Name: Russell Pike
Q: What Kind of Writing do you do?
A: In a broad sense, I suppose you could call me a Speculative Science-Fiction author. Speculative Science-Fiction covers any kind of fiction writing that asks ‘what if.’ Most books in this genre take place on fantastic worlds or distant planets and are populated with alien races and mystical beings.
Q: Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than once, how do you balance them?
A: I love the speculative aspects of both science fiction and fantasy. I love exploring new worlds, alien races, magics and technologies through writing, then asking, how would normal people live in a world like this? How would this change politics, travel and culture? The series I’m writing now takes fantastic technology, magic powers, sword play and supernatural creature all tossed together in an exotic world. It’s a fun mix that takes what I love best about each genre.
Q: Where did your love of reading and writing come from?
A: I’ve loved reading since I was a small child. I especially loved the books that took me somewhere new. I loved feeling like my face was pressed against a car window, staring wide eyed as exotic scenery rolled by. I still feel like that, but now I’m sitting in the driver’s seat.
Q: How long have you been writing?
A: I’ve been writing seriously for the last four years.
Q: Can you share some stories about the people you met while researching the book you’re working on?
A: As a writer, I’ve joined critique groups and attended writer’s conferences. These are great places to learn and meet other authors like you and your husband. I’ve had the opportunity to meet some very talented people who aren’t writers themselves. One of the people I’ve worked most closely with is Bob Beason, the artists who does the illustrations for my series. You should definitely check out his work on deviant art, he posts as Dr. Strangebob.
Q: What was the hardest part of writing this book?
A: The hardest part of writing this series was world building. There’s a lot of new information about our protagonist Kal and his hometown of Arkebis. However, there’s nothing that chills a narrative quite like a massive information dump or long winded prologue. I worked hard to weave the back story and new terms into the narrative without slowing down or sounding forced. In the end, I think I was successful.
Q: Are there vocabulary words or concepts in your book that may be new to people?
A: Well, since this series takes place in its own unique world, there are some new terms. For example, people use an energy known as Alch to power everything from flying ships to robotic creatures. There’s also a supernatural energy known as weiyld that is produced by suns. At attunweiyld is a person who has been trained to harness weiyld energy to grant himself or herself magical abilities. Kal is an attunweiyld. In addition, he works for an organization called the Aleph Association which believes in spreading this knowledge. There’s plenty more, but don’t sweat it. As I said above, I’ve worked hard to introduce new terms in a way that makes sense.
Q: What do you want you readers to know about you?
A: I love good stories as much as you do. I love exploring new worlds and meeting new people through books, it’s why I do this. When I’m not writing, I’m probably being a massive nerd while discussing my favorite books and TV series or arguing about who would win in a fight between Gandalf and Elminster. (in case you’re wondering, it’s Elminster.)
Q: Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work? What impact have they had on your writing?
A: I love just about (ok, everything) by Jim Butcher, especially his characters like Harry Dresden. Harry’s a wizard with mighty magic at his command, but he still has trouble paying his rent. Powerful, interesting but still very relatable. I took this idea to heart when creating Kal. Kal lives in an amazing world, sure, but he still has to deal with everyday problems at home and at his job. He gets behind on his paperwork, he has money trouble, and of course, his relationships aren’t perfect. Kal has powerful arcane abilities at his command, but his enemies are even stronger so he needs courage and quick thinking to win the day.
I also love the Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny. He fast paced books can tell an incredible amount of story in a short amount of time without sacrificing plot complexity. I’ve incorporated that into my own stories, keeping my pacing fast and throwing enough curve balls to keep the plot from bogging down.
Q: Tell us a bit about your series.
A: The story I’m writing right now is called “Mechanical Dreams.” It’s the first full story in the “Under the Nine Suns” series. Our story follows Kalrin Vallis, Kal to his friends. Kal is an investigator, defender and truth seeker. Think Sam Spade meets Roland Deschain with a lightning gun and magic powers. In “Mechanical Dreams” Kal is approached by a broken hearted young man whose fiancé has gone missing. Kal agrees to help, but the woman had been gone for some time and the situation looks grim. To make matters worse, a mysterious third party and rogue mechanical horror are stalking the city. On top of all that, Kal becomes aware of a massive conspiracy deep within his home town of Arkebis. Kal won’t back down, but he may be dragged into the darkness he seeks to stand against.
You can (and should) check out my writing by following this link http://eepurl.com/b78dxL and signing up for my email list. When you do, you’ll get a free novelette written about one of Kal’s earlier adventures. You can also learn more about me and my writing by visiting my website. http://www.undertheninesuns.com/