Writing Retreat + 2nd Annual Reader Meetup

I’m in Amsterdam all week on my annual writing retreat. I love the city: it’s mist, smoke, architecture, and art; the shops, the people, the cafes, and just the right amounts of professionally-manicured sleaze.

I think I’m done with Book Four – I don’t mean it’s written or anything crazy like that, but I am now almost 100 percent comfortable with what needs to be written. The summit is in sight folks!
(Writing this now, I’m pretty sure I’ve said that before, but… this time I really mean it! Promise!)

Tonight will be the second of our annual reader meet-ups. I’m looking forward to it! I hope to see all the same faces as last year! And hopefully some new ones.

Some words fresh from the tips of my fingers you ask? Proof of work as it were… Sure:

Abhyuday whacked the palm-frond violently across the big brown buttocks before him. A fat horsefly burst into a Pollock of ketchup and mustard against the animals glistening hide.

The bovine who had suffered the bulk of the strike’s collateral damage swung its head lethargically back and gave its assailant a long blank look.

“You are very welcome.” The buffalo herder—aka Abhyuday Narasimhan, head of the Atlantis Academy of Sciences—informed it.

And finally some mood pics:

Cross Pollination: Featured Interview with Kell Inkston

Lobster Books is linking me up with a few authors to do some cross-pollination. Continuing the series, here is an interview with Kell Inkston. In his own words, when you pick up one of Kell’s books— “be prepared for strange and mystical tales of whimsy and ultraviolence. Magical ponies and stupendous manslaughter go hand-in-hand…”

Please tell us a bit about yourself! What made you become an author and how did your life change after you published your first novel.
Heya! Name’s Kell, and I love birds, cooking, and growing things that either attract birds or are cookable.

I “work” for “the government” as an “analyst” but my true passion is writing cool novels in awesome universes. I started out at a pretty young age when I drew comics, which eventually turned into shorts, which eventually turned into novels.

I write because I enjoy it, and that’s probably the only thing in my life that hasn’t changed since I’ve started.

What is your prime reason for writing?
To improve the world, first and foremost. I feel like I’m in a weird niche motivation-wise, because I consider my stuff high concept, though it appears like regular fiction from novel to novel. My various series are interconnected and are leading up to a coherent whole (sort of like The Avengers) and that’s where I’ll get the big payoff.

What is your favorite Sci-Fi book series?
Asimov’s Foundation series. Unbeatable in civilization-level intrigue even to this day.

How about your favorite Sci-Fi character?
An almost impossible question, but if I had to say right now I’ll cheese it and go with Legion from Mass Effect 2. I’m a little surprised myself putting it as my number one videogames as a medium are often hindered in the writing department, but I love robot characters with complex personalities, and Legion pulled up some excellent ideas.

One piece of advice you’d like to give to aspiring authors?
Work stupid-hard and you’ll make it. It doesn’t matter what you write; you’ll get there if you push hard enough.

If you want to advance your career, write. When you’re unable to write, read. When you’re unable to read, go on youtube and watch videos of authors doing it right. You decide the speed.

Jedi, Sith, or Mandalorians?
Mandalorians are cool (not sure about the new Disney+ show, though) and make up a large percentage of the Star Wars universe’s most badass characters.

I’m sort of a square, though, so I’ll ultimately say Jedi if I had to pick which one I’d be.

Awesome! Thanks for doing this interview!

You can find more about Kell and his books at his website:
Kell Inkston’s website

and on his Facebook Reader Group.

Reddit: ‘Ask Me Anything’

I (/u/2oby) will be doing an ‘Ask Me Anything’ this Friday on Reddit Self Publish. Join me >> here << NOW!

I will be answering questions on writing and Sci-Fi.

“I am Toby Weston, software by day, positive-futurism by night. I’m writing my fourth book: Hard Sci-Fi, with dolphin Eco-terrorists, Sentient AIs, and an Internet of Animals. AMA!”

I will be uploading the transcript here afterwards.