Thursday, 10 April 2014

Author Interview

Hi! You probably read my post about Stories of Earth WWIII.
Here is an interview with its author, Dimitrious Charles:

Teenage author, Dimitrious Charles, tells us about his fascinating new book Stories of Earth WWIII, what inspires him and how he writes. Combining riveting mystery and a sci-fi element, Stories is the tale of 5 boys surviving in a mysterious dystopic world.

Give us a brief overview of Stories of Earth: WWIII.
Imagine awaking after a nuclear explosion, with cybernetic limbs and attachments—then finding out that you’ve been missing for days before the explosion ever occurred, and you mind is filled with strange visions and messages from an unknown source. But there’s more—somebody wants you dead, but is also keeping you alive, and the rest of the nation (and the world) is trying to pin you down for the deaths of thousands of people…

Tell us a bit about the technology that you used in Stories.
In terms of sci-fi technology, there are two key things I ‘invented’ for the book. The first are the cybernetic attachments the five main characters receive. They range from carbon fibre alloy limbs, with superhuman strength, skin that is impervious to damage and can be controlled in temperature, eyes that can utilise x-ray and binocular vision, voice boxes that can utter supersonic sounds and diamond edged blade launchers that can retract and fold into one’s back. 
The second are the chips inside the boys’ heads that allows them to interact with their metallic implants, and allow the projection of images, mind control, and most importantly, perception filters!

How did you find using a local setting?
Much easier to write about, because I could ‘see’ the locations in my head, allowing me to focus more on plot construction rather than forcing myself to spend time inventing imaginary places. It’s simply something different, which gives the book a wider audience, and I am yet to find a fiction novel set here on the south coast!

How much did real life influence the writing?
Well, the five main characters came from real people—though people I would say were only acquaintances. This allowed me to have a visual picture of them in my head, and gave me room to recreate their backstories and personalities. Other than that, I can’t say that I’ve ever stopped a war—though who doesn’t dream about running away from an epic explosion with action music playing?

What was the biggest challenge of writing a novel?
Writing. Sounds dumb, but sometimes, no matter how well you flesh an idea out in your head, it just won’t get itself on paper. Forcing myself to keep coming back and writing more was hard—it’s so hard when you know there is so much you want to write (I always wanted to write the last scene, which I knew from the start, but forced myself to write in chronological order) and how long it’s going to take. Another thing is consistency—over 2.5 years, ideas change, so the story must change too (until the editor had a look, there were 2 characters who had differently spelled names in some chapters, but not others!)
How do you write – by hand or on a computer? Did you write in a certain period, or just when you felt like it?
Computer—I wrote a story (about 10,000 words) by hand first a few years back, but then transferring it was terrible! Computers also mean it can be ready at any time, and it’s really easy to edit and search for things if you’re clarifying something. I have a ‘WWIII’ playlist, filled with epic tracks (Doctor Who, Inception, X-Men, Pirates of the Caribbean soundtracks, Zack Hemsey, other wordless songs) to get in in the ‘zone’. I usually started writing at night after all my homework was done; meaning most of my writing was late at night… I think I’m more creative then or something!

When did you tell your friends and family about Stories?
A few people knew as it was happening, but writing a novel is just one of those things ‘everyone does’, so I didn’t tell most people until I invited them to like the Facebook page!

When did you find yourself writing a novel – was it what you intended from the start or did you decide along the way?
At the start, it was way for me to relax and release some angsty-ness (hopefully most of that is gone in the published version!). However, as I kept writing, I would find myself hearing the characters in my head (now I really do sound crazy—I guess we all are a bit) and once that happened, I realised I owe it to them to finish the story (they have since stopped talking to me… for now).

What inspires you to write? From where do you draw your creative material?
Apart from the playlist, the answer is pretty obvious—other books! I actually find watching actions movies also inspires one to save the world (and for those of us without superpowers) the best way to do that is through one’s own characters. Doctor Who is a massive source of ideas for me, as there are heaps of concepts it uses which can be looked at in new and creative ways.

What do you like to read and which authors that you draw inspiration from?
Hmmm. I was originally a big fantasy fan, but I’ve moved more towards sci-fi and action novels set in the ‘real’ world. I also like a good mystery novel, and at the moment I’m taking a liking to some of Steven King’s stuff. However, for Stories, the inspiration was certainly some Hunger Games, Maze Runner, and Tomorrow When the War Began.

Is there a plan for sequels?
Well, considering the fact it is Stories instead of Story, there certainly is! At the moment, there’s one set almost 6 years after the dropping of the bomb, about the characters from WWIII, tentatively titled Stories of Earth: Fallout. The other book is the 10,000 words one (which needs lots of editing and expanding) mentioned earlier, which WWIII was meant to (originally) be a villain origin story for, which occurs over 100 years after WWIII, when a new disease forces everyone to don the ‘Steel Skin’, which is controlled by a mysterious William Misconception...

What message would you like your readers to draw from Stories?
This is a tough one—people keep asking! I think there are two things—the first is that anyone can be a writer (which is not a bad thing!) if they preserve and work for it! The message the book is trying to convey is that our world can change quickly, and that sometimes, no matter how illogical, crazy or mad the ideas, in the words of Sherlock Holmes, “...when you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
Then again, what I think is not really important—it’s all up to the reader in the end!

You can buy Stories of Earth: WWIII on Xlibris or Amazon, and make sure to like its Facebook, subscribe to its YouTube, or follow on Google +.

Have a look at the book - it's great. When I am completely rid of school work, I'll post a review.

Thanks for reading,


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