Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’m sure authors say this all the time, but there’s honestly not much to tell. I’m the sixth of seven children, and just happened to grow up with a very vivid imagination and a fondness for all things fantastical: comics, scifi, mythology – you name it. Needless to say, I read a lot of books as a kid.
Workwise, I’ve found myself employed in a wide variety of professions in the past, including (among other things) a stint in the military, working for UPS, in a research lab, as a waiter, and as a telephone surveyor. I guess you can add “writer” to the list now.
Which writers inspire you?
Wow…not an easy question. I don’t know if “inspire” is the right word, but there are writers whose work I thoroughly enjoy. Going old school, I’ve always been a big Jack Vance fan; his world-building was amazing, not to mention his command of the English language. I think Stephen King is fantastic – he has the ability to create a turn of phrase that just sticks with you forever. I like George R.R. Martin – Game of Thrones is superb, but I was a fan back when he was editing the Wild Cards series. Larry McMurtry is also great. Tom Clancy’s novels are all complete page-turners. I’ve read a lot of Ed McBain’s 88th Precinct novels, also Lawrence Block’s Burglar books and Matthew Scudder novels. I’ll stop there’ otherwise we’ll be here all day. As you can tell, my tastes run the gamut when it comes to books.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
To be frank, I don’t really outline or plot anything. I typically have a basic idea of what the story is about and how it should end, but beyond that I don’t do much. It’s more like the characters do/say everything of their own accord, and I’m simply taking dictation. For instance, my novel Sensation is actually not the book I had in mind when I began writing it, but the characters took the story in a very different – and in retrospect, better – direction than I’d intended. Because of that, it’s been my most popular series from Day 1.
How did you come up with the plot for Terminus, do you imagine our future can be like that?
The idea had actually been rolling around in my head for a few years before I began writing it down. I knew I wanted a “sole survivor” type of scenario in a sci-fi setting, a misfit crew, and I liked the idea of an exotic alien companion. Then it was just a matter of bringing them all together and letting them tell their story.
Who do get your inspiration for Maker?
I’m an ex-military guy, so I had a lot of sources to draw from, both historical and contemporary. In short, there’s no one person he’s intended to embody. I suppose he’s best construed as an expression of the military ideal in terms being mission-oriented, but very open-minded and able to think outside the box.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
The hardest thing for me is simply finding the time to write. As I said, the stories tend to tell themselves, so I just need to find an opportunity to get to the keyboard and let the words flow. However, the day job has historically been fairly demanding. Moreover, I had hoped that by the time I had some teenagers in the house, they’d be the computer gurus and I could let them handle any tech issues that would inevitably come up. Au contraire, mon ami! All the computer problems – hardware, software, whatever – come to Daddy. I always tell the kids how sad it is at this juncture of my life to not only be the tech guru in the house, but also the best gamer in the family (which is actually true as well).
After the issue of finding time, a close second in terms of the “hardest thing” is not the writing at all but marketing/promotion. It’s no longer enough to simply write a good book and put it out there. You’ve got to work to raise awareness of it, even among your fans. (By way of example, a reader recently mentioned that they had no idea that I had published multiple series.)
What did you loved more of writing this series?
I like the interaction between the characters – the way disparate individuals come together and get to know (and trust) each other. I like how everyone brings something unique to the table and contributes to the overall mission.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
They can check out my website at https://www.kevinhardmanauthor.com/