Friday, October 12, 2012

Exclusive Interview with Sean C. Sousa, Author of "The Forever Saga: Flash"!

What is this book about?

At heart, The Forever Saga: Flash is a father-son redemption story. The novel follows Brian Renney -- a haunted, former war hero -- and his son, Jason, a star athlete who resents his father’s withdrawn, prickly nature as much as he seeks to understand it. When a shadow from Brian’s past returns to threaten him, the Renney family becomes drawn into a conflict against powers they do not understand. But through it, Brian can become again the hero he once was, both to the world and to his son. And in spite of overwhelming odds, they gain an ally that could turn the tide in the war to come.

How did you get the idea for this book?

The Forever Saga came to me in 2005 while I was dabbling in classes for video game design. One of my assignments was to develop the backstory for a video game, and I started with the idea of pairing an aging war veteran with a highly advanced robot -- the ultimate living weapon. What could they learn from each other? And what, or who, would they go up against? New plot points kept popping up until the idea outgrew a video game, or a movie screenplay. At that point, I reluctantly embraced the idea of becoming an author -- and I’m glad I did!

Is this your first book? If not, what else have you written?

The Forever Saga: Flash is my debut novel. I have written journal entries, poems, and short stories, but writing Flash became so fascinating and exhilarating to me that most of my writing efforts in the past six years have gone into it.

When did you start writing? Do you have any advice for beginning writers?

The decision to become an author in early 2006 was difficult, because it meant marrying my knack for writing with disciplined effort -- not my strong suit at the time! After spending most of ʼ06 researching for Flash, I made the commitment on New Year’s Eve that year to begin. On the first week of 2007, I started writing 3 single-spaced pages, 5 days a week, until the rough draft was completed in May of that year. Then the editing process began -- a lengthy one that took even more discipline and patience than writing the first draft did. And yet, it was those multiple rounds of edits over several years that prepared me to be an author, and transformed Flash into a book worth reading.

For anyone who feels called to be a writer, own it and be determined about it (and perhaps a bit stubborn)! Ignore the voices -- outside and in -- that criticize the creative ways you express yourself. Don’t be afraid to take the leap and start writing, but have a writing regimen set out before you start -- 3 pages a day is a great length, but do those 3 pages rain or shine; writing 6 pages on Monday doesn’t allow you to take Tuesday off.

Finally, be aware that you can be your own worst enemy: you’ll want the words to come out perfectly as you write them. Don’t worry about that; just get your thoughts written out. Where the rubber really meets the road is in the editing process. It will push you to hone your skill. I’d encourage writers to see their craft as a potter’s wheel; writing the first draft is putting the clay on the wheel itself, but the real quality comes from shaping what you have into something useful and beautiful.

Why did you decide to write a book in this genre?

I’ve always envisioned The Forever Saga as a distinctly human story wrapped in sci-fi elements like robots and advanced civilizations. Growing up in the ʼ80s, I loved the original Transformers cartoon and toys, both based on Japanese toy brands. I prefer the Japanese concept of robot as protector, compared to the dominant western idea of robots turning against their creators. Transformers is one of the only western depictions of heroic robots -- it’s why Optimus Prime is such an iconic fictional character. Similarly, my aim is to portray heroic robot characters in The Forever Saga that defend humanity, rather than oppress it.

Do you plan a sequel or future books?

There will definitely be multiple sequels, but I haven’t decided on the final number of novels for the series. Originally, The Forever Saga was intended as a trilogy, but just like Flash outgrew a video game or film, the overall story became too big for three books. One thing’s for sure, though: there are far more stories to tell about the Renney family!

What goals do you have for your books?

I definitely believe that we all should dream bigger -- professionally, my goal is for The Forever Saga to become a bestselling fiction series, and the next great multimedia entertainment franchise. With that success comes a greater purpose: to use my stories to raise awareness of, and support for, social justice causes that we face today. Each novel in The Forever Saga touches upon one such issue; Flash deals with human trafficking -- where individuals are forced into many forms of slavery worldwide. To that end, a portion of every sale of The Forever Saga: Flash will benefit International Justice Mission, a trusted organization that rescues trafficked victims and helps apprehend their captors. To that end, you could say that Flash is a novel of sci-fi and social justice.

Do you have a website? How can we order this book?

Readers can go to the official website, www.theforeversaga.com, to purchase The Forever Saga: Flash in e-book ($0.99) and paperback ($12.99) through Amazon and other retailers. The official website also includes news about the series, my personal blog, videos for fans, social media links, trivia, a contact page to reach me, and much more. I always appreciate interacting with fans, and the official website is the perfect way to do it!



This post contains Susan Heim’s Amazon affiliate link.

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