I am a first time author and live in Wesley Chapel, Florida which is about thirty minutes north of the city of Tampa. I work for the ABC television affiliate WFTS and I’ve been in the TV industry for about twenty years.
Share a little bit about your book, The Interstellar Police Force.
The Interstellar Police Force, Book One: The Historic Mission
This is a Science Fiction-Action-Comedy, set on present day Earth, which begins in a far-off galaxy. Prodor Moffit and four other prisoners have escaped to Earth and it’s up to two IPF Agents to find them. But, right off, they are met with problems.
The first is that they have limited information on the human race that only goes up to the late 1950’s. The second is that the Agents are alien in appearance, so to complete their covert mission they must replicate themselves into humans. The commander’s replication succeeds, but due to a computer glitch his partner is replicated into a Doberman Pincher.
With mid-twentieth century information in hand, the agents successfully land. And with the help of a young Earth girl who unwittingly discovers their true identities, the mission to re-capture Prodor Moffit and the other prisoners is on.
Where are you at in the process of creating book two of the series?
I am about 98% finished with, The Interstellar Police Force, Book Two: The Beauty of Violence. I still have some secondary characters that I would like to polish up, but other than that it should be going off to the editors in two to three months.
Book Two will pick up roughly six months after Book One ended. Jeff and Genghis spend more time in Old Town searching for a man trying to extort money from shop owners and who they feel could be one of the escapees. Prodor Moffit continues to leave bodies in town along with amping up the production of his illicit drug, Dragon’s Breath. Meanwhile Lieutenant DeLaRue decides to confront Marshall Jeff Trent about the serial killer known as the Surgeon.
Why did you decide to combine science fiction and comedy?
I have always liked the concept, in book form and television, of a drama with comical undertones. Very similar to the short lived yet great TV series Firefly. I feel I have achieved this as well with my characters of Jeff Trent and Genghis Khan.
As the story goes, the two IPF agents have limited information on the human race. In fact the only information they have on the human race is a small file of the worst movies made by them. So, the computer that produces driver licenses, credit cards, etc. can only reference this one file. And this is how they get their names. The commander of the mission gets the name Jeff Trent from the 1957 movie Plan 9 from Outer Space and his partner receives the name, Genghis Khan from the equally bad 1956 movie The Conqueror starring John Wayne.
Your bio on Amazon says you have worked in the television industry. How has that experience influence your journey as a writer and published author?
It really has not influenced me in any real way except for the friends that I’ve made along the way. They all have been very supportive and encouraging.
How did your writing journey begin?
Well, I think it really started with my love for the anthology style TV shows like the original Twilight Zone and Netflix’s Black Mirror, along with many others. In 2006 I was attempting to write (what I thought was) a script treatment based on an old Twilight Zone episode in the hopes of taking that and writing a screenplay then making it into an Indy film. I found out later that script treatments are supposed to be about two paragraphs long. I had over 90 pages. What I had was a short novel. Not knowing anything about copyright laws, I set it aside but thought that this was something I could do. Two months later as I was at a stop light while driving home one day I looked to the empty lane next to me and imagined a 1959 Ford Thunderbird coming out of the sky like a plane touching down on a runway and pulling up next to me. There was a man behind the wheel wearing Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses and a Doberman Pincher sitting in the passenger seat. That’s when the idea for The Interstellar Police Force came to me and it just snowballed from there.
What is the most valuable writing advice you ever received?
Ray Bradbury was once quoted as saying, “Write a thousand words a day and in three years you’ll be a writer.” So, I have taken that to heart. I try to write a thousand words every time I sit in front of my computer. Not every day, but I do try to reach that word count.
Who has been the biggest supporter of your writing?
I would say family and friends. I have received some great constructive criticism and editing tips that have help me shape The Interstellar Police Force, Book One into what I have self-published.
What are the best tips you’ve received that helped improve your writing?
Sending the manuscript out to beta readers. I was told, when Book One was completed and edited to do this. Beta readers will charge a minimum price to read your novel and critique it. It was with their positive feedback that I knew my novel was ready for publishing.
What does success look like for you as an author?
Success? My definition of success (when I finally do achieve it) is being able to hire a lawn service to mow my lawn. Until then, I will continue to endure the 80, 90 degree Florida weather while mowing in August.
Anything additional you want to share with readers?
I just would like to thank you for this opportunity and those who have read my novel. I do greatly appreciate it.
Tensions and security were both high when the eight inmates were led to the waiting transfer vehicle, higher than normal, and all due to one particular inmate, Prodor Moffit.
The guards were alert and focused. All their weapons were pointed down, safeties off. Their fingers were on the trigger guards, not the triggers. No one wanted to accidentally discharge their weapon and start a panic. There were rumors that there would be an attempt to break Moffit out, being that this was the most vulnerable part of the prisoner transfer. Out in the open and walking to the transfer vehicle.
As the shackled inmates were marched up the ramp of Interstellar Police Prison Transfer vehicle 964, Prodor Moffit glanced back at the throng of armed guards. He was quite pleased; this heightened security was all for his benefit. He gave them all a knowing grin and continued up the ramp with the other inmates.
After the inmates were secured in their cells on the third deck, the transfer vehicle was readied for departure. Coordinates to the penitentiary on a neighboring planet were loaded into the navigational computer. The crew of IPPT 964 closed and sealed hatches, the invisible magnetic mooring lines were released.
The two pilots in the cockpit engaged the ascent engines and the vehicle gently rose from the ground. As it pointed it’s bow toward the starry night sky for the fifteen day journey, the guards, watching from the ground, relaxed as the vehicle accelerated higher into the night. Their job was done.
But no one knew at that moment that IPPT 964 would never make it to its destination.