Interview with Clayton Graham
1) Tell us a little bit about how you got into writing.
I have written intermittently for many years and always loved Science Fiction. As retirement approached I thought that would be a good time to get serious!
It’s our connection with the rest of the universe which fascinates me. Science Fiction has been with me since I was a teenager, escaping to new worlds in the cobbled back streets of Stockport, England, where I grew up as a child. Halcyon days, when education and school milk were free, and summers were real summers. I treasured the ‘old school’ science fiction written by authors such as HG Wells, Jules Verne, Isaac Asimov and John Wyndham – well before many were made into films.
2) What was the inspiration behind Milijun?
I wanted Milijun to explore how humanity would react when faced with an intelligence it cannot understand? It’s a good question, for it may happen someday. We are not currently prepared, of course, we are light years away from understanding how we should behave in such a circumstance.
Milijun challenges our mindsets through the eyes of a mother and son, and as such is perhaps more powerful and meaningful than if that challenge was through the eyes of the United Nations or the President of the United States.
I trust the book is about more than an alien incursion into the Australian outback. The story challenges the reader to contemplate our place in the universe, or multiverses (as we are now led to believe may be a possibility).
3) What was it like to fuse the science fiction drama with the complex theme of spirituality?
In a word, fascinating. Humans have always searched for the meaning of life. The idea that, like humans, intelligent alien life will more than likely have a spiritual side is worthy of consideration. We have developed our spirituality through thousands of years. We are growing closer to understanding it, and where our place is in the universe. An advanced alien society will have progressed much further – for example, maybe they will have proven the existence of the afterlife, or maybe they will have entered other dimensions. Anything is possible – we should not deride anything even if it’s outside our comfort zone.
4) What is more important to you when writing: developing plot or creating characters?
Because I love Science Fiction, the plot intrigues me most. And I love plots which interlink with the paranormal or the supernatural [which can be the natural we have yet to discover]. Dialogue is driven by the characters and is probably the easiest to compile – I just let it flow as I believe it would in real life, bearing in mind the people and events involved.
Scene description I spend a lot of time on, and is probably the area which is revised the most.
5) What social media site has been the most helpful for reaching your audience?
To be honest there is not that much out there beyond the obvious players. My primary focus has been on Facebook and I am just starting on Google Plus. Currently I do not do Twitter but I do rely on Book Bloggers and several Book ‘Clubs’. If anyone knows of any efficient media they are more than welcome to contact me at my website.
6) If you were to come face to face with one character in Milijun, who would it be and what would you ask them?
I would choose Laura Sinclair – an ordinary mother, really – until she encounters mysterious events!
The novel explores the relationship between a mother and son. How far can it be stretched before the links break? How far would a mother go to save her son? Would she be prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice, or undertake actions she would never have deemed possible prior to the alien incursion?
Based on that, I would ask Laura two questions. What are her true feelings towards Major General Sebastian Ord? What does she think she is escaping to?
Knowing Laura, the answers would not be simple!
7) What advice would you give to aspiring writers out there?
We can start with the obvious one – read your genre. Don’t start to write before reading, that’s like running before you can walk. If you have done your reading, and you have the urge to write, just write and see what comes out. Never throw anything away – a lot easier now with the advent of computers.
Also keep a pencil and pad on your bedside table. Quite often you will wake up with an idea, a thought, maybe just a sentence or phrase, or even a piece of dialogue. Scribble it down, file it somewhere safe.
Also don’t release your book too soon. Check out marketing options and maybe get some reviews, but don’t be a slave to them.
8) What are your future plans/upcoming projects?
I am working on ‘Saving Paludis’ at the moment, which is set in the year 3898 AD, some one hundred and forty light years from Earth. This story is totally different to MILIJUN, but with the same elements of action, technology and the paranormal. It also includes some romance.
It explores the links between an alien culture and mankind, interplanetary economics, military force and power. It also asks the question: what happens when a culture concentrates on a single purpose-driven technology over a period of hundreds of years?
Web Site: http://claytongraham.com.au/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/claytongrahamauthor/
Authors Show Radio Interview: http://claytongraham.com.au/authors-show-interview/
YouTube Trailer: https://youtu.be/d_0Na9Zu8JE
SALES AND REVIEW LINKS:
Barnes and Noble
The Book Depository [Australia]:
Anthony Avina, (Born March 1990), is an author, a journalist, and a YouTuber. Born in Southern California, he has battled through injuries, disabilities, moves back and forth across the country, and more, yet still maintains a creative voice that he hopes to use not only to entertain but to inspire hope in even the darkest situations. He writes short stories and novels in the horror genre, and is also a seasoned journalist for the online magazine, On Request Magazine. Having grown up reading the books of Dean Koontz and Stephen King, they inspired him to write new and exciting stories that delved into the minds of richly developed characters. He constantly tries to write stories that have never been told before, and to paint a picture in your mind while you are reading the book, as if you could see every scene of the book as if it were a movie you were watching. His stories will get your imaginations working, and will also show that in spite of the most despairing and horrific situations, hope is never out of reach. He am always writing, and so there will never be a shortage of new stories for your reading pleasure. He’s also a certified partner on YouTube, making daily vlogs, as well as scheduled videos, such as The Writer’s Corner series on Wednesdays, Random Friday videos, and an official podcast called The Writer’s Corner, available on Soundcloud, YouTube and iTunes! www.youtube.com/c/AvinaVlogs http://gunslingerpimp.wix.com/officialanthonyavina