Thursday, August 18, 2011

Interview & Giveaway with Author P.A. Baines

It's my pleasure to welcome Splashdown Books author P. A. Baines to the blog today!

Q:  What was your inspiration for Alpha Redemption?
A:  Would you believe, atheism? I was heavily involved with discussing and debating Christianity with atheists on various Internet sites. It was suggested on more than one occasion that belief in God is irrational. That got me wondering what a purely logical creature would think if it read the Bible. At that moment one the main characters of Alpha Redemption, Jay, was born.

Q:  How do you come up with your story ideas?
A:  Usually it is a single scene that comes to mind, often while reading a book. I do almost all of my reading using audio books, and I often find my thoughts wandering. Sometimes an interesting scenario comes to mind, and sometimes that grows into a complete story.

Q:  How does your faith impact your writing?
A:  It is at the very core of my writing. I do not just want to write "stories". Rather, I want to glorify God through my work. He is at the center of what I try to do.

Q:  How long does it take you to complete a novel? How many drafts do you go through?
A:  The first draft of Alpha Redemption took three months. Add to that, two months of thinking about the plot, and another six months of revisions and editing, so about one year in total. My current story, on the other hand, was one I started five years ago but never got beyond the first chapter. The number of drafts tends to be quite low for me because I always edit my first drafts as I go. So, really, my first draft is more like a third draft.

Q:  After becoming a published author, what surprised you the most?
A:  The biggest surprise was that selling your story is as difficult (if not more so) than finding a publisher. People are generally quite reluctant to take a chance on an unknown author, so it is an uphill struggle. Good reviews help, but that does not necessarily mean people are going to rush out and buy your book.

Q:  What event, writer, or book has most impacted your writing life?
A:  I think "On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft" by Stephen King had the biggest impact on me as a writer because it showed just how difficult it can be to get published, even for someone as gifted as Stephen King. It also showed me that being "gifted" is not what it takes to be a good writer. You have to work hard and push on, even when the rejection letters come. So often we read about people hitting the big time with their first novel, of finding a publisher without even looking, but these cases are extremely rare and we should not look to them as examples of how the industry works. To be a writer, you have to be prepared for a lot of hard work and a lot of rejection. If you don't have a thick skin when you start out, you certainly will by the time you see your book on the shelves.

Q:  What’s the one far out sci-fi technology you’d most like to see become a household item?

A:  Anti-gravity devices. I think they would transform our lives. While this is something I would love to see, I am not convinced that it would be beneficial for everyone. Can you imagine how lazy it might make us? I think far more of us would become couch-potatoes if anti-gravity suits became available at our local supermarkets.

Thanks for visiting with us today, Paul!

Paul writes science fiction that is both contemplative and profound. Educated in Africa, he works as an analyst/programmer and is studying towards a degree in Creative Writing through Buckinghamshire New University in England. He currently lives in a small corner of the Netherlands with his wife and two children and various wildlife.
Visit his website at He is also a member of the New Authors' Fellowship.

ABOUT THE BOOK - Alpha Redemption
From despair he fled, through tragedy he lived on, and journeyed to innocence.

His trajectory: the stars. His companion: a computer poised at the brink of sentience.

An unlikely friendship on a prototype spaceship at lightspeed towards Alpha Centauri, and redemption.

If you’d like to be entered to win the e-book, Alpha Redemption, just leave a comment on this blog. I’ll pick a winner at random on Tuesday, August 23rd. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.)

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