1) Jean, will you tell us about your most recent release?
The Siege of New Terra is the seventh book in my action adventure science fiction series: Star Sojourner. My lovable but reckless hero, Jules Rammis, telepath, astrobiologist, is up to his ears in trouble again, but that’s where he lives in all seven books. The truth be known, I’m beginning to think he likes it there.
Good thing he has a loyal team behind him or he would’ve never made it this far. In Siege, Jules pits himself against Big Mack, the brutal leader of a pack of mercenaries who are out to exterminate the gentle Orghes, natives of planet New Terra, so that the Terran colonists who hired them can take over the Orghes’ land. Sound familiar? It’s happened before, right here where we stand. Jules must use his tel power and his wits to try to overcome the mercs. It’s no easy task, but our hero, who lives by the code of being an honorable man, is nothing if not resourceful and slippery, and he never says die.
I can say for a fact that I always worry about Jules when reading your books. That poor man!
2) What else do you have coming out?
Siege is about it for anything new. I’m no multi-tasker. If I tried to write two books at the same time, I wouldn’t be able to find my way home. In fact, I still have a hard time retracing my steps from the local supermarket.
Jean, it sounds like you need a homing device or maybe a good GPS. I know you’re already working on the next book and I know it will be great. I am so enjoying this series.
3) Is there anything you want to make sure potential readers know?
Just that I write books that I hope will entertain my readers, and give them a short respite from the cares and problems they may be harboring in this world. My books are flights into hotter, more exciting, and more dangerous worlds, unless you happen to be a crab fisherman. A very dangerous job, I hear. LOL.
Jean, no crab fisherman here. I enjoy reading your stories. I never know where they are going or if Jules is going to get out alive!
4) What genre do you write?
I write action adventure science fiction, with the emphasis on doing a series. With each book, I get to know my characters better, especially Jules, and I hope that makes the books more enjoyable for my readers. Sometimes, when I want to sleep, I have to chase him out of my head. He doesn’t always want to go. That’s when I get the broom.
A large part of the fun of your series is the characters. You have created a great support cast for Jules and Huff… oh my… I just want to hug him!
5) What is the most demeaning thing said about you as a writer?
That sci fi is not taken seriously. Gee, I take it seriously.
Jean, not sure who said that, but all fiction books are something someone made up. I love reading a good story and you write some very good stories.
6) How do you react to a bad review of one of your books?
I tend to get dehydrated from crying so much into my pillow. Then I go and write again.
That’s the spirit!
7) Do you write in more than one genre?
I used to write some fantasy, but I found that for me, sci fi is where it’s at. I like what SF writer Le Guinn said about SF writers and readers, and I paraphrase: “We are not only comfortable with an open universe, we like to play on its steps.”
Jean, you are playing very well. Keep it up!
8) How do you choose the titles of your novels?
With much angst. Titles and blurbs are difficult for many fiction writers, including myself. Sometimes the title comes while I’m writing. I depend heavily on my friends in the writing community threads. This last title, The Siege of New Terra, was presented to me in part by friends there. Of course, the author has to make the final decision on the title.
I understand, titles are sometimes tough for me too.
9) Are there any occupational hazards to being a novelist?
You mean besides walking into walls when your mind is firmly entrenched in another world? Or forgetting why I just drove into town? We writers have to lay low, or they might put us away. On the writing threads, we kid about having adjoining padded cells. But straight jackets are no fun! You can’t type while wearing those things!
Jean, maybe we should look into Dragonspeak… hey, just sayin’.
10) What are some of your favorite books?
All of Roger Zelazny’s fine novels.
11) What is the best thing said about you as a writer?
That my books are fast-paced page turners and my characters come alive.
Definitely one of the best things. 🙂
12) Have you ever dispatched a character and then regretted it?
No. Dead is dead.
Love your attitude. Dead is dead and gone!
13) Describe your perfect job.
The job I have, where I’m my own boss, and my only master is that damnable muse and her whip.
Sounds perfect for you!
14) How do you remain sane as a writer?
I don’t. I just lay low.
Ah! Another honest writer.
15) What is the single most powerful challenge when it comes to writing a novel?
For me, it’s plotting. I usually plot page by page, though sometimes I manage to get a few pages ahead. I keep Zelazny’s advice in mind: “The fantail of possibilities.” From them, I try to find the one that will move the plot, help define the characters, deepen the theme, and be the most interesting to the readers. There is always a reader watching over my shoulder. Sometimes S/he shakes his/her head solemnly and I back up in the writing.
I am envious and in awe of how you write.
16) What do you consider your biggest failure?
My inability to learn how to promote my books.
Hey, you can write them! No use to promote something that you cannot write. You’re over halfway there.
17) Who do you want to read your books?
Uh, is asking the whole world a bit too egotistical?
Of course not!
18) How much impact does your childhood have on your writing?
A lot. I truly believe that our writing comes out of our passions. With me, a wild childhood of doing things that kept my heart beating fast and clearing out the cholesterol led to action adventure books. The sci-fi element is probably a result of a curious mind. In fact, things keep getting get curioser and curioser.
Jean, I love that answer. I truly do.
19) Do you laugh at your own jokes?
Of course. Most of the time, I’m the only one who does!
I giggle… that should count.
20) Do you admire your own work?
Well, not to be egotistical, but … YES.
I think it’s good to be proud of what we’ve done and to enjoy it.
21) What are books for?
To put on our heads and teach us good posture.
Well darn. I nodded in agreement and my book slid off my head.
22) How do you feel about being interviewed?
I’m a ham by nature, so I eat it up. Not the ham.
Spotlight on Jean!
23) Why do you think what you do matters?
I’m not certain that it does.
Of course it does!
24) What makes you cry?
War and animal abuse, and a well-told story.
25) What makes you laugh?
When people take themselves very seriously.
I understand that too. Love satire.
26) What’s the loveliest thing you have ever seen?
Green sunlight filtering through pilings underwater with fishes flashing in and out of it and a moray eel that stuck his head out of his den to say hello.
I am so envious. You did some amazing things in your life. Diving, riding motorcycles across the country. I love your free spirit. I think that shows in your writing.
27) Who is the most supportive of your writing?
My friends, especially my very good friends, Linda Fulton and Pat Blair.
Good, supportive friends are something we all need.
28) What are you planning to write in the near future?
I try not to think about that. Then suddenly it presents itself, with the muse snapping her whip.
Oh that muse!
29) What compels you to write?
Because I don’t have the writing. The writing has me. I can no more stop writing than hold my breath.
A true writer then… good.
30) What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Write from your passion and dig deep. Bring out those shadowed feelings that speak to other humans, even if it’s embarrassing. “A writer must look life in the face and never flinch.”
And that is … great advice.
31) How many books have you written, and which one is your absolute favorite?
I’ve written twelve books, and the latest is always my favorite.
I love that!
32) What is something you really want your readers to know about you?
That I never write down to my audience. I always assume that they are as smart, maybe smarter than me. We share the adventure.
That is something everybody should remember.
Jean Kilczer, thank you for taking time to do this interview. I have read your newer books and thoroughly enjoyed them. You are a great writer and a great friend. And… the best person to do a critique that I’ve found. I appreciate you and all the help you’ve given me with my stories.
The link to Jean Kilczer’s Amazon page is: http://www.amazon.com/Jean-Kilczer/e/B006M0MJBK/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1418417686&sr=1-2-ent
Hope you action/adventure sci fi lovers check her out.