Every author has a vision of themselves: who they see themselves as, the type of fiction they like and intend to write, the stories they need to tell. A lot of times this comes through naturally in their work, be it their prose or through blogging. While I have no published fiction to refer to, I have been blogging for a bit and I’ve feel I’ve done a poor job in articulating who I am as a writer, what my goals are and what I intend to present to the world.
I think that greatest monsters are the ones that we cannot comprehend or explain and the scariest monsters of all are ‘us’. It’s no great surprise to me that my favorite sci-fi monster is John Carpenter’s The Thing. It’s something otherworldly and horrific, but its modus operandi is to disguise itself as a man, to walk among us and imitate us until it is ready to strike.
This is also the definition of every serial killer, despot and dictator that has ever existed. I believe we all have the ability to become a beast. No matter what I am writing, I like to explore the concept of the inner monster and the fight between morality and necessity, testing my characters in their reaction to conflict and how they respond and what steps they will take to remove those obstacles and achieve their goals.
I want my fiction to feel epic in scope but fundamentally be about how my protagonists maintain (or lose) their humanity when faced with both subtle and world-changing decisions. I think that readers find a greater connection to imperfect heroes -those who don’t always make the right choices, who are not always acting out of generosity and compassion, who might not choose to act like a hero or who in their pursuit of heroism resort to immoral or villainous acts- because they themselves are often faced with similar choices in their life. These characters fascinate me and I love to explore their souls in my writing.
In terms of genre, of course, my debut novel in the Clockwork Wind Saga is a steampunk novel. I love the mingling of romanticism and adventure with a playful nod to hard science fiction. While certain things might be implausible and often odd or wacky, it is never truly beyond the realm of possibility, at least in the world I am creating. I think our world has lost the ability to feel wonder and awe at the amazing things we can achieve through intellect and imagination and I hope that I can instill even a small bit of that mystique with the fantastical science I will bring to my novels. That being said, I tend to trend towards a more dystopian view of steampunk, so I do not anticipate making my novels overly whimsical.
Another focus of mine would be the supernatural. While there is no doubt that my flagship series of novels will “peanut-butter-cup” (you’re welcome Reese’s) some supernatural elements into my story, I would like to emphasize the supernatural world exclusively in my Dead Skin Deep and Songs of Fate series. Some of the ideas I’m gathering for these two series are truly exciting to me and I hope it does not take me too long to share them with the world.
In the end, I think there is so much more to our world than we allow ourselves to feel or believe. We’ve gotten so tied to a single partisan way of viewing things, that I’m excited that I might be able to share something that could in some small way encourage a break in the way we interpret our world, our relationships to imagination and diversity, to the qualities of heroism and villainy, and how no one person is all of one or the other.