Hey, peeps! Please join me in welcoming author S. Evan Townsend to my blog!
Let's go ahead and get started with the interview!
1. Congratulations on the release of your latest work, Rock Killer. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
It's a science fiction novel set in the not-too-distant future when asteroids are being mined for their valuable metals without degrading Earth. But some are even opposed to that and they resort to violence to reach their political ends. That is, they are terrorists. Alexander Chun, literally a million miles from help, and without armaments, must stop them before they kill him and his multi-national crew.
2. What prompted you to write this particular story? Was there a special event, occurrence, song etc. that sparked an idea?
In the early 2000s there was a spat of eco-terrorist attacks in the Pacific Northwest where I live. And I got to wondering what motivated these people because some of their targets were actually helping the environment. And I wondered what would happen if in the future, such people decided to make terrorist attacks on people who are mining asteroids because they aren't against mining asteroids, they're against anything that advances human progress.
3. Which of your characters do you relate to the most, and why?
Alexander Chun is a Korean-American who used his brains and ambition to get to where he is. And he's a little unsure he's ready for it. And I can completely relate to his insecurity. I think we all have insecurities about being ready to handle what life throws at us. And Chun gets more than he bargained for when he and his crew are the targets of a terrorist attack. Back when I was working for a living, I'd often feel inadequate to the tasks at hand and have to find a way to get through them. And sometimes I'd get more than I bargained for, usually in the form of a customer with a sudden new demand.
4. Did you have a character or scene that you struggled with? How were you able to push through?
I hated writing the scene where one of my female characters, Charlie Jones, gets raped. So like my character, I didn't dwell on it. I just got through it.
5. If you were able to spend an evening with one of your characters, who would you choose, and why?
Charlene "Charlie" Jones. She's a beautiful African-American woman who is strong, intelligent, and resilient. I put her through hell in this novel and she came out a better person in the end. And yes, I'm just a wee bit in love with her.
6. Do you have any writing quirks?
Well, when writing Rock Killer I sort of wrote it from the inside out. I wrote the terrorist attack in the middle of the book, then went back and filled in the background of how everyone got to that point, then I finished the rest of the book. And then I added Charlie Jones as a major character and her story arc.
7. Favorite author?
Hands down: Robert Heinlein.
8. Favorite book?
It's been too long since I've re-read it: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein.
9. What are three things your readers don’t know about you?
I have a very bad habit of driving fast. I've done it on a race track which is most fun I've had with my clothes on.
I love politics almost as much as writing. I'd love to be a Congressional staffer or a White House aide.
I love spinach, raw, cooked, canned, it doesn't matter. In grade school you couldn't go back for seconds in the cafeteria unless you'd eaten all your food. ON days they served spinach I'd eat other kids' spinach so they could go back for seconds and I'd charge them their dessert. Which was a win-win for me 'cause I got both the spinach and the dessert.
10. What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Snails, probably. Although geoduck sushi has to be high on the list (geoduck is a type of Northwest clam with a rather phallic appendage).
11. What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
I once jumped out of a perfectly good airplane. Once was enough.
12. If Rock Killer were made into a movie, who would you like to see cast?
Daniel Dae Kim as Alexander Chun
Kate Hudson as his wife Kirsten Hanna-Chun
Gabrielle Union as Charlie Jones
Thank you so much for joining us today!
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