Congratulations to Book Country member G.D. Deckard on publishing his debut science fiction novel, THE PHOENIX DIARY, with Book Country! G.D. is an outstanding member of the Book Country community. He’s always involved in engaging and helpful conversations about the writing process and book marketing in the discussion boards. G.D. workshopped THE PHOENIX DIARY on Book Country, and we are so happy to see it finally hit the e-shelves. Below, G.D. shares what inspired him to write THE PHOENIX DIARY and how joining Book Country helped him in the publishing process. THE PHOENIX DIARY is available on Book Country and on all major online retailers. Connect with G.D. on Book Country.
Janet Umenta: What inspired you to write THE PHOENIX DIARY? How long did it take you to write the book?
G.D. Deckard: One day I realized that abandoned streets, houses, shopping malls, and schools meant a world without oil. The first working title of my manuscript was AMERICA WITHOUT OIL. But that story idea had already been used by other authors. So I took the opportunity in my book to blend a straight-forward adventure with answers to life’s oldest questions: Where did humans come from? What is death? Do we have a destiny? I made up the answers, of course, but that’s the great part about science fiction. The making up the answers part and the actual writing took me six years.
JU: THE PHOENIX DIARY is a hard science fiction novel. Who are the science fiction authors you looked up to growing up? Did you draw from any of their techniques?
GDD: The science fiction authors I looked up to growing up were Heinlein, Clarke, Asimov, Bradbury, and Delany – the classics. I am fascinated by our sense of wonder rooted in reality, which led me to explore science fiction. While doing research for THE PHOENIX DIARY, I discovered that there are actual remnants of ancient nuclear reactors in West Africa that are nearly two billion years old. I was stunned and asked myself, how did they get there?
JU: What advice would you give to writers who are starting the revision process?
GDD: I advise keeping a file of every criticism you receive. As you get closer to finishing your book, apply every criticism that anyone has been kind enough to offer you. If you become merciless at editing your own work, you can work as an editor while writing your next book!
JU: How has joining the Book Country community helped you in the publishing process?
GDD: I like to say that I’m a Book Country graduate. The writers here all have the desire to write well and are amazingly willing to help each other. Publishing has been a breeze thanks to professionals like Vanessa Marzo, who guided me along the Book Country publishing process. Vanessa had been so helpful that I had the time to begin my next book right in the middle of the publishing process.
About G.D. Deckard
I grew up in a small Ohio town, lived briefly in Europe, and, thanks to the Vietnam War, lived intensely in Asia. I graduated from Ohio State, moved to Alaska, raised a family and retired in Naples, Florida. Somewhere along the way, I realized that life does not provide all the answers, so I turned to writing science fiction which allows me to make answers up.