I’d like to welcome back Terry W. Ervin II, author of the First Civilization’s Legacy Series and the Crax War Chronicles.
Please recap briefly about your books: First, thank you for having me back.
Flank Hawk, Blood Sword, and Soul Forge are post-apocalyptic fantasy action adventure novels that make up the First Civilization’s Legacy Series. They follow the adventures of Mercenary Flank Hawk. While his skills with sword and spear are far from legendary, he makes up for it with tenacity, dedication and loyalty.
Relic Tech and Relic Hunted are the first two installments in my science fiction series, The Crax War Chronicles. Security Specialist 4th Class Krakista Keesay is a Relic, meaning he relies on late 20th Century technology. Specialist Keesay does his utmost, both aboard ship and on distant colonies, fending off the invading Crax and their traitorous human allies.
Maybe a quote will give a good feel for the series:
“The tech level premise is fascinating, but what really makes the novel special is the spirit of Krakista Keesay. Kra is a hero to root for—often underestimated, adept with brass knuckles, bayonet, shotgun, and all sorts of old style weaponry. He proves that, while technology matters, so do courage, intelligence, and daring.”
—Tony Daniel, Hugo-finalist, author of Metaplanetary and Guardian of Night
Beyond that, I’ve written a number of short stories that range from SF and horror to mystery and inspirational. When the rights reverted to me from their original publications, Gryphonwood press released them as a collection, Genre Shotgun.
What has changed since you last visited? Tell us your news!
Since my interview in January of 2014 ( https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/author-interview-number-thirty-seven-terry-w-ervin-fantasysci-fi/ ) my publisher, Gryphonwood Press, has released Soul Forge (June
2014) and Relic Hunted (January 2016)
Do you think indie/self-published authors are viewed differently to traditionally published authors? Why do you think this might be?
While some authors and reviewers view self-published authors differently from traditionally published authors, I think readers are less focused on such divisions. Readers are interested in good books, ones that catch their imagination while providing an engaging read.
I will say that self-published authors that produce quality stories, coupled with good editing, formatting and everything else that goes with a professional product, have a substantial opportunity to find readers, especially ebook readers. Those that don’t will struggle to find and build readership of their works.
Do you read work by self-published authors?
Yes. Currently I am reading (and listening to—I enjoy audiobooks) Stephen Campbell’s Hard Luck Hank Series, as well as Robert Bevan’s Critical Failure Series.
I’ll add that of traditionally published authors, I am very much enjoying Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles.
What three pieces of advice would you give to new writers?
- Finish projects. Get that first draft done. Then go back and revise and edit and repeat until you’ve produced the very best book you can.
- While you’re submitting the completed manuscript to agents/publishers or working to self-publish it, write something else. Don’t wait to see what happens (either way).
- The best ‘how to’ books for writing are successful novels. Yes, there are many ‘how to write’ books out there, but they can only give a writer the basics. Read, and reread, and study writers you enjoy. See how they do it…tell the stories, create dialogue and interesting characters, pace the storyline, incorporate foreshadowing, irony, characterization and more. If you get stuck on a problem, refer to those novels/authors. See how they did it, then apply what you learned, incorporating it into your own storyline and writing style.
What aspect of writing do you least enjoy? Why might this be?
Completing that first draft. I don’t mind planning/plotting and I actually enjoy editing. I’m an English teacher, so I guess that makes sense. I don’t know why I dislike completing the first draft the most. Maybe because it takes the longest.
Most authors like to read, what have you recently finished reading? Did you enjoy it?
Masters of the Air: Americas Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany by Donald L. Miller. Yes, I enjoyed it. I read a lot of books related to World War II. Beyond the enjoyment, reading and studying history provides ideas for plots and stories and characters.
Do you have a favourite movie?
I would say Serenity is my favorite movie. It offers a mixture of action and adventure and humor and sort of wraps up what was started in the short-lived SF television series, Firefly.
Can you name your worst job? Do you think you learned anything from the position that you now use in your writing?
I’ve held a lot of jobs in my life, from library assistant and dishwasher to landscape assistant and quality control at a potato chip factory. Currently I am an English teacher, an e-course instructor, a village councilman, and an author. My wife teases that any Ervin working fewer than two jobs is a slacker—that, and she says if I’m not busy I get grumpy.
But as to my worst job (or least favorite)? A golf caddie when I was in high school. I didn’t mind the hard work, but I found that the more money the golfer had, the more poorly they tipped and less respect they had for the hard work their caddie did. Maybe my high school experience was out of the mainstream, but it left me with utterly no desire to ever play golf.
How is that experience used in my writing? An experience of life learned about human nature and the human condition.
What are your plans for the future? When will we see your next book? Tell us about it.
My plans for the future are to keep writing. I have several Flank Hawk (First Civilization’s Legacy) novels planned, at two Relic Tech (Crax War Chronicles) novels and possibly one novella in mind, along with a YA based that leans heavily on Norse mythology tentatively titled Icebox to Asgard, a middle school novel, tentatively titled Go Home Gnome, and a novel where gamers get caught up in their RPG world. That last one isn’t a unique plot idea, but I have some interesting twists which I think could lead to a series.
But, beyond my recent release, Relic Hunted, I am now working on an alien invasion novel whose working title is Jack’s Tale, but I am leaning towards Thunder Wells. That last one, I hope to have out before the end of summer 2016. It’s about a loner trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, where aliens have seeded the Earth with nasty critters that feed on humans—after using EMPs to wipe out the world’s electrical grids and high tech devices, bombarding key targets and cities from orbit, and inflicting mass damage and death through creation of tsunamis. Jack gets shanghaied into joining a team transporting one of the few remaining functional nuclear warheads in a desperate bid to destroy the alien colony ship before it deposits its cargo, dooming what remains of humanity.