Welcome to another author interview. This week we have David Wilbanks, and I will now turn the floor over to him.
-What book and/or experience made you want to be a writer?
While there's probably some stuff about a need to create or whatever, it mostly had to do with my desire to have a job I could do on my own schedule, from home, without putting pants on. I've done some freelance journalism, but all it took was one three-day forest service conference to convince me that expense account or not, that was way too boring.
-What genre(s) do you write?
Humor is pretty much my thing, but so far it's mostly science fiction. I can handle writing other genres, but I can't handle serious writing. I'm working on a silly mystery at the moment, and I recently tried out a humorous bit of erotica.
-What project are you working on now?
I'm submitting my novel Twin Suns (my thesis) but also trying to get the word count up a bit to open up some additional markets. I'm also working on the mystery I mentioned, which tells the story of the minor crime squad (minor as in not important, not juvenile). Aside from that I'm mostly revising short works to submit.
Here is the first short scene from chapter 1 of Twin Suns:
The Kepler-69 binary star system consisted of the two stars Kepler-69A and ScoobyRulz69, which had been named by a fourteen year-old boy who charged $14.95 to his mother’s credit card for that privilege. The fact that the two names included the same number was pure coincidence. To the humans who inhabited the solar system, they were simply, “the suns.” Following humanity’s tradition of coming up with incredibly obvious names, people had taken to calling the solar system as a whole Twin Suns.
Near the edge of that solar system, the USS Tranquility altered course for the first time in eight years. Automated thrusters activated, turning the ship 180 degrees so that its angled bow faced the precise point, formerly within Earth’s solar system, from which it had departed. Once this maneuver was complete, a small object shot from the center of the concave copper disk that covered the box-shaped stern. At a calculated distance, the small object detonated. The force of the nuclear explosion sent a slight shudder through the ship as it decelerated. Seconds later, another explosion hit the copper push plate, slowing it further.
Inside, the sound of every object in the ship simultaneously shifting with each blast echoed with a steady rhythm. The sound varied only in tone. The fighters and shuttle groaned in their brackets, while the bolted-down furniture creaked, trying to move beyond the bolts securing it to the deck. From all around the ship, this sound met with the high-pitched chime of smaller items floating in metal containers; everything from guns and bullets to forks and knives.
The cylindrical section between the bridge and the engine began to rotate slowly, giving the whole ship the appearance of an inelegant mini-van/cement mixer hybrid. The symphony ended with a final deafening note when the cylindrical midsection's spin reached its top speed, hurling every object toward the deck, its outer edge. The crew was unable to hear this rhythmic cacophony as they were each encapsulated and unconscious. The ship finally shuddered to a stop. The slight hum of electrical motors and the air-circulation system once again became audible. The hiss of the hibernation capsules opening in each of the crew quarters was followed by a recorded voice repeating over the ship-wide intercom.
“We have just arrived in the Twin Suns solar system. All hands are required to report to their immediate superior in thirty minutes. Welcome to Twin Suns.”
-For other aspiring writers, any tips?
Get help. Natural talent is great, up until you realize that lots of people have it. The difference is often in studying the craft (Seton Hill's MFA program is a great place to do that) and learning how to do all the non-artistic stuff like revising, copy-editing and submitting.
Even if you don't go to a school for fiction writing, pick up some books on writing, and find a way to coerce some people into critiquing your work (I'm eighty percent sure my girlfriend is only dating me for my critiquing skills).
-What’s your favorite book/genre to read?
Humor...not surprising I guess, but I do enjoy a fair amount of zombie-related stuff, some historical mysteries, serious science fiction and the dialogue in video games.
-What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever written?
That's a tough call. I'm rather fond of several of my poems. The one about tennis (as a metaphor for sex) gets good laughs. Life: A Complex Drinking Game is another good one. My favorite novel I've ever written is Twin Suns, and probably will be until I write another. In Twin Suns, I've got reptilian aliens who my characters call lizard dudes, and I really enjoyed writing from their perspective. My favorite scenes out of it are probably the ones written from the perspective of Steve the lizard dude.
Want more from David?