Hello and welcome to Booky Ramblings of a Neurotic Mom
Was there anything particular that inspired you to start your journey of being an author?
I had a wonderful English teacher in high school, David Cottrill, who taught me to write. The more I wrote, the more I found I enjoyed it. I went to college and studied electrical engineering. I got married and had kids. Working and being a father kept me busy. As my kids got older, I started thinking about writing a novel. I had an idea I had been thinking about for more than a year, and one day I just decided to start writing it. The love of writing came back to me, and off I went.
What would you say is the hardest part of writing/publishing a book for you?
The truly hard part is marketing. It is the most work, and the least enjoyable part of the process.
If you could only read four books for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Wow. Just four. This won't be easy.
Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
Just Live, Juliette! - Stephanie Andrassy
Riders of the Storm – Julie Czerneda
The Last Continent – Terry Pratchett
Do you and your main character share any personality traits?
I think all of my characters have a bit of me in them. Carl Wilkins, the main character in Veronica Phoenix, has my pragmatism and my love for people in general.
If you could live in any book what book would it be?
Without any doubt, “Just Live, Juliette!” by Stephanie Andrassy. I don't want to give any spoilers, so I will just say if you read it, you will want to live there, too.
Where do your ideas for your books come from? Dreams? Music?
Sometimes a single line of a song will spark an idea and a story grows. Sometimes I will be reading a story and I'll think, what if THIS happened instead? That starts me down a path that leads to a story. Sometimes I'll just let my mind wander and an idea will come to me.
Any advice for aspiring authors?
Love what you do. Don't force an idea to be something it isn't. Don't look at market trends and decided you should write some particular genre because that's what's selling right now (unless that genre is your love). Find your stories, the ones that move you, the ones that come from your heart and soul, and write them. Then find a good editor, one you work well with, and make the story shine. Unless you are a skilled copy editor yourself, don't bother publishing without an editor. Finally, find a good cover artist. You need a good cover to sell the book. Keep writing. Don't expect your first few books to take off.
Against his better judgment, Carl Wilkins accepts a salvage contract that promises to make him rich. Aboard the salvage vessel Independence, he and his crew depart to retrieve valuable materials from three SACOM battle cruisers recently abandoned in deep space after their destruction by the Xetians, a hostile alien race.
But just days into the mission, a mishap leaves one team contaminated with lethal radioactive debris. As the crew struggles to get their stricken friends aboard the Independence, the Xetians return, and Carl must act quickly to save his crew.
Soon he learns that this misfortune was no accident. Someone in SACOM set him up to fail, but why? His only hope of survival is to allow himself to be drawn into a massive conspiracy against SACOM. Piloting the Phoenix, a specially converted space freighter, Carl embarks on a perilous solo mission to prevent SACOM from building a super-weapon capable of destroying an entire star system.
Veronica Phoenix will take you on a suspenseful and action-packed journey across the galaxy as Carl Wilkins fights to stop SACOM and to rebuild his shattered life.