Q: I understand you're starting a new series called Medieval Mars. Tell me about that. It sounds really interesting.
A: Medieval Mars is a story world based on a fairly simple concept. Imagine a future Mars that has been terraformed so it is inhabitable at some point in the future, but at a time in the more distant future, roughly 1,000 years from now civilization has collapsed and people live in a way that parallels medieval times on Earth, with some very interesting differences. There are knights in armor (though they are called "riders"), noble lords and ladies, suffering peasants (usually called "hands), with an outlook on life simultaneously more religious and more warlike than our world. But there are leftover items from what they call the "Age of Magic" (the era of technology) which work even though they are not fully understood, genetically engineered dragons, and regions where lower gravity and atmospheric pressure allows human beings to ride giant birds.
I created a novella in Medieval Mars and realized this world is so large and full of potential that I wanted to invite other authors to submit stories for an anthology. I publicized a request for help and 9 other authors have stepped up and submitted stories. We're in the editing process now and I'm hoping the story collection comes out February (God willing). I have ideas for follow-on stories in the future.
Q: I can only imagine how nerve-wracking that must have been, sending out a request, essentially inviting people into this world you've created, not knowing what they'll think of it. But then to have so many interested in that, it must have been a relief knowing there were people waning to go on this journey, to enter this world with you. Fantastic. If you could have a discussion with any of your characters, who would it be? What would you talk about?
A: That's kind of a tough question. I suppose I'd want to talk to Agata, who's featured in my book The Crystal Portal. I'd want to talk to her not just because I'd find her an interesting person, but because she has a crystalline exoskeleton and I'd be fascinated to see what that really looks like. Since she's a princess and a natural leader, I suppose I'd ask her about her thoughts on leadership.
Q: If you could have a discussion with any character from any book, who would it be?
A: Wow, that's another tough question. It's hard to narrow it down to just one. I think though I'd enjoy a conversation with Reepicheep from the Chronicles of Narnia more than any other character. I'd just ask him to tell be about his battles.
Q: Who is your favorite kind of villain to portray? The outright evil type with the complicated backstory, like Darth Vader? The suit-clad salesman, master of the subtle evils?
A: The villain I enjoyed the most was a character named Ernsto Mons in the Avenir Eclectia story world. What I enjoyed about him was I started him out unrepentantly bad and walked him through circumstances that are making him better -sort of a Breaking Bad in reverse.
Q: I've talked with other writers about the demands of social media, writing, and life in general. What's your secret to balancing it all?
A: I don't think I balance things very well at all. I tend to throw myself into one thing and neglect other things. The only way I get a semblance of balance is from switching off into different things I'm wholly engaged in on a regular basis. :)
Q: That's exactly how I am! One week I'll be devoted to promoting and retweeting on Twitter, the next it'll be Pinterest, and by the third week I'm exhausted. Okay, enough of the writing questions. What was the last book you read?
A: The last book I read was a history book on the Middle Ages called The Distant Mirror. It happens to be the case that I get a lot of inspiration for fantasy and science fiction story ideas from reading a combination of history and science.
Q: I've heard of The Distant Mirror, and I really love that time period, so I'll have to look that one up. What's on your list to read?
A: More historical stuff mostly. I'm currently reading a number of things at the same time. Some Josephus, some Marcus Aurelius, some Alexander Sozhenitsyn, some apocryphal Bible books, some Isaac Asimov, and Mike Duran's Christian Speculative work, The Ghost Box. Finishing all of these will take me a while. I'm not a speed reader.
Q: What movies or TV shows (if any) do you like to kick back with?
A: I'm a fan of The Walking Dead, even though I think the message is far from uplifting. And I watch Dr. Who. I also watch reruns of Star Trek (DS9 is my favorite), Farscape, and I like watching Nova on PBS and a wide variety of Nat Geo and History Channel shows.
Q: Your caffeinated beverage of choice would be...?
A: Diet Dr. Pepper. :)
Q: Where can we find you on social media?
A: My story ideas blog is found at: http://travissbigidea.blogspot.com
And I retweet things I find interesting on a daily basis at: http://twitter.com/tt_perry
Thanks for talking with me, Travis.
Also be sure to check out Travis's novella Medieval Mars, available on Amazon for only $.99. Can't beat it! http://www.amazon.com/Medieval-Mars-Novella-Travis-Perry-ebook/dp/B00LMAWJNS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1420587914&sr=8-1&keywords=medieval+mars