C.T. Phipps, AUTHOR OF SPACE
1) Please introduce yourself.
What is your Author name; use your Pen name if you have one.
2) What is your genre and what drew you to it?
Space Opera and Military Science Fiction. I’ve always been a huge fan of the genre and the chance to write in it was something I was quickly swept up in. There’s just an infinite number of possibilities out there and I had to make my own universe to take advantage of them. Space Academy Dropouts and its sequels was a chance to play around in the kind of sandbox I’ve always enjoyed.
3) Do you prefer writing dialogue, action, or other scenes?
I prefer writing dialogue and it really is my gift. I like to set up characters and basically feel like I'm just recording their reactions to various events and going on. I'm a very "witty banter" orientated writer and the characters I create are almost inevitably wiseasses. I think Kevin Smith was a very big influence on me and writers like Christopher Moore and Jim Butcher who are great at creating hilarious conversations.
4) How did you come up with your cover design?
I have a lot of people willing to point out when my ideas for covers were terrible. Haha. Well, for Space Academy Dropouts I was strongly advised to get starships on my cover. Instead, I decided to focus on the characters because the heart of my books is based on the people. I ended up with a cover that showed poor Vance Turbo surrounded by a situation he was overarmed and underprepared for (and he hates guns). The sequels also show the characters at work with the second book, Space Academy Rejects, showing Vance’s robot partner, Trish, in her engineering uniform.
5) What is the most important bit of information you would want to tell a person interested in publishing a book?
It’s a marathon not a race. Becoming a writer is a challenge that you have to put your nose to the grindstone to do. You have to finish the book, edit the book, and probably rewrite the book before it is ready for publication. From there, you have to work hard to get it to the broadest audience possible. That will require a lot of legwork and there’s no guarantee of success. However, if you do release and do the legwork then ’here's the possibility of the best reward an author can receive: the chance to do ’t all again.
6) Pick five books that are must-reads in your mind.
I could list hundreds of must reads but sticking with ones in my theme (space opera-military science fiction), here are some of the ones that helped inspire Space Academy Dropouts:
* Star Wars: Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zhan * Star Trek: New Frontier by Peter David * The Lost Fleet by Jack Campbell * Honor Harrington by David Weber * Kris Longknife by Mike Shepherd
7) What is your favorite character from any book you have ever read?
I think my all-time favorite character would probably be Raistlin Majere from the Dragonlance books by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. He's a character that changed greatly from when I first read him as a teenager to when I read him as an adult. As a teenager, I thought he was the coolest guy ever and I was rooting for him. When I was an adult, I realized how many of his problems were his own design.
8) What is you preferred method of reading a book? (Audio, paperback, hardcover, or eBook)
I used to be a die-hard addict to paperbacks and always preferred them over hardbacks but now you will pry my Kindle from my cold dead fingers. The ability to call upon so many wonderful books at the touch of a finger and have access to audio or ebook versions is great. It takes a special kind of narrator to get me into an audiobook, though.
9) If you had to write in any other genre, what would that be and why?
I initially got my start as a writer in superhero literature with THE RULES OF SUPERVILLAINY. I had a lot of fun doing comedy with all the wonderful tropes and fun of superheroes. I've also dabbled in some other genres like cyberpunk with DAUGHTERS OF THE CYBER DRAGONS as well as urban fantasy with I WAS A TEENAGE WEREDEER as well as STRAIGHT OUTTA FANGTON. However, all of them tend to have a satirical humorous bent like Space Academy Dropouts.
10) If you could live in any “book world” what would that be?
Star Trek. I’d never leave the holodeck, though.
11) Villain, hero or “show steeling” side character? Which would you be?
I've always been more of a fan of the baddies than the goodies. Several of my books' protagonists are of the decidedly antiheroic side of things. However, I actually felt compelled to do something different with Space Academy Dropouts. I decided to do that book with someone who thought they were antiheroic and ruthless but increasingly finds themselves serving as the conscience among a much worse group. I was totally not inspired by my experience playing Mass Effect either. Hehe.
12) What is the name of your book/series? Tell me a little bit about them.
The Space Academy series is about a bunch of failures who were not quite good enough to graduate the most demanding prestigious school in the world. Specifically, it follows the viewpoint of Vannevar Tagawa AKA Vance Turbo. Vance dropped out right before graduation and finds himself dragooned by the Galactic Community into being a decoy on a suicide mission. From there, he and his ragtag group of misfits must save the galaxy (if they don't destroy it themselves).
13) Do you have a website? If so, what is it?
Here’s my website: https://ctphipps.com/
14) Where can we find and follow you? (Name your social media platforms.)
My fanclub is located on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1491731877784498/
My Twitter is https://twitter.com/CT_Phipps.
15) If there anything important that you would want my readers to know about you?
I have an utterly ridiculous sense of humor.