What first got you interested in writing? What has kept you doing it?
I wanted to be a writer ever since I knew there were such things as writers. What has kept me doing it these 40 some-odd years is the fact that I have to write. Even if I never sold another book, I would still be writing. There are thoughts, feelings, and stories in my head demanding to get out.
Do you have the support of your family and friends? Has that support always been there, or has it changed since being published?
My wife has always been supportive. My parents tolerated my desire to write (I remember my father saying, “Turn off the computer and face the real world”). Since I’ve been published they are much more supportive and my father, who hates science fiction and fantasy, has read all my books.
What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? Strangest habit? Is there anything you have to do before you start writing?
My most interesting writing quirk is that writing for me is a two-stage affair. First I have to think about it. I call this “pre-writing.” I’ll ponder the plot, characters, or action that I need to write. This can happen anytime (the shower or while exercising is a great time to pre write). Then I’ll sit down and write. But I don’t be a slave to what I pre-wrote. If inspiration strikes, I will follow it. Once I made a typo and I liked how it changed the story so I went with it.
What advice would you give to a new writer?
Write what’s in your heart. Don’t worry if it doesn’t sell a million copies and get you an Oprah Book Club sticker, write what is in your heart. Otherwise you might as well be a prostitute because it pays better and is less degrading. If you are writing to become rich and famous, you’re doing the wrong thing.
What has been the biggest challenge of your career so far?
Getting published. I’ve been submitting work to agents and publishers for 30 years and only got published in 2011.
Has a reader ever complimented you on your writing? What was the best thing you ever heard, and who told it to you?
The best thing a reader ever said was in an Amazon review of my self-published novel Radioactive Communist Zombies. They compared me favorably to my hero Robert Heinlein. That just blew me away.
What are you working on now? Could you give us a little taste?
Right now I’m working on a third book in what I call the “Adept Series.” The first two books, Hammer of Thor and Agent of Artifice have already been published. While the books are related and set in the same urban fantasy universe and some characters are in all three, each one is set up to be able to be read separately. Here’s a short excerpt:
I thought somebody dropped a dish. I heard a tinkle of broken glass but it was followed by what sounded like distant gun shot. Anica made a yelping noise and I looked at her. Blood was flowing down the front of her dress. It seemed to take me ages but in reality was probably less than a second to realize she’d been shot and the bullet had come from the woods across the lake and had broken through the window.
I dove over and knocked Anica to the floor as the window shattered, letting in frigid air and the sound of more gunfire.
Vojir rushed into the room. “What’s happening?” she cried.
“Get down!” I yelled. “Put up a protection spell.”
She dropped to the floor and her hand was on her necklace as she invoked the spell.
I couldn’t put a spell around Anica. She touched herself and the bleeding stopped but she passed out from the effort. At least she was breathing, I thought. She was alive, for now.
I raised my head to look out the window. Two men were stalking across the ice. They were dressed in lose white clothes that made them nearly impossible to see. At first I didn’t notice any weapons but then I realized they, too, were camouflaged with white cloth. They were long guns and even I knew they were rifles designed for shooting long distances. I don’t how they missed Anica’s head, which is the logical place to shoot an adept so they can’t heal themselves. The men had stopped firing as they moved across the ice. There was just enough snow on the ice that they were leaving tracks from the woods from which they had emerged.
Tell us about your latest book.
My latest book is Rock Killer. It’s science fiction set in the not-too-distant future when asteroids are being mined for their valuable metals without degrading Earth. But some are even opposed to that and they resort to violence to reach their political ends. That is, they are terrorists. Alexander Chun, literally a million miles from help, and without armaments, must stop them before they kill him and his multi-national crew.
How can people find out more about you?
My website is http://www.sevantownsend.com
My Twitter is @SEvanTownsend