Author Interview: D.N. Schmidt

1. Paperback, hardback, audiobook?

I generally buy paperback, and then if I reread something more than once, upgrade to a hardback. As far as my own work goes, I mostly publish paperback and Kindle books. I’ve had the opportunity to do one audio book so far with the fabulous audio artist CJ Dusky and hope to do more in the future!

2. Pick a genre, any genre!

My favorite genre is science fiction, especially space opera.  

3. What is the first book you remember reading?

“The Monster at the End of This Book.”

4. What book shaped your childhood most?

“Have Space Suit – Will Travel” by Heinlein ignited my love for science fiction. I wouldn’t be the same person I am today without that book.

5. When did you first start writing?

I first started writing around thirteen. That was when I became a magician and started writing jokes and stories for my act.

6. What made you want to write? Does it still hold true?

My motivation for writing stories is to leave something behind after I’m gone. I want to make my mark on the world, something that says “I was here, and these are my thoughts. This is the kind of person I was.”

7. What book/poem are you most proud of creating?

Out of the three (with a fourth on the way) books I’ve written, I would say I’m still the proudest of my first, “They Ate the Waitress?” It’s probably the funniest, and it has some of the best character development.

8. Did you publish your first book or is it for your eyes only?

I published it.

9. How many books/collections have you published so far?

Three so far, with another coming next year.

10. What genres do you write in (or hope to)?

Mainly science fiction, but I also write horror and urban fantasy. “They Ate the Waitress?” is technically a mystery, but I consider it to be primarily humor.

11. Do you do research for your writing or is it all in your head?

I prefer to just make things up, but occasionally I will get an idea that requires some research. I wrote a story about the Battle of the Ironclads that required some historical research. Even though it was a silly story with sea monsters, I wanted to get the historical details right.

12. To plan, or not to plan your plot?

I’m definitely a plotter. I write in layers – a basic outline, scene description, dialog, and then finishing touches like character gestures and clothing details.

13. What route of publishing have you chosen? Do you plan to stick with it?

Self-publishing. I don’t plan on seeking an agent or traditional publisher, but that may change if I build up some courage and feel ready to face rejection letters.

14. If you could live inside another author’s universe, which one would you pick? (Ex: Middle Earth, Narnia, etc.)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide universe seems like a fun place to live. Intergalactic travel, adventure, endless planets and adventures – what’s not to love?

15. Do you currently have a WIP?

Right now, I’m working on a space opera novella. It’ll be released sometime next year. I love the universe of the story and hope to write a series there.

16. Tell me about the character you’ve created who is dearest to your heart.

Nick Wergild, the detective from “They Ate the Waitress?” Thematically, the story is about longing to be close to other people. That’s Nick’s biggest flaw – he can’t let anybody in. That’s something I can really relate to.

17. What do you consider your *current* magnum opus?

My current book is “The Doom Tapes”, a collection of science fiction short stories and a novella. The title story is about an alien invasion, a scientist trapped in a VHS tape, and the movie store clerks who have to save the world. It’s a fun book I think people are really going to enjoy.

19. Do you listen to music as you write? Recommend a favourite writing song.

I like to write to instrumental rock. My favorite band to listen to while writing is probably Explosions in the Sky.

21. If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?

Never try to write and edit at the same time. Write a complete draft first, then edit. This allows you to turn off your inner critic while you write. You’ll write faster and be more creative. Plus, writing and editing are two different mental processes. Trying to switch back and forth slows you down.

23. Who are your top 5-10 favourite writers?

Douglas Adams, William Gibson, Neil Gaiman, Christopher Moore, and K.M. Weiland. Douglas Adams has had the biggest influence on my writing style, and K.M. Weiland has been an amazing teacher and helped to improve my technical writing skills in countless ways. 

24. Link us your book/twitter/goodreads or wherever we can best connect with you!

You can find all my books, social media, and free stories at https://writepop.com/dnschmidt/.

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