Please welcome Author Drew Avera to THE KATY today!
Drew Avera is a US Navy veteran and author of the military science fiction series, The Alorian Wars. He began his writing career in 2012 as a participant in National Novel Writing Month. Since then, he has published several novels and short stories. Some of his stories have been featured in the bestselling Future Chronicles anthologies. Drew lives in Virginia with his wife and daughters.
How did you decide to become an author? Any books, movies, or people that inspired you to pursue your dream?
When I was a kid I loved reading comic books. I actually hated novels, but in an effort to get me to read, my dad would buy me all the comics I wanted. From the time I was eleven until I was sixteen I must have collected well over 1,000 of them. When I was sixteen, though, I found a book by comic book writer Peter David on the shelf at a grocery store. It was “The Incredible Hulk: What Savage Beast”. I devoured that novel and fell in love with reading actual books. From that point on I wanted to write a book, but never devoted myself to it. When I turned thirty I reflected on all the things I had accomplished and compared them to my dreams. I had accomplished getting married, having children, and owning a house, but never became a rock star, astronaut, comic book artist, or wrote a book. I decided to do something about it and after one failed attempt I was ready to give up. But I stumbled upon National Novel Writing Month and decided to give it another try. This was in 2012 and I wrote my first book. The rest is history.
Are you a plotter or a panster? Or a planster?
I do both. I typically brainstorm an idea and write the first chapter to get an idea in my head who the character is and what the world is like. If it catches on then I will think about where the story feels like it wants to go and I will plot out the next few chapters. If it sucks then I scrap it and move on. In order for me to be productive, I really need an outline to follow. I have several unfinished drafts because I didn’t plan ahead. The spark is created by the seat of my pants, but the finished product is the result of outlining.
How do you think being in the military has helped your writing?
I was initially against writing military science fiction because I didn’t want to “bring work home with me”. The military is very stressful and sometimes thinking about that stress induces a bit of anxiety, which inhibits my writing output. On my last deployment, though, I discovered The Expanse by James S. A. Corey. It was exactly the kind of series I wanted to write, but never took the plunge because I thought it would be too close to my “real” job. After reading the first five books I developed my concept for a military scifi series called The Alorian Wars. Not only was it fun to write, but one of my friends on the ship loved it too and told me I had to write more of them. From there I decided to launch the series and brand myself as a military science fiction author. My biggest fear was writing about the military causing more stress, but the opposite was true. It actually helps me deal with some of my anxiety issues by working it out on the page. I think I finally found my calling.
Why do you think people are drawn to science fiction?
Science fiction is the world how we want it to be. The technology and the environment are all beyond what we currently experience. It is the future, but bound in pages we can hold in our hands. I think our imagination is the greatest engine to drive the future of humanity and the solution to all of our problems are a single thought away. There is a power in that that becomes addicting. Plus, discussing our interpretations of these future worlds is a lot of fun
What scientific advancement do you feel is right around the corner?
I think we will soon figure out how to create a cheap renewable energy source. This will change our world for the better and the technological advances from that point on will launch us to the stars.
Do any of your characters represent you as a whole or someone you know? Or are they qualities you admire in others?
There is a part of me in every character. They share my fears, my skepticism, my hope, and my sense of loyalty. They seldom share all of these qualities, but usually are driven by at least one.
How did you get involved with The Future Chronicles?
I discovered The Future Chronicles through some friends and entered a giveaway. The winner received some paperbacks of some of the first anthologies. I found my way to becoming friends with several of the contributors, and Samuel Peralta, which eventually led to my inclusion in The Immortality Chronicles. That was followed by Alt History 102 and I just submitted a story for my third anthology. Thanks to the amazing support group of Future Chronicle authors and fans, I have been included in the bestselling science fiction anthologies. It is a real honor.
If you could live in any book for a week, which one would you choose and why?
Mine? I would live on Greshia in The Alorian Wars series. If it is another author’s book then I would choose to live on Mars in The Expanse universe.
Are there any genres of literature or movies that you won’t read or watch? What’s your favorite genre to read/watch?
I’m not a romance reader. I love science fiction books and shows, and pretty much anything superhero related.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Network with other people who are more experienced and more successful than you are. Learn from them. Also, be considerate to others. No author is really your competition, they can be your leverage, though. Early in my career I found some pretty hateful writers who would bash “noobs.” Don’t be that person.
Any new projects you’d like to share?
I just launched Broken Worlds: Book One of The Alorian Wars. If you like military science fiction and space opera, then this series is for you. You can find it here: http://smarturl.it/BrokenWorlds
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I like to play guitar and watch a lot of Netflix. I was deployed for eight months and missed a lot of shows. I returned July 2016 and have been trying to catch up for months lol.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you for having me on THE KATY! I love answering questions and having the opportunity to share my work with others.