Author Interview – Thomas K Davis

It’s been a while since my last author interview but I’m glad to say they’re back thanks to a huge increase in the number of authors wanting to take part. In today’s author interview I speak with Science Fiction writer Thomas K Davis.


Hi Thomas tell us a bit about yourself and what inspired you to write?

Hey, I’m Thomas K Davis, author of the Versatile Layer book saga. I’ve always been a huge Sci-Fi fan. I loved shows like Farscape, Battlestar Galactica, and films like Blade Runner 2049 and Valerian- City of a Thousand Planets. Media like this has influenced my own work. I write fiction that has meaning but knows when to not take itself too seriously.

Versatile Layer is a 9-part Epic Space Opera. The best way to describe Versatile Layer would be Romeo & Juliet meets Star Wars. Our two main characters meet completely by chance and fall for each other. They’re separated again by a tragedy that leads to a war between their two peoples. Their quests to reunite gets wild. There’s Exo-suits, Elite soldiers, Robots, Alien Amazonian warriors, jet packs, assassins, a war raging in the stars, gangsters, heck there’s even a cowboy. The setting and battles are epic but the heart of the story is personal and character driven.

Each book is self-contained with treads that weave into future instalments. Kinda like Marvel movies. In fact, the average read time for my books is about 2 hours. They’re fast paced. I’ve been told that reading my work is like have a movie play out in your head. And that was my intent when I sat down to write them.

  • What appeals to you most about the fantasy genre?

You can really just let your imagination run wild. You’re creating this world with a set of rules. What are the rules to your universe? Are they loose and cartoonish?  Are they realistic? Meaning, if a character falls 30ft onto the hard ground, do they just walk it off? Or are they seriously injured, like in real life. Are your characters swashbuckling like Jack Sparrow with little care for the laws of physics or their own safety. Or are they in a stand-off carefully considering their strike because one miscalculation means certain death?

Answering these questions and establishing these rules is what I love about writing.

  • Tell us a little bit about your latest project and the challenges you’ve faced putting it all together? (include release date etc here)

I just released the 8th book in the Versatile Layer Saga: THE BLOODLESS REVOLUTION. It’s the final battle for planet Samael. The exiled princess, Adeola M’falme, has gathered her freedom fighters and is ready to remove her cruel brother from the throne. But his forces, led by the ruthless Master Mega, have other plans. Will Adeola be able to liberate her world without sparking a full-scale civil war? It was released on Jan. 26, 2021 and can be found at the following link. http://versatile-layer.com/books

There were a lot of moving pieces and characters to manage in this chapter and I’m very proud of the end result. The cast really expanded over the last few books and I had to tie all of their stories together for this major event. I feel like every character has a satisfying arc and contributes to the resolution in a significant way. There’s still one more book to go with another cast of characters and that’s going to be the final conclusion to the series.

  • What type of characters do you like to write the most and how much of yourself do you put into them?

I write a lot of tough female characters. Since the aliens in my story are basically Amazons from space, it makes sense.

  • For any wannabe writers out there what’s the most useful thing you’ve learned?

Every once in a while, let a character do a thing that doesn’t affect the overall story. In life people express themselves in ways that don’t matter at times. In ways that only matter to them. If you know your character, then when they’re random, you’ll know why they did that random thing and the audience will accept it because you as the writer put it in with confidence and purpose.

  • What writing tricks do you utilise to hit your deadlines and keep your stories on track?
  • Are you a plotter or a pantser (make it up as you go)?

I have a clear goal and a conclusion I’m trying to reach. I always know the beginning and the end of a story. So, I write those out asap. I don’t outline at all. I’ll be going about my day and scenes will start to play out in my head. That’s chapter 9, that’s chapter 5. If you have a clear vision of where you’re going, you don’t need a map.

  • What plans do you have for the future? A new series or perhaps a dip into other genres?

I’m editing the final instalment of the Versatile Layer series. After that, I’m planning to jump genres. I’m planning to write a dark comedy about vampires. I have the title and some of the characters. I just have to nail down the events, plot, and theme.

  • With the world the way it is at the moment what sort of tales do you prefer? Ones with heroes where good triumphs over evil or ones that take a darker approach?

I can go either way. Currently, I’ve been deep into Attack on Titan which is a seriously dark story. Thought provoking, violent, hopeless at times. You don’t even have a clear idea of who the villain is because most of the cast is so morally compromised.

But on the flipside, I’ve also been enjoying My Hero Academia (I know, anime.) which is a very hopeful series. It’s full of triumph over challenges and incredible moments of perseverance.

  • What’s better, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings or Star Wars?

L Before “The Rise of Skywalker” I would have definitely said Star Wars. But after that film, ugh. So much potential squandered. Cringe worthy levels of fan service that hinder the story. (takes a deep breath.) Anyway, I haven’t seen or read any of the Harry Potter series. So, “Lord of the Rings” wins out.

Follow Thomas via –

Website: http://versatile-layer.com/books  

FB Page: http://facebook.com/versatilelayer

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/badpope

Twitter: https://twitter.com/UmojiLegend

 Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/188090.Thomas_Davis


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An Interview with Damien Larkin – Author of Big Red

Big Red

 

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:

https://www.damienlarkinbooks.com/preorder-big-red

 

Q7. How can people follow you online?

FB: https://www.facebook.com/DamienLarkinAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/damo_dangerman

IG: https://www.instagram.com/damo_danger_larkin/

Website: https://www.damienlarkinbooks.com/

Thanks Damien!

Author Bio

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

Elon Musk and Space X are making science fiction a reality

Last night I witnessed something incredible. That mad genius Elon Musk launched his car into space on top of the most powerful space rocket ever built. Mars just became a whole lot closer.

We are great

I sit back sometimes and marvel at how far we’ve come in regards to technology. There I was last night sat in bed with my laptop watching the launch live as it took place on the other side of the planet. The internet and communications tech has come on leaps and bounds and it’s not inconceivable that very soon the tech we once thought would be impossible is now within our reach.

Then there’s those that ruin it all

I also had to marvel at how some sections of our society are so idiotic. As I watched the live stream on Youtube, I watched with frustration and anger that some folks genuinely believe that the launch was all faked and that some people out there still believe that the earth is flat. (Don’t believe me? Look them up).

Despite all of the great advancements that have been made it always seems as though there are others that try their hardest to ruin that progress. People that choose to hate and discredit rather than be in awe that we as a species have achieved so much within so short a space of time. I remember as a kid being blown away by my dad’s old Atari ST; less than 20 years later and here we are in the age of 4K graphics and hyper-realism.

Of course, we’ve made mistakes along the way and as a species still seem prone to bizarre and destructive behaviour. Ignorance exists still even though we live in the age of information; people choose to believe what they want to believe. Perhaps it is this wealth of information that is the reason why extremist views exist now more than ever.

Once people have an idea, they will fight for it tooth and nail even when it doesn’t make sense or has been proven wrong or to fail over and over again. (Just look at the idiots on the far-left of politics still calling for communism and socialism).

And it seems that even though Social media has granted us the ability to communicate with each other more than ever, the opposite appears to be happening. People now simply block those with opinions that differ to their own and spend all their time in echo chambers filled with people who share their ideologies.

This, to my mind, is one of the main reasons we have seen such a rise in the number of groups who see anyone who disagrees with their viewpoints as an enemy that needs to be silenced. Every human being on this planet has (or should have) the right to express their views but only as long as everyone else has the right to challenge and ignore it.

Time to make science fiction a reality

We are living in amazing times but also a time of great peril. Common sense seems to be becoming a rare commodity as more extreme views manifest themselves and the internet and media give those views attention. To me anyway, it seems as though most people are too self-obsessed and never choose to look at the bigger picture.

I look up at the stars and wonder when we will take our place among them for that is the only future that we should all be working towards. One day our planet will be lost to us either through our own doing or through natures, but it is inevitable that if we are to survive in the long run that we must follow Musk’s dream of colonising new worlds.

We have a long way to go in fixing our issues here on this planet. I just hope that one day we can put aside our differences and focus on the things that we all share.

I for one choose to look up and believe that is where we will end up.

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Blade Runner 2049 Review

Blade Runner 2049 is the long-awaited sequel to the 1982 sci-fi noir Blade Runner a film that was based on Philip K. Dicks short story Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Is the film a masterpiece as many critics are claiming?

The quick answer to that question is no. However, please don’t think that the movie is a bad one, far from it. It, like its predecessor, is a deeply thought-provoking movie and asks many questions of what it means to be human. And like its predecessor, it’s also a noir, beautiful to look at but at times some scenes can drag.

We are first introduced to K, a Blade Runner played by Ryan Gosling who plays the part well. If you don’t know what a Blade Runner is this trailer to the first film explains all –

Now back to 2049. 30 years have passed since the events of the first movie and a lot has changed in the world. New types of obedient Replicants have been manufactured by the creepy Wallace (Jared Leto),  the environment has collapsed, a cataclysmic event known as the BlackOut occurred at some point as well as some sort of nuclear attack that has resulted in ash falls over LA and a seemingly radioactive Las Vegas. In other words, the planet is pretty messed up, which has caused humanity to colonise other planets. It’s these colonies where the Replicants are used as slave labour a fact that Jared Leto’s character has no problem with.  In fact he wants to be able to create millions more replicants so that we can colonise the whole galaxy.

The technology on display is fantastic and believable too. From self-flying cars to holographic companions this is a world that you can imagine being a reality. The film is absolutely beautiful to look at with a surprising amount of bright colours, from the neon holographic adverts to the vast LA cityscapes the movie is a visual treat.

K (Gosling) is also a Blade Runner who whilst hunting a Replicant stumbled upon something that could change the balance of power between humanity and Replicant. I won’t give away the plot as its definitely a movie to go into with open eyes and little knowledge. The trailers did a great job of keeping most of the major plot points a secret.

If you go into this movie expecting a fast-paced action sci-fi you will most likely be disappointed. There are action scenes in it that are really well done when they do occur but the time you have to wait in between can be very long. Some scenes are long and drawn out, but all serve a purpose to advancing the plot and with this film being close to 3 hours in length many are sure to get a numb bum or need a toilet break before the credits roll. (Why don’t cinemas do intermissions anymore?)

Harrison Ford returns as Deckard, the Blade Runner from the first movie. (And no, we don’t get a definitive answer to that question). He appears around the 2-hour mark and Fords performance is pretty solid. I just wish he could have been in it a tad more.

Overall, Blade Runner 2049 is well worth a watch if you want a movie that will make you think. It’s got plenty of twists, head scratchers and is a treat for your eyes and ears (the soundtrack is a true tribute to the originals). Be prepared for a long movie, but its one that kept my attention all the way through.

Score: 8/10

TERRAN DEFENDERS – PRE-ORDER NOW!

Here it is folks my latest book! I really enjoyed writing this one, creating the world and characters was a lot of fun. You can read the synopsis below. I really hope that you will get a copy and enjoy it as much as I did writing it.

Terran Defenders

The year is 2396, mankind has spread among the stars and mingled with the galaxy’s many alien races.

Humanity’s golden age ended in the fires of civil war a decade earlier. An uneasy peace remains between the government of the Earth-based United World Alliance and the Colonial Federation, a group of colonies seeking the freedom to forge their own path. With humankind scarred by the brutal conflict things that should never have been forgotten were lost.
In the fighting, the order of the Terran Defenders was wiped out and with them the knowledge that a deadly old enemy still lingers in the depths of space. With the Terran Defenders no longer in existence, it will fall upon a motley band of misfits and outcasts to take up the legendary order’s mantle and save the Galaxy or die trying.

Mase, a bounty hunter more interested in money and loose women finds himself taking on the job from hell when he and his robot partner JERRY are sent after a mysterious bounty. Their target, a beautiful yet deadly woman named Kara Brighte, the granddaughter of the last Terran Defender.

 

preorder_amazon_button

USA- https://amzn.com/B01IPY5SW2

UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01IPY5SW2

Canada – http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01IPY5SW2

Australia – http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01IPY5SW2

Also available to pre-orderin in France, Germany, Japan, India, Spain, Brazil and Mexico

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Terran Defenders: Genesis June 24 to June 27 US & UK Sale!

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Terran Defenders: Genesis on Sale From June 24 to 27 in the US and UK.

Terran Defenders: Genesis is the first novel set in a world where mankind is contacted by visitors from other worlds. Do they come in peace? Or do they herald the beginning of mankind’s destruction?

2012 is coming to an end with fears and hopes over the Mayan prophecy dominating the headlines. Many dismissed it as nonsense but the entire world will be stunned to discover that the prophecy is real and it holds a dire warning from beyond the stars.

UK Link – http://goo.gl/lNAwUQ

US Link – http://goo.gl/LtzjcE

Make sure to grab a copy and leave a review!

Terran Defenders: Genesis On Sale Now!

Terran Defenders: Genesis is available to download for Kindle now!

Buy here: http://authl.it/3m2

Earth is contacted by a mysterious alien race. What’s stranger is that there is not one, but two alien vessels speeding towards the planet. Can the pleas for aid be trusted?
Join Moses Jameson, and his team, as they race against time to unravel the ancient mysteries raised by the aliens’ arrival. It is a mystery that the potential of not just endangering Earth, but the entire galaxy.

Terran Defenders: Genesis is the first novel set in a world where mankind is contacted by visitors from other worlds. Do they come in peace? Or do they herald the beginning of mankind’s destruction?

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