Nick's back, this time with an interview and this and that.
1. What's your favourite thing about the world of Skyship?
I love that it has so many facets to it. In the Skyship world, there are basically three different factions to explore. It’s not strictly sci-fi or fantasy or steampunk, but it mixes elements of all three. I love being able to incorporate all of my favorite things into one story. Without bending to the confines of one particular genre, I have the freedom to do anything.
Plus, I find skyships very, very cool.
2. What steampunk/other things influenced the creation of this world?
I’m not sure if it’s considered hardcore steampunk, but the anime series Trigun was a huge inspiration for these books. Much of the action in the Skyship series takes place in old-west type desert towns, but with futuristic technology and weapons. I also took a lot of inspiration from comic books of all sorts, which I grew up reading. I aimed for writing that was fast-paced, cinematic and filled with dialogue.
For Crimson Rising specifically, I took some cues from my favorite sci-fi movie, Terminator 2: Judgement Day. I feel like the story James Cameron was able to tell was just relentless in its sense of forward movement and high stakes.
3. How have your characters developed since the start of the series?
They’re slowly moving from their extremes (Jesse started out very apathetic, whereas Cassius began as obedient and unquestioning). It’s a process that really runs through all three books. At the beginning of Crimson Rising, both boys find themselves in really tough places, basically held captive in different ways. The first half of the book is really about finding out how to break free and continue the fight they were destined to be a part of. But there’s definitely a strong internal journey that both characters are on. They’re really learning how and where they fit into the world.
4. If you could make any one of your characters real and be best friends with them, who would it be and why?
I don’t think I’d pick either of my main characters, actually--mostly because both have a fair share of my own personality in them. I think I’d choose Avery, who’s one of Jesse’s best friends. For those who have read the first book, you’ll know that she’s spontaneous, fun-loving, smart and very, very sarcastic.
5. What's been the hardest thing to write about?
I think I’ve had the hardest time with the third book, which I’m just finishing up now. It’s the final entry in the series, meaning everything is wrapped up. Endings are always a struggle for me, particularly when it comes to ending an entire series. I’m really excited about it, though.
6. If you could go anywhere in the world of Skyship, where would you?
I’d love to explore the skyships. In the world of the book, there are all sorts of ships floating above the country. I’d love to visit some of the more entertainment-based ships, which contain things like amusement parks and casinos. They’re basically like floating cities in the sky.
7. Have any personal experiences you want to share made their way into the Skyship novels?
I wouldn’t say I’ve actually done anything in real life that happens in the book, but I definitely drew influence from places I’ve lived and people I’ve met. In fact, two of my good friends’ names appear briefly in the second book. It’s fun to sneak things like that in!
8. What's your ideal steampunk/skypunk adventure?
Something with a daredevil-type hero or heroine, someone who’s free and just doesn’t give a crap. It would have awesome technology, lots of secrets and incredibly high stakes. It’s less about the world and more about the story and characters, for me. I have lots of steampunk-inspired ideas floating around in my head. The key is finding the story that fits around those ideas.
This or that-simply what do you prefer.
Handwrite or type first drafts?
Type. Type. Type.
Tea or coffee?
Tea. I don’t drink coffee (I know that’s weird).
Day or night?
Day, though I’m not a morning person.
Cake or biscuits?
Cake, but not every night. Too much of a good thing = not a good thing anymore.
Twitter or Facebook?
Facebook. I find it hard to fit things into 140 characters.
The stars or the moon?
The stars. I feel like the moon has been explored to death, but the stars are still so mysterious. I could stare at them for a long time.
The USA or the UK?
Argh. I love both. When I was living in the UK, I missed the USA. When I’m here, I miss the UK. I wish I could combine them into one, glorious country.
Loud places or quiet ones?
It depends on my mood.
Covers: The Pearl Wars or Crimson Rising?
Love them both, but especially love The Pearl Wars.
Writing at home or somewhere else like a cafe?
Somewhere else, just because I get so much more done. Plus, treats are always good motivation!
Big thanks to Nick for that! Nick's website is here, Crimson Rising is on Goodreads, and you can buy it from Amazon.
The rest of the tour is below.
9/10 This or That @ The Busy Bibliophelic
9/11 Review @ The Readinista
9/12 Guest Blog @ Kelsey Sutton
9/13 Interview @ The Book CellarX
9/14 This or That @ Kindle & Me
9/15 Interview & ToT @ Death, Books & Tea
9/18 Giveaway @ The Mod Podge Bookshelf
9/20 ToT & Giveaway @ Coffee, Books & Me
9/21 Interview @ Books, Sweets & Other Treats
9/22 Interview & Giveaway @ Fire & Ice
9/23 Shelf Envy @ Joyous Books
9/26 Review @ A Little Bit Of R&R
9/27 Guest Blog @ The Book Smugglers
9/28 Guest Blog & Giveaway @ I Am A Reader, Not A Writer