Shaun S. Fitzgerald runs the blog The Writing Fitzgerald and is a winner of this year’s Nanowrimo; here is a link to his website:
Q: What inspired you to start The Writing Fitzgerald?
A: I always wanted to write. I tried as a child a few stories that I wanted to be books, but I never knew what I was getting into. As I got older I still liked some of those ideas and wanted to do something with them, but knew I could not turn them all into full length books. So instead I started a blog after reading several ‘self help’ type blogs on what it takes to be a writer, and used it to share my small pieces while also getting my name out there a little.
Q: What kind of themes do your stories examine?
A: Depends on the story, I try and keep things fluid and do as many different themes as possible as my short stories are my experiments. I know a strong theme revolving around objectivism usually is present in many of my pieces. Many of my shorts are suspense and horrors as I have several future projects planned that incorporate the two elements and want to better myself before trying to tackle the larger projects.
Q: What is your Nanowrimo book about?
A: Enigma in the Stars is a space adventure and thriller with an unusual twist near the end. The focus is placed on two pirates forced to assist a government they once served to find a secret location of enemy mass production. Their adventure leads them to a secret no one could foresee coming.
Q: Did you finish in time to win?
A: Yes I did! And I plan to write with NaMoWriMo many more times in the coming years.
Q: When will we be able to read your book?
A: Hopefully before July. I have already begun the first rounds of editing and have an ISBN assigned. The struggles of a first time author are colossal sometimes.
Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it influence your writing?
A: I am in the U.S. military, and my job revolves around reconnaissance. The people and places influence my writing. I can take experiences and use them in fictional settings and it really helps me create a realistic vision in my mind. I have met some great people, and I use their way of thinking to help create unique characters. The job itself has made me put more focus on minor details that I would otherwise overlook. I think this becomes most apparent in my upcoming bookEnigma in the Stars.
Q: What do most people not understand about the military?
A: This could be a laundry list of things. I think the biggest one is why guys and gals do join in the first place. There are massive amounts of ‘original reasons’ which often go out the door once you’ve been through a little. The biggest lie is to say they couldn’t afford school, I know several guys who have bachelors or higher, and even the officers have to have a college education. Ultimately it all boils down to the troops really just care for what they left, and do it so others won’t need to. More importantly, you care about your friends next to you, and want to be there as long as they are doing the work too.
Q: What is your oddest work story?
A: I remember we were up for several days with little sleep, it was night and we were going back, we talked back and forth on our radios. I started to hallucinate; of course I did not realize it at the time. See, sleep deprivation can become almost like an extreme high, your mind will blank out and what makes you, ‘you’ is gone. I started back on the radio until we got back. A buddy came up to me as I was getting out and asked how long I had slept. I was honest and told him 3 hours, about three days ago. He forced me to go lay down. I don’t recall any of this, but apparently I was asking slurring questions and just making noise on the radio while talking about nonexistent things. That entire day is just a blur of events, with clarity added only by second hand information I’ve been given since.
Q: Who are some of your writing influences?
A: Michael Crichton and Dean Koontz. I definitely have others, but those two men have produced awesome works that I can only hope to build up to someday.
Q: I got very little sleep in November, how about you?
A: Very little indeed! I was on deployment during NaNoWriMo so my sleep was almost nonexistent as I typed my words on my little time back at base. All the more reason to say to anyone out there who wants to do NaNoWriMo, if I could do it, you can too.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)