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

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