This is the twelfth outing of a new blog series, as I dabble my toes into the mysterious waters of author interviews!
Having watched so many fantastic interviewers (Tricia Drammeh and her Authors to Watch, AFE Smith (see below), Katrina Jack and her New Authors section and Susan Finlay’s Meet the Author to name a few of the best – please check out their wonderful blogs), I’ve always been a little reluctant to throw my hat into the ring…but here goes!
One of my all-time favourite worldbuilding PC games, is Sid Meier’s ‘Alpha Centauri’. So, in homage to that (and a shameless rip off of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Desert Island Discs’ and AFE Smith’s brilliant blog series Barren Island Books), here is my own author interview series – Distant Worlds.
To kick off the Distant Worlds strand, over the last few weeks I’ve been focusing on fellow fantasy and sci-fi authors from ultra-cool UK publishing house, Grimbold Books and their imprints, Kristell Ink and Tenebris Books – a bunch of uber-talented and whacky characters who I am also proud to call friends.
Grimbold Books were also doing a fabulous ‘Summer Promotion’ from 31st July – 4th August, where ALL of its wonderful titles were priced at only 99p/99c across Amazon platforms. Now, although summer is over, there are still great promos and bargains to be had running throughout Autumn, so grab yourself something special before the prices go back to normal! Awesome fiction at awesome prices!!!! hyperurl.co/GrimboldBooks
Right, now to our twelfth author interview, the uber-talented, cosmically cool dude and darkly prophetic…
Steven J. Guscott
Steven, YOU find yourself cast adrift in deep space, your colony pod’s life support is failing, your only chance of survival is a distant habitable world…
What 5 essentials would you choose to help you survive?
What classes as essentials? Lol
Well, I guess if we’re thinking practically: a bottle of water, food, blanket, matches and a plastic bag (assuming I can afford one) OH! DARN!! I forgot the toilet roll…
What 5 personal items would you salvage from your crashed ship before it explodes?
My Pikachu teddy, my copy of Dune, Picture of my family (notice the order I thought of these, whoops!), general media device for music (hoping it was charged), My ‘little blanket’ from my aunt- I’ve had it since I was like one.
Would you seek life-forms for help or go it alone?
Life-forms! The probability is I’m screwed either way so it’s worth taking the risk to see if they are friendly. And if they aren’t, looks like we got ourselves the making of a hunter/prey space story. We shall see who is the hunter, and who is the prey. (who am I kidding? I’d be doomed!)
What 5 fantasy/sci-fi books would you have to keep with you and why?
*Public Service Announcement* I have a problem!! Like serious unhealthy obsession with Frank Herbert’s Dune series.
I do love most sci/fi and Fantasy, but these stories I can read over and over and over again (currently about 11 times :/). They are just so epic! So the problem I have now is picking 5 out of the 6… I love them all for different reasons, but guess I would have to leave out… argh! I can’t do it! I’d swallow Messiah (the smallest book) and carry the other 5. Then when its time…I’d still have all 6. I warned you, I have a problem!!
What 5 songs or albums could you not live without?
Metallica- S and M
Bring Me The Horizon- Sempiternal
Disney Greatest Hits
I love all music but favourite genre is rock/metal. I just find it more inspiring and connects with me. As for Disney, well, that needs no explanation! 🙂
You are all alone on a distant world with little chance of being rescued…do you choose water, vodka or coca-cola to drown your sorrows?
Water. Not a fan of the others. All I need is ‘good, quality H2O’
Random comet question: Marmite – love it or loathe it?
Loathe! Yuk! yuk!
You have 30 seconds (max 100 words) to tell the alien approaching you about your latest book. Remember this is more pressurised than an elevator pitch – screw up and he’ll eat your brains! Go!
“Hey, you look familiar? Do you speak English?”
“Oh, well. Here it goes any way.
The Book of Prophecy is a story about Dragatu and his family. He lives on another world and they own a secret book, The Book of Prophecy. It contains writings about the future. Dragatu is told about it by his dad, but told not to read it until he’s older. Dragatu, however, can’t help himself…
…Wait! I know why you look familiar!!
“grilantu sikanon nis allajidus”
“Wish I could speak… hang on? Why do you want to eat my brains??”
How would you choose to spend your time on this distant world?
Embarrassingly trying to communicate through actions that I need toilet roll. Once that’s sorted learning the language and playing out Dances With Wolves (Smurfs)/Pocahontas/Avatar.
What 5 things would you miss most about Earth?
Family, Friends, Orion Constellation, Aeroplanes, Game of Thrones.
What 5 things would you NOT miss about Earth?
Selfies, Reality TV, Racists, Celebrities, Being addicted to Facebook.
Time-traveller questions (for Dr. Who fans): What is the one thing you wish you could turn back time and change?
Nothing! Life has been brutal at times, but it has been ‘my’ brutal life and made me who I am today. I would never change that.
If you had the chance again to go on this deep space adventure, would you take it?
Hell, yeah!! It’s been out of this world…
What 5 indie authors and books you would recommend to any carbon based lifeform – and why?
Firehurler, by J S Morin- This was surprising good. It is very original and well thought-out (Don’t be put off by the cover- Personally, I think it’s really bad).
Spark and Carousel, by Joanne Hall- It’s so addictive and has awesome characters. It’s also a bit dark in places and I like that.
Willow, Weep No More, by various writers- This anthology is a great collection of fairy-tale stories. I love it for the diversity and creativity.
Spirit’s Destiny, by Ken Dawson- This was another very creative and original story. I love reading things that feel new and fresh and this certainly did.
The Reluctant Prophet, by Gillian O’Rourke- This is a very emotional tale and pulled at my heart strings the whole way. If you like that sort of connection this is a must.
(I do honestly recommend checking out all the authors at Grimbold. They are all amazingly talented and I am humbled to be counted amongst them)This is too hard! Books are such a matter of personal taste.
What advice can you give to fellow space travellers (writers and readers) out there?
Writers- Write for you! Or write to honour loved ones! Or for any other innocent or noble reason. Never write just because you think it will earn you money. That’s just a bonus a lucky few get, you are likely to be very disappointed. Despite this fact, never ever give up on your dreams! Just count the cost (what it will take).
Readers- Please review and recommend indie authors you like! We need your help and every constructive and honest review makes a difference. It’s not an ego trip, it helps us out in many different ways i.e publicity.
Before we leave you and blast into another parallel universe, please tell us about yourself, your inspirations and your publishers!
I’m Steve (Steven J. Guscott). I enjoy many hobbies such as, writing, drawing, climbing and computer games. I’m at my happiest when being a big kid and being silly, but I do love a good deep discussion too. Family is the most important thing to me and I have been incredibly fortunate to have the family I do.
My inspirations come from all aspects of life. To quote Dune, ‘every experience carries its lesson.’ And my own little phrase is, ‘…creativity inspires creativity inspires creativity…’ The world is full of creativity so that inspires me every day and flows into my own attempts to be creative, with my own perspective at the helm.
My publishers are Kristell-Ink, part of the Grimbold publishing family. It really is a family and I could not have asked for a better publisher! Everyone involved is just incredible, especially the two women at the top who mesmerize me every day with how hard they work for us authors.
For all other info. you can visit www.stevenjguscott.com
The Book of Prophecy
No one in this quiet world knows what ignited the change; no one suspects that it all began with a secret book…
Living among the innocent, in a society that has blossomed under seven centuries of tranquility, Dragatu expects to live out his days following the same path as his father before him, without even the smallest challenge to lift the monotony. But when he and his brothers are granted incredible mythical powers, every skill they possess is put to the test. Their actions will determine the fate of their people. What has been passed on in trust threatens to tear the brothers apart.
Honour, love, power; all are at stake, and with them the only hope for a return to peace.
I also have stories in the anthology collections, Strange Tales from the Scriptorian Vaults (steampunk stories) and Felinity (fantastical stories with cats in).
Thank you, Steven. Congratulations, you are survivor! A passing exploratory vessel has honed in on your distress beacon, you’re going home!!!
What? You don’t want to?
You fitted in and have a family now- that was quick. Well, I guess you switch off the distress beacon and the passing freighter moves on.
Yes, I will tell your friends and family here you love them!! Enjoy you new life! I guess you always did have your head in another world!
Happy Horizons! 😀 xx