Digital Book Nook recently caught up with Carl D. Smith, author of “More Than Rust.” We are excited to share this insightful interview with our readers today.
When did you first discover that you enjoy writing and wanted to become a published author?
I have always loved to read, but it wasn’t until in the 5th grade when I was introduced to “The Veldt” by Ray Bradbury that writing became a passion for me. It would be decades of start and stop writing before I would sit down and make a go of it.
What is your favorite and the most challenging aspect of writing?
Worldbuilding is my favorite part of writing. It is so satisfying to set up rules, even when hidden to the reader, and then having the “physics” of the story obey those rules. It’s also the most challenging part of the process, as you have to be cautious not to get too abstract or self-indulgent and sacrifice a good story.
Tell us about your latest release.
My latest release is More Than Rust, the first in a series of humorous sci fi adventures. They are planned to stay self published and novella length for now – an enjoyable pressure valve for me as I work on my bigger projects. They are like a session of a role playing game but with sitcom characters. A blue collar guy with professional failure and hard luck in his past throws in with a group of deep space freebooters, only to get mixed up in their adventures.
How did you come up with the title of your book?
I love the song “More Than Rust” by Night People. The band is broken up now, but I played it frequently as I outlined this project. It found a way to seep into my story in more ways than one, a pun you’ll understand better in parts 2 and 3. The whole series will be titled after goth, darkwave, postpunk, death rock, and batcave songs.
What do you hope readers are able to get from reading your story?
Mostly I just hope people let themselves have fun with the books, to not expect heavy subtext or poetic literary passages. There is a tremendous joy to be found in road tripping, even when the road is outer space. Just settle in and let the big ideas and big characters take you out of this stressful world around us. If anything, the book will speak to those of us who haven’t been huge successes – the so-called loveable losers. But we aren’t losers. We just haven’t grasped the freedom to love life, warts and all, for what it is – a big adventure.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Ray Bradbury was probably the writer who most informed by development in imaginative fiction. I love Joseph Conrad, Glen Cook, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Hideyuki Kikuchi, Umberto Eco, Jeff VanderMeer, Steven Saylor, and Michael Moorcock. I read a lot of nonfiction to be honest, Anthony Everitt, Bart D Ehrman, and Peter Hathaway Capstick for instance. Before you think I am trying to paint myself as an intellectual, I still read my fill of 1970s Hulk and Fantastic Four comics, Judge Dredd, and Valerian. I’m always reading, it truly is a blessing.
Do you have any advice for writers looking to get published?
Well, I guess I’d say keep at it? I am only just now gathering material to solicit after ten years of self publishing. The best thing to do is just write. Jot down ideas. Abandon dead ends but don’t scrap them. Then when the time comes and you have that one “big” project, go for it. It takes thick skin and a giving over of control, which is why I hesitated, but I am learning the value of the editorial process. Keep reading too. Art isn’t a competition and ideas are everywhere. The hurdles to publishing your work have never been lower, there are so many tools and services out there to help you realize your project. Just keep at it.
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“More Than Rust” is available at Amazon on Kindle and in paperback. Read a sample of the book here.