Welcome to this blog. Today, we are featuring the interview with the author of the science novel The Children of Loki by Robert Fitzgerald Jr..
Q. Robert, is this your first novel?
A. Yes, at least this is the first novel I’ve ever published using that name. It’s not the first full length draft I ever wrote. I wrote 4 during high school and college: that’s university to the English and Canadians. I considered doing an FMA to help me get connections with editors and to dare to show my English professor a novel length text, but with the birth of my 2nd baby it became impractical. My wife needed me to work more hours. I’m a little traditional in that regard, so I worked more instead.
Q. Was it hard to get it published?
A. Well, I should say it way very tough to get a publishing deal that wasn’t just a sort of ‘scam self-pubbing’ deal. Some people can self-publish very well, but I don’t feel that’s ‘me’. It took longer to get a publishing deal than it took to write and edit the entire book. So, I guess, yeah, it was.
You know, some novelists get their first one published whereas I’ve also known others who have to write like 12 just to get one good enough for a publishing company, or one a publishing company will pay the author well for.
Q. Can you give us a general feeling for what kind of story this is?
A. It’s military science fiction. It’s intended to be able to complement or rival David Drake’s Hammers Slammers and the like. I’d rather people read both than just lose to his fans. It’s very much subgenre fiction.
It’s about military soldiers working in the private sector after completing military service, but it’s nothing like what happens when veterans from Afghanistan or Iraq become corporate managers or trainers. In fact, that could be construed as misleading based on what the novel is really like, but its also an almost freakishly accurate way of describing the actual plot line.
A. (makes strange sound) Yes, absolutely. It’s about a business start-up only…If I tell you, it might be a spoiler.
OK, let me ask you a few different types of questions about it:
Q. What did you use for character development in your fiction novel The Children of Loki?
A. Oh, wow, that is a different type of question. I used a number of features. How to express unique individuals in writing is an exciting and fun part of the process. I used a few traits and pieces of world-views and attitudes to set up how each of the main characters tends to make decisions.
None of the characters is taken from anyone alive, although I would like to cast that man Rock to play the lead male character if the novel were turned into a movie during the upcoming 5 years, which sadly, isn’t likely. The main male character is a big, strong middle aged mulatto from right here on planet Earth. He has significant military experience but he wasn’t career military.
In stark contrast, the main woman character is a cradle-to-grave soldier.
Also, just to be clear, I dared to make the leads not a romance; I know that’s very un-Hollywood, or may seem anti-Hollywood but all the “why nots” are shown and explained well in the story itself. Just one hint about that might be her fear-inducing body odor and how that was scientifically developed in her native culture.
In truth, I haven’t been able to find anyone I would cast in her role. There might be someone living who could do it, but I tend to think she would be done using advanced graphic arts, and a voice-over actress. That’s not necessarily easier on the acting staff: something about green walls and pretending to talk to someone who isn’t there, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. I’m not sure who’s voice would be ideal.
I realize that’s strange to have easily cast one role but not the others. I don’t know if the Rock would even want to play Kiel Bronson in a movie, but he’s got the right physical size and his face would also suit the part.
(the author blushes) and looks sheepishly at the interviewer.
Q. Can you tell us anything about the setting?
A. Sure. In truth, there is a map from a game that I did use for guidance. Some map that shows the main starts within the 50Light Years closest to our Solar System. The setting is within 50 LY from Sol and out planet.
(author makes a noise that sounds like a mixture of chuckling aloud and suffering from embarrassment)
I made up almost all the details. It’s set in the distant future or else in an alternative but very nearby universe where most things are the same, but some stuff isn’t.
It’s a typical military science fiction setting. (something that seems like fidgeting again, on the part of the author).
Q. If you could only tell us one more thing about the novel what would it be?
A. For me, the author, the 2 main characters, Gezka and Kiel, drive the whole story. In truth, the characters, events and setting are all interconnected but that’s what it was and is like for me, the author. That’s part of why it says on the title page *a Gezka FaucMerz and Kiel Bronson novel. In the event of related sequels, from my perspective it’s that the future stories would star one or both of those 2.
Q. If we want to buy it online, can we?
A. Yes, of course. Here are a couple of links. The Children of Loki from Barnes & Noble bookstore , The Children of Loki via Amazon .
Q. Is it possible to buy it offline?
A. You can also buy it from nearly any book store, especially a large chain store, but you have to ask for the store to order it.
A. Also, I actually go out to sell the books for myself. So, depending upon our relative locations I might show up out of nowhere offering the book. It is very common for authors to have a few copies of their books in the trunk of their car, or stashed nearby for selling to people when it comes up. Unfortunately, the publishing companies don’t handle most of the marketing for me; I wish they did, but they don’t.