Author interview with Doug Dandridge of ‘Exodus: Machine War: Book 1: Supernova’

| October 1, 2017

Author Interview with Doug Dandridge

 

A planet is discovered on the brink of self-annihilation. Even worse, a nearby blue supergiant star is about to go supernova, wiping out all life in the nearby system. The inhabitants have a singular ability that would benefit the Empire in their war and must be saved.

 

 

Will these inhabitants be saved before it is too late? Doug Dandridge, the author of ‘Supernova’, the first book of the Exodus: Machine War series, has kindly set aside a little time to chat about the possibility of saviour and self-annihilation. Doug, where did you observe the first sparks of energy that led to the tale ‘Supernova’?            

Actually, it started from my main series, Exodus: Empires at War, where the death machines were mentioned several times. I wanted to write their story, and also take a break from the main storyline. So Machine War was born.

 

 

Both the Machine War and Empires at War series, follow the depths of war. Do you have strong personal experiences with war that provided you with a solid writing foundation?

I was in the Army as an Infantryman, and have read history extensively. I wanted a book that drew upon that knowledge while learning more about supernovas. Also, a lot of situations in the story are drawn from both today’s headlines and the conjecture of experts on what we might be facing in the very near future.

 

 

Getting that mix of realism and information must have been tricky against the background of today’s headlines which some days do sound more like fiction than fact. Where did you focus your research to make sure your book was unclouded from things like conjecture?

I did a lot of research on supernovas, trying to get it right. I always try to have as much real science as I can among the McGuffins of interstellar travel.

 

 

I do appreciate your dedication to the science, but I hope you left some of those McGuffins in there because some of them are just plain fun! Is your approach to character crafting similarly dedicated?

I just start writing and they come. I don’t know, I don’t really set out to have certain characters when starting a new series. Now, after they get developed, they come back in future books.

 

 

I like that your characters arrive as needed and get to blossom as the story progresses. I feel like it matches how you meet new people in real life. Looking back on the adventure your characters experienced in ‘Supernova’, what would you say was the central idea they dealt with?

Life is the most important thing in the Universe and must be preserved. Even when the preservation must be accomplished by destroying those who worship death.

 

 

That is a challenging idea to communicate. Where do you feel that you saw the greatest satisfaction from taking up the challenge to communicate these ideas around the creation and preservation of life?

That people wrote to me and said they could see the parallels to our world in a work of science fiction.

 

 

Now, I know you’re a keen series writer so I’m guessing you already have a new adventure in hand that continues to draw the parallels between our world and your fictional one. What can you tell us about it?

I am working on another book in the Exodus: Empires at War series, while simultaneously writing the first book of the to be traditionally published Kinship War series.

 

 

That is a lot of writing that you have in the works! Do you do your own editing on top of the writing, or do you outsource editing to leave you more time to write?

I do all of my own editing. Recently, with the addition of a traditional contract, I am working with a top editor, which is a real learning experience.

 

 

We would be able to chat for days about what you’ve learnt from working with a top editor! But since we don’t have the luxury of days I’d like to know if you would change how you work day-to-day from what you’ve learnt.

I used to outline quite extensively, then I turned into a pantser. Now, with editorial demands, I am starting to outline again, and am finding that knowing where I am going makes it much easier.

 

That is an interesting behavioural change. I’d be curious to see if you are still outlining in another year, or if you have returned to the pantser method. What do you love most about the writing journey, with or without the ease of a planned destination?

I love telling stories, I love doing research. Now it is a job. I sell enough books to not only pay my bills but travel and enjoy life. I couldn’t think of a better job.

 

 

Me neither! Is there any advice that you can give to other authors who might be feeling a little bit stuck at the moment, and need a little positive push to return them to the keyboard while they are still working towards the success that you have achieved?

Keep at it. You never know what is going to stick. I have written 33 books thus far. One sold over 25,000 copies. 16 have sold over 5,000 copies. One has sold about 170 copies. If that had been the only book I had written, I would be nowhere today. Persevere; try lots of different stuff, because you never know where you’ll find your audience.

 

 

Doug, thank you for persevering with your writing career and giving readers 33 different adventures to explore. Here’s to the 34th and beyond!

Excited to read the book we discussed today? Find it here on Amazon: ‘Exodus: Machine War: Book 1: Supernova ( ASIN: B00TT6OG3I )‘.

Want to find out more about Doug Dandridge? Connect here!

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