Author Spotlight: M. Pax
I’d like to welcome science fiction/fantasy writer M. Pax, author of Semper Audacia. We’ll learn more about this space opera novel—including a giveaway—but first, let’s see what M. Pax has to say…
1. Sum up your current WIP in one to three sentences.
My next release is the Backworld series, space opera. It’s about a bartender on another planet and his friends. They’re bioengineered to live on other worlds, but their origins are Earth. Action, mayhem, humor and romance all play a part in this story as the scourge of the galaxy lands atop the bar and weaves an evil snare.
2. What’s your ultimate goal as a writer? How close are you to achieving that goal?
My goal is to find an audience and make enough to keep writing and finance editing for the next book. If I do better, I’d be thrilled. I’ve just started.
3. What do you love about being a writer?
I love working for myself and having the creative freedom to be truly creative. It’s something I’ve always had to hold in check. It’s nice to be able to let it out. What do you hate? Don’t really hate any of it. I do find editing rather dreary some days though.
4. Where does your story take place? Why did you choose this location?
My story takes place on another planet. I work as a star guide at an observatory in the summers and often wonder what kind of people live on those other worlds orbiting those other stars. Making up what they may be like is the only way I get to travel through the cosmos.
5. Who has influenced your writing and how?
Thomas Hardy. Yeah, a surprise for a sci-fi writer, huh? I’ve read a lot of classic literature and enjoyed most of it. Hardy is very poetic and uses his settings to help tell the story. The place the character was always matched their mood. Arthur C. Clarke was a big influence. The wonder some of his stories stirred up still inspires me. Ray Bradbury. Someone recently told me they think I write a lot like him. I sure was flattered. Tanya Huff. Her Confederation series has been my favorite space opera series to-date.
6. What made you decide to self-publish instead of the traditional route?
The changes in the publishing industry is what made me decide the best way to go forward at this point in time was to get out there and grow an audience. An indie writer, who is doing very well, also encouraged me to go this way. It’s not something I would have decided a year ago, but it feels like the right choice for me at this point in time. And I have to say, I’m glad I made that decision. I love working for myself. The paycheck sucks and my boss is demanding, but I love what I do and I love having a hand in the total product.
7. Are you a plotter, pantser or a little of both?
A little of both. I start with a very loose outline – a beginning and an end. I have to understand what I’m writing toward before I can start. What is it my character wants? How will this story change him or her? I have to know that. Much more than that, not so much. My best plot ideas come from just letting myself write. I’ve gotten better at writing a faster first draft. After that, I do more work on character biographies, and a more filled in outline. It’s during this second draft I start sending to my crit partners. So, the outline remains in flux as feedback comes in. The third draft, is mostly detail work, no major changes. Then it goes to the editor. When it comes back, I’ll go over it several times before publishing. I probably read over Semper Audacia about 100 times or more during that final step.
8. What advice do you have for writers who are on their own path to publication?
There is no wrong choice as to how you want to publish. Indie has benefits and drawbacks, so does the traditional route. Either way, we’re all in the same boat when starting out, struggling to connect with our audience. Publishing is fraught with ups and downs. Connecting with other writers, I think is, therefore, key. Other writers are the best support system we have. Blogging is the best way I know to connect. Yeah, it takes time, but that networking is invaluable.
9. If you’re in a critique group, how long have you been together and how did you meet?
I have two critique groups. One is local and we meet face-to-face. We’ve been meeting 3 years now and finally got all the slots filled with productive writers. That group was set up through my local writers guild. Then I have two partners online. Aussie set us up on her blog and we’ve been sending stuff back and forth for … I think at least a year now. Crit partners are an invaluable source. Better to hear from them when you jump the rails before your piece goes out for public consumption. It’s a great way to grow craft and skill.
10. If you’ve ever done an author signing, tell us about your experience. I haven’t done signings yet, but I’ve done readings.
My local library has a program once a month where they have a published author read, then have an open mic. I made my first fan [someone I don’t know] at the open mics, and got another group of people cheering for me. Applause is nice to hear now and then in our line of work. Really nice. My reading aloud skills have improved a lot from all that practice and helps get folks interested in what I write. Most times they’re not expecting what they hear. Hearing a story well-read from the author is a great tool in a writer’s arsenal. Marketing doesn’t have to take place solely on the internet.
Excerpt of Semper Audacia: Chapter 2
Leda missed the noise and the stench of the boisterous brigade, of too many bodies crammed into small spaces. The present-day station’s air remained stale, but had let go much of her comrades’ scents. Another loss. Loss kept her company as did her need to feel she mattered to someone. She hadn’t mattered to anyone since the squadrons had all perished. Far too long she guarded Baird alone in silence. Waiting. Just waiting.
Standing over the console, she wished for someone to consult with to consider the possible defenses and attacks and to talk over why the enemy came now after not disturbing Eslin’s skies for three thousand fifty-six days. In reply, a warm vibe covered her skin akin to sentiment and longing, stirring her blood and traveling down to her wrist where it nipped with more intensity.
Rugar stared up from the glossy veneered panel, a cocked brow exposing the humanity beneath his armor. Tenderness smoldered in his honey brown eyes, filled with a light denied the floundering Eslin. “Initiate Plan T12.”
Leda’s heart lurched, unready for that call to action, because Plan T12 was so final. “What if it’s Salvation?” She didn’t realize she pled with Rugar. He didn’t blink, didn’t relent, displaying the tenacity which safeguarded Eslin so well, then ultimately wrenched them apart. Woe welled in her gut, seeping into her eyes, for she remembered loving him long ago in once ago times. Then the suit under her armor took over, preventing her from feeling anything.
She called up current data to the monitor. Any semblance of Rugar vanished. Because of the protective and nurturing suit, she couldn’t sense the coolness of the composite as she tapped in her demands. If Rugar stood beside her, she wouldn’t be able to enjoy his arms around her. Only her head exposed, it was her long, oval cheek pressed against Rugar’s which experienced his pulse slowing to a stop as the last drops of blood drained out of his skull. She had trouble remembering how long ago. The suit conferred with Baird Defense Station and filled in the gap, cutting a fresh gash in her psyche threatening to gush before the garment smothered the sting into nothing.
The isolation from her fellows during these times of war, when she needed reassurance most, emerged as the greatest drawback of the life-sustaining suit. No soldier had figured out how to remove them. Military issue, the engineered fabric wasn’t meant to come off. No, the garments were created as a smarter second skin to keep the brigade alive and thriving. Leda couldn’t die if the suit could counteract it. It had kept her alive for over six decades and would preserve her for another six decades to come, feeding and hydrating her, tending to illness, recycling her wastes and keeping her in tip-top shape even if she never moved. She believed it invented the deceased companions materializing and disappearing according to Eslin’s needs and her whims. More so, the brigade seemed interwoven into the threads of the material as part of her nervous system, adding each comrade’s essence to hers, adding their voices to her thoughts and dreams. Whether she’d gone mad or became the foil for the suit’s untapped potential, she couldn’t discern and gave up trying four years ago now. *****END EXCERPT*****
If you want to pick up this great read, here are some links:
You can even find M. Pax on Twitter: @mpax1
or Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/M-Pax/115874581852313
Thanks for visiting, M. Pax!
Now for the giveaway… Leave your email or Twitter address so I can contact you and tell me if you’re interested in winning an ebook by this author. Two lucky winners will be drawn. I’ll update this post (at the end of the post) next week with the winners’ names. Good luck!
UPDATE: Congratulations to Li and Christine. You’re our winners. Mary will contact you shortly. Yay!
I’m still looking to fill some author spotlight slots. I’m booking for April. If you write romance, thriller, mystery, urban fantasy, paranormal, horror or true crime, and you have a book you’d like to promote, send me an email: lynnette_labelle at yahoo dot com. Make sure to have “Author Spotlight” in the subject line or I won’t open the message. Let me know when your release date will be (if the book isn’t already available) and what genre you write.