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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Author Interview – Geoff Nelder

6:30 AM Posted by James Noel , No comments

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? As a former teacher of Geography I insist of having accuracy in my settings. Hence I wave goodbye to my wife (threatening to change the locks while I’m away) to travel to Malta, Wales, and Mallorca in the quest for authenticity. So much so I was arrested for trespass on Mallorca, but I escaped from the Galactic police when I tried to jump from one of Saturn’s rings to another. Sensory Show such as fragrances and colours are important to me to get right and so I need to smell the flowers, soil and rocks as well as the exotic aromas of foreign cities.

What books have most influenced your life? Although I read the bible as a youth, it was more as a cultural informative experience than a religious one. Both my atheist parents encouraged me to read Socrates via Plato’s work, and I learnt by heart the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (the Fitzgerald translation). More recently I take inspiration from (to mix the religious origins) the koan-like homilies of Idries Shah such as The Pleasantries of the incredible Mulla Nasrudin. I enjoyed the 1820s poets for my school literature classes (Keats, Wordsworth, Shelley and Robert Burns) and the works of Oscar Wilde. Their irreverence for authority and experimental styles influenced me very much.

Who is your favorite author and why? Julian Barnes, a literary writer with ironic wit and a complete grasp of his writing art and the human condition. I met his Arthur & George because it was a chosen novel in a literary book group I joined (I am the only man so get to take home a different woman after each meeting. Don’t’ tell my wife). A marvellous narrative – whimsical and clever. I read everything I can get from the man. His preoccupation with death and its preparation is of morbid interest for me. He’s too good, damn him.

Where do you see yourself in five years? Publishing is changing so rapidly that although I prefer to read a paper book, likely I will be writing e-book only novels. My shorts will get more an airing in the ether too. I have written 7 novels, once the two WIP are done, so in five years I anticipate being freer to experiment more with plot and narrative style.

What are your current writing projects now? I am working hard on completing the ARIA trilogy. The sequel ARIA: Returning Left Luggage is finished and will be published by the end of June 2013. The final book is ARIA: Abandoned Luggage and I am two thirds into writing it. I often have more than one writing project on the go and Xaghra’s Revenge is about finished. It’s a magic realism fantasy based on the true event of the entire population of Gozo being abducted by pirates in 1551. Well, all those spirits are crying out for revenge, aren’t they?

I also pen articles for Cycling World based on mad things I do with wheels. For example I cycled up a Greek volcano in 2012.

Are there any new authors that have sparked your interest and why? Lauren Beukes (Zoo City) and Hannu Rajaniemi (Quantum Thief) write clever science fiction with such concepts as telepathic cities and symbiotic pets. China Mieville, M. John Harrison and Jon Courtenay Grimwood are modern SF writers with a flair for experimental plotting and new ideas.

Do you have any advice for writers? Don’t self-publish your novel before asking for honest comments from experienced writers, editors and readers. The best plan is to read as many books on writing as you can including Stephen King’s On Writing, Sol Stein’s many tomes on writing and a slim ebook called How to Win Short Story Competitions. It has lots of advice relevant to novels too and delves via anecdotes and examples into Show not Tell, active voice and 3d characterization. It’s written by two experienced story competition judges, Dave Haslett and Geoff Nelder – yes, that’s me!

Do you have any specific last thoughts that you want to say to your readers? You will enjoy ARIA even if you are not a science fiction reader per se. It is a medical mystery, an adventure, an exploration of life’s difficulties and how to cope with disaster. There are no aliens and weird rocket ships in volume one. They come later but be prepared for the lack of stereotype.

Have you considered making a video trailer to help lure readers? Yes, thanks for asking! Creating a short video trailer that is a hook and artistic is part of the creative process for me. I create a screenplay for the video along with ideas for text and music and engage Kim at Blazing Trailers to put it all together. Here is the YouTube for ARIA

Please click a like on it for me!

Alien Retrograde Infectious Amnesia

Today, Jack caught a bug at work. He catches a bus home. By the time he disembarks in the desert town of Rosamond, all the other passengers and the driver have fuzzy heads. Jack had caught an amnesia bug, and it’s infectious.

Imagine the ramifications:

The passengers arrive home, infecting family; some shop en route infecting everyone they meet. The bus driver receives more passengers giving them change for last week’s prices and today’s amnesia. Some passengers work at the power plant, the water treatment works, the hospital, fire station. All shut down in weeks.

One man, Ryder Nape, realizes what’s going on, but can he persuade friends to barricade themselves in a secluded valley, hiding from the amnesia bug?


“Geoff Nelder inhabits Science Fiction the way other people inhabit their clothes.”  — Jon Courtenay Grimwood

“Geoff Nelder’s ARIA has the right stuff. He makes us ask the most important question in science fiction–the one about the true limits of personal responsibility.”  —Brad Linaweaver

Robert J. Sawyer calls ARIA a “fascinating project.”

“ARIA has an intriguing premise, and is written in a very accessible style.” —Mike Resnick

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Science Fiction / Medical Mystery

Rating – PG

More details about the author

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