Wednesday, May 6, 2015

ANDREW WESTON ~ Interview

Andrew P. Weston is a Royal Marine and Police veteran from the UK who now lives on the beautiful Greek island of Kos with his wife, Annette, and their growing family of rescue cats.

An astronomy and law graduate, he is a contracted writer of fiction and poetry. Creator of "The IX" - and the “Guardians” and “Cambion Journals” series, has also has the privilege of being a member of the British Science Fiction Association, and British Fantasy Society.

When not writing, Andrew devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA with one of their remote research projects, and writes educational articles for Astronaut.com and Amazing Stories.




·         What is your book about?

It’s about a world called Arden, home to a culture that has existed for thousands of years and which spans dozens of worlds. Regardless, their sophistication has been unable to prevent calamity at the hands of an unstoppable nemesis. Known only as the Horde, this enemy has proven relentless, for they have not only stripped the outer colonies bare, but now threaten the existence of the entire Ardenese way of life.

Realizing there is nothing they can do to prevent the inevitable march toward extinction, the Ardenese governing body comes to a drastic decision. They gather together at their capital city, Rhomane, and place their remaining genetic heritage in a vast underground ark, in the care of an advanced AI construct called the Architect. Its mission? To use Rhomane’s dwindling reserves and safeguard their race by reaching out across time and space toward those who might be in a position to help reseed a devastated world at some time in the future.

Guess where it leads?

Soldiers from varying eras and vastly different backgrounds find themselves snatched away from Earth at the moment of their passing and transported to the far side of the galaxy. Thinking they have been granted a reprieve, their relief turns to horror when they discover they are, in fact, on Arden and face a stark ultimatum:

Fight or die!

Despite a host of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, this group of misfits manages to turn the tide against a relentless foe, only to discover the true cost of victory might exact a price they are unwilling to pay.

·         What inspired you to write this particular story?

It’s quite straightforward really. I undertook the writing of The IX following a lively and opinionated discussion during a veterans reunion dinner in the early part of 2013. Military history has always been a hobby of mine, and several ex-Royal Marine colleagues started a debate as to the fate of the legendary lost 9th Legion of Rome. You’ve probably heard of them yourselves, as the films, “The Eagle” & “Centurion” were based on their disappearance.

A legion was a mighty edifice. More than five thousand strong, they were a self-contained mini-civilization on the march, capable of building an entire fortification at the end of every day’s journey in which to sleep soundly. And yet, they marched into the swirling mists of Northern Caledonia (Scotland) sometime between AD100 – 120 (Estimates vary, which is a mystery in itself) and were never seen again.

That conversation stayed with me for several months until I happened to catch an old movie on TV, entitled, Millennium. In that film, time travelers visit the present day and steal passengers from doomed aircraft with the intention of repopulating a barren world of the future.

I am an avid science fiction fan, and the conversation from the reunion dinner immediately sprang to mind. Obviously, I began to imagine what if? What if they were taken? Not into our future...but somewhere and somewhen else entirely. What if their antagonists were also snatched away with them? Obviously, it would create a cauldron of fomenting tension, especially if these adversaries were thrown together in a situation whereby they were forced to work together to survive an even greater peril.

I started to let that idea develop, and then came up with an even better twist. How about including other groups of refugees from several other time periods, and throw them into the same nightmare scenario?

I know! What a complex plot to even contemplate. But I thought, what the heck! I’m going to do it!

It took a great deal of research, preparation, and hard work, but I was very pleased with the resulting outline, as it provided a fresh approach to a genre people have felt has been stagnating for a number of years.

 

·         Describe your writing in three words.

Innovative – Gripping – Exciting

 

·         What authors inspire or influence your work?

Stephen Donaldson.

His depth of writing is outstanding. I don’t know if you’ve ever read any of his work, but his vocabulary is enigmatic. And while his plots are incredibly complex, they are vividly portrayed. He builds tension in a way I’ve never seen in other novelists, and he is a literary god. Absolutely superb.

I can only aspire to his level of achievement. (And yes, I have all his books) J

Another author who inspires me is Raymond E. Feist.

His vision is epic, and his ability to create living, stunning, and relatable protagonists/antagonists is second to none. A wonderful example too, of including multiple characters within your stories and not neglecting a single one of them. My bookshelves are full of his work as well.

 

·         Is the Thesaurus one of your best writing friends?

I thought they died out 65 million years ago? Or was that a Thescelosaurus? Mind you, even if one was alive today they’d probably be very grumpy. Evidently, they had very short arms and although they were excellent typists, had a brain the size of a pea, and could only spell the word “uifypewl”. Goodness knows what it means?
Fact: They had a shortsighted cousin, a D’youthinkhesaurus.

 

·         What project(s) are you working on now?

I’m actually working on the first book of what I hope will be a fantastic new action/adventure series, and I’m very excited about it.
Entitled Hell Bound, it follows the exploits of Satan’s reaper – and chief bounty hunter – Daemon Grim, as he faces the challenges of bringing some of the deadliest and most despicable deviants in the underworld to heel.

The reason I’m so thrilled is because Hell Bound itself, and Daemon Grim’s future adventures, will form part of Janet Morris’ awesome Heroes in Hell Universe. And that is a wonderful pedigree to introduce any new character to.

I can’t wait.

 

·         Where can readers find you and your book(s) online?