Thomas K Davis
1. We’ll skip the “tell us about yourself” because coming up with something on the spot is, truly, the bane of an author’s existence. So, let’s start with something a little easier! Tell me what you’re working on at the moment.
Thanks for skipping the “tell us about yourself” question. I nearly have an existential crisis whenever I’m asked that ;). At the moment, I’m busy editing the final book in my Versatile Layer series.
2. In as much detail as you would like, tell me about your book(s) that are already out/on the way.
My book series is called Versatile Layer. It’s a 9-part Epic Space Opera. There are 8 books released thus far with the final book in the editing phase. The best way to describe Versatile Layer would be Romeo & Juliet meets Star Wars. Our two main characters meet completely by chance and fall for each other. They’re separated again by a tragedy that leads to a war between their two peoples. Their quest to reunite gets wild. There’s Exo-suits, Elite soldiers, Robots, Alien Amazonian warriors, jet packs, assassins, a war raging in the stars, gangsters, heck there’s even a cowboy. The setting and battles are epic but the heart of the story is personal and character driven.
Each book is self-contained with threads that weave into future installments. Kinda like Marvel movies. In fact, the average read time for my books is about 2 hours. They’re fast paced. I’ve been told that reading my work is like having a movie play out in your head. And that was my intent when I sat down to write them.
3. As far as the writing process goes—including such things as conception of idea all the way through to money in the bank—what is the least favourite bit? (Everyone has one!)
I enjoy writing, editing, working on the cover art with the artist or illustrating the cover myself. Graphic design is always fun as well. But promotion… I think I don’t like it because I don’t understand it. Plus, I’m the most introverted Introvert on the planet. Talking to strangers is tough for me.
4. Conversely, what is the bit of the writing process that gets your writery brain grinning?
I love when the story starts to evolve in ways that I didn’t initially plan for. Like, I introduce a character at the end of book 6 just because I need to initiate an action sequence. By book 7 that character has a name and relationships. By book 8 that character is super important to the story and I don’t know how I would’ve advanced towards my endgame without them. I didn’t plan for that character but it was essential. But that’s my process. I have my beginning and my end but the middle fills out as I write. If fact (I say in fact a lot), I always write the first and last chapters at the same time. Then I jump around to different chapters between.
5. If you could steal any author’s ability to improve your own work, who would you steal from and why? (e.g. Tolkien’s language skills, Douglas Adams’ humour, etc.)
I would steal Hunter S. Thompson’s sunglasses. They had to possess some kind of power.
6. Now for some fun! The main character of the book you’re working on (or have recently finished) has kidnapped you for ruining their life. How will you explain that what you’re doing is for the best?
I put my main characters through the wringer but it’s for their own good. They grow as people because of the adversity I put them through. That’s what I would tell Jake Takeda, after I killed his parents, chopped off his left hand, made him into a fugitive, etc. But it was all for a worthy cause. He’s better for it. Hopefully, he wouldn’t kill me. He’s better than that.
7. You, your main character(s), and the protagonist of the last book you read are playing poker. What are the stakes? Who will win and why?
Lucky me, the last book I read was an indie called Appaloosa Days by C. Forrest Lundin. Louise (the M.C.) is a good kid, but I would destroy her at poker. But since my M.C. (Jake Takeda) is sitting at the table, I would definitely lose. He’s a soldier with a genius level I.Q. and he would definitely cheat at poker. Especially if something important was at stake.
8. Let’s face it, writing is hard. What do you think are some traps to avoid in your particular area of expertise? (Whether that be your genre, your knowledge of plot, your character building, your world building, etc.)
I would tell a new writer to identify the source of conflict in each scene. If that conflict doesn’t exist then that scene is unnecessary. You can have the plot elements that the scene was supposed to set up referenced in another part of the story. When I first started writing (way back in 2017) I would rewrite chapters because they were lacking something. I didn’t understand why but it was because the original chapters lacked conflict. I was subconsciously figuring out what a story was. Based on absorbing stories and media my whole life. Without conflict, you don’t have a story. Each chapter is a story.
9. Anything else you’d like to add? Plots to take over the world, for example. Upcoming release dates, links and things, maybe even your favourite chocolate cake recipe.
The Bloodless Revolution: Versatile Layer book 8 just released. You should read it. I’m really proud of it. Here’s a synopsis:
The final battle for planet Samael has begun. Exiled princess Adeola M’falme has gathered her freedom fighters and is ready to remove her cruel brother, emperor Kupanga M’falme from the throne. But Kupanga’s forces, led by the ruthless Master Mega, have other plans. Will Adeola be able to liberate her world without sparking a full-scale civil war? May Mars have mercy on our souls.
Thanks very much for putting up with me. For links to my work and social media, go to: https://www.versatile-layer.com/ or follow me on twitter @UmojiLegend
Have an incredible day everyone!!!