drunkenmermaid.com: You arrived on the scene with The Prodigal’s Foole in 2011. What was the motivation for the book?
I’ve always loved the fantastical–whether Sci-fi, pure fantasy or old comic books. The stories that most entertain me are ones with well-fleshed out characters with all the flaws and foibles that we all have. But the final catalyst, believe it or not, are all the stories about a “magical world” where there was always a reason “normal” people couldn’t understand or see the power. Muggles in “Harry Potter” or the “Mist” of Rick Riordan’s stories, for example. I wanted to explore what magic would mean in the real world– who would control it? What would the modern age of instant communications and cellphone videos mean? How would the dynamics change? That theme of awakening will be throughout the series, seen from Symon Bryson’s perspective.
drunkenmermaid.com: Where, when, and how do you write?
Like many writers with ‘day jobs’ and normal lives, the answer is whenever and wherever I can. I carry a notebook with me at all times. I cherish the rare quiet times in my home where I can create for hours at a time.
drunkenmermaid.com: Who’s your favorite character? From where did he or she emerge?
Symon Bryson, the main character of The Prodigal’s Foole is my absolute favorite. He’s a hero who has absolutely no desire to be one. Although he has a strong sense of right and wrong; Symon has no code of ethics to limit what he does to get the ‘bad guys.’ He’s a blast to write about.
drunkenmermaid.com: Tell us about the next book in the series.
The Young Practitioner takes place only a few months after The Prodigal’s Foole. The search is on for the evil released in the first book, but the story is about characters and family and the complexities of both. The action is ramped up as well. There are ramifications of Symon’s actions (and what he represents to the Church) that have to be dealt with.
drunkenmermaid.com: You are notorious for plotting far, far, down the road. What comes next, when this series is done?
I have five books in The Arcana Chronicles already mapped. I have an outline for a SciFi trilogy that I’m tinkering with and a few collaboration projects I’m working on. Beyond that, I have an idea for a screenplay and a comic book series I’d love to get off the ground.
drunkenmermaid.com: You are active in a number of writer’s groups. Who should we be on the lookout for?
There are a lot of writers out there who have a marvelous sense of the craft. On the SciFi front, Leah Petersen and Steve Umstead jump to mind. Steve just completed his first trilogy, a military-style action thriller called Gabriel’s Journey is available now. Leah’s first book, Fighting Gravity, has just been released by Dragon Moon Press. (Funny you should mention that, see previous post 😉 – The Eds.) And Eden Baylee is a wonderful erotica writer who’s Fall into Summer is a must-read for couples. There are many more, quite a few of which feature on my monthly podcast, The Word Count.
drunkenmermaid.com: Who wins in fight: Babylon 5, Star Trek, Doctor Who or Battlestar Galactica?
Babylon 5. Because I loved the series arc and Straczynski’s writing—and because the lovely Patricia Tallman– who played the red-headed Lyta Alexander on the series– sent me a wonderful note about how much she loved The Prodigal’s Foole.
drunkenmermaid.com: Still reading comic books? Which ones?
The beauty of having a sixteen-year-old son is being able to get back into comics all over again. We are wandering through Ironman, X-men and the Amazing Spiderman back issues now. I have a brand new copy of Watchmen and the entire run of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman waiting for him when he’s ready.
drunkenmermaid.com: And now our signature question that we plague all of our writer guests with, starting with Jim Morrow: Think of one of your favorite novels by someone else. What is it? How does its first sentence read if you wrote it?
Wow. Just pick one, huh? Well let’s start when I was much younger with the stories that started my imagination churning. I’ll pick one of my earliest influences, H. G. Well’s War of the Worlds— which I’ve probable ready two dozen times at this point. The original first line which is arguably one of the most famous in SciFi history:
“No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s…”
I could never improve it, but my take on a start would be something creepy and from the perspective of the Martians:
“For millennia they watched their neighbor from their own dying world with a mixture of jealousy and anger…”
drunkenmermaid.com: Rich, great catching up with you. Where can your readers find you in the coming months?
I’m always around online via twitter (@rbwood), Facebook and via my website. Readers can also subscribe to my free podcast, The Word Count, which features new writers reading their own original stories based on a different theme every show.
Away from the computer, I’ll be at ReaderCON this summer as always.
It’s been a pleasure catching up with you as well.