Saturday, June 30, 2012
Interview: R. J. Sullivan
R. J. Sullivan's first novel, Haunting Blue, is an edgy paranormal thriller released by Damnation Books about punk girl loner Fiona "Blue" Shaefer and her boyfriend Chip Farren. His forthcoming novella, Haunting Obsession, a Rebecca Burton story, is due out this summer by Seventh Star Press.
R.J. is hard at work on the next chapter in Fiona's story, Virtual Blue, coming from Seventh Star Press in 2013. R.J. resides with his family in Heartland Crossing, Indiana. He is a member of the Indiana Horror Writers.
Classic science fiction: Asimov, Heinlein, Clarke, David Gerrold, etc.; Spider-Man comics; more recently, I've been drawn to a guilty pleasure of what I would call SF Chick military novels, of the sort where we follow a woman starship commander or space-marine blasting bug-eyed monsters with giant guns while dragging their whimpering boyfriends behind them. Elizabeth Moon and Tonya Huff are two of my favorites who write this sort of thing.
Inspirations for Backstage Pass?
As the story begins, we are introduced to an obsessed fan who is part of a devoted clique that still follows an 80s pop star all over the country still performing decades after her days of fame. I was inspired by my real-life experiences as an obsessed fan who is part of a devoted clique that still follows an 80s pop star all over the country still performing decades after her days of fame.
Did you know you wanted to be an author when you were little?
I was the tallest kid in kindergarten, so I wasn't little for very long. But yes, I was telling stories at an early age and knew I wanted to be a writer. I used to write superhero stories in a notebook as a kid. My best friend and I collaborated on our own sci-fi epic in middle school—a mash-up of Star Wars, Flash Gordon, Star Trek, Battle Beyond the Stars, and whatever else we could throw into the pot and mix in, but it was a start. Later, my friend went on to work as a programmer on the videogame Wing Commander III, which was living the dream!
Any Pet Peeves?
We live in a world of cyberspace where we have more tools at our command than ever before. So it boggles my mind that people will post a remedial question like "Who is Paul McCartney" or "What was the Spirit of St. Louis" out there for the world to see rather than opening a window to the internet and researching the answer. It's not what people don't know that's the truly shocking part, it's that their content to share their ignorance rather than take pride in finding the answer that I find eye-rolling.
Chocolate or Peanut Butter?
Get your nasty peanut butter out of my awesome chocolate.
The weirdest thing you've ever done?
I hope it will be my upcoming author photo for Haunting Obsession.
Is there a soundtrack to the book/Favorite music?
I have a favorite album I draft to, which has been unchanged for years, Til Tuesday's Everything's Different Now from the early 90s, just before Aimee Mann went solo. (No, Aimee Mann is not the real-life inspiration for Backstage Pass, but that's not too far off). It's pleasant pop rock with intense lyrics but sung in a way that it doesn’t break in on your train of thought. On the other hand, when you actively stop to listen, you'll tend to catch a pretty meaty lyric.
Do you need anything to write?
Morning coffee, preferably in my Little Mermaid mug. I enjoy writing to music if I'm rough-draft composing, and yeah, I need to hit on the chocolate every now and again.
How long do you write on any average day?
5-8 hours a day, which is deceitful, as I am a self-employed business writer and journalist as well as a novelist. I work on my fiction, depending on workload, 10-20 hours a week.
Give us the number one reason to read your books.
When I'm writing fiction, I'm playing and I'm goofing off, but no matter how outlandish the concept, I also treat it seriously and I think my readers do, too. Take the upcoming short story "Robot Vampire." If that title intrigues you and you want to experience how such an absurd concept can play dramatically and without a hint of irony, then I'm your author.
You can find me at www.rjsullivanfiction.com where you can subscribe to my Facebook, blog, and newsletter. I don't tweet...yet.
Punk, blue-haired "Blue" Shaefer, is at odds with her workaholic single mother. Raised as a city girl in a suburb of Indianapolis, Blue must abandon the life she knows when her unfeeling mother moves them to a dreadful small town. Blue befriends the only student willing to talk to her: computer nerd "Chip" Farren.Chip knows the connection between the rickety pirate boat ride at the local amusement park and the missing money from an infamous bank heist the townspeople still talk about. When Blue helps him recover the treasure, they awaken a vengeful ghost who'll stop at nothing--even murder--to prevent them from exposing the truth behind his evil deeds.Haunting Blue will excite readers who enjoy contemporary ghost stories featuring a hard-edged, sassy teenage heroine. Those who enjoyed Buffy the Vampire Slayer will love Haunting Blue.