Today’s interview is with W.L. Wright, author of Iolon Star.
Greetings! I’m pleased to bring you this interview with Andy Oppenheimer, author of Fields of Orion – An Odyssey.
It’s posted below. Please enjoy!
1. What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?
Andy Oppenheimer – UK
2. What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
Fields of Orion: An Odyssey
Science fiction – first contact; science fiction – military
3. What is the book about?
Fields of Orion is an explosive science-fiction thriller set in the near-future world of terrorism, espionage and first contact.
While in service in Iraq, charismatic, handsome British Army bomb-disposal operator Major Adam Armstrong develops telekinetic and extrasensory abilities and miraculous powers of recovery from injury. He is reluctantly recruited into a futuristic military project to create supersoldiers, headed up by the ice-cold Captain Sheena Maxwell, a spurned lover hell-bent on revenge.
Maverick bisexual counter-terror expert Dan Boland foresees the fourth London bomb attack in July 2005 after he sees furious waves of energy light up the sky above a north London park. When he meets Adam Armstrong at events he sees the decorated officer’s horrific PTSD flashbacks of battle carnage. He also sees his transmitted visions of a strange, beautiful desert, somewhere… Dan is mesmerised by Adam and they form an unusual connection. Dan is constantly drawn to the park at night to gaze up at the constellation Orion.
Dan’s powers of intuition get him recruited by the British Intelligence Service, MI5, as an undercover agent to sabotage Adrestia, a highly secretive group of highly placed, far-Right scientists planning acts of cataclysmic eco-terrorism. Dan’s previous association with the IRA (Irish Republican Army) means he can construct bombs. He desperately wants to stop the group’s plans, absolve his past and serve his country. He has sex with the group’s mastermind, Dr Carl Murrow, to advance his spying mission.
Dan falls in love with a vibrant geneticist, Dr Allison Hardy, who is also an MI5 agent working undercover in the Adrestia group. When Allison makes a shocking discovery about Adam Armstrong, she propels the most covert government project in history into unknown territory. As Murrow’s plans approach their climax in London, Sheena’s diabolical plot against Adam gathers pace as he takes the longest walk into unprecedented danger – while carrying the world’s most devastating secret.
Fields of Orion is a dizzying cocktail of James Bond, David Bowie and Greek myth and a journey of breath-taking mystery, crackling dialogue and heart-pounding action that hurtles headlong towards its Earth-shattering conclusion.
4. Where did you come up with the idea?
Long before I became an author and consultant specialising in counter-terrorism, I worked for a futuristic American science and science fiction magazine. I met science fiction writers and scientists and began following the music and imagery of David Bowie, as well as becoming a singer/songwriter of electro-pop music in the burgeoning London nightclub scene.
In this century I embarked on a totally different career, and had the amazing privilege to meet and work alongside army bomb disposal operators. They have inspired me beyond measure. These experiences, separated by several decades – with all their multifarious, totally disparate influences – brought me to write my first science-fiction novel.
I also got the idea for the plot while painting a picture to donate to Felix Fund, the Bomb Disposal Charity. Called ‘Nine Lives’, it features a bomb disposal operator about to dismantle an explosive device in a desert beneath a vast sun. Bowie’s lightning flash pierces the sky above two giant Schrödinger’s cats in the background. Felix the cat is the famous emblem of the bomb squads, as they have nine lives, according to legend. The hero in the picture is dead and alive at the same time, like Schrödinger’s cat. He is on his ninth life, and could be in any desert anywhere in the known Universe.
5. How long did it take you to write it?
Including several drafts after editing and proofing, 10 months from start to publication. I did take much of the summer off to finish it, however.
6. Did you learn anything from the project?
I’ve only written non-fiction so far, for many years, and for a living: hundreds of articles for defence & security journals (such as Jane’s), and conference presentations on counter-terrorism, WMD, bombs, explosives, and the means to stop them. My first book was about the bombing campaign and weapons of the IRA (IRA: The Bombs and the Bullets, Irish Academic Press, 2008).
My first novel was a big learning curve. Friends and colleagues, including one who has written novels, made me realise that it’s a totally different approach. When you write and present technical and instruction material, you tell, not hide – other than the top-secret stuff, that is! It’s the other way round with fiction. Also, self-publishing on Amazon requires all the skills, including online ones, which I’m short on, and which in a former life in publishing was done by other people in the production team. I think you need to be rich to be an author. Some successful authors I know have publicists, agents, etc. If you don’t have those, you have a big job ahead once the book is written. You also have to be good at networking in online communities. I still have a lot to learn and publishing the book is just the start.
7. Do you have an author website and/or blog?
I have a professional website which includes the book
and an Author Page on Amazon and Goodreads. But I really am clueless about all this online blog business. I have probably avoided having a blog as working freelance in counter-terrorism means I have been too busy, and also have to keep my electronic footprint to innocuous Facebook and Twitter posts and bits of promotion. I have avoided hosting a public forum that attracts trolls and people – and me – sounding off about crap. I have plenty of opinions and ideas but so far have kept them offline.
8. Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists?
I am yet to achieve success, so not yet. I wouldn’t be so presumptious to offer advice.
9. What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?
I have to read a lot for the day job – I am also Editor-in-Chief of two magazines, and was working 24/7 until last year so haven’t had much time to read books. But my chosen genres, time permitting, are espionage/military thrillers, crime novels, some biography, books about Ireland, near-future/first contact/dystopian science fiction and vintage science fiction [Bradbury, Clarke, Wyndham, etc]. I would like to review books in these genres, having reviewed three in the past year.
10. What is your favorite book of all time and why?
I have to include two.
The Man Who Fell to Earth by Walter Tevis
The Good Soldier Schweik by Jaroslav Hasek
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Today’s interview is with Richard Dee, author of Life and Other Dreams.
1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?
Hi everyone, my pen name is Richard Dee and I live in Brixham, a fishing port on the south coast of England.
2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
My latest book is a psychological thriller/Sci-fi tale called Life and Other Dreams. You can find it at
3) What is the book about?
It’s about dreams and reality. My main character Rick lives on the Earth of today. He has a wife and a boring job. When he sleeps, he dreams of an exciting life as Dan, an explorer on a planet far away in the future. As the story progresses the two lives start to overlap, with similar people and events appearing in both. It all gets even more mixed up when bad things start to happen. Soon, Rick is not sure which life is real, or even which life he wants to be real.
4) Where did you come up with the idea?
I had a couple of dreams where I was in a place that was familiar but wasn’t home; if you know what I mean. It was subtly different yet the same. I wondered if I could turn it into a story. Before I started writing, I did a lot of research into the brain and the way it processes information and determines personality. I found enough ambiguity and interesting science to suggest that our perception of life may not be as straightforward as we assume. Coupled with theories about parallel universes, I had enough background to make a story.
5) How long did it take you to write it?
I wrote the first draft as the NaNoWriMo challenge for 2017. I wrote just over 60,000 words in one month. Once I started, it just flowed. My beta readers took a look, fortunately, they liked it. Encouraged by them, I revised it a bit, then passed it to my editor. It was published in March this year and has had several good reviews on Amazon in England and in the U.S.A.
6) Did you learn anything from the project?
The brain is a fascinating organ, we know so little about it and how it works. There is enough real science involved to write a sequel, using the results of new research, and continue the story. I don’t know what will happen yet, there are so many possible endings.
7) Do you have an author website and/or blog?
My website is https://richarddeescifi.co.uk/ I post news, reviews and items of interest, including guest posts from authors, book reviews and information about me. I also have a bi-monthly newsletter, with a free short story for new signups. It gives news, extra content and special offers on my work, as well as telling people a bit more about me.
8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists?
Two things to remember, nothing has to be true, but everything has to sound true (which means that you need to do your research). And, you can’t edit a blank page, just write, as much and as often as you can, you can always edit it later. My editor is U.K based, and I do a lot of the cover work myself.
9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?
I read most things, especially sci-fi but I’ll always give something by an independent author a read. So many people helped me when I started out, I try to do what I can to pay it back by helping where I can with reviews and encouragement. Plus, I find that independent authors are more likely to write stories that the mainstream will not publish, as they seem less concerned with following a trend. Incidentally, I have also published a textbook on World-Building for Sci-fi and Steampunk authors.
10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?
That’s difficult, it tends to be the one I’m reading now. But overall, it’s a close thing between Dune by Frank Herbert and The Songs of Distant Earth by Arthur C. Clarke. Both have great world-building at their heart, one of my favourite topics.
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Silver medalist, YA fiction — Nautilus Book Awards
Finalist, science fiction– ForeWord’s Book of the Year Awards
In an alternate 21st century Solar System: Tandra Grey has left Earth for the ancient sustainable culture of Varok, with its promise of stability for her young daughter. But a genius with a hidden talent sets her eye on Varok’s wealth–and Tandra’s soul mates. Tandra, the elll Conn, and the varok Orram must untangle a web of deceit to restore balance for Varok and their fragile new family.
The second novel in Cary Neeper’s Archives of Varok series, The Webs of Varok follows the new, offworld adventures of the characters from Neeper’s 1975 novel A Place Beyond Man, re-released in 2011. With three more titles coming in 2013-14, the five-volume Archives of Varoktravels with Tandra’s family on quests from Earth to the Oort Cloud with several stops in-between.
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I’ve seen a good deal of views and likes on my FB Constellation Chronicles page, and the funny thing about it is that I haven’t touched that page in years. Today I decided to try a boost advertisement for CC on FB to see if I can make enough sales to justify the ad cost. The time frame is 2 days, so I’ll know by Wednesday if this makes sense or not.
-Vincent Lowry (Author of American Vineyard)