7 Questions With Author Edwin Downward
Edwin Downward is the author of science fiction adventure set in a space opera universe. He is supported by his wife and daughter, both creatives in their own right, while surrounded by a crack squad of vorpal bunnies supported by a pair of karate kitties. Edwin does not remember a time he didn’t want to be a writer, and having grown up immersed in science fiction, knew from an early age that was the direction he wanted to follow in his own story telling.
His first novel, Synergy Of Hopes, tells the story of Ensign Nivpul Exavent after a freak stellar anomaly strands him far from home and the enigmatic June Trynamour who becomes his best hope of finding a way home before their divergent paths drive them apart. His second novel, Into The Crucible, picks of where Synergy left off, throwing his young couple back into the political intrigue they’d hoped to have escaped, at least for a little while.
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Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Growing up, plotting was that creativity stifling process you went through to write an English essay. As such it had no place in the act of writing stories. Only much later in life did I recognise I did do high-level plotting to build out a story.
I would start with a general idea of specific points I needed to reach along the way. In the last couple of years, I have gone on to discover the benefit to plotting out specifics down to the scene level. A process that has helped overcome a kind of what should happen next writers’ block that often paralyses me during actually getting words on paper.
What is your definition of the first draft?
The short answer to this is I have a first draft when I reach the point it’s time to write The End.
In a larger sense, closing a first draft is done when I have created a product that doesn’t contain any [put something profound here] notations. I have learnt to leave myself notes to help with subsequent drafts but a first draft needs to be complete in its own right.
Looking back, what advice would you give yourself at the beginning of your journey?
Find your community.
For the longest time, the only writers I knew were my sister and my younger brother. The internet opened many doors for me when I got serious about reaching out for community, but it wasn’t until I discovered just how robust the writing community in my corner of Canada was that my eyes were opened to how much further along the writing path I could be if I’d known about it sooner.
The local writer con known as Creative Ink Fest is now my must-attend event of the year because of the community it brings together.
What should readers expect from your next novel?
Up to now, my characters have acted at the bidding of others. With my third novel, the decision is made to do it their own way. The lady at the core of my MC’s stories has a dark past that must be addressed before they can truly move forward and that can’t be accomplished under the rules that had guided their hand till now.
We all know the industry is full of surprises. Can you share an unexpected experience?
My wife and daughter are both creatives in their own right, and far more outgoing than I am. Two years ago at a local fan con they’ve vended at for years my daughter got talking to Joshua Pantalleresco of the Just Joshing podcast and my name as an author came up.
Next thing I knew we were discussing my being interviewed for a future episode of the podcast. Where my instinct has always been to waffle at such times I chose to say yes. Hours later, I found myself sitting across from him in the hotel lobby with the recorder on.
Later that day I tweeted out what had happened and another podcaster I exchanged regular tweets with, Paul Teague of the Self Publishing Journeys podcast, asked if I’d also like to be interviewed on his show. One should-I-be-doing-this yes led me to having the chance to tell my story on a medium I listen to all the time during my commute twice in a matter of months. Links to both episodes can be found on the events page of my website.
How long do you self-edit your manuscript before sending it to a proofreader/beta reader/editor?
For my last novel, I did two self-edit passes before sending it away for a content edit. I then did two more self-edit passes, the second using a text-to-speech engine as I read along, before sending it out for line edits. For my final pass, I self-proofed by passing each scene through Grammarly. All else being equal I expect to use the same process for my current WIP
What’s your favorite genre as a reader?
My heart belongs to science fiction. As a reader, I like to say I was weaned on Andre Norton with a hefty dose of Isaac Asimov and Arthur C Clarke. Though a significant chunk of my recent reads have been fantasy with a side of mystery science fiction continues as the core of my reading pleasure.
Edwin can be found online through the following means:
Are you in the Writing Industry?
Shoot me an email, I’d love to interview you!
And check out Lost in Amber: An Out Of This World Paranormal Romance if enjoy girl power, adventure & a toe-curling love story.
She just wanted to mope over her breakup but the universe had other plans for Zoey Mills.
Read the full blurb here.