Are you a full-time or part-time writer and how does that affect your writing?
I am a full-time writer. As to how it affects my writing, I have to say I feel a bit more pressure to produce. When I was a part-time writer, I could always blame the job for not writing. Now I have no excuse!
Do you have a special time to write, or how is your day structured to accommodate your writing?
I write first thing in the morning, usually 7am – noon. I also write a daily minimum number of words, at least 1500, of what I call 2nd draft level writing. In other words, the 1500 words have been written and rewritten to a certain level of polish. And of course, my “writing” does not end there as my mind works through scenes throughout the day. I take weekends off as a diversionary break unless the Muse happens to be active.
What have you written so far?
In the past two years, I’ve published 5 books and 4 short stories. Four of the books are science fiction and the other is a book of poetry. Of the short stories, one is science fiction, the other three are more literary and were published in Short Story America and The Mulberry Fork Review.
Do you work to an outline or plot sketch, or do you prefer to let a general idea guide your writing?
Actually, I do both. I have the general idea of where the novel is going, and as it proceeds, I develop an outline that I put on an Excel spreadsheet. It helps me keep track of scenes and characters. I do this because I don’t write sequentially, i.e., one scene follows the next. I’ll write a scene as it comes to me, so I may write an ending scene, then a scene in the middle and then another in between. By the time I get to the end, the original ending scene may or may not work, but it will have been modified (or even discarded) to fit into the novel.
Can you share with readers a little bit about your latest book?
My latest novel is called Rebirth of Angels, released in May. It’s a dystopian novel based on the premise of using cloning to extend man’s life forever. A person simply clones herself at 20 then waits until she is 40 and has a brain transplant into the new body. Voila! A new and younger you with all the smarts of a 40-year-old.
As with any society, the rich can afford rebirth/cloning and think nothing of cloning themselves five or six times at once. When the time comes for their rebirth, they select the best clone and destroy the others.
Obviously, not everyone thinks this is such a good idea, and an organization called Social Injustice seeks to put a stop to rebirth.
What is your next project?
I’m about 100,000+ words into book 4 of the Wolf 359 series and have started a sequel to the Steampunk novel, Fool’s Gold. I’m also thinking about a sequel to Rebirth of Angels, picking up as the scattered remnants of mankind emerge into a new world..
What role does research play in your writing?
Research plays a BIG part of my writing. For example, my Steampunk novel, Fool’s Gold, is a Steampunk Western and takes place in Tombstone, AZ in 1882. Not only did I research the time, town, and surrounding area, my wife and I went to Tombstone for a week to get a feel of the town and its history. The same held true for my Sci-Fi adventure series, Wolf 359. While I obviously couldn’t visit another planet, I did the science research to make sure that the hard science “stuff” was correct
I think this also plays into writing what one knows/researches. For example, I was given a book to read authored by a romance writer. The premise was a female reporter on the front lines in the Vietnam war. The problem? It never happened. There were NO female reporters on the front lines in Vietnam. The second problem was her inability to describe what war feels, smells, and tastes like as well as her lack of understanding things military. Does this mean a woman can’t write about war and things military? Hardly. One only need read Janet Morris’ The Sacred Band to see war and battle done very well.
The point here is that research is essential to a well-told story.
What do you like to read in your free time?
I tend to read a number books at the same time. Right now I’m reading Death and Honor by W.E.B. Griffin, Adolf Hitler by John Toland, The Misunderstood God by Darin Hufford, Storming, a Dieselpunk Adventure by K.M. Weiland, and The Queen’s Poisoner by Jeff Wheeler. I read quite a bit. My wife and I choose not to have cable TV and find with our lifestyle, we don’t miss it. We’re both outdoors folks, and so much of our free time is spent cycling, hiking, kayaking and traveling.
What is one thing you hate about being a writer?
I think the thing that bothers me the most about being a writer is the number of people who don’t read. I confess that I am shocked with the number of people where reading seems to be a lost art.
And I know you said “one thing”… but another “thing” I hate is the number of folks who say “I absolutely LOVED your book” and then can’t find the time to write a positive review.
How can readers discover more about Doug and his work?