Monday, December 4, 2017

Interview with writer F. Howard Billings

Writer and author F. Howard Billings joins me today to chat about his new sci-fi novel, When Gods War (Roman Candle).

F. Howard Billings is an aerospace technical writer with 39 years’ experience writing technical procedures for various aeronautical platforms, and from 2008-2014, was the creative source of the satirical website,, since taken down.

Welcome, Howard. Please tell us about your current release.
When Gods War (Roman Candle) chronicles the last half year in the life of the planet Zeon as it approaches it’s twice-annual passing of the nearby planet Tareon. They orbit their sun in opposite directions, and every time they pass, Tareon draws Zeon closer and closer to Tareon’s own orbit path.

What inspired you to write this book?
I’ve had the idea in my head for years about simple cave-like beings with another larger world and certain death coming their way, yet without any external help from others, knew how save a lucky few of them. I also found an unadvanced way for them to launch a few of their kind to the other world.

Excerpt from When Gods War (Roman Candle):
    In the thaw that is quickly advancing up to the pole, thin sheets of ice separate from layers below and slowly float upward. The ice sheets rotate in the air, slowly circling the nearby North Pole. More layers separate and also lift upward, a ballet of ice sheets at different levels slowly turning in choreographic unison above the nearby axis. The trapped water in each sheet causes a thousand prisms of mini rainbows, courtesy of light from the low sun on the horizon.

As each dripping sheet gracefully works its way upward and away from the spinning center, it crumbles, and droplets disperse in the warming air like tiny exploding balloons, and as quickly as they disperse, new sheets breaking off from the ground rise up and replace them. This beautiful ballet happens as the ground ice recedes toward the nearby North Pole, the very top of their world.

What exciting story are you working on next?
Not sure. I’d like to focus on a screenplay version of this one, if Hollywood is interested.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
It’s my everyday job, writing technical and training materials, and I’ve always liked it, so many years ago, by the age of 25.

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?
I write every day in my job, and I’m experienced enough that I do a better job of it than my colleagues do.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
It may not be quirky, but I hope I can be known for making unusual situations vivid and clear.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Anything having to do with planes, but I also seriously enjoy music, off-kilter films, and vintage cars.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
When Gods War (Roman Candle) may be sci-fi, but’s there’s very little science in it. It’s not very technical, and follows a Zeon family: A father, mother, teenage daughter, and younger son, so there’s someone everybody can relate to. The reviews so far on Amazon are averaging 4.3 of 5 stars, and most of the reviews are from female readers. Anybody looking for an escape from our earthly issues and problems, will find themselves immersed in someone else’s tale.

Thanks for joining me today!

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