Today I introduce Bill McCormick, a Chicago based writer and author of the recently released trilogy “The Brittle Riders” on Azoth Khem.
What is your current project?
Right now, obviously, I’m mad pimping The Brittle Riders. My publisher, who’s a blessing, is as nuts as I am. After Book I was released last year, and well received, we decided to just drop the entire trilogy all at once. That came with new cover art, since people thought I was a black woman due to the original graphics (people are really f*g dumb), and some thought it was porn. It wasn’t, and isn’t. Even so we took the time to re-edit it, add in some scenes readers asked about, and foist it on an unsuspecting public.
How much research do you do for your novels? Bonus –what’s the weirdest thing you have Googled?
I do a ton of research. Case in point, in The Brittle Riders I used a common trope at the end of Book III to discuss space travel. I got lazy and used pop culture explanations. A rocket scientist, who’s also a surfer dude and fan of strip clubs (which is how we met), read it and pointed out my idea would blow a hole in our solar system. That would be bad in case you’ve forgotten where we live. So he sent me a couple hundred pages of quantum physics papers for me to trudge through so I could get it right. I ended up killing about 30,000 words, and rewriting the ending, but he approved of my changes when it was done. That was the one time I tried to slough off the work required and it bit me in the ass.
So research is important. I write science fiction and the first word in that phrase is “science.” It has to be right or, if I pull something out of my ass, plausible.
As to the weirdest thing, I’d have to say the medieval history of porn. I discovered a book called Il Modi which was a Latin “how to” manual, think “Kama Surtra” but easier to follow. It is widely considered to be the birth of literacy in the west. The Bible was, and is, cool, but the chance to do the nasty in new ways wins every time and people needed to learn how to read to understand the instructions that went with the pictures.
What has been the most surprising thing you have discovered since becoming a published author?
The groupies throwing their, barely legal, naked bodies at ….. no, wait, that was when I played in bands. Sorry. Things blur at my age. I think the most surprising thing was being welcomed into the cool club. By that I mean being allowed to interact with far more established science fiction authors. The ones I’ve met have been universally supportive. Well, except Vonnegut. When I met him he was a prick. Of course, in is defense, I was writing for music rags, and not sci-fi, at the time. So he may have deemed me beneath him and contempt. In retrospect I would have done the same.
What is your favourite imaginary world that’s not your own?
David Brin’s Uplift universe. While we tackle the same core subject, eugenics, he manages to find happiness and hope while I start my book by killing every man, woman, and child before the first chapter. I think I’d like to visit his happy place.
What’s the scariest thing you have ever done, and did it end up in a story?
Got into a knife fight with a biker, and, yes, it made its way in. I didn’t die, in case you’re worried. But it’s a pivotal scene in Book III. Altered so that my assailant doesn’t walk away as he did that night. So, best of both worlds, I’m not in jail and I got a cool story. Plus a couple of scars.
If you travelled in time, when would be your choice? Would you prefer magical or technological means of travel?
It would have to be magical since any technological means would involve stepping into a worm hole and I’m not that stupid (previous answer aside). Anyway, I’d love to go back and break bread with Jesus. Just to pick His brain about the Sermon on the Mount would make the trip worth it.
Name 5 fictional characters you would invite to a dinner party. Where would the party be?
I wouldn’t invite anyone to a dinner party. We’d meet at a bar. Minor quibble aside, I’d invite Beowulf, Gilgamesh, Fiben, the Borg queen, and Michonne. I’m pretty sure we’d scare the piss out of everyone and never pay for a drink. I’m also sure Kahleesi would join us. I mean, seriously, how could a dragon loving woman who’s drunk blood not feel at home with this lot?
Why do you write science fiction? What about it appeals to you?
I love the ability to step outside reality and comment on it.
What is the next project?
I have several. A comic book I write, Legends Parallel, is getting ready to release its third issue. My graphic novels, Pestilent and Bob: Sins of the Son, are in production and my teen friendly graphic epic, Alokia the Kaiju Hunter, is being prepped for release in Japan. Add in the tid-bit that I’m writing the prequel/sequel to The Brittle Riders called Goptri of the Mists, and I’m a busy dude. And, just for fun, I recently licensed the IP of all my comic books and graphic novels to Nerdanatix so they can make them into video games and – from my keyboard to God’s monitor – TV shows. There’s a lot going on.
People want to know more! Where can we buy the latest book and where are you on the internet?
You can buy it there and I’m here. Oh. Sorry. You want specifics. You can get the entire Brittle Riders trilogy at http://www.AzothKhemPublishing.com and all your friends can ogle me at http://BillMcSciFi.com. I’m so freaking cool I don’t even need the www others are saddled with.
Or I’m not worthy of it. Either way, it’s not there but I am.
In the meantime, click and have a read of Druid’s Portal