Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Talking Books with David H. Reiss, Author of Fid's Crusade #scifi #fantasy #interview @davidhreiss

While growing up, David H. Reiss was that weird kid with his nose in a book and his head in the clouds. He was the table-top role-playing game geek, the comic-book nerd, the story-teller and dreamer. 
Fortunately, he hasn't changed much.
David is a software engineer by trade and a long-time sci-fi and fantasy devotee by passion, and he lives in Silicon Valley with his partner of twenty-six years. Until recently, he also shared his life with a disturbingly spoiled cat named Freya.
(Farewell, little huntress. You were loved. You are missed.)
David's first book, Fid's Crusade, has just recently been published; this was his first novel-length project, but it certainly won't be his last—he's having far too much fun!

About the Book:

Consumed by grief, rage, and self-loathing, a brilliant inventor rebuilt himself to take on a new identity: the powered-armor-wearing supervillain, Doctor Fid. For twenty violent years, Fid has
continued his quest to punish heroes who he considers to be unworthy of their accolades, and the Doctor has left a long trail of blood and misery in his wake. After a personal tragedy, however, Doctor Fid investigates a crime and uncovers a conspiracy so terrible that even he is taken aback.

Haunted by painful memories and profound guilt, the veteran supervillain must risk everything to save the world that he once sought to terrorize. Every battle takes its toll…but the stakes are too high for retreat to be an option.

In the end, it may take a villain to save the entire Earth from those entrusted with the Earth’s protection.


"Fid's Crusade by David H. Reiss is one of the most refreshing and lively takes on the superhero genre I've seen in years. His title character's crusade is colorful, compelling, and takes wonderfully unexpected turns, and the novel delivers an impressive emotional punch (to go along with the super-powered ones). It stands easily alongside other character-driven superhero novels like Austin Grossman's Soon I Will Be Invincible, Carrie Vaughn's After the Golden Age, and Paul Tobin's Prepare to Die!." - Hugo award-winning author Tim Pratt



I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

I take up new hobbies and drop old ones at a prodigious rate, the vast majority of which involve exploring the crafts, skills and experiences found in works of fiction. I’ve built replica lightsabers and forged medieval armor, programmed autonomous drones and brewed my own mead, studied the design of modern military weapons and knapped flint arrowheads, started fires with sticks and started fires with lasers. Also, I’ve become equally mediocre at multiple martial arts, archery, sword fighting and paintball.

When did you start writing?

That’s a difficult question to answer; I genuinely cannot recall any time in which I wasn’t already a writer. I’m reasonably certain that my mother would have mentioned if I was actually born with a pencil in my hand, but it can’t have been too many years before I acquired one. I filled far more of those pale-blue stitched-cover composition notebooks with stories than I ever did with schoolwork.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

Strangely, I think that the most pivotal moment of my writing life wasn’t directly related to writing at all. I was taking a figure-drawing class and a very frustrated professor told me that my problem was that I was drawing an arm the way I thought that an arm ought to look instead of looking at the model’s actual arm. The teacher was right; I’d had a picture in my head as to how the bones and muscles should work and how the joint would bend and how the shadows should fall. And many of my ideas were simply wrong.

Truthfully, I’ve never managed to become a particularly good artist, but that event did teach me to check my assumptions and to spend time studying rather than relying purely upon imagination. I like to believe that my prose is stronger for that shift.

(Second most pivotal moment: getting a rave review from a Hugo award-winning author after Fid’s Crusade was the winner in the ‘Science Fiction / Fantasy / Horror’ category of the 2018 Publishers Weekly BookLife Prize.)

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

To my home office! I’m a territorial person and I feel most comfortable in familiar surroundings. There are plenty of places that I’d go for inspiration, but to actually write…I want to be home sitting in my own chair at my own computer desk.

(It would be more useful if I could send my housemates anywhere in the world. I’d get more work done with a few extra hours of silence.)

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

I’d spend one of them reading, one of them writing, one of them sleeping, and one of them thinking about getting some exercise but deciding that one hour isn’t enough time to get to the gym, work out, get home, and take a shower…so I might as well go back to reading, writing, or sleeping instead.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

I’ve been slowly constructing a fantasy world for what may be my next

Back to your present book, Fid’s Crusade, how did you publish it?

I’d begun the process of shopping the book to agents, but later decided that getting the book published in time for my grandmother’s one hundredth birthday was more important. I decided to self-publish and I’ve never regretted that choice; the novel was dedicated to her and I was able to give her a signed copy as a present.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

Yes and no. I didn’t do any new travel for research purposes, but much of the story takes place in locations that I have travelled to in the past.

Why was writing Fid’s Crusade so important to you?

It’s strange…Fid’s Crusade was started as a side-project, a brief short story intended to clear my head after I wrote myself into a corner on another project. I fell in love with the characters and the world as I worked. The more that I poked at it, the more that I realized that there were powerful stories that I could tell from these characters’ perspectives.

Every story that I write is important to me, but there was something in the narrator’s voice in Fid’s Crusade that resonated. I wanted to share this story with with the world.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

I think that I get my best ideas while petting cats. I have a hypothesis that purrs stimulate creativity, but thus far I have been unable to acquire funding to perform a proper scientific study.

Any final words?

I’ve been writing for my entire life but only recently became serious about producing novel-length works and publishing. This has been an extraordinary journey and I’m having a blast. There’s plenty more to come, just wait!

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