In the Spotlight is a new feature here at Second Run Reviews. I’ve invited authors, publishers and editors to take part in interviews, guest posts, giveaways and anything else that they can dream up that is appropriate for a blog.
Today I’m delighted to have Dennis. W. Green in the spotlight. I met Dennis a couple of year ago at ICON 38. Two other local authors I met recommended that I attend Dennis’s late night reading. After listening to part of Traveler, I was sold, picked up a copy of the book and it became the first book review on Second Run Reviews. I’ve been talking up the book since that time and am exciting for the release of the sequel which just happens to be on my birthday.
In the Spotlight with Dennis W. Green
Welcome to Second Run Reviews, Dennis! Thank you for being In the Spotlight. I appreciate you stopping by and answering a few questions. So let’s get things started
In a tweet (140 characters or less), tell us a bit about yourself.
I talk about stuff on the radio. And write a little. Sometimes I swim.
Swimming. Never got into it. I have traumatic swimming lessons stories related to being undersized when I started lessons.
How did you get started writing Traveler?
The genesis of Traveler goes back more than twenty years. I was doing my afternoon show on WMT-FM and couldn’t find a CD that I JUST KNEW I had taken from the shelf. I looked through every pile on the desk, then went back to the shelf. Nope, wasn’t there.
Then I went back to the desk. You know how the story ends, of course. There it was. This caused me to muse to myself, “Maybe every time we locate something in a place we could have sworn we just looked, or remember something differently from someone else, it’s because we have somehow shifted to a parallel universe.”
As time went on, I started molding a story where the detective protagonist has to hunt another version of himself. I thought the idea of trying to track someone down who both was and wasn’t you would be unique and fun.
Fast forward many years, and my friends Rob Cline and Lennox Randon decided they were going to start a writers group with the goal of finishing and publishing book projects they both had on the shelf. They invited me to join them, and Traveler was the idea I decided to go with.
Misplacing things…I’ve had that happen to me so many times. I often blame my cats for moving things so I can’t find them or my aging brain. Perhaps that isn’t the cause at all!
At what point did you discover that Trav had at least one more adventure to share with the world?
I had always thought of Traveler as a one-off, even though I purposely hinted there might be a larger story going on in the Trav-verse in addition to the one I told. But these days, it seems like everyone who writes something wants to make it into a series, and I didn’t want to get caught in that trap.
However, as I was nearing the end of writing Traveler, a scene occurred to me where Trav keeps finding dead and dying versions of himself. And of course, if you do two, you might as well do three. So, it will be a trilogy. But then it’s done. I promise!
Well, I won’t hold you to that. I wouldn’t mind more stories about Trav and I’m excited to hear that will be a trilogy. I’ll have some reading material for this year and maybe next guaranteed.
I know that you have attended ICON. My fans have been treated to several pictures from my adventures at ICON 39, Mini-Con 50 and ConQuesT 46. What’s your favorite thing about attending author events and conventions?
I grew up before Star Wars started us down the road to making sci-fi and fantasy appealing to a mass audience. So for much of my life, I was the only person in the room who liked Star Trek, comic books, and science fiction. And don’t even get me started on trying to explain Dr. Who (#3, that’s how old I am) to a bunch of mundanes.
I still remember inviting some friends to my apartment in the early days of my radio career, and when confronted with the twelve shelves of books which were pretty much my only furniture, blurted out “You’ve read all those?”
Even though these days everyone knows and likes big sci-fi and fantasy franchises, I still experience a sense of wonder when I can walk into a room FILLED with those who have the same cultural touchstones as me. Finally, I found my people!
For a new author, getting to be around other writers is the most fun of a con. My goal, of course, is to someday be well-known enough as a writer that I can say meeting my fans is the best part!
Growing up in small town America, I can identify with trying to explain my love for sci-fi and fantasy to mundanes. The internet and conventions are a wonderful thing for connecting with “our people.” You are only as alone as you want to be.
Side question…how is Fifty Shades of Green coming along?
I actually tried to register that domain, but all variations have been taken, unfortunately.
Well, that’s a bummer! 😉
What was the most difficult thing about getting published? What was the easiest? If you had to go back and do it all over again, is there any aspect of your stories or getting published that you’d change?
I was very fortunate in that, just as I was getting the traditional early turndowns from agents, and I was trying to decide whether to chuck it all and self-publish, the great Jed Q. Petersen read Traveler and recommended I send it to his publisher, Karen Matibe at Mbedzi Publishing. She liked it and we were off to the races.
Unfortunately, where bigger distributors and stores like Barnes & Noble are concerned, independent publishers and self-publishers are pretty much the same thing. So, even though I’m published by a company, it doesn’t do me much good in getting bigger distribution. On the other hand, Karen lined me up with a professional editor, book designer and cover artist, in addition to editing me herself. Traveler is a MUCH better book for her involvement, and I will always be grateful to her for believing in the project, and to Jed for hooking us up.
Networking is so very important in the business of books. It’s amazing who knows whom!
What type(s) of books to you enjoy reading most and what three books to you find yourself recommending to your fans over and over?
I go through phases. For the first thirty years of my life, I read sci-fi and fantasy almost exclusively. Then for some reason, I walked away from those genres completely and read nothing but mysteries and action thrillers for the next decade or so. These days, I bounce back forth among all of those.
I’m doing a little palette-clearing from sci-fi at the moment, so am catching up on one of my favorite mystery series, Harlan Coben’s Myron Bolitar books. I am a big Harry Dresden fan, and in fact, more than one person has said Trav’s voice is reminiscent of Harry’s, which I take as a huge compliment. The series that Traveler owes the most to would have to be Roger Zelazny’s Amber books. I recently went through those again, listening to the audio books for the first time. They’re read by Alessandro Juliani (you’ll remember him as Gaeta from Battlestar). He may be the finest audiobook narrator I’ve ever heard. Highly recommended.
I’ve just gotten into audiobooks in the last year and a half. Apologies here…but I got fed up listening to only commercials on my 20 minute commute to and from work. So I turned to audiobooks to fill the time instead. I highly recommend Jim Dale as a narrator. The Night Circus is magical with his deft narration!
Well, our time here is almost up, Dennis. One final question! What’s your current obsession? Any secret obsessions you want to share?
I took up competitive swimming as an adult, after never having been on a swim team before. At age forty, I broke a minute in the 100 free, a significant swimming benchmark. Two years ago, I completed a 5K swim and am training to do that again this year. Let me tell you, the late-night hangs at cons do not go with 5:30am swim practice very well at all!
Other than sleep, I’m not sure what else goes well with the late night hangs at conventions!
Thank you, Dennis, for dropping by Second Run Reviews and being in the spotlight. As always, it was a pleasure chatting with you. I hope that my fans will pick up a copy of Traveler and check out Prisoner upon it’s release later this summer!