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Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?
Speculative Fiction has always appealed to me because of the tremendous imagination that goes into it. As a teen, I read almost exclusively science fiction. I also read a lot of comic books and, eventually, some fantasy. One of my earliest favorites was Frank Herbert’s Dune. I was blown away by how much detail was needed in creating an entire world, an entire culture. So for me, Spec-Fic pushes the boundaries of imagination, and that’s its biggest appeal.
What world-building or research is required?
When I was writing my first published book, Wish You Were Here, I figured there wouldn’t be a lot of research necessary. It was a fantasy, after all! But there was. I learned a lot about horses, herbology, and more. My dystopian future novel, One Nation Under God, required even more, on a variety of topics, including our legal system. But by far the most research has been for my superhero/science fiction series, The Many Deaths of Dynamistress. I now know a heck of a lot more about synthetic biology, DARPA inventions, the human genome, and San Francisco than I ever expected to! And because this book is also a sort of “alternate history” story, I researched a lot of recent historical events so that I could be true to the timing of them, including exact dates.
Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.
I often joke that Dynamistress is me, in drag. Many of her “issues” are ones I have, myself. Writing her has actually been therapeutic and caused me to have bursts of insight about what lies behind my own behavior. It’s cool and creepy at the same time.
Any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?
No, not really. I do tend to do my writing at coffee shops rather than at home, but that’s mainly because my cats seem to be morally opposed to me sitting at the computer when I’m there. They’ll ignore me if I’m anywhere else in the apartment, but the minute I sit at the computer, it’s like I’m asking them to join me.
Plotter or pantser?
I’m definitely a hybrid, a plantser. I do some planning with plot points and such, but nothing meticulous. After that, it’s by the seat of my pants for the rest of the journey.
Look to your right – what’s sitting there?
My tablet, my phone, my bed, and a cat (who is pointedly ignoring me and staring out the window).
Anything new coming up from you? What?
In fact, yes. The second book in The Many Deaths of Dynamistress, titled Redemption, will be released in the first quarter of 2015.
Do you have a question for our readers?
Yes! Who is your favorite fictional character and why?
In Reckoning - the first volume of a trilogy about the metahuman known as Dynamistress - award-winning author Vincent M. Wales (Wish You Were Here, One Nation Under God) gives us the memoir of the world's first self-made metahuman. But it is less a story of becoming a superhero than it is the story of a flawed woman becoming whole.
Enjoy an excerpt:
I had never been very studious in high school. My grades had always been decent, and I’d always enjoyed learning, but even in the late ‘80s, I knew the schools weren’t concentrating on things that really mattered. Seriously, why does anyone need to know what our Gross National Product is, or the major imports and exports of Brazil?
I will, however, defend one practice that a lot of people don’t seem to understand. Why, they lament, when kids today all have computers, are we still filling their heads with advanced mathematics? It’s simply not necessary, they claim, to teach them how to do calculus. But they’re wrong. If we stopped teaching it, we’d never advance. No one would be able to take math in new directions.
Memorizing the terms of office of all the U.S. presidents, however, will always be pointless.
At any rate, I think my professors were a bit astounded. After all, for these first two years, I was taking just the basics in biology. But after class, I’d pick their brains about the latest things. The automated gene sequencer had been invented recently, and I had all sorts of questions about that. There was talk about a Human Genome Project soon to be beginning, and I asked almost daily if they’d heard anything new about it. I badgered them about the finer points of the regulation of gene expression. And I think they got tired of my incessant questioning about point mutations.
But I didn’t much care if others thought I was odd. It was the life I wanted, at that point… working on weekends, spending weekdays in classes taking as many credits as allowed, and passing my nights by avoiding home as much as possible. I was in my own little world, avoiding my family, and becoming estranged from those I used to call friends.
Talk about establishing a bad precedent.
About the Author: Vincent M. Wales was raised in the small town of Brockway, Pennsylvania, where he frequently complained about the weather. Since then, he has worn many hats, including writing instructor, suicide prevention crisis counselor, essayist, Big Brother, freethought activist, wannabe rock star, and award-winning novelist.
He spends most of his writing time in coffee shops, since his cats fail to grasp the entire concept of “writing time.”
He currently lives in Sacramento, California, where he frequently complains about the weather.
All purchase links: www.vincentmwales.com/reck.html
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