Silla, Tell us a bit about James' book. Well, it’s basically me snooping around a high tech prison complex, trying to get the goods on a super criminal who’s trying to hold the galaxy for ransom. Things get out of hand when one of the inmates uploads his consciousness into the AI, wreaks havoc and steals enough weaponry to destroy all four C
Cool. What made you choose being a Government Agent for a career? I never chose it. Me and Brok, that’s my ex-partner, were wanted smugglers and were given a choice, work for the Alliance or go to prison. It was a pretty generous offer considering all the charges they’d stacked against us. I suppose it helped having Dragon, the most advanced ship in known space and me being the only one who could pilot it.
Knowing what you know now, if you had it to do over again, would you stick with being a government agent or do something different? My plan was always to get rich enough to retire. There’s a little luxury Mars resort I know where I’d to spend a long, long time with plenty of whiskey and fine cigars. That sounds pretty good to me.
Sounds good to us, too. What is your biggest fear? Guess you could say I’m of a nervous disposition so a lot of things spook me. Top of the list though is physical danger. The trouble is I also get bored really quick and this usually causes me to end up in dangerous situations. I can never sit still for long.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Dragon Rider, a series of fantasy stories my aunt used to read to me when I was little. When my ship was being built I had them design it as the Dragon in those tales.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Stop drinking, smoking and gambling. I never took the advice.
Hah! Now let's talk with James. Which writer or character, from either books or movies, have had a major impact on your writing? Robert E. Howard has probably inspired me more than anyone else.
With regard to research, where did you start for this novel? Did that lead you down different paths, thereby changing the original concept? The first Dragon book was intended to be a fantasy, completely fictional. Sillow himself, the main protagonist of the stories, began life as a cowardly elf and the plan was to write a series of semi-comic novellas. As the story developed I realized it would work better as soft science fiction with a fantasy element.
Tell us a bit about your publisher. How did you hear about them and what influenced you to submit to them? My publisher is called Class Act Books http://www.classactbooks.com/ I was looking for a publisher that accepted all types of speculative fiction as I like to write in several genres and they have a very eclectic outlook to writing.
How is the submission process; what is the turn-around time from date of query to date of release? As I remember, I sent the whole manuscript and received a reply quite quickly (I don’t remember exactly how long it was but I think about a couple of months). It was about six months before the novel was published. During that time, I worked with a great editor, and author in her own right, Sherry Derr-Wille, to tighten up and polish the story.
What are you reading right now? Ben Hur. It is on my long, long list of classics that I am slowly working my way through. I’m also reading Toni V. Sweeney’s The Seventh Mothman, which is a steampunk scifi. I’ve read many of her novels and enjoyed them all.
What's next for you? I think it’s going to be another Dragon story, this time though I want to explore my main character’s psychology more, go deeper but at the same time also have the heavy dose of comedy that is very much a part of the series. I’ve just finished a steam punk scifi- fantasy novella as well, tentatively called The Rift Makers but now feel it needs to be a much longer work to get all the ideas across.
A little bit about our guest:
James Austin McCormick is a college lecturer from Manchester, England and in his free time enjoys writing speculative fiction, mostly science fiction, horror and a little sword and sorcery fantasy. He’s also a fan of classic Gothic and Victorian horror tales and is currently in the process of writing updated versions of these with a science fiction spin.
James’ novels include the trilogy Dragon (Dragon, Dragon: Smuggler Tales, Dragon: The Tower of Tamerlane), The Last Synn, a sword-and-sorcery story, a SciFi novel, Sunfall, and a horror novel, Balec. All are available from Class Act Books.
To learn more about James Austin McCormick and the stories he creates go to:
Class Act Books http://www.classactbooks.com/index.php/our-authors/manufacturers/james-austin-mccormick
To purchase this book and others by James Austin McCormick, go to:
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dragon-Tamerlane-James-Austin-McCormick/dp/1938703634/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1470585322&sr=1-7&keywords=James+Austin+McCormick