Today, on the FlipSide, we have an interview with Daniel Sherrier, author of RIP: Touch and Earths in Space Volume 1: Where Are The Little Green Men?. Welcome Daniel, why don’t you take a moment to introduce yourself to the captive audience that you now have before you.
Hi, I’m Daniel, and I write science fiction, paranormal fantasy, and some comedy here and there. I launched my first e-book series at the end of last year and a second a couple of months later. They’re called Earths in Space and RIP. The former explores alternate human civilizations on other Earths throughout the universe, and the latter involves a guy physically beating up ghosts. (I don’t mind if you break away for a moment to plug those titles into your Amazon and B&N search engines for a quick download. Go on. No, really. I insist.)
Previously, people have deemed some of my play scripts fit for public performance. I graduated from the College of William & Mary with a degree in English and Theatre, so you can guess how rich I’m not. I’m getting ready to test for my black belt in Thai kickboxing. Also, I once jumped out of an airplane. That sure was something.
Thank you Daniel; tell us about your writing process?
I start with a tentative outline, and by “outline,” I mean rambling stream-of-conscious ideas pouring onto my word processor. In the midst of that rambling, I figure out a basic structure, and when I think I have a beginning, middle, and end in mind, I plot the early scenes in greater detail until I’m ready to face that dreaded blank page.
While writing, I break one of the “rules.” I edit as I go. Several reasons for this, but the big one is to build my own confidence by reassuring myself that I am indeed capable of smoothing out that horrific first draft.
Music is essential throughout the entire process, especially soundtrack music.
Is there a genre, other than the one you currently write in, that you wish you could break into?
I’ve always wanted to write comic books. That’s actually why I started writing in the first place when I was nine years old. I’d be thrilled to write Superman in any medium. I’d also love to write a huge, sprawling X-Men novel, independent of official comic book continuity – I’ve even made some notes regarding such a concept. The ideas started coming to me, and they kept coming. Now if only I had the rights…
If only… What are the 5 books that have influenced you the most, and why?
Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut: Vonnegut showed me how to write outside the box and have fun with it.
The Diaries of Adam of Eve by Mark Twain: I loved the alternating first-person narrators. It got me thinking about point-of-view.
Daredevil: Born Again by Frank Miller: My favorite comic book storyline, and it’s much more than your typical super-hero fare. A man is broken down and figures out how to rebuild himself. It showed me how action-packed entertainment can be about something.
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling: A superb series, especially the middle three books. Rowling juggles quite a bit, and almost all of it is fun and addicting.
The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman: It’s a master class in imagination.
If you could cast one of your works, who would you choose to play your main characters?
I’ll go with the Earths in Space cast, at least some of them. This is a tough one, and I wouldn’t mind casting talented unknowns, but here’s who springs to mind for some of the characters:
Amena…Gillian Jacobs (Community)
Kaden…Sean Maher (Firefly)
Sela…Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars)
Whit…Greg Grunberg (Heroes)
What is the first thing you would do if you woke up one morning to find one of your books on the NY Times Bestsellers List?
I’d re-read that list to make sure my eyes aren’t going. Then I’d wonder what parallel reality I stumbled into.
Do you have any vices that you turn to while you are writing?
A weekly ice latte gives me a nice boost. I’ve never been able to mix alcohol and writing. That kind of drink merely makes me lazy.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
General assorted stuff. I spend time with my three-year-old niece, and it was with great pride I introduced her to The Muppet Show not long ago. For exercise, I take a kickboxing class. I always enjoy a good play, TV show, book, comic book…I’m a sucker for great, addicting entertainment.
Please share with us the first nine lines of your current work-in-progress.
Here’s the beginning of the second RIP novelette, “Alone.”
Friday was deader than usual. Pamela felt the reason why the moment she stepped outside and started shivering. Her heavy wool jacket afforded her some protection, but her exposed face chilled in the breeze while her scarf sat uselessly on the passenger’s seat of her car. She had meant to bring it inside, but she had a lot on her mind.
Pamela shoved the wooden door into place while securing a stack of books beneath her other arm. She turned the key and gave the knob a pull to make sure it shut properly. Maybe someday the board of trustees would toss them the funds to get the thing fixed, but she expected to have said good riddance by then. As long as nothing broke off on her watch, she could live with the cranky old building’s stubbornness.
Thank you Daniel! Now let’s take a peek into RIP: Touch…
Opening yourself up to a whole new world can leave you vulnerable — but it’s the only way to grow. That’s what Rip Cooper has to do when he learns he can perceive ghosts with his five senses as if they were flesh and blood people, and he’s just as solid to them — in fact, the only solid thing to them. This young loner has to overcome his fears and kill dead people to prevent them from corrupting the living. He works alongside an impure angel and his ex-best friend’s ex-girlfriend as they teach him how love can conquer fear.
RIP is a series of novelettes that tell one larger coming-of-age and redemption story.
In this premiere episode, “Touch,” Rip may be a successful freelance photographer making a name for himself in a new town, but personally, he’s in a rut. No friends, no goals, no greater purpose. He’s going through the motions…until the “angel” Serissa informs him he’s “one of the Seven.”
Don’t forget that clicking on the cover will whisk you away to Amazon!
Don’t forget to join my next week when I will be interviewing author Lorne Oliver!