Life in Writing
This week I had the chance to sit down with Duncan John Reyneke, author of Nails in the Sky. I had the chance to read through Nails in the Sky and found it to be a pretty interesting read. In this interview we talk about his inspiration for writing, what he's reading, and what he's working on now.
Q. Where are you from?
A. Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Q. Do you have a job other than writing? What do you do?
A. I'm an English teacher in South Korea, and a copywriter
Q. Why do you write sci-fi and fantasy?
A. Because it's amazing. And because it's my primary diet. It's most of what I watch and read and play and talk about, and I write a lot anyway. Ultimately, I think writers just want to play with all the cool toys in the toybox, and because I grew up obssessing over the minutia of my favourite pop culture sci fi and horror staples, I write speculative fiction, now, with those elements thrown in.
Q. What are you currently working on?
A. A book about a hotel, and the undead. I'm about to start my first major round of edits.
Q. Tell us a little bit about it.
A. It's not done, but it's a love story, told about two people who genuinely hate each other. There are zombies (of various races), weird sex, and a lot of casual references to the apocalypse.
Q. When will your next book be released?
A. End of the year, hopefully
Q. When did you decide to become a writer?
A. 2011, after ailing my second Nanowrimo and deciding to just work on a script, long term
Q. Where do you get your inspiration on what to write?
A. Sarcastic impressions of life in a quiet South African city. Growing up a stupid boy, and turning into a stupid man. The multitude of indications that the women in my life are all much smarter than me. Horror movies. Sci fi novels. Live music.
Q. What are some of your hobbies outside of writing?
A. Reading books and comics, listening to music, playing video games, playing guitar, hanging out with my cat
Q. What book are you currently reading?
A. Neil Gaiman, American Gods
Q. Who are some of your favorite authors?
A. Chuck Palaniuhk, Irvine Welsh, Haruki Murakami, and Matt Fraction
Q. What do you do to market your books?
A. That's something I'm still figuring out. Participating on Goodreads, running sales on Amazon, talking about them on Twitter and Facebook, arranging interviews, and badgering my friends and family
Q. Of all the books you’ve written, which is your favorite, and why?
A. Nails in the Sky, because it's my first and only, so far. I'm warming up to my new one (though I still don't have a title!)
Q. If any of your stories could be made into a movie, which would you choose?
A. Diary of a man being slowly crushed to death (a blog post I did a while back)
Q. If you could be friends with a fictional character (Including any from your own stories) who would you choose?
A. Hot Pie, from A Song of Ice and Fire, so he could hook me up with delicious treats and we could hang out in the forest without worrying about all that intrigue happening everywhere else
Q. Does your taste in movies and shows line up with your taste in books?If they differ, how so?
A. Pretty much the same. Sci fi. Horror. Coming of age. Comedy.
Q. Do you have a certain place that you like to do your writing? Does environment affect your work?
A. It seems I like to do my writing best in short, panicked bursts at any computer with an internet connection, five minutes before I desperately need to be somewhere else.
Q. Of all the books in the world, why is yours worth taking the time to read?
A. It's 100% unique, and the storyline is really intriguing. It's about people disappearing, and that sense of helplessness you get once they're gone. Conspiracies, super powers, love triangles - it hits all the best marks, but it's also set in this sleepy little corner of South Africa, so you won't have read one like it, with any luck.
Q. Leave the blurb to your latest book.
A. Alex van der Haar's problems are pretty simple. His best friends, Crink and Ruth hate each other. His girlfriend doesn't like the oddball new lecturer he's hanging out with. Crink's car keeps breaking down on the way to class in the mornings.
And then, suddenly, people start to disappear. Just like that. Gone, overnight. And the strangest thing? Alex is the only one who remembers any of them at all.
What happens when the whole world changes, and nobody knows? Who can you trust when everybody seems to be keeping secrets? And how far would you go to uncover the truth?
Q. What makes the main character of your latest book interesting to read about?
A. He's an unreliable narrator. And he's out of shape. Definitely not a typical hero, someone very relatable and deeply flawed. He loves his friends, and has real problems, outside of the weird left turn his life is suddenly taking.
Q. Are any of the characters in your book based on people you know?
A. No, though I often wish I knew a lightning-fast Rastafarian with a knife, or somebody named Crink.
If you'd like to know more about Duncan or his writing check out any of the links below:
Nails in the Sky: http://amzn.to/1MSUhI0
Daniel M. Quilter is the author of A Soul Divided. On this blog he'll interview other authors, review books, share nerd wisdom from popular sci-fi and fantasy, and occasionally share his insights on writing. See a list of his works or see what he's working on.
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