good but it takes itself a bit to serious with is good for standalones but when you have a long runner it just become depressing.
    Since there are so many WH40k books I would say the question is not 'were you should begin?' but 'what do you want?'. Personally prefer the humours Ciaphas Cain (Hero of the Imperium!) series and the more heroic fantasy like Space Wolves