Name: Blaze Ward
What attracts you to the genre in which you write?
I mostly write SF these days, but I have been into role-playing-games since I got my first Blue Book (bonus points if you are old enough to know what that is. Double bonus if you still have yours, like I do.) When I turned to professional writing again, I mined a bunch of old campaigns for ideas.
For The Forestal, however, I went back to the really dark, heavy, angry poetry that saved my sanity. These pieces weren’t originally written to be published in this format, but when my Publisher asked about them, I spent some time culling the larger library to assemble these pieces. Even today, I’m amazed at how well the long arc comes together, after wandering. Mind you, I wrote all these over the course of several years, with a number of other pieces that were unrelated.
It is epic and apocalyptic. It fit my mood then, and I’m glad I did it.
What piece of writing advice do you wish you’d known when you started your writing adventures?
“Fuck ‘em. They don’t matter. Just write the damned thing and put it out there for everyone to find. Fans will find you.”
If you could have dinner with any famous person or character who would you choose?
E.E. “Doc” Smith. I have always been a huge fan of his, collecting (as near as I can figure) everything he ever published, going well beyond Lensman and Skylark and down into even some mysteries.
Who has been the greatest influence on your own work?
Doc Smith, David Drake, and Arial & Will Durant.
Do you think the e-book revolution will do away with print?
Nope. Just make it possible for me to connect with fans anywhere on the planet. I just sent a note to another writer asking when one of his ebook-only titles was coming out in print (and offering to do it for him) so I could put it on my shelf with all the rest of his titles.
Which 3 books would you take to a desert island and why?
Fagles’s translation of The Iliad; Dash Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon; David Reynold’s Reflections on the Tao Te Ching.
Author bio and book synopsis
Please introduce yourself (250 words or so):
I like grand SF in big universes, but centered on the characters doing things, rather than the technobabble device magical MacGuffin thingee that saves the day with some hand-waving. I write whatever the voices in my head tell me, but the result is a wide swath of cultures and ethnicities exploring the future in a realistic way, without Chosen Ones or epic prophesies (snore).
I like strong, intelligent women, both in my fiction and my real life, and so I tend to write them.
My biggest problem these days with SF is that I once spent three hours crawling the SF/Fantasy shelves at Powell’s Books in Beaverton, Oregon and could not find a single book that looked interesting enough for me to buy it. So I had to go write it instead. I’m okay with doing that for the rest of my career.
Tell us about your book(s) – title, genre etc (short)
The Forestal (Fantary, Poetry)
A long poetry ring, best spoken aloud. (Think Homer’s Odyssey). A dark, epic tale about anger, betrayal, destruction, and the rebirth of the world. I have never encountered anything else like it, in the modern era, but I’m sure others are writing this stuff.
This was rage, distilled. A tale of a journey through deserts and wastelands, before we end up in the darkest forest, moments before the end of the world.
Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2u33Tfd