Q1. Tell us about your upcoming new book Big Red, what’s it about and who will enjoy it?
In a sentence, it’s about an Irish soldier in the British Army on Mars!
Big Red is a military sci-fi told from the perspective of Mars Occupation Force soldier Darren Loughlin. After waking in a highly traumatised state following a year-long tour of duty on Mars, it becomes a race against time for the authorities to piece together what happened to his shattered battalion and what caused the sudden loss of communication with all of Earth’s off-world colonies.
With time running out, Darren is forced to recall his year in the Nazi-founded New Berlin colony and his part in the vicious, genocidal war against hostile alien natives. But as his memories return, he begins to suspect he is at the centre of a plot spanning over forty years.
Big Red is an ideal read for fans of Robert A. Heinlein, Joe Haldeman and David Drake.
Q2. How long did the book take you to write?
It took three and a half months to write the first draft and a further six weeks of editing, proofreading and re-writes. I’ve since done at least six rounds of edits over the last few months to get it just right. It’s amazing that even with all that effort, you can still miss things from previous rounds, so I’m trying to be as thorough as possible.
Q3. How much research did you do for the book?
Loads! I wanted the Mars Occupation Force to be a British-led organisation, so I delved into everything I could find about the British Army’s organisational structure and operational methods. I also researched everything I could find about Mars and current colonisation plans, to get a better idea of what would work and what wouldn’t. I looked into a lot of conspiracy theories too. Over the last few years, there’s been several claims from ex-service personnel about secret off-world colonies, which really helped me with developing the back story and the universe of Big Red.
Q4. What inspired you to write Big Red?
A really vivid dream! I’ve always had an overactive imagination and because of that, I tend to have vivid dreams (or nightmares…) The first two chapters are based loosely on that dream. After waking up, I remember trying to work out why these soldiers were so traumatised and that became the seed that grew into Big Red.
Q5. What genre do you prefer to write in, Sci-fi or fantasy?
As long as there’s a military element, I enjoy both. My first project was a Military Fantasy called “Children of the Dying” and allowed me to explore sword and shield style battles, as opposed to the modern warfare shown in Big Red.
Q6. Where can people buy Big Red?
Big Red will be available on Amazon and all good bookshops from 14th May. You can also check out the link on my website which links to several different online stores:
Q7. How can people follow you online?
Damien Larkin is a part-time Planning Analyst and a full-time stay-at-home father of two young children. He enjoys turning terrifying nightmares into novels and currently resides in Dublin, Ireland