Today, as part of the blog tour for Overstrike, book one in the Fixpoint series, I am honoured to be able to share with you a Q&A that the author took part in for me. Many thanks to CM Angus for taking the time to do this, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of the tour.
What made you decide to move from writing technical non-fiction to writing fiction?
That’s probably not how I look at it. I guess I’m more of an opportunist. Back in 2006 I found myself working with a couple of technologies which were new enough to have literally no books written about them. As I was learning the hard way to get to grips with these I saw there was an opportunity for a technical publication.
Likewise in 2014 when I found myself with the embryo of the story that went on to become Overstrike, I decided to give it a go.
It was certainly very different, but I believe the past is a dream that doesn’t define us – each of us has the capacity to continually reinvent ourselves..
What authors inspire you?
I’d have to say: Ones that make it happen against the odds. People like David J. Kowalski – whose 2007 debut The Company of the Dead I enjoyed a lot. The fact that he managed to write a pretty awesome novel whilst being a Obstetrician, inspired me to believe maybe I could somehow find time to write also.
Thank you David.
Do you have a literary hero? How about a favourite literary villain?
In a lot of ways, this is likely to be the stream of consciousness everyman like Bukowski’s semi-autobiographical Henry Chinaski, or The Narrator (Phaedrus) from Pirsig’s Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Whoever it is, they’re likely to be a thinker, a drunk and a little unhinged. In a lot of ways, I find characters, or for that fact, people in general, become far more interesting when they don’t conform. As for hero’s and villain’s, I tend not to think in those kind of binary terms, I think that there are angels and devils in all of us – that everyone is both good and evil. The most interesting characters, for me, are ones that either fall from grace or seek redemption – whether that’s Milton’s Lucifer in Paridise Lost, Rowling’s Snape, Jane Austen’s Mr D’Arcy, Dickens’ Scrooge or even Martin’s Jaime Lannister, the idea that a character’s drivers and motives are fluid, makes them interesting to me.
What is your favourite under-appreciated novel?
Not sure whether this counts, but I’d have to say The View from Gallows Hill by Nick Stead. I was lucky enough to be a beta-reader on this and liked it a lot – certainly one to look for when it comes out.
Where do you do your writing? Do you have a special place to go for calm and inspiration or are you a write anywhere kind of guy?
I’d have to say wherever the muse takes me. But it’s more about finding the headspace than than a particular location or time. If things are too noisy I’ve got no chance. If things are too quiet – again; that’s an issue. So it feels like I’m forever in search of my own Goldilocks zone *laughs*. Sometimes I find it in my local park with a laptop, sometimes it’s in a bustling coffee shop – I seem to change like the wind. Invariably it ends up being stolen moments interspaced between other activities – I try to use technology so that I can switch between desktop, laptop, tablet and phone and keep going in between being Dad’s taxi! So I guess I’m a write anywhere kind of guy…
What is the strangest thing you have had to Google for writing research?
Man, now that’s going to be quite a list…
I guess it would include:
* Current theories on quantum entanglement and the plausibility of time travel.
* Elements of the Holocaust during WWII.
* Key players in early electroconvulsive therapy.
* Details of Schizophrenia.
* Large parts of London and its transport network.
However I’m sure I must be missing something.
You seem to be a man of many talents – how do you fit everything in? I find I am easily distracted from one hobby or interest by another – do you find the same?
Definitely. It’s not just a question of passion. I need to set myself goals and make these public – actively throw myself under the bus, if you will, to force myself to complete things. Then its a case of multitasking and combining things, but it isn’t easy and without the support of my family I couldn’t do any of it.
At the end of the day though, it’s about setting realistic goals and keeping on with these – even if the progresses glacial. For instance: Overstrike has taken around 5-years, so I’d say it’s more to do with perseverance and pig-headedness than some kind of silver bullet.
Thanks again to CM Angus for taking the time to answer my questions. For more information about Overstrike, read on!
When Matt Howard’s grandfather told him he must alter history to protect his newborn son, Matt thought the old man was crazy…
…Then he realised it was true.
Overstrike spans 4 generations of a family haunted by the prospect of an approaching alternate reality where their child has been erased from history.
Touching on themes of retro-causality, ethics and free will, and exploring ideas of cause, effect and retribution, it follows the path of Matt Howard, whose child, Ethan, is at risk, as he, his father and grandfather attempt to use their own abilities to manipulate reality in order to discover and prevent whoever is threatening Ethan.
Overstrike is volume I of Fixpoint, a trilogy about a family who discover their inherited ability to manipulate reality. It enables them to effect changes in order to safeguard themselves and all that they hold dear. But even seemingly small changes in a timeline can have unforeseen and far-reaching consequences. Follow the stories of the Howards, on a journey exploring reality, time and our own sense of self.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
CM Angus author and writer of Speculative fiction, Sci-fi and Horror grew up in the North East of England and now lives in Yorkshire with his wife and children. He is interested in all things creative & technological.
Currently working on Fixpoint, a series of books with each piece tackling different aspects of discontinuities in time and is a Speculative Fiction spanning 4 generations of a family haunted by the prospect of an approaching alternate reality where their child has been erased from history.
Overstrike, Volume 1 of Fixpoint, will be published by Elsewhen Press in early 2020.
Win 5 x Overstrike T-shirts (Open INT)
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter link below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.
To find out more about Overstrike, head on over to the other blogs taking part in the tour.