IndieView with John Wilker, author of Space Rogues

About Publishing
Did you submit your work to Agents? Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know? I’ve always loved reading indie authors, and shopping indie book stores, etc. Now the crew numbers five. If so can you please describe it? Joshua Dalzelle’s Omega Force was a big influence. The changes were enough, I got Amazon to push an update out to previous buyers. I probably should, but not really. Ok, things could be worse. Barry more than John, and sometimes a bit over the top, but overall, I really enjoy a story that makes me chuckle as I read. The heist is a multi-POV (think Leverage) scene where the team discovers that they’ve stolen a robot. The crew recuperates while the Ghost is repaired then flies off into the sunset while a court case of galactic proportions begins. I didn’t have a plan or anything and just started writing. Having a back-catalog readers can read is a big deal. Taking a break to write one of those scenes usually helped. For my next I’m going to try to be a bit more focused on marketing, probably not a solid strategy, but at least not just hitting “publish” and hoping the underwear gnomes show up to handle the ‘profit’ part. My target reader loves reading about a great crew that comes together having just met and meshes, at least enough, to get the job done. Space Rogues is your straightforward sci-fi action adventure. Someone who loves sci-fi, but doesn’t need to read page after page of technical specifications. December 1, I’d have said, “One Month” but now I know better, LOL. Where did you get the idea from? I was wrong. I’d much rather have the characters talk to each other like normal people and explain things through dialogue. I do, I have music playing all day. I find that putting work out into the world is often terrifying because people immediately forget that the creator is a person, somewhere. Maxim and Zephyr want to clear their names and Wil hate one of the principal conspirators, so taking him down could be fun. All over the place. For Space Rogues, no. Nope. About the book
What is the book about? I strive for that in my writing. I was ecstatic. What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher? Similarly, Barry Hutchison’s Space Team series and John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War series. About You
Where did you grow up? It all comes to a head outside the Harrith star system with a massive space battle, some flight tricks, and not dying. Not by a professional book cover designer per-se
Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it? I found a good ‘writing hack’ that helped when I got stuck. Though heavily inspired by other works. I’ve been entering NaNo for going on 10 years or so, but rarely get past five to ten thousand words. I’d much rather have the characters talk to each other like normal people and explain things through dialogue. Usually I’m drawn to ‘80s music as it has the most nostalgic punch. A robot Wil does want to turn on, so of course, they do. Wil, the first human in space, decides to break them out so they can join his crew on the Ghost. Witty banter, high stakes, minor criminal activity but for the good of the galaxy, that sort of stuff ?
When did you start writing the book? I published August 2017. Reviews are savage for no reason but to be savage, etc. Not intentionally but I just didn’t realize how much ‘work’ there was outside the writing. Don’t fret about not being an instant success. I’ve always had an indie streak. Nowhere, and everywhere. We all know how important it is for writers to read. The story and the characters just kept things moving, and suddenly I was past my all-time high, past the month mid-point, staying ahead of the moving average to make it to fifty thousand. The dialogue. The crew is hired to break into a super secure criminal self-storage facility in deep space. I spent months revising, and letting friends read it, etc. I hate reading paragraph after paragraph of the narrator telling the reader what’s happening. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you? Get your copy of   Space Rogues from Amazon US or Amazon UK. I love to laugh, and both of those authors make sure humor is an element in their story telling. How long did it take you to write it? I don’t explain how the ships move faster than light, or how communication systems work, etc. Bigger than I thought, though as a reader and in hindsight, obvious. Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors? The robot reveals a plot to destabilize the government of several non-aligned star systems to force them to join the Galactic Commonwealth. As they try to stock up on supplies, they pick up a new member. Throughout Space Rogues I mix in scenes from the Past, explaining how the Main Character got where he is. Things go downhill from there. Hhmm, tough one. That type of fun, action packed, dialogue heavy Scifi is my favorite. From the start, going the traditional route never entered my mind. Spent most of my growing up in Southern CA. I suppose, me. By the time I was done with that scene, I could usually jump back into the main story and pick up a thread I was struggling with earlier. Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished? It’s the kind story I’ve always loved reading and watching on screen. At the end of it all, Wil feels more human now that he has a crew and people to care about, and that care about him. Be happy with what you produce. My business is very indie focused in its industry. Were there any parts of the book where you struggled? About Writing
Do you have a writing process? Professionally done. Winging it. I’m not anywhere near successful enough to have sage advice, but I’d say, write what you want to write. I hate reading paragraph after paragraph of the narrator telling the reader what’s happening. I started Space Rogues as a NaNoWriMo 2016 effort. I’m a huge fan of dialogue heavy stories. OH and I have an awesome wife and two fun dogs ? Guess I could have lead with that ?
End of Interview:
For more from John, visit his website, follow him on Twitter, and like his Facebook page. A few. Not soon enough, but yes. No specific event but being able to go it alone is important to me. If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences? Do you listen to music while you write? Bennie is a hacker who is creating clean identifies for the ex-peacekeepers ends up joining the crew as they are chased off the planet’s surface by actual peacekeepers. Very happy to have found a life in Denver, CO
What would you like readers to know about you? Not a military brat, but pretty much moved every three years until high school. What came easily? Wil has his crew even if by accident. I had zero plan. I run my own business, so pick and choose what to focus on each hour. Do you outline? After book 2 or 3 (I think, I HOPE) things start to chug along more smoothly. I write when I can. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Guardians of the Galaxy, Farscape, Dark Space, Stargate, and more. If yes, what gets the fingers tapping? Did you hire a professional editor? I did finally hire an editor, who made a HUGE difference, and made me regret the few months that the book was out in the pre-editor state. I guess one big one would be, I’m a person. I typically finish the first draft, then wait a few days, then start at the beginning making revisions, and basic edits. For the sequel coming out spring 2018, I plot lined, so think through basic plot points. Keep writing. Beyond that I guess know that I take feedback seriously and welcome it. Do you have a target reader? Entirely fictitious. It’s a race against time as the plot is already in motion and the crew decides to stop it. Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself? I’ve found that pretty helpful, since I tend to let the story unfold as I write, the plot line was helpful to remind me where I wanted to end up. Now it’s time to get to work. After beta readers, I send it to an editor for the big clean-up work. Where do you live now? No specific genre, as long as it’s not country (sorry country folks, no offense meant). I made the (I hope not unique to me, LOL) mistake of thinking, after a few people read it, it was good enough. Was it a particular event or a gradual process? Wait until I’m done. John Wilker – 20 March 2018
The Back Flap
Zephyr and Maxim are a pair of disgraced Peacekeepers, who’ve been framed by their superiors and left to rot. Like I said, I love fun action packed sci-fi and he really captures that in that series.