Guild Member Spotlight: Tony Lavoie

Welcome to the first in a series of personal interviews with the members of the Lost Genre Guild. Look out for these spotlights every Monday!

Tony Lavoie

When did you join the LGG? How did you make the connection?

Less than a year ago. Someone on ChristianWriters.com recommended LGG as a pretty nice place to hang out. Can't remember who that was, but thank you, whoever you are! :)

What's the first thing you remember that happened in the Guild?

I have a hard time remembering the first thing that happened this morning...you really expect me to remember way back then?

I do recall early on hearing someone talk about Frank Creed's "Flashpoint", and following a link to a short story of his. It may have been Frank. :)

Tell us some good things that have transpired from belonging.

I found Ray Gun Revival, hopped aboard a couple of other Christian Spec-Fic lists, discovered Jeff Gerke's "Where the Map Ends", gave away a couple of .pdf's of my Scabbard Pete book, had a laugh or two, discovered my laptop doesn't like it's primary life let alone any "Second Life", met some really great people whom I'd really like to meet someday (read that again ;), and got to assist--in some very small way--the promotion of speculative fiction from Christian writers. All with the ultimate aim of glorifying my Creator and his creation.

What's your genre and subgenre? Why do you think that is?

My novel is pirate fantasy, my published short stories have all been sci-fi, and my best works are Christmas tales. Because those are the stories that Creator guy I mentioned above gave me. :)

Do you like to read the same genre as you write? What other genres interest you? Favourite authors?

I'd be really weird if I didn't. :) (Hey, we're ALL weird around here!)
In addition to sci-fi (pretty much all sub-genres) and fantasy (ditto), I like some historical fiction (but it has to really grab me) but really don't read much else. I do like Robert B. Parker (Spenser) and some military fiction like Dale Brown and Tom Clancy. My favorites are older science fiction stories - pulp stuff from the 40's through 60's, Verne, Wells, Bradbury...others too numerous to mention. I really dig Terry Pratchett's Discworld stuff, and Robert Howard's Conan books, and Ian Fleming's James Bond.

Oh, and Diana Wynne-Jones knocks my socks off. :)

Tell us about your published work, and where we can go to find out more.

My first publishing success came this year, in the form of my short story "Moon Dust" accepted by MindFlights.com (http://www.mindflights.com/item.php?sub_id=5289). My second and third came from "Horses" and "Evil Awakened" at Digital Dragon (http://digitaldragonmagazine.net). I am also self-publishing my novel "The Ballad of Scabbard Pete".

What are you working on right now? How's progress?

I have a serial project under consideration at one venue, a short story I'm working on for possible submission to another venue (both sci-fi, of course), and a Christmas story to complete two others I've written. This last project (the collection of Christmas Tales) is the most exciting for me, because I'm working with a very talented artist who is working up some wonderful illustrations for it. Progress progresses. Anyone have a few hours in the day they're not using? ;)

How has the LGG helped you in your work?

Aside from the obvious benefit of being able to get the word out on my writing, and subsequently get my name known a little bit more widely than just on my street, I've really enjoyed seeing how other writers are handling and promoting their projects. I've read a couple of very good books by some of the authors who hang out here, and gotten to listen to and share ideas and advice, not to mention encourage a couple of people at what seems just the time they needed it. It's a great experience, and I'll take this opportunity to thank you all--and especially the Big Guy upstairs--for letting me be a part of it.

What are your dreams for the future of Christian speculative fiction, and for yourself within that?

I'd love to see Christian spec-fic titles on the same shelves at Barnes and Noble and Borders as the rest of the spec-fic writers. How can I help that? Haven't the foggiest, other than to hang around corners like this one and help spread the word. That, and try to write the best darn stories I can, and make sure God is in them. :)

Your best writing tip?

Write. You were given a story to tell (possibly more than one!), so tell it in the best possible way you can. And don't be afraid to ask for help.

What else are you up to that our readers would find interesting?

That you would find interesting? Well, theres...no, I can't admit that here. Okay, then, how about...no, that's only interesting to llamas and train engineers. All right, here's one...I really am as big a nerd as my wife thinks I am. :) And I tend to have to remove an inordinate amount of "in fact"s from my writing.

Something you reckon not many people know about you?

I design model rockets. Out of paper. Really cool ones! :)
And I've designed a cover for a book being published, and designed a logo for the imprint that's going to publish it. http://portyonderpress.com to check those out (though the logo's not there yet...she's still bringing things up to speed).

Your website or social media profile?

http://PaperGizmo.com <= that's a good place to start. It'll even take you to the rockets. :) http://facebook.com/tonylavoie <= but be forewarned, if you befriend me, you end up getting the real me, nerdiness and all. http://twitter.com/tonylavoie <= but I don't update every day. FB is my primary social venue. http://scabbardpete.wordpress.com <= my blog, but I update only about two or three times a month, usually. That's me! :)


Tony said...

One update to this interview...I'm working with a publisher who is (as of today) willing to take on Scabbard Pete, so I'm no longer self-publishing it. No time-frame as of yet.

Chila said...

Great interview, Pete, er, Tony.... Too bad they don't interview plain ol' un-nerdy, non-fiction writers with a debut book about to be released. Oh, well. The injustices of life.... :)

You all did good!