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.
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.