Welcome to our ongoing series of conversations with Lost Genre Guild members. Catch them here on Mondays!
When did you join the LGG? How did you make the connection?
Dan Weaver chased me down on Myspace. I believe it was around June or July of 2006.
What's the first thing you remember that happened in the Guild?
Folks were very busy critiquing each other's short stories for the Guild anthology, Light at the Edge of Darkness. I joined too late to submit anything, but I did a couple of crits. Those were exciting times of extraordinary passion!
Tell us some good things that have transpired from belonging.
How about everything? Ha! If you only knew. All right, since some of you DO know, the short rundown: Mr. Creed encouraged me to publish my novel; many members provided critiques for Faith Awakened and continue to do so for other manuscripts ever since; assistance in blog tours, ready reviewers, insane fans (well okay, not quite that, but fans nonetheless), and a whole bunch of hospitality on my crazy 16-stop USA tour last year - during which I got to meet Mr. Creed's cats, visit a dragon's lair, appear on television, teach in school, celebrate Thanksgiving for the first time ever [not a downunder tradition], and meet a whole lot of my favourite online people!
What's your genre and subgenre? Why do you think that is?
Science fiction, with a definite lean towards cyberpunk and dystopia on the one hand, and space opera on the other. I'm a die-hard Trekkie, so there's your reason right there. I love to imagine what could be technically possible even in the fairly near future, and how that might impact people on a personal level - especially when systems fail.
Do you like to read the same genre as you write? What other genres interest you? Favourite authors?
Absolutely. It's my mission in life to hunt down inspirational sci-fi titles for my collection - a task certainly not made easier by living in New Zealand. I also read a fair bit of fantasy because it's the nearest thing to sci-fi and there's a lot of it out there. Stephen Lawhead, Chris Walley, Karen Hancock, Frank Creed, Caprice Hokstad, Amy Deardon, Steve Rice, and Jeremy Robinson are some of my modern favourites alongside of C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton.
Tell us about your published work, and where we can go to find out more.
With lots of help from the Guild, I published Faith Awakened in November of 2007 [just one day after Frank Creed's Flashpoint came out, and we both used the same font on our covers! They are also both cyberpunk dystopias. How weird is that!] Head on over to www.faithawakened.com for all the funky stuff on that book. I also have a few short stories in anthologies here and there, most pending publication, and one online at Digital Dragon Magazine called Second Site. I write a lot of book reviews in the genre and most of these can be found at www.splashdownreviews.blogspot.com.
What are you working on right now? How's progress?
That's a really big question! [LOL! I should know, I wrote these questions!]
I'm republishing Faith Awakened with my own ISBN, under my own publishing company Splashdown Books. I'm also writing the sequel, Godspeed, which is inching towards halfway. In between there are two more projects: Legendary Space Pilgrims, my first foray into space opera [but it's a cyberpunk dystopia as well], is in the latter stages of editing while CyberDublin is post-first-draft, a very fun cyberpunkish story which once again returns to a favourite theme of mine: how the Irish would deal with the end of the world as we know it.
How has the LGG helped you in your work?
Critiques, edits, proofreading, reviews, endorsements, prayers, suggestions, and the most important of all: friendship. My Guild involvement predates my joining Shoutlife, Facebook and Twitter - and is still my most important sounding board for issues regarding writing.
What are your dreams for the future of Christian speculative fiction, and for yourself within that?
Oh, gee, you know I haven't actually thought about that? But I will now. Let's see. World domination by small presses to the benefit of niche genres, with side-effects for the movie and TV industries. Yeah, that about sums it up. Me? I'm just going to do my darndest to publish great books and see where that takes us.
Your best writing tip?
READ. There is no way anyone can become a great writer without first being a great reader. Get those books into you, imbibe those words so that they are added to your arsenal and can be used at will.
What else are you up to that our readers would find interesting?
Splashdown Books is my own small publishing business for inspirational sci-fi and fantasy, and the first book is The Muse by Fred Warren, a fine start to what I hope will be a long and satisfying stream of good books. Watch the movie here and check out the T-shirt shop here! Well hey, it's gotta be serious if there's a shirt shop, right?
Something you reckon not many people know about you?
I rarely leave the house without a hat on. I play the bodhran, which is an Irish hand drum. In my spare time, should I have any, I engage in photography, astronomy, Muppet-making, cookie-baking, and Tweet-ups. I speak German like a native, French like a rusty fourth-year university student, and a little Maori and Latin.
Oh yes, and I was homeschooled - or rather, as Cathi puts it, unschooled - and blame my writing craze on the hundreds of books I devoured as a child and teenager.
Your website or social media profile?
www.gracebridges.com - this hub site contains links to all of my web presences that I know of. I may have missed a few. To join my reader network for exclusive free ebooks and contests, please go to www.gracebridges.com/signup. See you there!