Random Friday


And from the Sci-fi July Redux bundle, here’s a brand new author (new to this blog, I mean! 😉 ) who shows how this is an international, no, intercontinental! job! I haven’t met him yet, but hope to do so shortly… We even have a cover artist in common, Mighty Marvelous Maurizio Manzieri! And he’s probably even more prolific than me… 😀 Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Sean Monahan!

Where do you live and write from?

After living around the world, I’ve settled back in my old hometown in rural New Zealand. It’s oddly comfortable. I still have itchy feet always, but I’ve been able to set up to write while on the road, even when traveling light (as in carry-on only). Last year I wrote a fantasy novel using a tiny bluetooth keyboard and a cellphone, while traveling through South America.

Why do you write?
I get the feeling that it’s ingrained. It seems as much a part of me as breathing. Some comes from loving stories, and some comes from my school days, when I had poor handwriting (still do). I got into trouble for my bad, unreadable writing and for making little effort. I’m sure that there’s an eight-year-old inside me out to prove something: “I’ll show you! I’ll be a writer!”

What genre(s) do you write?

Science fiction, thrillers and the occasional fantasy. My fantasies are usually without magic, just fantastical worlds. My science fiction can be very fluid with the science (my dream is to write and a story to Analog, where the science has to be absolutely based on fact). I also write some literary fiction, which is fun to come at with my pulp-writer methods – exciting too, to have those stories published by recognized magazines.

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

I would like to do this for my living. Right now I’m slowly getting there, and it’s a real balance of getting better as a writer, and learning the business skills required to get my stories into the hands of readers. I think I’m a fair writer, but a fairly lousy salesperson. I am taking some business and sales courses, I’m slowly updating my back catalogue with better covers and blurbs, and I’m experimenting with advertising. Being in bundles is great too – a nice way to promote my books to readers who might not normally see me. Easy and low-risk for the readers too.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

Butt in the chair.

Outliner or improvisor? Fast or slow writer?

Absolutely seat-of-the-pants. I start out with a character in a setting and give them a problem and see how they get out of it. Sometimes I might have some ideas about settings or problems I’d like to play with, but that’s about all. I love letting my eight-year-old’s creative side just go play. I think I write moderately fast – about a half a million words a year for the last seven years. It works out about fifteen hundred words a day. I know writers who write maybe a tenth of that, and others who write three or four times what I manage.

Tell us more about your book in the bundle.

When I set out writing Raven Rising I thought it was going to be a short story, maybe five or six thousand words. But it kept going. Things got worse for everyone in the story. My characters kept trying to sort things out, but set backs cropped up more and more. It ended up as a short novel – about my shortest so far, but it was fun to write and, I hope it’s entertaining to read.

Tell us about your latest book.

Tombs Under Vaile – just came out, and it’s the sixth novel in my “Karnish River Navigations” sci-fi series. Private investigator Flis Kupe left the military to settle back on her home world. Her damaged permanent military implant gives her touble, but sometimes helps out. In this novel, a prison escape forces Flis to make some unlikely allegiances to help capture a psychopath.
Available from various retailers through this link.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Always! I have a new novel in my “Captain Arlon Stoddard” series completed so it just needs copyediting and promotional material. I hope to have that out before the end of the year. I’m writing a middle-grade sci-fi novel at the moment, which I’ll probably finish up in the next week or so. Then I might write a couple of short stories before jumping into another novel – maybe a thriller, maybe a fantasy. That’s part of the fun of being a “pantser” – just figuring out what I’m writing once I start writing it.

Cover Art Maurizio Manzieri

I also have a new story set in my Shilinka Switalla universe, “Ventiforms”, coming out in the January/February issue of Asimov’s. This is in the same universe as my story “Crimson Birds of Small Miracles” which won the Asimov’s Readers’ Poll, and the Sir Julius Vogel Award for best science fiction story 2017.

Thanks for the interview.

___________________

Find Sean online: www.seanmonaghan.com

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