It's been many moons since I've had a guest here on my blog. So today I'm very excited to welcome YA author Simon Rose!
He's joining me from Calgary to talk about his new release Future Imperfect, now available from Tyche Books.
C: Future Imperfect sounds like a fast-paced sci-fi. Can you share your inspiration for the story?
S: Future Imperfect is an exciting technology-driven adventure featuring teenage geniuses, corporate espionage, and mysterious messages. In the novel, we’re introduced to Andrew Mitchell, who was one of the leading experts in highly advanced technology in Silicon Valley, until he vanished following a car accident, which also injured his son, Alex. When a mysterious app later appears on Alex’s phone, he and his friend Stephanie embark on a terrifying journey involving secret technology, corporate espionage, kidnapping, and murder in a desperate bid to save the future from the sinister Veronica Castlewood. The original idea was about someone receiving messages from the future. These would have an impact on something they needed to do in the present to alter the course of events but for a while that's all I had. Like most writers it's sometimes difficult to pinpoint exactly when the inspiration arrived to develop a full-length story from the initial idea, but that's where it all started. The story will appeal to all young readers for whom technology plays such a large role in their lives, whether it’s cell phones, laptops, tablets, gaming, or the online world, but it’s also a very compelling adventure story, with lots of cliffhangers, twists, and turns. There might even be a couple of sequels, but we’ll wait and see what the future holds, I guess.
C: You've written ten novels and six guide books. How do you keep the ideas coming?
S: I don't have much of a problem generating ideas. The books have all been in the science fiction and fantasy genre featuring such themes as time travel, parallel universes, other dimensions, superheroes, history, and the paranormal, so there's never going to be a lack of inspiration when you're dealing with those kinds of topics. The more difficult part is developing the ideas into a story that's going to appeal to readers but I have a number of projects coming up, including two sequels to Flashback, my 2015 paranormal novel, which will be published next year. I'm also working on a trilogy about a dark parallel world and formulating ideas for sequels to The Sphere of Septimus, my fantasy novel that came out last year. The guides for writers all feature tips and advice that I've gathered over the years through my own experiences in the writing and publishing world so again, no shortage of ideas there. I may publish some more of these guides but it's a case of finding the time to dedicate to those projects with all these novels in the works.
C: When did you decide to write for a young audience?
S: Growing up I read a lot of science fiction, fantasy, ghost stories, short story collections, and a tremendous number of comic books. At high school, I studied a great deal of history and have retained my interest in the subject up to the present day. I also read voraciously on ancient civilizations, mysteries, the supernatural, and the unexplained. I always had lots of ideas for stories but never thought about creating my own novels until I became a parent. Around that time the Harry Potter books appeared, as well as The Golden Compass and its sequels, and these books inspired me to create stories about the topics that interested me.
C: It sounds like you wear several hats in addition to writing fiction. How does it all fit together?
S: It's all connected in many ways. The nonfiction books are for children and young adults and the guides for writers are for adults that wish to write for young readers. This is the focus of the classes and courses I run with Mount Royal University and the University of Calgary, as well as most of my own online workshops and coaching courses. My corporate writing for social media, blogs, and websites, along with magazine articles, might seem unrelated but it's still all about writing. The same applies to my screenplays or my work with other authors with regards to coaching and editing. I work in all genres not just in children's fiction or nonfiction. Last year I worked with authors on a memoir, a Christmas story for young adults, an inspirational book, a biography, and some fantasy novels for adult and children.
C: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors on how to get started?
S: Writing is in some ways the easy part. It can be a very long process not only to write a book, but also to get it published. A book is a marathon measured in years rather than weeks or months. Don’t be afraid to revise and revise over and over again. Most authors go through many revisions before their work reaches its final format. Remember too that your book will never be to everyone’s taste, so don’t be discouraged. A firm belief in your own success is often what’s necessary. After all, if you don’t believe in your book, how can you expect other people to?
Read as much as you can and write as often as you can. Keep an ideas file, even if it’s only a name, title, sentence or an entire outline for a novel. You never know when you might get another piece of the puzzle, perhaps years later. You also mustn’t forget the marketing. You may produce the greatest book ever written. However, no one else is going to see it if your book doesn’t become known to potential readers. Be visible as an author. Do as many readings, signings and personal appearances as you can. Get your name out there and hopefully the rest will follow. Especially for newly published authors, books don’t sell themselves and need a lot of help.