Hey there everyone.
It’s been a little while since I last interviewed some authors but I have a triple bill lined up and waiting in the wings of exciting interviews to come out over the next few days.
Let’s start first with an amazing Sci-Fi/Fantasy author who has several books to discuss with us and he also gives us an insight into his daily writing life.
Please welcome author John Dyer and happy reading, folks!
Hi there John, a sincere pleasure to have you here today to discuss your novels, along with your own passions, influences and writing experiences.
Let’s start first with your Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel series “The Anye Legacy”. Tell us more about the plot and themes of your series, along with giving us some background information on what is at stake for your protagonists and antagonists, plus providing us with an insight into the world that they inhabit too.
In the first book, The Illusion of Gravity, we meet the Anye, a race descended from the lemur branch of the primate tree, devolved a million years by a gene-tailoring accident, stalled for a thousand years in a technology bubble slightly ahead of where we are now. They’re in fertility crisis under a sun showing early signs of collapse. The majority nation/state is in constant struggle against a domestic enemy. A scientific breakthrough at a university research center offers a way to cure some of these ills, but the inventors have to live long enough to make a difference.
The series is mapped out to 8 books, with the events introduced in Illusion forming a springboard for a social, economic, political, and spiritual transformation spanning thousands of years. A reviewer described Illusion as ‘Sci-Fi with substance’, which is exactly what I’m reaching for — a deeply textured, epic, dynastic, thoughtful series of morality plays staged under a sweeping story arc.
It’s a tall order, but I’m bringing to the table a lifetime of observing how different cultures express and demonstrate values, insights grounded by science, and the intention to produce literary SF. These are attributes I don’t often see in Sci-Fi novels, and I hope readers will like what I’ve done.
You also have another stand-alone Adventure/Romance novel called “Silken Thread”. Can you tell us more about the characters and plot of this particular novel, along with what is at stake for them as well?
The elevator pitch for Silken Thread is, ‘In 1960s Manila, an American teenager courts a CIA officer in her late twenties’. The first chapters are biographical, in that I did receive an offer to return to Asia after college. David Aarens, the lead actor in the story, goes for it, whereas I did not. The story is about forbidden love, the CIA, the Chinese mafia, and construction machinery — so it’s not giving away too much to say that somebody’s liable to get hurt. Silken Thread is an adventure/love story/travelogue.
If you could invite any one of your characters to dinner, which one would it be and what would you cook for them?
It would have to be the cast of Resilient. The story has a soap-opera undercurrent that would give us something interesting to talk about. I’d serve barbeque ribs.
If any of your novels were to be made into films (or even a TV series), who would you cast in the lead roles?
For Silken Thread’s archetypical USMC veteran Mitch Gander, I’d want someone like Wes Chatham (Amos from The Expanse).
The Anye Legacy stories would employ so many motion capture and voice performers that it might not make sense to hire well-known actors. The wrap party, where everyone weeps with appreciation for paychecks they might not have received except for my having experienced a weird dream in 1987 — that’ll be something special.
What would you choose as your own personal mascot or spirit animal when it comes to you and your style of writing?
The ferret; which implies resourceful determination, a virtue I’m in favor of.
What do you think most characterizes or defines your writing? Do you have any writing quirks or themes that constantly crop up in your stories?
I pay a lot of attention to story credibility, which is problematic when you’re writing SF; but it can be done. I call the exercise ‘wrapping the fantastic in the mundane’ — wherein the landscape, cultural references, manner of speech, knowledge base, and so forth, always contain familiar elements. Done well enough, even a preposterous concept can achieve at least some measure of believability.
I’ve adopted a hybrid screenplay form. It’s a movie-on-the-page style; concise, characterized by the use of action tags for attribution and a reliance on stage direction and explicit dialogue to inform the reader about what’s happening, and why. It’s great for storyboarding the first draft, and for pacing in the final, but I have to read the work carefully in edit to see where exposition and/or internal dialogue are needed to adequately paint scenes.
What do you find the most difficult thing about writing? And what do you find the easiest?
Most difficult — doing something besides writing. Easiest — getting started.
Who are some of the authors, musicians, poets and/or historical figures that inspire you?
I admire author William Gibson; this in spite of a fan-response-inhibiting cultural defect that sometimes causes me to say things like ‘entertainment is disposable’. I respect the hard work and sacrifice of other creators, but there’s just so darn much content out there. I can say that every time I read something, it inspires me to try not to be terrible at this.
Do you listen to music when you are writing and if so, then what type of music do you listen to?
I never listen to music while working, although I like contemporary and fusion jazz when I’m not.
What sort of research do you do to write your books?
Much of what I’ve written is either completely made up or drawn from personal experience, so my research frequently involves answering the question, ‘Am I remembering that correctly?’.
Why do you write? What inspired you to become a writer?
The original motivation flowed from a story idea that I couldn’t get out of my head any other way. Now I do it because it’s therapeutic and creates practically no clutter in my life.
What keeps you motivated during creative slumps? How do you deal with Writers Block?
Writer’s block isn’t a problem. Keeping the internal fifteen-year-old from taking charge of the activity is what I grapple with most days.
You have access to a time machine. What advice would you give to your younger self?
Watch less TV.
How do you spend your free time when you are not writing?
Swimming, boating, fingerstyle guitar, fixing things, chasing dog hair out from under the sofa with a sweeper.
What are you views on audiobooks and would you consider having your novels made into audiobooks? If so, then who would you get to narrate them?
I’d like to produce radio play (dramatic reading) audiobooks, but an informal poll among friends who listen to such content suggests that author-narrated books are more favored. I have the resources to produce the material myself, and will eventually get around to it.
Tell us more about your upcoming projects. Are you working on anything specific or have plans in the pipeline?
I’m currently writing Vacuum Forged and A Habit of Prophesy, Books 4 and 6, respectively, in the Anye Legacy series. I know how this sounds, but I assure you I have a good excuse.
Finally, are there any nuggets of wisdom that you can impart to other aspiring writers?
Get out of your chair often enough to get your chores done, which is not optional in my case, because I’m married, but do it anyway, even if you aren’t.
And that’s a wrap! Thank you for stopping by John, we can’t wait to explore your books and get deeply immersed in your Sci-Fi world soon 🙂
Born in Chickamauga, Georgia, John G. Dyer moved to Asia in 1956, when his father took an assignment with a power utility. He attended grades 1-12 at an international school, touring with his family through 29 countries before settling in the Midwest. A computer scientist, he’s a founder of an IBM-affiliated software company, and an early innovator in electronic commerce. He brings a lifelong interest in science and engineering to everything he writes.
You can connect with John via the following Social Media channels:-
Amazon Author Page:- John G. Dyer – Amazon Author Profile
Website:- John Dyer Writes – SF, Mystery & Romance
You can buy John’s 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.