Saffron's Space

Today I am lucky to have David Allen Kimmel, author of Rockin’ Across the Galaxy, for an Indie Interview. Earlier this year I reviewed David’s book Rockin’ Across the Galaxy (which I thoroughly enjoyed) and now I’m excited to hear his thoughts on writing. He has some great advice for authors and a fantastic sense of humour.


So David, how long have you been writing and how did you get started?

I’ve been writing in one way or another since I can remember. My current “day-job” is Director of Communications for an energy company which involves considerable amounts of PR and journalism types of writing. My real passion, however, is fiction and within that category, science fiction. I grew up on Asimov and Bradbury (and Douglas Adams for the humorous side).

The desire to write really comes from the love of reading. From the time I learned to form letters into words and words into sentences, I read everything that came across my line of sight (including EVERY road sign on family trips, which rapidly became annoying to everyone else in the car). It didn’t take long to realize that I had stories of my own to tell. Characters who introduced themselves to me and wanted me to tell their stories.

 Rockin' across the galaxy

Rockin Across the Galaxy is doing well,

Tell us a little bit about it…

I’m very pleased with the reception Rockin’ has received so far, because this story really makes me smile. I love the characters – I know that sounds cliché, but that’s actually why I love them so much. Rockin’ was my first complete beginning-to-end story and as you might imagine, the characters started out a bit flat and, well, cliché. But then, as I kept at it, the real magic of writing happened, the characters reached out from the pages, grabbed me by the throat and forced to recognize them for who they really are. And that becomes even more apparent in the sequel, which is currently underway now. This is especially true for one character, who still hasn’t forgiven me for what he feels is a bum rap in the first book. (Smiles).

But, back to your question, the basic premise is relatively simple, Gsefx, (pronounced “Zef”), is a non-terrestrial in what we all might recognize as a very terrestrial situation. He’s stuck in traffic and is about to be dreadfully late for work…again. Meanwhile, his human counterpart, Henry, is an artist whose creative inflexibilities prohibit him from getting along in the world. He’s just lost his job and his wife and is, essentially at the end of her rope. They are two different beings from opposite sides of the galaxy. But they do have at least one thing in common, and that one thing that connects them in a way nothing else could.


How does it differ from other sci-fi novels?

 It’s much lighter in tone than most sci-fi. I really loved Douglas Adams tongue-in-cheek humour and commentary on the human condition through his Hitchhiker’s series. I’m not nearly as funny as Mr. Adams, nor do I wish to even make that attempt – that’s not my goal. But, I do appreciate his ability to provide light-hearted entertainment, and that’s what I hope to do with the Gsefx & Henry books.


Do you have any special tips that you’d like to share with other authors, regarding writing, marketing or publishing?

Finding an audience is really, really difficult for an unknown and marketing is both necessary and seemingly impossible. I believe that’s true for writers, singers, artists or anyone looking for that big break. The one piece of advice that I’ve received that seems to ring the most true is to keep writing. Of course you must continue developing and executing your marketing plan, whether it’s social media, blogging, print or whatever, but you must continue to write. That is the only way to have a real chance of finding an audience. Having a full catalogue of offerings that your target audience can connect with provides a larger opportunity for them to find you. Now, keep in mind that I say this with the full knowledge that I have only one novella and one short story currently published – both of differing genres. But, I’m working on it!


Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers?

While I certainly hoped you enjoyed Rockin’ and that it offered you a pleasant escape from your daily routine, I also heard – quite loudly – your concerns over the abruptness of the ending! I understand its, abruptness, was, shall we say, unexpected. That said, however, I stand by my ending for the one reason that it was appropriate for the characters and I think that will become more clear when the next book is finished.


Why did you choose to write in the sci-fi genre?

In truth I write in both sci-fi and general fiction categories. For short stories, general fiction seems to come easier, but my love has always been sci-fi – that’s where my daydreams tend to play and so that is where I would like to make my mark.


Do you also read? What sort of books?

Yes – reading and writing go hand-in-hand. I believe, as Steven King has advised, that to be a good writer you must read constantly and write constantly. I love both Fantasy and Sci-Fi. (Contrary to popular opinion, they are two separate genres!) Obviously, Tolkien, CS Lewis, Terry Brooks and Stephen Donaldson for the Fantasy genre (as well as a terrific new up-and-comer by the name of Saffron Bryant!) and Bradbury and Asimov on the Sci-Fi side of things. (Asimov’s Robot and Foundation series will always be the pinnacle for me!)

 David Allen Kimmel

How did you learn to write?

Certainly not in school! Haha! Actually I’m only kinda kidding. I actually flunked out of English Comp (College English 101) TWICE – before I finally just tested out of it. I was always so bored by the professors I never went to class. In truth, I think I learned to write mostly by reading a lot. For the most part, I follow the rules of writing without really knowing the rules – but I know what works and what doesn’t. And…for all of that, I’m a writing snob. I will rewrite someone else’s words without hesitation if I believe I can make them sound better. It has gotten me into trouble more than once! Ha!


What are your thoughts on self-publishing vs. traditional publishing?

Self-publishing is both much easier and much harder. Publishing something on Amazon or Barnes & Noble takes a matter of minutes. Getting someone other than your friends or family to actually buy your publication is a totally different matter. As I said earlier, you have to get out there and do the marketing work – social media, etc., but the bigger matter is to keep writing. Traditional publishing, on the other hand is much more difficult to break into – query letters, reject letters, query letters, reject letters, etc. etc. But, once you break into that realm, you do know one thing – not that you’ll be successful, necessarily, but that your work is good enough to have attracted the eye of an editor who reads an endless succession of stuff not good enough to be published. That alone should be enough of a confidence boost to help you keep going. Ultimately, I believe it’s going to be a combination of both self and traditional publishing.


Do you have any more books being released soon?

I’m working on the sequel to Rockin’ but since I just started it, I can’t promise when that will be released. I do have a couple of other works in review – one is a part one of a post-apocalyptic tale that spans the lives of several characters. The other is a general fiction short story entered into a contest – hoping to hear about that one in the next few weeks. I also have several other books in my head – I just need to find the time to get them out of my head and down onto paper.


Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself or your books?

As much as I want people to buy and read my works – I’ve found that the real joy for me is in the writing itself. The experience of not only telling the story, but telling it in a way that is surprising even to me at times. I really think that’s why I want people to buy and read my books – not as much for the money (although that’s nice!) – but so they can, hopefully, experience the same pleasure reading it as I had writing it.


Click here if you’d like to read Rockin’ Across the Galaxy. Or learn more about David on Goodreads


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