Ask Me Anything

I get a lot of questions, about everything from writing and publishing to why I have a cat… Some of these (even the cat question) may be of interest to more than one person, so instead of answering all of these individually, I figure it is time for a fresh approach.

So, a few days ago I invited people on Facebook and Twitter to ask their questions. I got a few and I´ll try to answer most of them here. Please let me know if this kind of thing is something you enjoy – I might do another.

Here we go!

Daniel: Is there a continuation from the story of Exodus? I have been out of the loop for a while but thoroughly wanted to hear more of the series and characters.

Me: YES! In fact there is continuation in several directions, and in the end the Exodus Trilogy will be one of several series in the Aurora Universe. So, to give you a few choices of direction, you could go ahead and read the Rift Saga, which takes place back on Earth more than two centuries after Devastator strikes. Eventually you´ll want to read Alive (which you get for free if you sign up to my newsletter), and Impact. I guess the name of the latter says it all… Another way to go about it is to read Alive and Impact first and then move on to the Rift Saga. Also, there is Explorer, a Genesis companion novella, in which you´ll meet Tina Hammer a year after the end of Genesis.

Excellent question Daniel, since the interconnectedness of my books can get a bit complicated – this is anything but linear!

Sheila: Ancestry .com says I’m 50% Scandinavian, with Norway smack in the middle. Could we be 4th or 5th cousins? And yes, this is a serious question!

Me: Sorry Sheila, I doubt it. As far as I know I don´t have any direct ancestors who emigrated to America. It would have been cool though! 🙂

David: I would guess that you’ve come to writing through reading a lot over the years. Who do you like to read and why?

Me: Wow, how long do I have? 🙂 But seriously, the first one´s easy – Yes, I read a lot of books. I started writing a fantasy novel back around 2000, but I never finished it. I wrote a few scenes of fantasy and scifi, on and off, but never finished anything. It wasn´t until 2011 that I actually managed to finish a book called Exodus… But no matter how much of a late bloomer I was when it comes to writing, I´ve always read a lot (except perhaps a brief period in my teens). I read in several genres, but I tend to fall back on scifi and fantasy. I discovered fantasy back in the mid- nineties, and plowed through anything I could get my hands on; Robert Jordan, Terry Goodkind, J.R.R. Tolkien, Margareth Weiss and Tracy Hickman, to mention a few. In fact, I discovered G.R.R. Martin´s A song of ice and fire several years before it became a tv series, and it is to date my favorite fantasy series. I also enjoy alternate history, like Eric Flint´s 1632, Robert Harris´ Fatherland, and Philip Roth´s The plot against America. I may have ben influenced by reading S.M. Stirling´s The Domination when I wrote Rift, and that may just be one of my favorite dystopian/alternate history book. Another dystopian I enjoyed is The Road, by Cormac McCarthy. As for more pure scifi, there are, of course Robert A. Heinlein. I also enjoy Peter F. Hamilton, Michael Cobley and a fresh new indie addition, Lucas Bale. Lucas has written what I believe to be one of the best space operas in recent years, his Beyond the Wall series, and although I´m sure he doesn´t believe me when I say that, I think it´s just a matter of time before this series takes off.

Muzi: @ achr75, you read hundreds of books on your ipad and Kindle. How do you get time to write and when in the day? ‪#Scrivener

Me: Well, hundreds of books, I don´t know about that… But I definitely read a lot. I think I need to divide my answer into two parts here; before and after I began working full time as a fiction writer. I used to work a full time job, which I scaled down once I could afford it, and while I worked full time my writing time was limited. I would get to my computer after my son had gone to bed, and write for about an hour 4-5 nights a week. The trick (which can be hard to actually follow through with – trust me, I know!) is that you have to spend this time actually writing. If you do that, it adds up pretty quickly. Once I was able to write full time, I began writing in the day and take the evenings off. I know at least one person who appreciated that! 😉

I think that for a beginning writer with a full time job, perhaps family and an active social life, one particular skill can be very useful: To be able to sit down at your computer, on your phone, or on your ipad, ignore everything else (no Facebook, Twitter, Email, or Candy Crush – seriously!), and jump right into your story, writing effectively from the first minute. And you really don´t have to “prepare” for an hour first… If you can do this, you can make use of all those little breaks and short periods of free time that you´ll find once you take a good look. Your favorite tv-show starts in ten minutes? Write a hundred words. You´re on the bus and it takes you twenty minutes to get where you´re going? Write on your phone. I use Evernote for this, since it syncs across devices, so once I get to my computer I can just cut and paste. Voila, a couple hundred words right there. The trick, I believe, is to look for the opportunities, and take them, use them, even if they aren´t perfect.

Here´s one where the answer may contain spoilers, unless you have read Aurora and Genesis, so just be warned:

David: In Exodus why didn’t they include several thousand embryos? This would have given them an even bigger gene pool to work from in the years ahead. I don’t think it would have added to population growth but it could have added greater diversity.

Me: Well, I think that sounds like a great idea, similar to the movie Interstellar perhaps? If embryos were to be included as the basis for a new population, I´d think that grown humans, or perhaps even children, with robots to help them out would have to be on board as well, since newborn human babies are more helpless than any other species we know of. You may have noticed that none of the other ships seems to have contained embryo populations, so we might speculate that something prevented that from being an option. I guess embryo ships could definitely be a way to go about colonizing the universe, but that will have to be in a different story. 🙂

I really enjoyed reading these questions and answering them. I hope you enjoyed reading this as well. Let me know in the comments!

12 thoughts on “Ask Me Anything

  1. David Browne

    Many thanks for this. I’ve really enjoyed reading all the questions and answers. I’ve not come across Lucas Bale before so I will look him up.An author who is new (to me anyway) is Mark E. Cooper. I’m enjoying his Merkiaari Wars series. Tolkien has always been the author I go back to every few years, I really like the completeness and consistency of his world. This is a big factor for me in your own writings, the universe is consistent, interrelated and just hangs together wonderfully. Many thanks again. Best wishes

    1. Andreas Post author

      You should definitely check out Lucas! I would say he’s the most talented writer in SciFi who hasn’t yet become a household name. My opinion, of course. I haven’t read any of Mark’s work yet, but I actually bought the Merkiaari Wars, so it will have to be bumped up on my reading list.

  2. Steve Coombes

    I recently discovered you with the Exodus trilogy and loved them! Now halfway through the first of the two Rift books, which I’m also enjoying immensely.

    Thanks from me for the tip on Lucas, too. Just downloaded his Beyond the Wall series, up next after the two Rift books. I truly enjoy your style of writing so I’m looking forward to reading that series which you enjoyed. 🙂

  3. Sue Ruopp

    I followed your links twice to get to read Alive. It’s a confusing endless circle without the reward of the short novel as promised. 😤

    1. Andreas Post author

      Hi Sue! I’m sorry it has to be several steps in this , but it is required by law (can spam act). I see you have already verified you email, so now it’s just for you to follow the link in the next email (sent one minute after verification, so if you haven’t seen it, you may have to refresh your email). The link will take you to Bookfunnel where you’ll get the ebook. If you need help downloading the book, just click “help me” and the amazing (and much more knowledgeable about the ins and outs of the various reading devices than me!) people at Bookfunnel will sort it out for you.

      Hope this helps! 🙂

  4. Craig

    It may be impertinent to ask, but it seemed to me that you missed a thread when you did not have the president who revealed that he had cancer expose himself to the parasite. What did he have to lose? Clearly, the parasite would clean up the cancer in order to survive and away we go.
    I’m sure you thought of that and rejected it for some reason, but it seemed out of character for that good man to just give up.
    I did enjoy the trilogy and I’ll go on to read more. By the way, the free novella is not appearing. Ah, well.

    1. Andreas Post author

      Hi Craig!

      First of all, thank you for a really interesting question! I might repost it (and my answer) in an upcoming “Ask me anything”- post.

      So, this is not an instance where my answer is THE answer. Everyone will have their own ideas of what a character would do in any given situation, since we build and expand on the information we´re given about this particular character. That´s how fictional characters seem to take on a life of their own, and it´s how we learn to love or hate them! 🙂

      As for Kenneth, he would be acutely aware of what happened to the kids (Ben, Lisa and Drew) and the way they lost control to the parasite. When I wrote these books I envisioned the mature Kenneth as a basically selfless person who would choose the safety of those around him over his own personal safety or well-being (contrary to the younger Kenneth, and partially based on his experiences back in his younger years). I don´t think he would have considered trying to save his own life by allowing a parasite into his body, once he knew and understood the damage the parasite could do to himself and (most importantly) to others. Another important factor, in my opinion, is that Kenneth´s driving motivation seems to be freedom from oppression, no longer having to hide his thoughts and opinions. Allowing the parasite to take control would be just another form of oppression. I guess, in his view, dying while in control of his mind and body, would be better than succumbing to a parasite that eventually would threaten his very self.

      Of course, that´s just how I think- who knows how Kenneth would have answered this question! 😉

      About the free novella, have you checked/refreshed your email (you might have to check your spam filter as well). Look for the email titled “Welcome to my inner circle” – there should be a link to Bookfunnel, where you´ll find the novella. If you need any help, just click “help me” in the top right corner, and the people at Bookfunnel will help you out. (those guys really know their stuff, you´ll be in good hands!)

  5. Richard Muller

    Please keep on with the Explorer book looking to hear more about this world. I know to much about all the players in the book to have you stop now.
    Good luck with your writing it’s great

    Thanks again

    1. Andreas Post author

      Thank you Richard! All I can say about the Aurora Universe is, there will be more! Right now I´m working on an unrelated project, but I am definitely not done with Aurora…

  6. Thom Ashton

    It has been less than a week and I have read the Rift trilogy, the Exodus trilogy and Impact. Your books are hard to put down, the most enjoyable reading I’ve ever engaged in. I’ll be downloading Explorer and Alive today. Thanks for the entertainment and thought provoking writing. I worry that the authoritarian aspects of the future you see is coming and soon.

    Your knowledge of United States geography was a surprise to me. Have you spent a lot of time here?

    1. Andreas Post author

      Thanks Thom! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed my books so far, and I hope you’ll continue reading them as they come out! 🙂 I did spend a year in the US in my youth, but as for geography, I guess a general interest and Google maps are my main assets… 😉


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