Author of several book series, including the Trident Series, that are three volumes. A short series for him, he has another that is Thirteen books long called the Elizabeth Stanton series. He is going to speak about his fourteen book series in today’s interview, called the Planet of the Orange-Red Sun Volumes 1-14 available on ebooks.
Take yourself out of the business for a moment. As a fan, how would you describe your book to someone else?
“The Planet of the Orange-red Sun explores the evolution of a people initially in a primitive, bronze-age society living on a world far out on the rim of the galaxy, at that time when the highly advanced, space-faring Imperium lands on their world. The Imperium spans nearly half the galaxy and constantly discovers new worlds and civilizations. If the new world is sufficiently modern, it is accepted into the Imperium. However, if the world is not, the Imperium policy is to designate that world as a “Closed World,” meaning it is left alone to develop naturally on its own. No advanced Imperium technology is allowed on that world. In this case, because the world contains vast deposits of the fuel that the Imperium must have, they purposely violate that Closed World status. You can imagine what could happen — history shows us some examples, such as the US actions on the South Pacific islands during and after WWII.
The first novel illustrates the disaster that happens when this principle is violated. The entire world is nearly destroyed! In the second novel, the isolated people try to adapt to the terrible changes to their world, but the Imperium returns, only this time, they rigidly enforce the Closed World status. That, however, only brings new conflicts. Obviously, some inhabitants want to embrace the alien technology, which now they cannot have any longer.
With the near destruction of their world in the first novel, many of the inhabitants develop telepathic and other powerful mental skills, telekinesis being the least. Why? Nature, over time, modifies bodies to adapt to new environments, natural selection and all that. Thus, in the second novel, the people struggle to deal with this new physical change. However, a true telepath is a truly rare person within the rest of the galaxy. Naturally, when word spreads of an entire world filled with telepaths, you can imagine what’s going to happen, and it does.
Through the series of fourteen novels, Planet of the Orange-red Sunexplores how these people evolve and eventually find themselves helping to run the entire galaxy! This series studies and explores the evolution of a people and of various societies over nearly five hundred years. One could call it and “anthropological study.”
A very long answer but it is a long series. The reader will more than get their money’s worth from this series. A.G.
What other hobbies or interests contribute to your writing and creativity?
“I discovered Advanced Dungeons and Dragons in the early 1980’s and became addicted to it, writing an article for the Dragon magazine and publishing a game in the Dungeon magazine. I think my fantasy novels, in some ways, reflect my love of “magic.”
I play five different sizes of recorders and am a member of two music ensembles. We play Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque music. I even make hand-quilted quilts, my first being a castle quilt, naturally. (Note, part of the castle is in the background of my picture.)
In my youth, I did a great deal of photography and mountain climbing, camping out frequently.
I’ve almost a minor in archaeology and anthropology, so that may account for my intense interest in evolution of people and societies.
What is your favorite part of the writing process? What is your least favorite?“Writing! I just love to write and often spend hours a day at it. A friend of mine once told me that “Writers write.” He is so right!I just hate copy editing! For me, that’s a tedious chore, offset only by actually getting the chance to reread my novel.
I think editing is most of us writers are the least favorite thing to do but very necessary.
What contributes to your character development? What has been your favorite character created and why is he or she so special to you?
“I’ll share my method with all you writers out there. What I do is first make mockup of a character in my mind. Then, I spend time with that character mockup, imagining I was that person and seeing how I would react and act in various situations. Given that initial step, when I begin to write, when that character appears, I simple put that “hat” or mockup on and write from that character’s perspective. I once had a laugh. An English professor read my Trident trilogy and commented that at one point I had seven totally different characters active in one scene, each with their own personalities interacting with the others, and she was amazed that it was done so perfectly. So my secret, if you can call it that, is to “wear the hat” of the character when they say or do something. Of course, you have to change hats constantly.””As far as a favorite character, I can’t pick just one. In each novel, I actually do have one. It’s kind of hard not to play favorites. I guess if you press me on this, A. G., I would have to pick Lindsey Barron from that series of seven novels. She overcomes monumental physical disabilities, discovers her true nature, loves to help others learn, and absolutely never backs down. Her use of magic is to safeguard and protect others, not to attack and harm them. I guess I am partial to teachers, since I was a professor for over twenty years before I retired.”
I Guess I would be partial to teachers if I did that for a long time!
What about your work sets it apart from everything else in your genre?
“In the sci-fi genre, my emphasis is on exploring the evolution of ideas, people, and societies over centuries. To carry out this mission requires the dedication and work to write not just one good novel but a rather large number of them. Only a few authors have done this, and three come to mind: Marion Zimmer Bradley (Darkover), Isaac Asimov (Foundation), and Frank Herbert (Dune). In my case, I’ve deliberately set out to accomplish this from the very first novel. It was a planned series and didn’t just sort of come about as I wrote a novel here and there, as in the “history” of Darkover, for example. In fact, it was Marion’s Darkover series that inspired me to directly tackle this evolution in a totally planned manner.”
Do you have your next book floating around in you, already?
“I got a good laugh from this question, A. G.! I get ideas faster than I can pump out the books! At the moment, I have nine new novels either done or just about there, waiting for me to finish them yet this year, though I best hurry up. Like I said, “Writer’s write!”
Do you have any other interests the readers might want to know about? Crazy quirks?
“I love classical music, but little beyond the Romantic era. I have all the Dr. Who series DVDs, taking up nine feet of bookshelf space! Plus, I am a big fan of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Don’t Panic! I’ve been asked why I got into publishing ebooks? I used to use mainstream publishers. However, in the computer arena, things change constantly. It took over a year from the time I finished a computer book before it was physically available for my students to use. I found the time delay just intolerable. (Plus, my books sold for $40, but I only got $2.) When ebooks began, I jumped on the bandwagon back then, turning out my computer books as ebooks, which my students loved. (Why pay $100 for a textbook when you can pay $15?) Since then, I’ve never looked back.I also publish everything as DRM-free. I hate remembering zillions of passwords and such just to access something. Personally, I find copy-protection intolerable, so I never use it on my works. Yes, I know, people will pirate the books. In fact, my best selling computer book has been pirated so many times it’s ludicrous. Still, I’m not about to penalize the good folks to stop a few bad ones, unlike our government currently does.”
You can find Vic at these sites listed below. I am currently reviewing his Trident Series that I did mention at the start of this post. I have found it very interesting reading. It has me trapped, I can’t put it down! I have to read the whole series, but I will post each book one at a time on my post, even though he sells it as an ebook all together, A.G.
I think this post is long enough, but I want to say check Vic out all you SiFi fans like me and my wife.
Talk Back, I’m listening!