I’ve got a sci-fi action story for you today, with a dystopian twist. If you would like to be interviewed about your Indie book, join in here.
Tell us a brief summary of your book’s plot.
Flasher-in-training Jason Crawford has dedicated his life to fighting the mysterious alien race which threatens the massive city-ship he calls home. A few days before his first mission, however, Jason discovers a terrible secret which could mean an end to his way of life forever. Fearing government reprisal for this new-found knowledge, Jason takes refuge in the Rim, a walled-off section of the ship where citizens are left to fend for themselves while the government ruthlessly plunders its resources.
While there, Jason forms an uneasy alliance with fellow exile Greg. Though they share the same goal of exposing the government’s terrible secret, their relationship is strained; Jason is selfish, profane and morally ambiguous, while Greg is generous, kind and liberal-minded.
“I Dreamt of Trees” is a story of struggle and survival in a dystopian society built on fear and greed. Though you may be tempted to judge the characters, be certain of one thing: On the USS McAdam, no one is quite as good, nor quite as bad as they seem.
What was the inspiration for this story?
About 25 years ago I had a dream that I was flying above a city, but somehow I knew that I was actually on a huge spaceship. The city looked like the Exchange District in Winnipeg, with lots of old heritage-style buildings. The idea of a very regular-looking city on a huge spaceship stuck with me, and eventually the ship became the U.S.S. McAdam. Although I’m not totally sure anymore, the dream may have involved a bunch of young men training for some kind of military organization, a concept which shaped the plot to a large extent.
Do you have any writing habits you would like to tell us about?
Though this may sound kind of counter-intuitive, I find one of my most useful writing habits involves not writing. That is to say, there are times when the words just won’t come, and I find it very helpful to just step away. Not only does this help me to reset my thoughts, but it also allows for more casual, unplanned thinking. Some of my best solutions for problematic plot points come to me when I’m not actually writing.
What is the hardest thing to manage when you start writing?
I think the hardest thing to manage is mind fatigue. Though I’ve mentioned that I get a lot of good ideas while I’m not actually writing, there are times when my brain is just too tired to be productive. These are often the times when I find it hard to let go of a plot problem and just move along to something else.
Name the three books currently topping your To Be Read list?
Metro 2034 by Dmitry Glukhovsky
Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe by Bill Bryson
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
How important do you think a book’s cover is?
Wow, that’s a tough one for me. Of course you want your cover to be good enough that it doesn’t undermine your credibility as an author; from my personal experience, I’d say most books with horrid covers aren’t likely to be much better inside. Beyond that, however, I’m really not sure; I’ve seen excellent books with fairly plain covers, and absolutely terrible books with very beautiful, professional-looking covers. For me, the most important thing is to have a cover which honestly reflects some aspect of the book’s contents while also staying true to the author’s vision.
If you could collaborate with any author, who would you choose?