Hey there everyone.
Firstly a Public Service Announcement – Season Three of Better Call Saul is upon us – what an amazing start to the week, I can hardly contain my excitement!
And now for the main event of tonight, for our guest in the ongoing Author Interview Series I have the immense pleasure of introducing you all to author David M. Kelly today, as he chats about the release of his debut Sci-Fi thriller, along with his Short Story collections, his passions, inspirations and his writing methods.
So enjoy the show friends and have a lot of fun getting stuck into this one 🙂
Hi there David, fantastic to have you over here today, so we can find out about your intriguing Sci-Fi Fantasy stories and get to know more about the man behind them.
Hi David, thank you for inviting me!
Let’s start with your debut novel that just came out last month “Mathematics of Eternity”. Congratulations and well done for achieving this milestone. You mention that you plan for this book to be a series. Please tell us more about your former space engineer protagonist Joe Ballen, the world that he lives in and what the stakes are for him in this explosive, action packed thriller.
The novel is a fast-paced, action thriller set in Baltimore 130 years from now. My lead character, Joe Ballen, drives flying taxis. When one of his passengers dies in gruesome fashion at the beginning of the story, he becomes a murder suspect and is dragged into a conspiracy involving a prototype spaceship and several dead scientists. With help from a diverse set of characters, including his glamorous boss and a senile survivalist, Joe has to unravel the mystery and prove his innocence.
This particular book was inspired by many of the things we see happening in the world today, such as climate change, genetic research, technology developments in materials and space access, then playing “what if?” games inside my head.
I wanted a world that allowed for developments such as the establishment of orbital space-based populations, but wanted to keep the story grounded close enough to the present as to still be very recognizable to people now. By that time I think we’ll undoubtedly be dealing with the devastation from climate change in most areas, especially around coastlines, genetic engineering will be commonplace, and there will likely be a number of large changes on the socio-political front. I also think that with the developments we’re seeing from companies such as SpaceX, Blue Origins, Bigelow Aerospace and others, we’re going to see access to space becoming much more widespread.
All of these ideas form the backdrop for the novel and affect the circumstances the characters find themselves in. But despite the problems described in the book, people haven’t given up and are still trying to deal with the challenges and improve their situation. So you have a world that’s in some ways quite bleak and desperate, but also with an underlying sense of optimism that humanity can deal with the issues if it chooses to.
You have also published a Short Story Collection called “Dead Reckoning And Other Stories ”. Can you flesh out the premise for us, in terms of the themes running through the collection and the types of stories that we will encounter within it.
The stories are a diverse collection that I’ve written over several years. There’s no central theme to them as such. Many are humorous (or at least intended to be!) and several of them are very loosely connected with my novel, although all of them can be read entirely individually. The lead story is about a rich old man who uses his fortune to defeat death by having his consciousness transferred to a virtual world somewhat like a game. He expects to control everything he owns from this alternate reality, but things don’t quite work out as he planned. I think one of the themes that runs through much of my writing is that no matter how dark things are, there’s always hope. Another common element in my writing is an often darkly humorous look at life and the situations my characters find themselves in.
If your novel or short stories were to be made into films (or even a TV series), who would you cast in the lead roles?
I could perhaps see a mid-career Bruce Willis as Joe in “Mathematics,” with Lauren Bacall as Dollie because of that voice and the brash confidence. There would have to be some major digital re-creation going on there though 🙂
You design your own covers for your books, which is very impressive. How do you approach the process of doing this? Do you focus on a particular aspect of your book in order to help guide you to the kind of image that you visualise for your work? Do you have a technical background when it comes to graphic design and do you design covers for other authors too?
I usually try to pick the strongest image I can find for the story or book and work with that, but also being careful not to give out anything which might act as a spoiler. I’m not trained or qualified in graphic design and so a lot of the process I go through is trial and error. Sometimes an idea comes together very easily; other times it takes a lot of iterations and variations before I’m happy with one. I’m also lucky in that my brother IS a graphic designer and he gives me a lot of great feedback and critiquing (though he never offers to do the work!). All the covers are modeled and rendered using Blender 3D, which is a great tool but has a steep learning curve initially. I picked up some of these skills while working as a games developer in the early days when you did everything–programming, graphics, level design etc.
I’ve never done any covers for other people, although I’ve helped some of my fellow authors out with suggestions and occasionally rendering an image to use as a template. The process I go through makes it quite time consuming, so it would be difficult to do as a more commercial endeavor, though I’m always willing to help others out if I can.
What do you find the most difficult thing about writing? And what do you find the easiest?
For me the most difficult part is definitely editing and revising. The writing itself is relatively straightforward for the most part and once I get into the “flow” it’s hard for me to stop. I find editing much less appealing and more clinical, so it doesn’t have the same draw as the “creative” aspect. That said, I understand the need for editing and go through a long process of revision and polishing to try and ensure everything is as good as I can make it. More recently I’ve started to appreciate the idea that editing is a way of taking that raw creativity and really putting a shine on it.
Who are some of the authors and historical figures that inspire you?
I started reading very early and very heavily – it was almost an addiction. As a result I’ve read so much that it’s hard to pin down individuals. That said, I loved the works of Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov and read as much of their work as I could get my hands on. And although their styles are very different, I still appreciate them to this day. I also read a lot of books on history and mythology from many different cultures and that is always a great source of ideas for stories that resonate with me.
What sort of research do you do to write your books?
I do a fair amount of technical research on elements that will feature in my books. I like to keep everything fairly real and don’t really do much in the way of fantasy. For Perimeter, I spent a lot of time researching orbital information for example, to make sure that my timelines would be accurate. I also spend a lot of time profiling the main protagonists and antagonists–getting their characters right to me is key to finding a good story. Once that’s done I kind of let them loose on the situation at hand and see where it takes them. I use an idea I call “just in time” planning; I only really plan enough to allow me to move forward on the next section I’m working on. This way I find it keeps my writing fresh and exciting for me and and hopefully that’s how it comes across to the reader. It also varies depending on what type of project it is–novels need much more planning than short-stories do.
Why do you write? What inspired you to become a writer?
As I mentioned, I was a very early and prolific reader and the idea of writing has always been inside me. Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m a very natural “story-teller” (to put it politely!). The push to actually start writing came when I was faced with an extremely long commute by train. I wanted something to fill the time and thought I’d give my long held dream a go. To my surprise I ended up writing a novel. It wasn’t a very good one and it’s never been published, but nevertheless I was hooked and have been writing ever since.
What keeps you motivated during creative slumps? How do you deal with Writers Block?
I read very diversely, both fiction and non-fiction, from science through history and pretty much anything in between. I think that helps keep things fresh for me, and it also gives me the chance to find links between things that I might not otherwise realize. My slumps tend to be more emotional than creative, so when they arrive I try to do things to break me out of that mind-set, such as go for walks, get a change of scenery etc. I don’t think I’ve ever really faced writer’s block as such. Usually my head is so full of ideas it’s difficult to get them down. Also if a piece of writing starts to not flow I don’t worry about it too much and will carry on, knowing I can always revise it later. Or sometimes I’ll switch to a different project for a while.
You have access to a time machine. What advice would you give to your younger self?
I’d tell myself to have confidence in myself and start writing sooner. I’d also give myself the results of the last 20 World Series 😉
How do you spend your free time when you are not writing?
I love to go camping, hike, and swim, although some recent serious health issues have impacted on that quite a lot. I’m still in recovery mode, and the process of building back up to where I used to be is a long one, but I’m determined to get there. In summer, I also like to pilot my own personal rocket ship – a classic 1991 Corvette ZR-1. That always brings a smile to my face.
Tell us more about your upcoming projects. Are you working on anything specific or have plans in the pipeline?
I’m currently editing Perimeter, the sequel to Mathematics Of Eternity and also writing the third installment. In addition, I’m planning to release more short-stories.
Along with that, I’m also finalizing a re-design on my web site and in June I’ll be going to my first convention at my local Graphic-Con, which should be a lot of fun and a good learning experience!
Finally, are there any nuggets of wisdom that you can impart to other aspiring writers?
Writing is like any other occupation – to get good at it you need to practice and learn. The only way to do that is by writing. So write, and keep on writing, and don’t forget to read too. It’s important to compare your work to others so you can learn to improve. I’d also say don’t get too hung up on other peoples “rules” of writing. Find the way that works for you.
And that’s a wrap! Thank you for being our distinguished guest and letting us know more about your work, it has been a lot of fun having you here today, look forward to checking out more of your stories soon 🙂
David M. Kelly writes intelligent, action-packed SF. He is the author of the novel, Mathematics of Eternity and the short story collection Dead Reckoning And Other Stories. He has been published in Canadian SF magazine Neo-opsis. David’s interest in science and technology began early. At the age of six his parents allowed him to stay up late into the night to watch the television broadcast of Neil Armstrong stepping on to the surface of the moon. From that day he was hooked on everything related to science and space.
David worked for many years in project management and software development. Along the way his interests have included IPSC combat (target) pistol shooting, crew chief on a drag racing team, and several years as bass player/vocalist in a heavy rock band. He also managed to fit in some real work in manual jobs from digging ditches and work on production lines to loading trucks in a haulage company. Originally from the wild and woolly region of Yorkshire, England, David emigrated to Canada in 2005 and settled in Northern Ontario with his patient and supportive wife, Hilary.
David is passionate about science, especially astronomy and physics, and is a rabid science news follower. Never short of an opinion, David writes about science and technology on his blog davidmkelly.net. He has supported various charity projects such as the Smithsonian’s Reboot The Suit and the Lowell Observatory Pluto Telescope Restoration. He also contributes to citizen science projects such as SETI@home.
You can connect with David on the following Social Media channels:-
Amazon Author Page:- David M. Kelly – Amazon Author Page
Blog/Website:- The Blog and Website of David M. Kelly – Science Fiction Writer
Goodreads:- David M. Kelly (Goodreads Author)
Facebook:- David M. Kelly – Author (FB)
Twitter:- @David_Kelly_SF (Twitter)
You can buy his books here:-
If you too would like to be interviewed on my blog at TooFullToWrite and you have a book or a series of books that you would like us to chat about then fill out the Contact Me form here with your details and we can arrange a future interview slot.
Still want more? Well, David’s debut novel is called Mathematics to Eternity. Since mathematics tends to follow formulas and patterns, then a relevant theme to link to articles below would be ‘Pattern’, so check out these other great posts from my blogging colleagues:-
1. y – there is an old, new
2. Apophenia…Finding meaning in the ‘meaningless’ – The peepal
3. Patterns of Life – Black ink & white words
4. Pattern To Your Stars – The Icognito Writer
5. Shallow Waters Run Deep – The Harlem Experiment
6. 15 Tricks For Better Sleep – Whole, Hearty, Happy
7. Alpha Is Omega – luck
8. Alpha Is Omega – Pattern of the Millennials
9. The Pleas Of A Guarded Heart – Specscladeyes
10. Movie Review: Logan – Lance Price Blog 2017
11. There Are More Poets than Stars in the Firmament – paranoia not justified
12. An Endless Wait – atrangizindagieksafar
13. The View From My Window – Immersed
14. G2 = Genoa Gelato – Evelina
15. The Dressmaker – Girl Writing
16. Pattern: Snowflakes – Looking For It
17. DON’T WORRY. UNLIKE PI, THIS BLOG POST WON’T GO ON FOREVER. – Words We Women Write
18. Fractal Fortress – Snow Moon
19. Patterns – Words and Worlds
20. Recuperating – The Chicken Grandma
21. Patterns and life – theory of world
22. Hearing my intuition – Debbie Gravett
23. My Personal Blog – Music Pattern
24. The Romantic Quill – WRITING CHRONICLES #11: Character Independence
25. DinamicDynasty – My Culture of Patterns (Africa)
26. The magic of patterns – Sarahs Crazy Mind
27. Angelic Hands – Pattern
28. The Syllabub Sea – Ancient Patterns
29. Samantha Linda – Square one
30. What’s up Maddy – Breaking an old pattern
31. Pinocchio – Evelina
32. Capt Jills Journeys – The Pattern
33. Pattern: Binging on Food to Feel – Shelby’s Starlit Crossing
34. Patterns of Fabric mixed with Love – Roaming Urban Gypsy
35. GRACE, FAVOR & FAITH – Murmurs
36. Fluffy Pool – Leep Has Depth
37. GRACE, FAVOR & FAITH – Ramblings of an overworked ENTJ
38. My Mixed Blog – Life Pattern Dream
39. Suddenly Single in Marin – Dating 101: Same old story?
40. The pattern on the Wall – Run and Travel
41. mycreatorscreation – Following The Pattern
42. Dreams and Starlings… – Success Strategies
43. Heart’s Murmurations – Random Thoughts and Musings
44. Oiseaux Words – Room Service
45. Pattern – Susan Rushton
46. awesomeness – Mak Tok (grandma)
47. Life’s Pattern – kittysverses
48. the15thday – “two-fer,” again…sort of linked, but not so much. but there you go.
49. Negligence – The Chaos Within
50. the thought patterns – Love it Now
51. Babies & Yarn – Mums the Word Blog
52. Bubbles and clowns – ExplorewithMafaza
53. Patterns (Lissa, Peggy, Karen, Stevie…) – thepissypoetpage
54. 5 Personal Financial Management Tips – Stay Strong, Daily Warrior!
55. Vanda in Bloom – Nes Felicio Photography
56. tuckedintoacorner – abstract + pattern
57. theblackwallblog – Spring Forward
58. 7 Movies you need to watch! – SprinkleSparkle
59. Growing up with an autistic sibling: growing up and moving out (a big change to his pattern) – Marc Townsend Author
60. Reveling Pattern – Mum Vs. Anxiety
61. The Anonymous Life – Locked into a Pattern
62. Pattern – Wordland Voyage
63. uncertainty – Tiny Fawns Writings
64. witchlike – Happy Birthday Jack Kerouac!
65. 3 Bio-markers are Potential Game Changers for Autoimmune Sufferers
66. Daily Prompt: Pattern – The Bag Lady
67. Vivid Dreamer – Shattered Ripples
68. Heartbeat – Leigha Robbins
69. Song of Sacrificed Souls: Memories – Thoughts of Words
70. Reality 2 – crashcoursedummy
71. Your future awaits – Aweni
72. logicaldreams – Drabble: Paper Cranes
73. Ladyleemanila – Pattern – Daily Prompt
74. Rhythm – Of This and That…
75. A Cook’s Tour of Shalom. 1978. – kindergartenknowledge.com
76. BURY ME IN PURPLE RAIN – Grief Poetry
77. March 11 – My 365 Life
78. Trunking – hannah t.k.
79. the will to follow through – koinophobic diaries
80. Kerry Hanna – Reclaiming my voice
81. Unattainable – Compass & Quill
82. PHIELD TRIPS – “You See but You Do Not Observe”
83. Insidious Cravings – My Bearded Dragon
84. Pattern 2 – Living, Learning and Letting Go
85. Stuffed Nutella Hotcakes – From Sand to Gemstones
86. Insidious Cravings – Give Oral…Get A Cavity?
87. Pattern – discovering the unknowns
88. Living In Crimson – Coats
89. Life is like a Pattern – Work Eat Out
90. Ellies Little Adventure – Free Patterns
91. kStan(ly) kSays – dapper dan
92. Day 304 – Daily Prompt – Patterns In The Sand – Wrapped In Words – Matthew Tonks’ Twisted Roads of Madness
93. Patterning – fades in…
94. Pattern ignored – thinkinkadia
95. Patterns of Nature – rupalislale
96. Invisible Illnesses – Pattern – Daily Prompt
97. Pattern – wordsareallihavesite
98. Think About It – Patchwork
99. Wotd pattern – Kimo’s Den Of Iniquity
100. Full Moon in Virgo Sunday, March 12, 2017 at 10:52 AM EST, 7:52 AM PST – The Cosmic Salon
101. MISPLACED PEACES – No Pattern
102. There Is No Pattern – 25more
103. Spring… The Awakening – Two Travelin’ Chicas… A Grand Adventure
104. It’s All in Finding the Right Words – Life’s Many Patterns
105. Patternings – Art and Life
106. Pattern – Turtledesk
107. Life of a ChickPea – Letting the internet devour me
108. To honour our being beyond words – Your Guided Journal
109. it is… love – Write A Line
110. Mainline_Matter – (Parliament Poppy Pattern
111. The Gad About Town – Four Is the Loneliest Number
112. Pattern – The Mind of Nox
113. It’s up to you – Just me and us blog
114. Faith Unlocked – Do not Conform – Discern
115. Patterns in life – persuasion2015
116. Pattern – Image & Word
117. Opgelost! – @Peter’s Blog
118. Pattern – Living, Learning and Letting Go
119. Pattern – Francis b granger
120. Pattern Art – Aura with Writing
121. LadyLebz – USING THE TOILET IN FRONT OF MY PARTNER
122. Kimberlee K. – An Ode to My Tax Refund
123. Making America Russia – A lot from Lydia
124. Pattern – thehouseofbailey
125. How I Discovered Confidence and Dedication – Lifes Best Kept Secrets
126. LadyLebz – A WOMAN’S GUIDE TO FIRST TIME SEX
127. Our Patterns – aroused
128. Protest – earthlings305
129. Peanut Gallery 24/7 – Pattern
130. Sagesse :|: Oblige – “…still watch…”
131. I Can’t Lose Weight and I am Ready For Bariatric Surgery (Daily Word Prompt is Pattern) – My Loud Bipolar Whispers
132. Na’ama Yehuda – Imagine
133. Covert Novelist – Pattern
134. A Caregiving Marriage – Thoughts on a Pattern
135. Everyday Occurrence – Reactionary Tales
136. In Response to Today’s Prompt “Pattern” – Deep Ventilation
137. Patterns in idle humanness – fades in…
138. Duelling tweets: pattern of bullying – Your Nibbled News – 2017 YNN
139. Ups, Downs & Deviations – Daily Battles
140. Harcourt 51 – Pattern
141. Po’ Girl Shines – Pattern’s for Creative Living
142. Round and round she goes! – Why Weight?
143. Friday Thoughts: Patterns – Disturbed Literature
144. Writing Her Own Pattern: Amy J. Hamilton – Mindflight
145. Yemen Market Airstrike Kills at Least 16 People – America For Yemen
146. TheGamingKave – (Mobile) Contest of Champions: Through a Veteran’s Eyes
147. B_ live – Waterfall of Questions
148. What is the Pattern of Your Soul? a poem – Sumyanna Writes
149. Past-Paced – artiche
150. Focus? – Inner Whispers
151. Sagesse :|: Oblige – Breathe Again
152. The Pattern of Awakening – Looking For A Lovely imaginary Friend?
153. Exploring the World around us – Life
154. A far cry from home – CD-W, Author Flawed to Perfection
155. An ice cold bath. – Adoption – Happiness is egg shaped
156. Musings of a Random Mind – It’s So Me
157. Mundane matters – Don’t hold your breath
158. In the World of Thoughts – IDEAS – Undefined Patterns
159. Flying High – november child
160. Hidden Pattern – On a mission
161. #iseefaces: why people see faces in inanimate objects – Red Tabby Words
162. Pizza Pattern – Best Cooks Secrets
163. deetravelssite.wordpress.com – Patterns at Palazzo Ducale, Venezia IT
164. Light Motifs – Weekend Hypothesis
165. dailypost: pattern – Writing the wrongs
166. Cahlas Tawkin – The Pattern That Works
167. Prayer of Resistance – Trump Weekly
168. Patterns from the past ⋆ Obsolete Childhood
169. Gauchos and Sweater Coats – Paulina Angela
170. mylocalweb – your eternal love
171. Zombie Flamingos – Signs of Friday
172. Stay Calm, Sounds So Simple – confessionaddict
173. It’s Gone – emotionsoflife2016
174. pattern – erintypes
175. Getting your fingers burnt – Phaytea’s Pulse
176. Views from the Edge – A Dog Day Pattern
177. Madeline Scribes – Of course I’m the problem!
178. Relax – “My life has always depended upon the –ow! Hey!”
179. Pattern – All About Writing and more
180. A Divine Pattern… – A Place to learn and grow together
181. FATE…..!!! – and the journey continues…
182. LifeBlog – POSSESS A PREDICTABLE PATTERN OF BEHAVIOUR
183. Subtle – a moment teller’s
184. First watercolours now acrylic paint – Elaine’s Life and Apartment Living
185. inspiration – Break the negative pattern…
186. Pattern in Architecture – Compassionate Atheism
187. Clues to Getting Old – Facts and Fiction
188. Tet – The Vietnamese New Year – Journeys of Len
189. Tiny Tales Patterened – wordsonwings
190. Pattern: Prompt – And so it starts…
191. Hot Teacher 5 – writemebad
192. The Flittering Soul – Satan’s brother!
193. The Wedding Dress – Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky
194. Zachary W Gilbert, Author – Fabric of Life
195. juantetcts – It’s Going Down The Toilet!
196. Daily Musing 19: LOVE AND LIFE – stitches and poems
197. Sure Scribbles – On A Blissful Morning!
198. andsoitisborn – Multitude of Inconsequence
199. Happy Ignorance – stitches and poems
200. The Cat Chronicles – Daily Feline Prompt: Feline Pattern
201. COMMIT YOURSELF TO ACHIEVING YOUR GOALS – stitches and poems
202. Satiating Saturdays – You Define Your Destiny – Emotions That Matter.
203. PATTERN OF LOVE – Rainbow
204. Branching Out – Pattern … plus; Letting go of OLD Beliefs! (will you please help me with this one?)
205. My version of the super bowl – a blueberry rooibos smoothie bowl – art of being fabulous
206. Ana Linden – Pattern
207. Sewing Back Then – Just Writing!
208. I shall not be moved – Live Free & Love On Purpose
209. Taking the Bull down.. – Sanchali07wanderer
210. Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss – Patterns of Life
211. Kiss (Katauta) – Thoughts of Words
212. Eden’s Design – As I was saying…
213. A mom’s blog – Baby shoe pattern
214. Patterns – Anne’s Slam Book
215. Success Inspirers World – The Education Quandary
216. Pattern (Free but live in a little world) – Write Ally! Write!
217. GRACE, FAVOR & FAITH – The Education Quandary
218. Scarlett Sauvage – 75-Word Story: Patterns
219. sonja benskin mesher – .searching the pattern.
220. Patterns of the Sand and the Sea – Poetry, Fiction, Politics (PFP)
221. lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown – QUERY
222. Hang in there – 2clog blog
223. Isabel Caves – Vignette: Pendulum of Death
224. Hot Dogs and Marmalade – What Will You Bleed?
225. Kong: Skull Island – Review – shivamt25
226. And then there was one – Break the pattern
227. La Tour Abolie – The day the war was won
228. ‘Long-Leggety Beasties’ : Four of the nineteen reviews: Patterns… – Chronicles of an Orange-Haired Woman!
229. La Tour Abolie – Les Tricoteuses
230. Patterns of nature. – /Suzhalgal
231. A lil bit of everything – You are what you think
232. The Happy Hermit – Sunflowers
233. In a SNAP – Patterns from the Past
234. Patterns – A Glimpse of Darkness
235. Murmuration – indisputably inconclusive
236. Escape The Rat Race – Pete Gardner Psalms
237. Designer Sophisticate – I can’t sew for sh*t.
238. I wrote a book. Now what? – Quirky little quirks
239. Hot White Snow – An Odd Taste in Art for a Teen
240. Frank Prem – getting on (I said getting on)
241. Lantern Words – After Your Pattern
242. Lost Property Repository – Desert Rescue: Hang ‘Em High