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Welcome Hydra author R.S. Hunter!

Thanks for being with us today. First, would you tell us a bit about yourself? What area of the country do you live in, do you have a family, pets, etc. Are you a coffee fiend, or do you have another “addiction” you must have on your desk at all times?  

It’s great to be here. I’m R.S. Hunter, a science fiction, fantasy, and horror author from sunny San Diego. I live in the suburbs so I use writing as a way to escape them.

 Unlike a lot of writers I know, I don’t drink coffee. However, I am a sucker for a good craft beer. (One of the perks of living in San Diego). All I need when I write is my laptop and my headphones. That’s what you’ll find on my desk, which also doubles as my kitchen table.

 Tell us about your new novel, coming in September from Hydra Publications. 

My debut novel, The Exile’s Violin, the first book of the Tethys Chronicles, is a steampunk adventure tale that follows a young woman’s quest to unravel the mystery surrounding her parents’ murder. Along the way she teams up with bored socialite Clay Baneport, and the two of them discover a conspiracy that threatens the fate of the world.

 How would you best describe your books?

 I have a lot of experience with video games and writing about them, so I think because of that, my books have a very strong visual quality to them. A lot of times when I write, I try to picture how the scene would look in a movie or in a game.

 The Exile’s Violin has clear steampunk influences along with parts that feel like action/adventure movies. But I’ve also been told that some parts of it have some noir influences. I wasn’t trying to channel that when I wrote the book and characters, but I can’t say I’m complaining!

 What is your favorite genre to write? To read?

 My favorite genres to write and read are speculative fiction. Hands down. I’ve been in love with genre fiction ever since I saw Star Wars as a small child. I also like horror a little bit, but it comes in third after SFF. To clarify, I like horror books. Horror movies on the other hand scare the hell outta me. No thank you.

 I wrote The Exile’s Violin and its sequel, Terraviathan, because they were the books I wanted to write at the time. I don’t try to chase trends or try to jump on the next big thing. I write what I like—explosions, science fiction, fantasy, gun fights, sword fights, etc.—and I just try to make sure it ends up being the best damn book I’m able to produce.

 

What do you most like about writing? Least like? When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

 I love being able to create new worlds and characters. That’s one of the best parts about speculative fiction; I’m not hampered by real locations and people.

 Many other writers out there all say things like they started writing when they were 4 etc. etc. Not me. I’ve loved reading all my life, but I didn’t start writing fiction until college. I asked the professor of my World Literature class if I could write a story instead of writing a final paper. She said yes. I wrote the story. Passed the class. Workshopped the story the next semester, and then it became the first thing I ever had published.

 Do you belong to any writing groups? Are there any writing websites you find particularly useful?

 I want to find a local SFF writing group that focuses on novels rather than short fiction, but I haven’t had any luck yet. As far as websites go, I like Absolute Write and Goodreads. I also have a bunch of “name generator” websites bookmarked. Those sites are life savers.

 Is there any special music you like to listen to while writing? How does it inspire you?

It all depends on my mood. Sometimes I listen to videogame music, remixes, and electronica. Other times I’ll listen to heavy metal or classic rock. I have to have music on while writing though. Silence and me are enemies.

 Tell us a little about your path to publication. How many books have you published? How many stories did you write before selling one?

 The first piece I had published was a short story called “Runner” in the Abaculus II science fiction and fantasy anthology. The Exile’s Violin will be my first published novel. I know it’s incredibly rare to have your first novel also be your first one published, but the book has undergone significant changes between when I first wrote it and where it’s at today.

 What are you writing now? What’s next for you—will you be making personal appearances anywhere our readers can find you?

 Right now I’m working on revising and polishing Terraviathan, the sequel to The Exile’s Violin. Unfortunately due to financial reasons, I won’t be able to travel to any conventions. There might be a few local signings around the San Diego area, but there’s nothing definite yet.

 Readers can visit my website (http://rshunter-author.com) for more information about me and my work. And of course, follow me on Twitter (http://twitter.com/rshunter88). I love talking about writing, speculative fiction, videogames, TV, and just about anything on there.

THE STORY:

 
Why hire mercenaries to kill an innocent family just to obtain one little key? That question haunts Jacquie Renairre for six years as she hunts down the people responsible for murdering her parents.
 
Not even accepting an assignment to investigate a conspiracy that aims to start a war can keep her from searching for the key. Armed with her father’s guns and socialite Clay Baneport, she continues her quest for answers abroad.
 
With the world edging closer to disaster, Jacquie is running out of time to figure out how the war, the key, and ancient legend are intertwined. The fate of the world hinges on her ability to unravel both mysteries before it’s too late.

 

Thanks so much for coming by today–steampunk is definitely an up and coming genre, and I’m sure this book will be fabulous!   Lyndi

Writers, come learn a lot for only a little at Context 25!

Do you want to be one of the first people to score a print edition, hot off the press, of my new book LOVE ME, KISS ME, KILL ME? Hydra Publications will release them at Context 25! This is a wonderful science fiction and fantasy con in Columbus, Ohio September 28-30 where, in additional to panels on a variety of subjects, gaming sessions and filk concerts, attendees can (for a minimal fee) take writing workshops provided by a number of multi-published writers and professors from great writing schools like Seton Hill.

This year, I’ll be teaching a workshop on Saturday morning about writing diverse characters:

(Saturday, September 29th, 10am-noon)
The world is full of different ethnicities and cultural groups; unfortunately, most  writers tend to only write about people like themselves. Others who want to include more diverse characters may be afraid of portraying people poorly.

This workshop will use exercises like those in Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward’s Writing the Other and other sources to expand your thinking about using characters of other race/class/ethnicity in your stories. We’ll look at the power of first impression—what you glean from your first sight of someone—which may or may not truly give you their essence. Participants should bring pen and paper to work through some simple but eye-opening “What If?” questions that will show you how to expand your story’s diversity. Finally, we’ll conduct an exercise designed to teach you how to convey the diverse uniqueness of your characters in subtle ways—i.e., without having Fred say, “Hi, John, this is my black friend Mike.”

The two-hour workshop costs only $20 and leaves you plenty of time the rest of the day for classes with Maria Snyder, Tim Esaias and Linnea Sinclair, as well as a multitude of panels.

The workshops are filling up, so get on over to the site and sign up!

For those who are reluctant to attend conferences because you feel overwhelmed, I thoroughly recommend this one. The people are nice, the workshops intimate, and there’s a very welcoming vibe. Definitely something for everyone here–you could attend the con to get your fill of gaming play and talk, or just take writing workshops the whole time, at an extremely reasonable cost. Tim Esaias of Seton Hill recently pointed out that his workshops are essential the same module he teaches at the University–but much less expensive. Don’t miss it!

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