My Story

Monday, August 8, 2016

Exclusive Interview with Author Seth Eaves.

This week has been a Science Fiction oriented week for me with my recent viewing of Star Trek Beyond ringing in my mind. With the Enterprise warping through my brain I decided to sit down with Science Fiction author Seth Eaves and ask him about not only his progress but what draws him to write in this genre.

1.       Wile E. Young: Hi Seth, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Seth Eaves: Thank you for inviting me to do this, it is a huge honor. I am a writer looking to make an impact in the literary world. My preferred genre in just about anything (writing, reading, tv, movie, video game) is science fiction. I am a huge nerd who fell in love with science, philosophy, psychology, history, and space exploration at a young age. All my life I have looked up at the stars and always wondered how many other races were looking down on me. I’ve always enjoyed writing throughout my entire life and have been writing off and on since I was in elementary school.


2.       Wile E. Young: When did you decide to become a writer?

Seth Eaves: I can’t really think of any specific time when I made that decision. Subconsciously, I’ve always known that I want to write. I’ve always enjoyed entertaining people and I’ve always enjoyed the art of storytelling, be it in written form or oral. So, I don’t really have a moment in time where I had that ‘Aha! I want to be a writer!” moment. There was just a moment when I was 22 when I suddenly told myself “Well, you’ve wasted enough time. If you’re going to become a writer you need to get on the ball.”


3.       Wile E. Young: What genre are your books?

Seth Eaves: My books are mainly in the science fiction genre. For a brief moment near the beginning of my fledgling career, I told myself I wanted to be one of those writers who wasn’t held down in one genre but as I’ve grown as a writer and as a person I’ve realized that I love being known as a ‘science fiction writer.’ Now, different stories reach into different ends of the sci-fi spectrum. I have military sci-fi, I have science fiction/psychological horror, I have cyberpunk, I have steampunk, I have space western. My main goal is, if it falls under the sci-fi umbrella, then I’m going to write in it.


4.       Wile E. Young: What draws you to this genre?

Seth Eaves: The main thing that draws me to sci-fi is how fantastical it all is. A sci-fi writer isn’t bound by the confines of what is real and possible. If I want to write a future were an entire continent no longer exists, I can do it. If I want to write an alternate future where the Allies lost World War 2, it’s all good because science fiction gives you the ability to alter history. It also gives you the ability to project your hopes or concerns of what the future will look like. Will we achieve a utopic future like we see in Star Trek, a world devoid of sickness, money, starvation and homelessness? Or will we see a dark, bleak future full of lawlessness, war and strife? It’s a perfect conduit into the mind of the writer, their imagination, their creativity, their fears, their dreams, their likes and their dislikes. Sci-fi is also the perfect marriage of science and fiction. It’s even in the name. You can write a story that delves deep into science, a story that heavily relies on science, but in the same vein is also fictional. I also like the fact that, if I goof something up, I can just so “Eh, its science fiction. I can change that according to my narrative and nobody can say anything about it.”


5.       Wile E. Young:  So, what have you written?

Seth Eaves: I wrote two novellas that I self-published on Amazon’s Kindle. They are called ‘Within the Walls of Chaos’ and ‘Operation: Empty Orchestra’ I have since removed them with the intentions of getting them picked up by a magazine but I still leave open the option for any friend who wants to read them to receive a free copy by email. My number one intentions with them and the following shorts was for publicity and spreading my name, not money. They are the building block of my ‘Dark Legacy’ series, my magnum opus, the story line that I spent the most amount of my life creating.


6.       Wile E. Young: What are you working on at the minute?

Seth Eaves: I have many irons in the fire at the moment. I am finishing the shorts that go along with my two previous mentioned novellas to form my ‘Prelude to War’ book that opens up my ‘Dark Legacy’ series. I am also working on a few other stories, some shorts hopefully for magazines, and three full length novels that I alternate my attention on. One is a science fiction/psychological horror story called ‘The Quiet Room’, another is a sci-fi story called ‘Imaginations From the Looking Glass’ and the third is a still untitled space western. There is also the collaborative project we are working on ‘The Thirteenth Sign.’ I also have various other projects planned and lined up. One thing I am not lacking is ideas.


7.       Wile E. Young: Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

Seth Eaves: I think, one of the things that makes my main characters special is they are completely broken individuals. Never will you find a person in my stories who has it all together, there is always something flawed about my characters. But they don’t let those flaws hold them back from their purpose. My characters are always a huge testament to the indomitable human will. Regardless of what is causing them to be broken, they always struggle to do the right thing, even at the cost of their own lives. Now, that doesn’t mean that all of my main characters possess moral compasses that always point due north. A lot of them exist in a morally grey area but usually out of a necessity, never out of wickedness. Because they act questionably out of a personal need they still have that chance at redemption and at the heart of it all, that is what many of my stories are about: the human will and our chances at redemption. Plus, a lot of my main characters have very dry, wicked, sarcastic senses of humor and I think that is a nice draw.


8.       Wile E. Young: Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?

Seth Eaves: I think, if I ever had the opportunity to have one of my books turned into a movie, I would want to take a chance on a relatively unknown and try to give him his big break. It only seems fair if I had been given a chance to live out my dream that I turn around and give someone else the chance to live out theirs.


9.       Wile E. Young: How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

Seth Eaves: I believe my writing has become more focused. I use to be pretty bad about rambling on, still can be at times both in writing and in real life. Since the beginning though, I’ve become much better at keeping myself on track, having a clear goal and endgame to work toward and making sure that absolutely nothing is in my story that isn’t necessary. I’ve also become better at questioning myself and ensuring that what I am putting out is quality work to be proud of instead of just settling for whatever my end product is. I have also learned to take the time to develop every inch of my story and the world it takes place in beforehand instead of just throwing the ideas in the air and letting them rest wherever they lay.


10.   Wile E. Young: What is the hardest thing about writing?

Seth Eaves: For me, the two hardest things about writing are: 1.) Settling on what to write. I have writers ADD. One day I want to work on this story, the next day I want to work on that story. It can be frustrating at times because it hinders my productivity. 2.) Balancing the time in my days. Unfortunately, writing isn’t paying the bills just yet so I have to balance a regular, 40 hour work week along with spending time with my wife and kids and my various responsibilities at church.


11.   Wile E. Young: Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

Seth Eaves: During the school year I have a window from the time I get home from work to the time the kids get home from school and that is usually my time when I can sit down and focus on nothing but writing. I try to do about an hour of writing before I go to sleep as well. Thankfully, my family is real good about when they see me at my computer with my headphones on, they don’t disturb me unless it is an emergency. Once I get in my zone and really get to cranking, I won’t stop until I type a couple thousand words or type for a couple hours. Then I take a break, depending on if I feel I accomplished enough, maybe come back and write more or not. Then the next day I start off by going over what I wrote the day before and ensuring it fits right in the story and making minor adjustments here or there before starting the process over again.


12.   Wile E. Young: Do you write every day, 5 days a week or just when you are able?

Seth Eaves: I would love to say I write everyday but sadly, this is not the case. I strive to write everyday but that doesn’t always happen. I generally manage about 4-5 days a week, on a good day.


13.   Wile E. Young: Which writers inspire you?

Seth Eaves: 13. I’m going to go ahead and start by saying you of course. Your imagination just blows me away at times, not to mention your outspokenness and confidence. Those are two characteristics I try to emulate personally. I’m also largely inspired by some of the sci-fi greats like Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Orson Scott Card. I am a HUGE fan of Timothy Zahn, Kevin J Anderson, David Weber, Stephen Baxter, Greg Bear. Outside of sci-fi, my two biggest influences are Stephen King and Tom Clancy. The list can go on but those are the names of the greats that influence me and cause me to want to better myself as a writer on a daily basis.

14.   Wile E. Young: What advice would you give to your younger self?

Seth Eaves: First thing I would say to my younger self is ‘Get your crap together. Stop playing around and get more serious about writing.’ Then I would work with me about being more outspoken and confident and to learn to trust my instincts more.


15.   Wile E. Young: How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Seth Eaves: Really, the main way to learn more about me is on Facebook. I have my main profile where I rarely post much but I have my author page where….I rarely post much either but I focus on my writing projects on there. My main goal is to spread my name and get more notice and attention so those are the best places to interact with me and, if interest is shown, gain access to some free stories.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/setheaves87/?fref=ts


A huge thank you to Seth Eaves for being my first Interviewee on my blog and for allowing me to pick his brain apart for his views on the Science Fiction Genre, it was much appreciated.

So from Seth Eaves and myself “See y’all somewhere far beyond.”

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Coyote Goes to Space.

When I was young pup growing up in the backwater woods of East Texas, I had three primary forms of escapism that I indulged in: fantasy, horror, and sci-fi… and cartoons… and building forts in the woods… and you know what lets just say that I was an incredibly imaginative child with many creative outlets.

One day I was a gallant knight fighting a dragon (neighbor’s incredibly ugly buick), another day I was a monster stalking my prey through the park (a city water mutated squirrel) and my personal favorite, Lord High Commander of my Space Soldiers of Doom ruling over the stars from my nigh impregnable asteroid fortress (a particularly large rock in my front yard).

Science fiction, like Horror, has always fascinated me. I grew up on a healthy diet of Star Wars, Star Trek, and Stargate: the sci-fi trifecta (Battlestar Galactica is our red headed stepchild that I would discover later) and thought each new installment was simply the most amazing spectacle of exploding lasers and incomprehensible technobabble that ever graced cinemas. And yes, this included: Star Trek the Motionless Picture, Star Trek 4: Save the Whales, Star Trek 5: They Shot God in the Face, Star Trek Generations: Dropped a Bridge on Him, Star Trek: I wish they had made a good movie instead of Insurrection, Star Trek Nemesis: Tom Hardy’s Near Career Suicide… and every Star Wars prequel.

I was barely a teenager when I watched these, and had no idea about concepts like story, plot symmetry, and characterization. All I could see was Yoda jumping around and having a lightsaber battle with the Emperor. I didn’t care if Anakin’s fall to the dark side took place over the course of three seconds, or that the Force was “revealed” to be microscopic doodads living in bloodstreams, or even that dreaded attempt at comic relief that will forever live in the annals of worst decisions ever made: JAR JAR BINKS. I just wanted to see Jedi fights and ships get blown up in spectacular CGI.

I’m older and wiser now and my tastes have gotten more refined when it comes to science fiction. Not only have I dabbled in writing a few stories myself, but also my exploration of this genre has split off into realms that don’t have the prefix of “Star” before the rest of the title. It is through my examination of several different helpings of science fiction that I’ve noticed a wonderful thing about this genre… its variance.

You have your traditional space operas (Star Wars, Dune, and the Expanse), massive sweeping tales on far-flung worlds that don’t even necessarily have anything to do with us on little old Earth. There’s military science fiction (Starship Troopers, Ender’s Game, Independence Day), stories that are focused entirely on the military and their war on whatever the designated enemies are. Space Western’s (Firefly, Cowboys and Aliens, Defiance) take the trappings and themes of the wild west and apply them metaphorically or literally to the story at hand.

I could go on and on about the variance and that’s the beauty of it… sci-fi can be added to virtually any genre.

A wonderful time for Science Fiction, to be sure, because I believe that we are beginning to enter into a Sci-Fi Renaissance. Star Wars has swooped back into theaters along with a new helping of Star Trek (may the eternal war between Trekkies and Lucas Hounds forever be waged), but that’s just tradition at work. If you want a good science fiction movie specifically tuned the space opera section of things, look no further than the recent Marvel helping: Guardians of the Galaxy.

It had everything that a Star Wars movie had, just with Marvel’s traditional style— aliens, spaceships, and an intergalactic war. It’s less a superhero film than it was a space opera and it showed. I was entertained throughout the entire and my only criticism lay with the bland villain and even he had a moment where I choked on my drink in the theater from laughter.

Of course these are all space opera examples. Sci-fi doesn’t always have to be aliens, space battles, and strange mysterious worlds. It can take place right here on good old planet Earth and run the gamut on concepts.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is one of the more recent science fiction novels that I’ve read and I have to say it might just go on my list of top ten best books I’ve ever read. It was engaging, the characters were sympathetic, and it left me on the edge of my seat while reading it. The best way to describe the plot is Willy Wonka meets the Matrix (This is the blurb on the back and what can I say it is accurate), and follows a teenager named Wade Watts who exists in a world where the Oil Reserves are next to gone and the subsequent world has gone to hell. The only pleasure can be found in a massive simulation called the Oasis that has absorbed every aspect of digital society from Video games to the Internet itself. In this world the designer of the Oasis left a prize called the Egg (named after the popular video game term Easter Egg) which will give ownership of the Oasis to whoever finds it… a race against time for control of the only thing that makes life in the world bearable. This is only one example with the Matrix itself along with such offerings as Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Stephen Spielberg’s masterpiece), 11/22/63 (Stephen King’s Time Travel story), Blade Runner (arguably one of the pioneers of the Cyberpunk genre), and the list just goes on.

Of course science fiction is not just about what stories it can give us, but about what concepts it can give us. Science fiction has been pushing forward concepts that at the time seem impossible but give or take a few decades and an impressive amount of saying “that’s cool, I want to make it happen”, it has often given society the very things that at the time they were conceived would have seemed impossible. You need look no further for proof of this than the cell phone you hold in your hand (especially you Mom, since I know you’re reading this on your phone).

Star Trek premiered in 1966 and most of the time its vision of the future was hilariously camp and inaccurate. That is until you look at the Communicator, which looked freakishly like an early 2000’s cell phone including that cover that flipped open. You all remember the flip cellphones… mine was a black Razor and I thought it was the coolest improvement of technology since satellite TV. That little black phone survived a pool, my car tires, and a fall off a balcony with little more than a cracked screen to show for it.

It was eerily accurate even down to “no reception” zones that prevented the intrepid crew from calling the Enterprise to beam them away when something went wrong and that’s not even getting into Star Trek the Next Generation which gave their crew a freaking iPad about twenty years before that was a thing.

This concept has been going back since the beginnings of science fiction such as H.G. Wells’ book The World Set Fire that predicts the atomic bomb and was written in 1914, more or less accurately describing a nuclear explosion and coining the term “atomic bomb”.

And then there was legendary science fiction pioneer Jules Verne, whose novels 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (published in 1869) and From the Earth To the Moon (1869) predicted diesel electric submarines and the moon landing before either of them were even conceived of as reality.

This gives me hope for Godzilla as a reality… it’s been 60 years since his first movie. Any day now a giant radioactive lizard is going to come and defeat the terrorists and stomp his way to victory as the G-Party’s candidate for the Presidential Election.
#GodzillaforPresident2016, Slogan: Ain’t no party like a Nuclear Party.

I digress but only a little.

As for myself and my own forays into science fiction writing, it has been a journey in and of itself. I’ve had a series called the Last Aspect that I’ve worked on and off on for years; a dark gritty universe full of existential terror and chock full of more space Nazis than you could shake a finger at. You can take the writer out of horror but you can’t take the horror out of the writer. Still I’m little more than a journeyman apprentice in science fiction compared to author Seth Eaves. I met Seth a few years ago and we grew from fellow colleagues into great friends, both slaves to the muse.

He is primarily a military science fiction writer and I have to say that his style is suspenseful and keeps you invested. We discovered that our two styles of writing meshed incredibly well, one of the reasons we decided to co-write a story entitled the Thirteenth Sign, a space opera set in the future that answers the question that Seth and I asked each other… what if the Zodiac Constellations each harbored an alien race and what if there was a way to get to them… it gets worse. (Seth I promise my chapters are coming I’ve been busy).

This brings me to my quote of the week that involved both Seth and I discussing what we had come up with when we had one of our all to infrequent meetings. We had each decided on taking 6 of the 12 zodiac signs and making alien races out of them… it was then that we really discovered the distinctions in our writing styles.

Wile E. Young: So what’ve you got?
Seth Eaves: I call them Rhynocs they are from the Aries constellation, I thought they would have a Meritocratic society based on how many people they had killed in combat, the more kills under their belt the higher they are in their society. I imagined them fairly reptilian like, but maybe crossed with some goat features considering that the Aries Constellation is a Ram… what did you come up with?
Wile E. Young : Ummm I call them Viriloc, they’re from the Virgo constellation…
Seth Eaves: What do they look like?
Wile E. Young: (nearly manic with glee) Floating black bug things with the bodies of women fused to where a head would be but instead of a lady face on the woman’s body, it’s a baby face crying black goo that gives religious epiphanies…
Seth Eaves: I worry about your mind sometimes.

We’ve had quite the adventure fusing our minds together for this little experiment.

I was able to sit down with Seth and get him to answer some interview questions so that you would be able to get know his writing and views on the subject as well. It will be posted along with this blog post as an exclusive interview. Go over there and check it out because every time you skip an exclusive interview a small child is forced to sit through an M. Night Shyamalan marathon.

I sit looking out the window at the coming evening, the first of the stars beginning to wrench places for themselves in the Heavens, and it has me musing on the concept of infinity. As I’ve hopefully explained and shown to you, science fiction is practically infinite… ironic because I consider science fiction the exploration of the future, the potential for humanity, application of pioneered concepts, and understanding of existence itself— a direct comparison to the concept of infinity.

Because after all, what is as infinite as the universe?

So tonight when you forsake the sun because the stars burn brighter and you see a meteorite, send me a wave because that’s me streaking through the night chasing the Roadrunner and its race across the infinite.

And as my friend Seth Eaves says, “See y’all somewhere far beyond.”

Bonus Wile E. World News

So this past week was the Democratic National Convention, if you’ve read my feelings regarding Trump on last week’s blog post, then you’ve read my feelings regarding Hillary.

We need a true candidate to believe in…