We’re continuing to host the Mythic Orbits blog here on the New Authors Fellowship. I was able to send Bear Publishing’s Travis Perry some questions about his writing, the industry, and inspiration.
Read on to learn more about the military man who can speak far more languages than anyone I know.
-Anymore I’m more focused on works that I’ve edited that ones my own writing has been published in–though in most of these I also have at least one story I wrote. Published works I edited include Avenir Eclectia, Medieval Mars, Victorian Venus, Avatars of Web Surfer, A Shattered World, Writing Speculative Fiction, and of course, Mythic Orbits 2016.
Where do you find inspiration for your story worlds?
-I find the most inspiration for story worlds from reading non-fiction actually. It’s reading history, which features all kinds of unusual civilizations, which gets me thinking about how our culture could turn out differently in the future–or thinking about alternate universes. And reading non-fiction about science gets me thinking about futuristic technology and how that would work.
-I don’t think of myself as self-publishing as much as being a publisher of other people. Increasingly, my focus has turned to what other people write. But what I like best about either self-publishing or publishing others is the ability to decide which projects I want and which I don’t and having the freedom to “march to the beat of my own drummer.” 🙂
What has been the biggest challenge of being a writer?
-Discouragement. I have many ideas and a lot of desire to produce new works (and old works in new forms) but sometimes I just feel so discouraged that I cannot get myself to actually write. This is getting better overall, especially because of the support of Tabatha, but it still is a toughie for me.
Who is your biggest supporter?
-My darling wife Tabatha supports me tremendously in many things–though there’s an odd aspect to her support in that prior to knowing me she never was a big speculative fiction fan. And, as someone who grew up reading Spanish, reading my works in English is a bit tough for her. So, her support can only go so far. My biggest supporting reader would be Parker J. Cole, who lavishes praise on what I write in a way that kinda astonishes me…
What is a story (movie/comic/book) that inspired you early on to be writer?
-I should make it clear that I made up stories in my head for as long as I can remember. But I hated sitting down and writing. Hated it. I had bad handwriting, was a terrible speller, and nothing came out the way I wanted it. So while I always loved stories, I never really considered that I would write them myself until I was over 30. It may sound stereotyped for a Christian writer to say so, but C.S. Lewis was one of my main inspirations. Especially to be flexible–he wrote fantasy of completely different types (Narnia, Screwtape Letters, Till We Have Faces) and also science fiction and also non-fiction. I aspire to be as flexible as he was.
If you could tell your 20-something year old self something, what would it be?
-“You’ll be a writer some day! Get ready.” And my 20-something self would say, “No way!” 🙂
-I don’t know how crazy it is, but I spent a bunch of time for Medieval Mars doing calculations on atmospheric pressure and density and surface gravity to understand what the atmospheric pressure would have to be to make Olympus Mons as survivable as Mount Everest (Olympus is actually about three times higher than Everest) and what that would mean for Martian lowlands.
When do you typically find time to write?
-I’m a natural early riser and my traditional most productive writing time has been between 5 and 8 AM.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
-I’m a hybrid. I often pants short stories up to around 2k words. With longer stories I’ve had certain scenes pop into my head as whole bits and then I’ve had to do some careful plotting to get the scenes to link up with one another. I also do a lot of thinking about story world stuff.
Who is your favorite character that you’ve written?
-That’s a tough question! There’s a definite inner circle of characters I like better than others but it’s hard to pick my favorite among that small group. I guess I would say Susan from Medieval Mars–who is a “Lithium Smith” a.k.a. an expert on ancient technology of the past.
Top five favorite authors
-C.S. Lewis, Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Larry Niven (I especially liked the books Niven and Jerry Pournelle co-authored), Michael Chrichton
Top 5 favorite books
-Ah, the Bible (no, really!), Till We Have Faces, Mere Christianity, Citizen of the Galaxy, I, Robot, The Gulag Archipelago (Solzhenitsyn)
Top five fandoms
-Star Trek, Star Wars…and then after that I’m a lot less of a fan and more of an interested party…but I’ve found the Alien franchise interesting, I like Stephen King movies, I’ve enjoyed Jurassic Park, mostly.
As a fellow C.S. Lewis fan, I can relate to Mere Christianity being in the top five list. I’ve really enjoyed hosting Mythic Orbits, and enjoyed the stories in that anthology even more. Check out Bear Publications and find Mythic Orbits vol 2 online here.