Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Interview with Author Devin K. Smyth

As a huge science fiction fan I was so grateful and eager to be able to ask Devin some questions about writing in this genre. His book, The Contaminants, is very creative and paints the Earth in new ways after humanity has destroyed it.

1. How did you come up with this story?
 The inspiration for the story was the fact that the U.S. military’s nuclear arsenal has the capacity to annihilate the earth several times over—so what if that actually happened? THE CONTAMINANTS is my speculation on that possibility.

(He's right. I've been watching a documentary (you should watch it too!) titled The Untold History of the United States and we built SO many bombs during the Cold War.)

2. Have you written anything else?
My other title that's currently available on Amazon is THE EMERGENCE. It's the story of a sixth-grade boy struggling for survival when his hometown becomes ground zero for a mysterious cloud formation that eventually envelopes the earth and causes all surface water to evaporate. In the November-December timeframe, I plan to release BADILI, a supernatural thriller set during the early 1800s that follows the story of a 13-year-old slave who discovers a power that could free her and her family—but at a cost that may be too high to accept.

3. There are a lot of interesting gadgets and animals in this story. How did you come up with such creative things?
Most of the gadgets and creatures are simply wish fulfillment, things that I would like to see available or alive in real life. When I have what I think is an interesting idea or insight, I record it even if I'm not sure how I'll use it—or if I ever will.

4. What was the hardest thing about writing this book?
The hardest thing about writing the book was ensuring the science didn't slow down the story. Some of the concepts in the book are technical at times, so I wanted to make sure they flowed well within the action of the plot.

5. What advice would you give to beginning science fiction authors?
To my mind, plausibility should be the goal in science and speculative fiction. The ideas within the story should come within the realm of science even if the ideas aren't possible at this time. With all the advances being made daily, what may seem like fiction now could be reality soon.
I think Devin touched on some great points here. It's one of the things I love about Science Fiction- you take new concepts and pair them to realism. Science Fiction novels have the ability to warn the present-day readers of what could come if we don't take action. In some ways they could even been seen as political books. The characters are faced with real moral dilemmas that we can avoid if we choose to take action.
 In The Contaminants America gets to greedy and decides to destroy the world simply because they have found a way to rebuild it even after atomic bombs destroy it.

If you are not a science fiction fan, that's fine, but I would suggest picking up a classic sci-fi book, like 1984, and start to see this genre as more then just space ships and laser guns. I see this genre as peoples ideas into our worlds future.