Thursday, April 6, 2017

Interview with military sci-fi novelist James Young

Novelist James Young is with me today and we’re talking about his military sci-fi space opera, An Unproven Concept (Kraken Edition)

During his virtual book tour, James will be awarding an 11x14 print of the cover art for An Unproven Concept (Kraken Edition) signed by himself and Justin Adams; and a 9x12 print of “The Butcher’s Blade” a sci-fi artwork print that will be the cover for Though Our Hulls Burn, the sequel to An Unproven Concept. To be entered for a chance to win either prize, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there, too!

James Young is a Missouri native who escaped small town life via an appointment to the United States Military Academy. After completing his service in the Army, Mr. Young moved to Kansas to pursue his doctorate in U.S. history. Fiction is his first love, and he is currently the author of the Usurper’s War (alternate history), Vergassy Chronicles (space opera), and Scythefall (apocalyptic fiction) series, all of which are available via Amazon or Createspace. Currently living in the Midwest with his loving, kind, and beautiful spouse, James spends his time completing his dissertation while plotting new, interesting ways to torment characters and readers alike.

As a non-fiction author, Mr. Young has won the 2016 United States Naval Institute’s Cyberwarfare Essay contest and the U.S. Armor Center’s Draper Award for a battle analysis of the Golan Heights. He has also placed in the James A. Adams Cold War History contest held by the Virginia Military Institute and been published in the Journal of Military History (“The Heights of Ineptitude”).

Welcome, James. Please share a little bit about your current release:
An Unproven Concept is what would happen if you put Battlestar Galactica, Robotech, and Space Battleship Yamato into a cloning vat then had George R.R. Martin raise the baby. The book centers on three vessels, the battlecruiser Constitution, the destroyer Shigure, and the starliner Titanic, as they deal with Humanity’s first encounter with aliens. Without giving away too much, the Titanic is not where she’s supposed to be, and thus gets caught up in the conflict between the two naval vessels and the hostile craft.

If you like capital ship combat, it’s in here. Flawed characters without “hero shields?” If this was a list of ingredients, it’d be number two. Mecha and starfighters? In abundance. It has received positive reviews from Amazing Stories, Reader’s Choice, and Pop Cults, with a solid 4-star rating on Amazon.

What inspired you to write this book?
Back in 2006, I entered a short story contest with a novella entitled “On Their Behalf…” Several of the judges stated the original storyline was simply too broad to shoe horn into 15,000 pages, but that it sounded like a great concept for a novel. Six years later, I wrote another novella entitled “Ride of the Late Rain.” Again—great concept, but the judges felt I was trying to compress too much into one storyline. So, after I had success with “Ride of the Late Rain” as a novella via Kindle, I decided to go ahead and do An Unproven Concept as a full novel. The Kraken Edition combines both “Ride of the Late Rain” and An Unproven Concept. You can read an excerpt on my blog here.

What exciting story are you working on next?
In between trying to chop down my dissertation, I’m working on Though Our Hulls Burn…, the sequel to An Unproven Concept. It will basically explain some of the prior events referenced in Concept, specifically how the Spartans came to be part of the Confederation of Man.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When as a 14-year-old I tried to submit a bunch of long hand story parts to a New York publisher. I cannot remember how, but I’d acquired one of those “Writer’s Guide” that had every publisher listed and the address for their slush pile. I figured of course they had people to type things up—that’s why they were a publisher! I don’t think I tell many people that story—because I think my younger self was a wholly optimistic ignoramus knowing what I know now.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
On top of my day job, I have a commute that’s over an hour long each way, plus am finishing off a dissertation. How do I find time to write? I have a patient, understanding spouse who is also an author. I also belong to an active writing group that is really good about trying to get together to get some words down.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Friends and family point out that I really don’t have a “writing” versus “speaking” voice. I never really thought of the two of them necessarily needing to be separate.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I actually wanted to be a fighter pilot until my eyes went bad in the 5th grade. I was heartbroken, and it took a couple years for me to truly accept that dream was pretty much finished when I couldn’t read the blackboard from the front row.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
On my FB page is a sign up for my mailing newsletter. Also, my novellas Pandora’s Memories and A Midwinter’s Ski are available as “perma free” offerings from Amazon.


Thank you for being a guest on my blog!
You’re welcome, and thanks for having me.

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

James Young said...

Thanks for having me by Lisa! Sorry if this double posts--my initial comment seems to have vanished.