Mark J. Rose is a winner of the prestigious Irwin Award at the 2018 Annual Book Publicists of Southern California (BPSC) Awards we proudly present to you today. His book series Matt Miller in the Colonies is named Best Science Fiction Series. Read on to find out the best-kept secrets of writing a science fiction book series from a master of this genre.
SPM: You’re an author, a scientist, and a screenwriter. How do these guys get together? Do they ever argue and if they do, who wins most of the times?
Mark J. Rose: I’m mostly a scientist and author, andthey happily coexist. I’ve only gotten limited interest in my screenplays, despite doing well in contests and winning some awards, I’ll keep trying, though, because I think the tide is turning against the current trend of remakes and superheroes that has entangled the movie industry.
SPM: What do you like most about science fiction books? What do you enjoy most about writing science-fiction books?
Mark J. Rose:I appreciate the way science fiction speculates and strategizes. I think it fulfills a basic human need to prepare for a future that we can only imagine. Science fiction envisions dramatic changes in our world, makes guesses as to how humanity will cope and then rationalizes the consequences.
SPM: If you could travel in time where would you go and why?
Mark J. Rose: I’d like to sit with the Egyptian or Mayan scientists as they plan their great pyramids. These people were doing things that seem impossible based on our understanding of their technology. They must have been extremely smart to map the stars and plan their structures accordingly.
SPM: Why do you write a book series? Have you ever considered writing stand-alonebooks?
Mark J. Rose: My initial intentions were to kill off Matt Miller after the second book, andI even put some of those hints in the story. Since I finished the third book, I’ve become very interested in what is going to happen to him now that his world is falling apart. There was never a plan for Matt except that he wakes up in Colonial America and figures out how to survive. My readers and I are on the same journey of discovery. I have a different series planned, but I want to know what becomes of Matt before getting distractedby some other hero.
SPM: What tips can you give to a first-time author who plans to write a book series?
Mark J. Rose:
- There is no such thing as overnight success. You have to learn the trade of writing. It’s taken me seven years to get in the black.
- Be prepared to spend the market price for editing services.
- Get ready for plenty of eye rolling when you tell people you’re an author.
SPM: Tell us a little bit about your writing environment. Is there anything in particular that boosts your creative energy?
Mark J. Rose: I used to be a night owl, but I’ve found that I’m most productive if I wake up around 4:00 AM and start writing within the hour, usually after a shower and some coffee. There are no distractions, and even the dogs don’t expect to be walkedthat early. I have a reasonably large office filled with art and a nice sound system. I put on a well-worn record, take a sip of coffee and start typing. Creative energy comes and goes. I’ve written some of my best stuff, though, when I’ve forced myself to sit and write even though I’d rather be doing a hundred other things.