I met Christopher Gotham on Twitter. He was tweeting about writing so I took a chance and asked him about his story. What I’ve heard, I’m excited for. It’s always a great day when new space opera is released into the wilds.
Hi Christopher! So tell me, what inspired you to write your current book?
My inspiration came from a desire to create a story that I love, something that has everything I look for in science fiction: Relatable characters that aren’t ‘one man army’s’, an antagonist I can sympathize with, a good mix between action and story, and space battles!
The truth is that I started writing my book for myself, for my love of science fiction and space opera’s. Sometimes I look up at the starry sky at night and wonder what’s up there. I’m a dreamer.
That’s great! That’s actually one of the reasons I began writing as well. I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted to read, so I wrote the story I wanted. How about the first thing you ever wrote, what was that about?
I honestly don’t remember. I’ve been writing for so long that I’ve probably created upwards of fifty or more short stories, all of which I tossed after I finished writing them.
The first thing I actually kept after writing was a full-length novel, but I’d be too embarrassed to share it even if I could. It was very cliché and poorly written, given the fact that I wrote it when I was fifteen, it had the wonderful name of ‘Determination’. It’s both fortunate and unfortunate that I no longer have access to the written material, but it’s still in the back of my mind.
Yeah, my first attempt at a novel is something no one will ever see as well. What other writing have you done? Anything published yet?
As stated above, I’ve written a ton of short stories and am now working on my third full-length novel. Most of it will never see the light of day, but I have two series, and three standalone novels that will be released for all the world to enjoy! Of course, those are my initial plans, and more will follow.
As of now I am unpublished. For my Affinity series, I will begin looking for an agent soon. I have plans to release two of my standalone novels as e-books myself, and probably under a pen name. That may change as time goes on, however.
The more sci-fi books out there the better, in my opinion. Don’t forget to start marketing them now, so we can make sure to buy them on release day.
Do you have any hobbies or interests that you enjoy in your spare time?
I’m a gamer. I admit that it’s a weakness. I enjoy competitively playing Halo multiplayer on occasion. I also love the Total War series, a historical series of games.
I also read a lot, naturally. What kind of writer would I be if I didn’t read other people’s work?
Oh my Lord, I remember my Halo days. Not a chance I can log those hours now that I have a daughter.
Can you tell us a little of what you’re working on at the moment?
In the early mornings, I work on the rewrite of my novel, Affinity: New Eden Conflict, which I’m almost done with! Later in the evenings I work on writing the second novel in the Affinity series.
For the sake of keeping this reasonably short, I won’t be getting into describing the novel here. I can pitch it in 140 characters or less, thanks to twitters #pitchMAS event back in December, but it hardly does it justice.
I tried #pitchMAS a couple times. It’s great practice for that query letter, so you can more succinctly tell what your novel is about.
Do you have any favorite authors? If you do, what do you love about them?
I have quite a few favorite authors, but I’ll stick to two of them.
Eric Nylund. He’s written a lot of things but by far my favorite is The Fall of Reach. I really don’t want to go into details because it could spoil things for other people, but it’s an awesome book.
Tobias S. Buckell. Have you read Ragamuffin? If not, you’re missing out on a great space opera.
I’ve never heard of Ragamuffin, but I only have two books on my TBR at the moment. I think I can slip in a third.
What genres do you read most and what are you reading now?
I mostly read a ton of military sci-fi, or space opera, but I read a lot of other types of sci-fi too. I occasionally read fantasy as well. Least but certainly not last is history, the only non-fiction genre I have a real interest in. I’m a sucker for history.
I’m currently reading the first book of Android Hunters (yep, that’s a plug!), but I’m seriously enjoying it.
Very much appreciated. Thank you.
Do you happened to have any advice for other authors?
Don’t give up. Just keep writing and don’t let any doubt you may have stop you from writing. I know it can be tempting to step back, look at what you’ve written and think that it sucks. If you’re anything like most writers, you will go through that on occasion. Just stay focused and forge on.
Oh, and take legitimate criticism to heart and learn from it.
That is fantastic advice and advice I second.
How about sites or writing tools that you find useful. Any you wish to recommend?
Grammarly, Hemingway Editor, and a good thesaurus. I also enjoy /r/writing on Reddit.
Be sure to check out the Query Shark blog, it’ll show you how to write well thought out and gripping queries. Also, check out http://www.critiquecircle.com/ and http://www.scribophile.com/ for awesome people who will actually read your work and offer feedback.
Tell us about your blog. What will readers find there?
Right now, people won’t find much on my blog because I’ve restarted. Very soon however people can expect to find a lot of things relating to the universe I’m creating in the Affinity series. Character bio’s, descriptions of technology, ships, planets, species, etc. I’ll also occasionally post concept art!
Fantastic. I’m looking forward to the Affinity series.
What are the things in your life that you’re most grateful for?
The freedom to do what I want with my life. It’s simple and often taken for granted, but it’s ultimately the thing that I’m most grateful for.
How would you like to be remembered?
You know, this is a difficult question. I’d like to be remembered as a loving person by my family, a good friend by others and a considerate person to everyone else. As a writer, however, I’d like to be remembered for bringing an awesome series of novels to the world for as many people as possible to enjoy.
Choose a male and a female character from your book and tell us about them. Would you like to meet them? What would you tell them if you did?
Arterus isn’t very fond of humans and he has a great reason for that. I can’t go into too many details otherwise I would spoil bits of my first novel, but let’s just say that If I met him I’d probably be kicked out of an airlock or something else similarly bad. So no thanks on the meet and greet!
General Faye is a strong-willed veteran that is both greatly respected and deeply feared by her enemies. Having experience kicking pirates and slavers around the galaxy, she isn’t someone you’d want to mess with. I’m not a timid person, but I’m not sure if I’d want to meet her because she’d probably intimidate me.
Two odd-ball questions. 1. Men are from Mars, women are from Venus. Where are you from?
All over. My family never stayed in one place for long. I was born in Massachusetts and have lived in Maine, Tennessee, Nevada, Illinois, New York, and South Carolina where I’ve been for six years. I’m now in the process of moving to Kentucky.
Now the second. Which one do you prefer: Elephants or tigers?
Tigers. They’re beautiful, powerful, and intelligent. What’s not to like?
If you had to live over again what would you change in your life?
Not much to be honest. My mistakes and the hardships have made me who I am and brought me down the road I’m on, and I wouldn’t change that.
That’s a great answer and one I live my life by.
Where in the universe would you live if you could travel anywhere?
Now this is the hardest question yet… The short answer is I don’t know.
The longer answer is that are so many beautiful places in our galaxy that I wouldn’t even know where to begin. The universe? Just think of all the things that could exist in our own galaxy, The Milky Way, let alone in other galaxies.
Who is Christopher Gotham?
My name is Christopher Gotham and I am 22 years old.
I’ve been writing since I was a child and was always told that I would make a good author someday if I actually took the time and effort to become one. For years I took it as a joke and only wrote throw away stories for myself. Flash forward many years and I’m now writing my third novel, with a large series in the works!
I’ve always been fascinated with space, wondering what could be out there. My imagination and yearning curiosity of the stars are what led me into science fiction, and in particular, space opera’s. My aspirations are to share my stories with the world!
What is the Affinity series?
It’s late into the 22nd century and humanity stands on the precipice of war. Seen as aggressive colonist by aliens, humanity is suspect. Bordered by a hostile alien empire known as The Remnant, and a reserved but allied alien republic known as The Alliance, the United Earth Confederation finds itself in a precarious situation.
A conflict-ridden past with The Alliance slows the advance of progress, and in an attempt to solidify relations, the UEC proposes joint military exercises to The Alliance. Captain Drake, a soldier with psychic like abilities known as The Affinity, has earned the right to represent and lead humanities best candidates.
Interdicting an unexpected attack on the Alliance space station that was to host the exercises, Drake’s team set into motion events that lead to the hunting of rogue agents and traitors, galactic war, and the arrival of a powerful but forgotten threat that claims to have ancient ties to humanity.
Given command of the first ever multispecies military unit, Drake must shake off his haunting visions and guilt. Humanities forgotten past will begin to unravel as the foundation of galactic society crumbles, and Drake’s unit must stand firm as alliances and friendships reach a breaking point.