Interview with Patrick Stutzman

Today I have a special post, an interview with fellow sci-fi author Patrick Stutzman. Patrick is making the rounds on the internet to let everyone know about the release of his second novel, Alone in Paradise, which comes out tomorrow.

I originally met Patrick via the d20 Network as he was a frequent guest of the Order 66 Podcast for his work on the Star Wars Saga Edition RPG. He was the one who invited me to the Sci-fi Fantasy Saturday Snippet group.

His first book, Alone on the Edge came out earlier this year and is quite an enjoyable read, following the character of Anna Foster on her first assignment to a deep space mining outpost; an assignment that does not turn out at all like she expects.

You can follow Patrick on Twitter, visit his blog and pick up a copy of Alone on the Edge on Amazon.

Now for the interview…

 

In one sentence, what is your book about?

ALONE IN PARADISE is about the continuing adventures of Anna Foster, where she must learn to survive on another world without help from civilization and ends up discovering secrets about the moon where she is stranded only hinted at in the first book.

 

What’s your next writing project?

My next project is to finish the third book of the series, titled ALONE IN THE CROWD.

 

This is your second published work. Are you marketing this book differently than the previous one? What lessons did you learn?

Marketing for this one is a bit different. I am bypassing the KDP Select program, where I must exclusively sell the book through Amazon for at least 90 days. I didn’t gain as much profit doing that. I will be offering the book through Smashwords in addition to Amazon from the beginning, which will allow the book to be available through Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and other e-book sites. Also, I will be conducting a larger blog tour to help promote the book. Prizes may be involved.

The big lesson I learned is to not depends too much on a single e-book marketer, Amazon in this case, to successfully sell your book. Don’t be afraid to sell through multiple avenues.

 

At what point in your life did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I suppose that I wanted to be a writer ever since I was 9 or 10, when I wrote and directed a play for my 5th grade class. I just didn’t realize it fully for another 20 years.

 

Writers are usually avid readers. What is your favorite genre for reading pleasure, and what are you presently reading?

My favorite genre is the same one in which I write: science fiction. Currently, I am reading THE LANCASTER RULE by T. K. Toppin.

 

You have previous writing credits working on RPG’s, particularly Star Wars Saga Edition. Tell us about that experience.

Writing for the Star Wars RPG was a dream-come-true for me. I have had an interest in RPGs since I was in junior high school. Coupled with my being a fan of Star Wars since its original release, writing for the RPG and creating content for the Star Wars universe felt so surreal for me. It was a little rough a couple of times, when I had multiple deadlines coming due about a week apart. But, the whole experience was one I truly enjoyed.

 

How does the experience of writing for an RPG and writing a novel differ for you? How is it similar?

Writing a book for a roleplaying game is like writing an encyclopedia. You write informational entries and provide statistics to support your entries. However, you can sometimes be a bit creative with the entries you write, in that you can create new content or write an adventure for the game. Writing a novel is creating a story, complete with the characters, settings, and situations you create. If you are writing within an established universe, your creativity may be limited by the one(s) that originally created said universe. I suppose that is how they are similar. The amount of creativity you can exhibit may be limited, depending on the specific setting for which you are writing.

 

Your book is told from the perspective of Anna. Did you find it difficult to write from the perspective of the opposite sex?

In some ways, it was difficult, but I have somewhat of an advantage over most men. I feel that I do have an understanding of women to an extent, as I have taken time to observe and study the fairer gender. I originally conducted my research, because I had a habit of playing female characters in RPGs and wanted to play them as realistic as possible. When it came to the novels, most of my writing was pretty spot on, but anything that seemed off was brought to my attention by my editor, who is a intelligent and charming woman.

 

What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?

The toughest scene I ever wrote was in a short story where the main character, a female executive, gets date raped. I hated doing it (and I didn’t include graphic details of the act itself), and the MC was yelling at me the whole time in my head pleading with me to not do it. But, the story involves her rising above the violation and resulting shame to bring the rapist to justice. I hate hurting women, whether they are real or literary, but I feel this is a topic that needs more awareness.

 

You find a magic lamp, give it a rub and a genie offers you three wishes. What are they?

One, I would wish for me and my family to have long lives and be in peak physical shape until the end of our lives. (If you don’t have your health, what do you have?)

Two, I would wish to have enough money to pay off my house, car, and other debts, let me and my family live comfortably, and pay for my daughters’ college expenses.

Three, I would wish to have telekinetic powers.

 

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