12 Nov 2012

Author Interview: Kevis Hendrickson

LUST AND FURY COLLIDE IN A GALAXY ON THE VERGE OF WAR.

Fearing retribution from ruthless gangsters over an unsettled debt, intergalactic bounty hunter Zyra Zanr ventures to a distant world to collect the reward for Boris Skringler, a notorious terrorist, who has been sentenced to death by political rivals of the InterGalactic Alliance. When she fails to secure his release, she decides to break him out of prison. Zyra soon finds herself an unwilling participant in events that lead to a climactic showdown between the most powerful worlds in the galaxy.

Torn between her desperation to rid herself of the threats to her life and her guilt in agitating the conflict between two galactic superpowers, Zyra is horrified to learn that the lives of an entire world of people hinge on her ability to return Skringler to his captors. However, her distrust of Skringler gives way to lust, unraveling her plans. Will Zyra give into her passion and allow Skringler to go free? Or will she surrender him to her enemies to stop an impending war? The fate of billions depend on whether she chooses life for a killer or the death of her lover.

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  1. If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why? 

Very interesting question. I haven’t given much thought to playing in anyone else’s universe, so I imagine that whatever the project is it would have to be collaborative from conception. Under those conditions, I would actually enjoy working with George Lucas. He has absolutely wonderful ideas, but I do question the manner in which some of his material is written. In particular, I know that if I were ever to work with him in which any romantic scenes or dialogue were involved in our project, I would have to take the reins. My ears still bleed every time I hear his characters confess their love for each other. It’s absolutely dreadful stuff!

  1. What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write?

I have a very irregular schedule when compared to other authors. I eat, drink, and sleep writing. My typical day can start anywhere from early in the a.m. to late in the afternoon. It depends on how I schedule myself around my daily distractions. However, my ideal time to wake up is around 4 or 5 in the morning, grab a cup of Joe, and write for about three or four hours. Then I’ll take a short break, grab some breakfast and spend the next three or hours reading and sending emails, networking, promoting, updating my website, book keeping and other book-related activities. I’ll usually spend another two to three hours after that writing or editing before calling it quits during the evening so I can dive into a good book or pursue some other non-writing activity such as eating dinner or sneaking in a couple hours of sleep. Then it’s rinse and repeat the next day. My days are usually a bit more chaotic than I describe here. But as long as I can get around 7-8 hours of writing done every day, I’m a happy camper. When I don’t, I’m very grumpy.

  1. What is the hardest part of the writing for you?

Without a doubt, the toughest part of writing is editing. In recent years, I’ve learned how vital proper editing is to producing a good book. Most people have no idea just how much work goes into taking a story from a ‘supposedly’ final draft to a highly polished piece of literature. You’ll often hear readers lament how much they hate typos and misspellings in a book. But that’s the lowest rung of editing. Good editing involves much more than catching a dangling participle or the improper use of a comma. A properly edited book tears into the bones of a book exposing and addressing structural flaws in the narrative. Plot issues, pacing, character development, dialogue, redundancies, timeline, etc. Many authors cringe at the thought of having their precious darlings killed during the editing of their books. But without this first and critical phase of editing, many books fail to reach their full potential. It’s in the editing phase where a writer earns his salt and takes most of his or her punishment. Just speaking about it makes my head hurt!

  1. When and why did you first start writing?

I’ve been writing for as long as I could hold a pencil. I remember spending my days as a child drawing my own comic books. As I got older, I found it was more effective to write the script for the comics before drawing them. Eventually, I found that I had more success writing my stories than drawing them and abandoned my artwork in favor of writing exclusively. Fast forward a couple of decades and here I am still penning stories. But I owe it all to that ambitious kid who wanted to tell his own stories just like his favorite comic book writers.

  1. How did you come up with the idea for your book?

I realized when I was a teenager that I had an obsession with writing stories about women. It’s interesting to note that at the time, there wasn’t this cultural fascination with female action heroes as there is today. When I first came up with the concept of Zyra Zanr, the female bounty hunter and protagonist for my Rogue Hunter series, Xena hadn’t even made her debut yet.

When I decided to reboot my Rogue Hunter series, I felt the time was right to introduce readers to New Venus, the all-female planet where Zyra has her latest adventure. Rogue Hunter: inquest takes the war of the sexes to the utmost extreme pitting a race of warrior-women against a hostile, expansionist government led by aggressive males who want to seize control of New Venus. This story gave me the opportunity to explore the extreme aspects of chauvinism and feminism and use it as a backdrop for an epic space opera adventure. I don’t think readers have encountered a story quite like this one before, especially since the main character doesn’t align herself with either of the opposing viewpoints held by the warring factions in the story. Of course, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that part of me just wanted an excuse to write some cool action sequences and make stuff blow up.

  1. Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now?

I read quite a bit and mostly enjoy reading the classics like The Iliad or a Shakespearean drama. But I do read a wide range of works from legal dramas to historical novels. Right now, I have the pleasure of reading A Tale of Two Cities. I must have been playing hooky when the book was assigned in grade school. So I’m glad to have a chance to read it for the first time.

  1. Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?

To all the aspiring writers out there, I’d say that no matter how many people try to put you down or tell you it isn’t possible, never give up your dreams of being a writer. We often hear about the successful authors and think how lucky they are to have made their dreams a reality. But the only reason they’re successful is because they never threw in the towel when things got rough. Even on the best of days, being a writer can test one’s mettle. Persistence and patience will see you through to the end. There’s a reason they say winners never quit. That’s because they don’t.
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