Okay, so last week was a strange one and I couldn’t read a calendar. LOL. Everyone welcome author Ray Chilensky!
1. What’s the title of your latest release? Link?
My short story ‘The Engineer’ appears in ‘Project 9’: a science Fiction anthology that is now available for pre-order, and will be available from Solstice Publishing on December 23. I’m in the final editing stages with my dystopian science fiction novel The Fate of Nations: FIRE Team Alpha Book One; which should be available from Solstice soon.
2. Why do you like writing in this genre?
Science fiction is unlimited. Even though good science fiction is rooted in science that is actually possible, a writer isn’t confined by what is actually possible today. Since you’re speculating about the future, there’s a kind of mental cushion that allows you to and your readers to think about social and political issues in new ways that our upbringing and cultural taboos might otherwise make us uncomfortable with.
3. What do you like to read?
I’m a historian by training, so I read a lot of history. I read a lot of classic science fiction authors. Robert Heinlein is my all time favorite. Ray Bradbury is a close second. I’m also a fan spy novels like those of Alistair MacLean and David Morrell.
4. Favorite movie?
Favorite move? Just one? That’s impossible, I think. I really love the 1975 version of ‘Rollerball’. That film and films like ‘The Guns of Navarone’ and ‘Where Eagles Dare’ are also favorites. All three of those movies have heavily influenced my writing. I’m eclectic in terms of genre’, but most of the movies I like are more than twenty years old.
5. What are your writing habits? Music or silence? Daily regimen or spurts of creativity?
I like to listen to music when I write, but I like silence when I edit. I try to keep to a daily regimen and write at least 1000 words a day. Of course, those 1000 words come more easily on some days than on others. There are rare, miraculous days that I written several thousand words in a day and they were golden. There are also days when I’ve done 1000 words and got rid of them as garbage then next day. If I have a few days like that in a row and I take time to do some drawing or extra reading to shake off the bad ‘mojo’.
6. What was the most surreal moment you’ve had as a author?
Most surreal moment? I won 3rd place in a writing contest a few years ago. That was the first time I had actually shown my writing to anyone except family and friends. It was when I cashed the prize check for that contest that I thought ‘hey, I might actually be good at this writing thing.’ It was surreal because I was 43 years old at that time and had been writing stories for myself since childhood. That anyone but my friends and family might want to read my work was a strange idea for me until then.
7. How can readers find you?
I have a Face Book pages for me, personally, and for The FIRE Team Alpha series. I’m also on Google Plus and Twitter. There is a FIRE Team Alpha web site and you can find my artwork on the Deviantart website (it’s sort of Face Book for artists).
8. What do you know now about being published that you wish you’d known before submitting?
I’m new to being a published author so I’m not the best source of publishing wisdom. My one piece of advice for writers looking to be published is that you must write and you must submit your work to potential publishers. That sounds basic and even silly, but it isn’t. It took me half my life before I took my writing seriously, and began trying to sell it. I’ve talked to many people that write stories and poems and never show them to anyone but their own social group. They might want to get published but for whatever reasons they never submit their work to publishers. You have to get over the fear of being rejected and be willing to roll the proverbial dice when you put ‘the end’ at the end of a piece of writing.
9. Favorite snack/drink while writing?
I keep a pitcher of iced tea by my desk at all times when writing.
10. Look at your writing area…what’s the item you keep to inspire you (piece of artwork, figurine)?
That’s easy. When I write, I’m surrounding by some of the books that I collected over the years. There are dozens of them all around me. There are also reference books like dictionaries and world atlases that I actually refer to as I write.
Thanks for stopping by, Ray! Good luck with the books!