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Great Debut!

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Nick (nantonakos) | 2 comments I loved the book but I have to go to work soon so I won't see any response for a while so I'll post a couple question.

What drew you to write Science Fiction? What authors did you first read?

The setting and characters gave a retro feel, who would you consider your stylistic influences?

Kenstibec highly valued his car, beyond what was necessary for his job. Is this a reflection of you? What do you drive?

What are your plans from here? Do you feel that there is anymore story to tell in this setting? Do you plan on writing more Science Fiction?

Thanks for answering our questions, have a great day.

message 2: by Jon (new)

Jon Wallace (jon__wallace) | 20 comments Mod
Hey Nick! Thanks so much for your awesome questions, thrilled you enjoyed the book.

I was drawn to science fiction because I wanted to find some focus for my writing. Before Barricade, at Uni and beyond, I constantly bounced from writing one thing to another - screenplays, stories stories, comedy sketches - and just not progressing. I decided I wanted to focus on producing a novel. I wanted to choose a genre I loved, and having been brought up on a diet of Star Wars, Star Trek, Red Dwarf and 2000AD/Transformers comics, I chose SciFi. I put all my energy into a definite plan - get some stories published in mags like Interzone, then shoot for the novel.

When I was at school my favourite authors were a mix of 20C writers like Orwell, Graham Greene, Joseph Heller and Wodehouse, fun scifi like Red Dwarf and the Robert Rankin Brentford books, classic fare like HG Wells and John Wyndham - then newer stuff, often borrowed from my brother - like Only Forward by MM Smith, which blew my mind at the time, and Iain Banks novels like The Bridge. Currently reading E.J Swift's Cataveiro, which is excellent.

I think one of the biggest influences on Barricade stylistically is Raymond Chandler, just because I always thought Marlowe's delivery, and his reactions to perilous situations, were inhumanly cool - the perfect model for Kenstibec. Maybe that's what gives it its retro feel.

Yeah I love my cars. I have bene known to talk to them and name them. (Does that make me a crazy person?) I have a short, unremarkable history of car ownership: I bought my first car, an Escort, off a complete chancer in an Edinburgh car park. It smelt of boot polish. The handbrake didn't work (bit of an issue in Edinburgh, that). The gearbox was full of washers. There was a fuel leak. I LOVED it. Some swine broke into it and wrote it off years later, which was traumatic...yeah, I guess K's regard for his car probably reflects me in that respect, but also it was a character device to show some spark of emotional potential in him: while his creators have screwed with his mind to burn out his capacity for human relations, perhaps some vestige of emotion remains in his appreciation for things: buildings, cars etc.

There's definitely more to tell in K's story - there are two more books coming, tracing his arc from Ficial to...something else. If Barricade had been a stand alone book it might well have been rewritten as a longer book, but with two more to come I liked the idea of keeping it short and fierce. I'll definitely keep writing science fiction - couple of stories on the boil at the moment, and an idea for a completely different, slightly more fantasy-edged book up my sleeve which I am very excited about.

Thanks so much for your questions! A fantastic start to the day.

Sci-Fi Lover | 8 comments Can you tell us any more about the fantasy-edged book right now, or is it too soon?

message 4: by Jon (new)

Jon Wallace (jon__wallace) | 20 comments Mod
It's probably a bit too soon to be honest - but I can tell you it started out as an idea for a story about people I knew when growing up, then morphed into something with more fantastic leanings. It just went that way. I am itching to get writing and have a central story idea that I am really excited about - it's in the research stage at the moment: confusing scrawls on a white board and half read books.

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