- Guest Author -
Welcome to the world of Craig Brummer. Craig has lived in many places, including Japan and Germany. Welcome, Craig ...
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR WRITING JOURNEY.
I was born in Hollywood, FL and grew up in a time when we did not have all the entertainment options we do today, so you either played outside or read books. I did a lot of both and developed a love of the ocean and reading. I have lived all over the United States, as well as several years in both Japan and Germany. Today, I live in Atlanta with my wife and a house full of furry critters. Like most authors, both indie and with the big 6 publishers, I have both a business career and writing career. My day job is as a Vice President of Business Development for a large service provider company, which requires a lot of travelling and hectic work schedule. However, the time I have for writing is my way of relaxing. Some people play golf; instead, I create stories and characters in a new universe.
WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A WRITER?
Like most writers, I grew up with a love of reading. My favourite authors as a young teenager where Andre Norton, Robert Heinlein, and CJ Cherryh. I started writing about fifteen years ago and became active in a writers’ group, Dallas-Fort Worth Writers Workshop, when I lived in that area. Most writers are avid readers and most avid readers have thought of writing. That’s how I became a writer. Stories that inspired me instilled in me a desire to create my own universe and set of characters. I’ve completed several novels, but A New Beginning is my first novel I felt worthy of publication.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
I love creating the story, the characters, the world setting. To me, creating them is as enjoyable as watching a great movie. My characters become friends, the world setting a place that I would be interested in living. The process of writing a story is at times difficult, but always enjoyable and rewarding as you finish each chapter. Of course, completing a novel is always time for a little personal celebration.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
Currently I am working on the second novel set in the Federation Universe. It is not a sequel to A New Beginning, but a standalone novel in the same setting. My intention is to write a number of novels set in the Federation Universe (not to be confused with the Star Trek universe). Some characters from one novel will reappear in other novels but each novel will be a separate story.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
The potential of mankind. We live in a marvellous time with enormous capability that can be used negatively or positively. We all know of the problems on our lonely little planet and the struggles of everyday people. I write to show what might be a potential future for us. I’d like to think that one day we will colonize space and life as I write it will be an option for us.
WHAT GENRE DO YOU WRITE?
I write Science Fiction in the sub-genre Space Opera. A New Beginning has some battle elements, but the story is not military oriented. In A New Beginning, the spacers are rebelling against Earth’s control of them and setting up their own government. But the main story is about a young earth girl, Kristin Hayes, who was an indentured corporate worker, a slave really. She is sold to the spacers, and the story is about how that changes her life and her pursuit of happiness.
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR AND WHY?
My favourite author is C.J. Cherryh and has been for ages, so of course she is a major influence in my own writing. I think her novels Cyteen, Regenesis and Downbelow Station were master works. I have 38 of her novels, which I think is pretty much everything she’s written excluding short stories. I like her writing style and her superb talent at creating new and exciting worlds. Her characters are believable, as are the various worlds she creates.
DID YOU HAVE YOUR BOOK / BOOKS PROFESSIONALLY EDITED BEFORE PUBLICATION?
Yes. I think that’s critical for any book. Errors cause the reader to “break” from the story. It disrupts their experience and enjoyment of the story. As a writer, you simply cannot edit your own book. You’ve read each paragraph many times and your mind knows what should be there, so you don’t see the errors. We’ve all seen some of the indie authors who have received poor reviews over the lack of editing in their books. As an avid reader myself, I have to mention that lately I’ve read a couple books from one of the big 6 publishers that were poorly edited, and now I’m avoiding that imprint.
DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN ANY OF YOUR CHARACTERS?
No, not really. However, as a writer you do instil in characters certain of your viewpoints, or either opposing viewpoints. As I develop characters, they may have traits of people I’ve known or some mixing of traits and views of various people I’ve known. Of course, there are other characters that are created simply because they fit a certain role in the story. When I’m developing a story I start with the lead character, the protagonist, and then build the story around them. The other characters are all created to help or hinder the protagonist, and that often drives what traits they possess.
DOES THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY FRUSTRATE YOU?
No, not at all. I had a lot of exposure to agents and publishers when I was in the DFW Writers Workshop. Also, my daughter was an agent with one of the New York literary firms for about eight years. So I am pretty familiar with the traditional publishing industry. What really excites me today is the potential that Amazon brought to the world by opening the door to indie authors. Previously, the big 6 firms controlled what was available to read; today, that is not the case. For instance, there was clearly a market for many more romance novels, especially in certain sub-genres, that the big 6 were not meeting. That gap has been filled by some very talented indie authors. I find the process of indie publishing to be very exciting and enjoyable. As an indie author, I decide on the artist for my cover and exactly what the cover will look like, who will edit and format the book, and of course create my own marketing plan to let readers know the book is available.
HOW MUCH THOUGHT GOES INTO DESIGNING A BOOK COVER?
A book cover is important. It’s the thing that attracts a reader to the book to see if they might be interested in it. I think the cover should convey what’s inside; it should hint at the story line. For A New Beginning, I had a young German artist, Djamila Knopf, do the artwork. She did a great job of capturing what I envisioned as Kristin Hayes right after she has been sold to the spacers but before she really knows anything about them. She is sitting staring out a window at the vastness of space, wondering what the future holds for her which is the story. www.SGWdesign.com also did a fantastic job on the cover layout and book formatting.
ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE TO ADD?
Well, yes. I would like to add where you can get a copy of A New Beginning.
It’s available on Amazon in most countries and at Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/Ztr1hl and Smashwords http://bit.ly/15yujT2
The ereader (Kindle & Nook) version were released April 20th, the print version will be released May 2nd.
I am also in discussions to have an audio version done, but that will not be out until late June, possible early July. If someone wants to track the release dates or additional information,my website is: http://www.CraigBrummer.com
I would also like to thank you for the opportunity to speak to your audience and let them know about my novel.
Clancy's comment: My pleasure. Agree with you about characters becoming friends. I guess that is because we spend so much time with them. Thanks for your time, Craig. Best of luck.