Thursday, April 14, 2011

Interview of Kerry Nietz, author of the DarkTrench Saga

Please join me today for an interview of Kerry Nietz, author of the DarkTrench Saga.

Who do you think would like your book? (Or alternately: Please tell prospective readers why they’d like your book.)

"Cool" should be the subtitle of these books. They have robots, spaceships, bald implanted debuggers, future societies, the struggle for freedom, high-tech mysteries, and a bit of cyber romance. In addition they explore contemporary issues in an interesting and unique way.

Really there is something for everyone. A Star Curiously Singing has over forty positive reviews on Amazon, and every one of them has a distinct reason for why they liked it.

What is your favorite thing about your story?

The thing I like to hear most about my stories is that they’re unique. It is my favorite compliment. Sure they have elements that have been used in other stories, but I try real hard to use them in new and unexpected ways. To keep the reader guessing.

Plus my books are written in first person present tense. That in and of itself is unique. I’ve had people tell me their brain had to adjust a bit before they “got it” and then they were hooked. I think that’s appropriate for a story about a future man with an implant in his head, don’t you? :)

Do you remember how long it took you to write? How about to edit and find a publisher?

The first book in the series, A Star Curiously Singing, took me five months to write initially, but almost another year to get it to publishable form. During that time it grew 30,000 words and had a new beginning and ending added. There were also a number of months-long pauses in there while I waited for input from my always swamped editor and publisher.

During one of those pauses I started work on the second book, The Superlative Stream. I got about four months into it before I had to put it down to finish the first book. Then I picked it up again (in October of 2009) and finished the first draft three months later. It was published in April of 2010, so the first four months of that year was spent revising and editing.

With the third book I worked essentially nonstop for eleven months. I just (at the end of February 2011) sent what I think is a solid first draft to my publisher. It’ll probably be a month or so before he gets to it. Then, who knows? I’m hoping to have it ready for release next fall, though.

What is your favorite type of book to read? Do you have any favorite books or authors?

I'm pretty flexible, really. I read anything from science fiction to thriller to mystery to biography to you-name-it. In fact there have been periods of my life when I've forced myself to sample different authors and genres...specifically those that are considered classics. I like to study books and figure out what makes them work.

Science fiction is a heavy favorite, though. I was an early C.S. Lewis fan. Edgar Rice Burroughs and Ray Bradbury became friends in high school. Tolkien came later—in college—as did Isaac Asimov and others. I have a really long list of favorite authors. Some of them show up in my current trilogy. As swear words.

Anything interesting in your past you’d care to share? Like have you ever worked as a rodeo clown, for instance? :)

I consider myself a refugee of the software industry. I spent more than a decade of my life flipping bits—first as one of the principal developers of a database product called FoxPro for the now mythical Fox Software, and then as one of Bill Gates's minions at Microsoft.

I’m a husband, a father of three, a technophile, and a movie buff. I have three published books: a memoir entitled FoxTales: Behind the Scenes at Fox Software and then the two novels from the DarkTrench Saga: A Star Curiously Singing and The Superlative Stream.

What’s your favorite movie or TV show?

I have many favorite movies. My top three are probably the original Star Wars, the original Alien and the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy. All epic films.

Current “must watch” TV shows are Smallville and Clone Wars, though I was a regular watcher of both Lost and the Sci-fi channel’s Battlestar Galactica when those were on. Fringe is fun too.

Can readers contact you?

Absolutely. There’s a contact form on my website,

If you were alive in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, etc., did you have any hairstyles that now make you cringe?

Yeah, my hair prior to college was always just combed straight. I guess I kept all my imagination on the inside back then. Or I was lazy.

Please share a synopsis or blurb, and a brief excerpt from your book.

A Star Curiously Singing is a speculative Christian novel with a decidedly cyberpunk feel. It takes place in a future hundreds of years from now, where much of the world is living under sharia (meaning Islamic) law. It is dualistic society, where average people live on the streets in near-squalor and the powerful ride above them in cable-car-like conveyances. This latter group is shrouded in high tech, to the point of needing specialized debuggers to handle their machines. That's where my protagonist comes in. Sandfly is a debugger who's summoned to solve the mystery of why a bot malfunctioned. The unusual circumstance? The bot has been to space. Deep space. Something about the trip made it malfunction.

The Superlative Stream is the second book in the DarkTrench Saga series. At the end of A Star Curiously Singing, a couple of the characters were headed off into deep space, so this book follows their story. There was evidence to suggest that some supernatural force other than what the characters have known is out there . . . waiting. So, ultimately the quest of The Superlative Stream is to find the True God of the heavens. I think it is a very unique and enjoyable story, with a lot of unexpected twists. I hope it surprises people.

Samples of both are available at my publisher’s website.

Thank you for your time, and best of luck with your series! :)

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ellenmaze said...

Hi! I am desperately in love with this series... Kerry is right-- it is completely unique, and once read, it stays with you forever. I am going to read them again soon. I am also stoked to hear about a Book Three. YAY!

Lum said...

Thanks for commenting, Ellen, and for your mini-review here! :D

James D. Maxon said...

Good interview. Just wanted to let you know that the hyperlink for in your article is broken. Wouldn't want people to get turned away who are genuinely interested in learning more.

Lum said...

Thanks! I'm trying to fix it now. :)