Science fiction is one of the most interesting of genres to read, and one of the most interesting things about it is the way that (like other genres, including fantasy) it offers different perspectives on matters to do with the body, the mind, and the way we live our lives.
It is a genre based on any idea that occurs in the head and doesn’t exist yet, but soon will, and may change everything for everybody, leaving nothing to be the same again. As soon as you have an idea that changes some small part of the world you are writing science fiction. It is always the art of the possible, never the impossible.
In short – science fiction is trying to find alternative ways of looking at realities, and its essence has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all.
Science Fiction writer, Kent Wayne, has gave us a thrilling and intriguing story in his novel, Echo. This page turner has been described as “fantastic, amazing and glorious,” by some, as well as a “well written, multi-layered story” by others.
In a recent and exclusive interview, Wayne talks about his writing and his popular science fiction novel.
When asked what inspires him for his stories, Wayne tells us that he finds inspiration in numerous places, and goes on to explain that by asking himself “what if” growing up, he has came up with stories. He said:
“I find inspiration from other stories, comic books, and every day life in general. I’m constantly asking myself “What ifs?” like a little kid.”
When we flipped the scenario and asked what writers inspire him, Wayne’s answer included a range of writers from different genres. He told us:
“I’m inspired by Stephen King, Marcus Sakey, and Robin Hobb. My main criteria for liking a writer is being drawn into an immersive reality.”
We also asked Wayne some questions about how he plans his writing. Does he work with an outline, or just write and follow his thoughts along the way? He told us:
“I tried writing with an outline at first…but I realised that once I knew the key moments and themes that I wanted within my story that I could freestyle things a lot more and come up with better material. A lot of times I surprise myself with what I come up with. During the editing process I make sure it thematically fits and that it flows correctly.”
Wayne also went on to talk about his science fiction novel Echo, which has captivated his readers. The first in the volume is Echo Volume 1: Approaching Shatter.
In the late 21st century, humanity left Earth due to multiple resource shortcomings aggravated by an acceleration in climate change. They settled Echo, a planet that was nearly a carbon copy of Earth except for being devoid of all but the most basic life forms.
Fast forward 1200 years later. Echo has endured over a thousand years of dark age. Corporations and government merged early on, becoming the oppressive authority known as the Regime. Military and police merged into the Department of Enforcement, their only mission to crush the huge network of rebels known as the Dissidents. Over half the planet is covered by decaying cityscapes and the elite live high above, removed and remote from the greater populace on the moon-city of Ascension. Hope lies in one man, a former Enforcer named Atriya. But before he can break the cycle of darkness and ignorance on Echo, he has to do it within himself.
When asked how he came up with the idea for Echo, Wayne explained that it came to him whilst pondering over a “what if” question that was in his head, and the plot developed from there. He said:
“The idea for Echo was a “what if” that played in my mind. I was toying with the idea of Bruce Willis’s character from Die Hard With a Vengeance—what if in that first scene where he goes into Harlem and he’s targeted by the neighborhood—what if that was a sci fi setting and he wasn’t able to get out immediately? What if he kept getting more and more hurt? That mental scenario inspired me to spin the world of Echo that you see now.”
Many novels contain a deeper message that authors hope their readers will walk away with after reading their stories. We asked Wayne if there was a hidden message that he was trying to get across to his audience and he confirmed that there was. He told us:
“Yes: Basically that humanity’s continued hope for survival and prosperity depends on seeing past shades of gray. Also that we must look past antiquated ideas of right and wrong and begin to actively dispel our own ignorance. So much of politics and religion has been driven by a tribal “us-vs-them” mentality, and I think with the rise of the internet and eagerness to embrace connectivity, this is the next step in our collective evolution.”
Wayne also admitted that parts of the stories main protagonist, Atriya, personality actually reflected parts of his. He said:
“The characters DEFINITELY reflect a part of my personality, haha! Angry, bitter and frustrated Atriya…that was me for sure a few years ago.”
He also went on to talk about the second novel in the volume, Echo Volume 2: The Taste of Ashes.
When asked why he decided to carry on Atriya’s story on to a second novel, Wayne explained he wanted to show the characters transformations on his journey, as well as some other publishing practicalities. He said:
“On a thematic level, I wanted each novel to represent a significant shift in Atriya’s journey. On a practical level, because I decided to stick with ebooks and self-publishing (for now anyways) it seemed that the best model for book-selling would be having a cheap or free intro volume, and then follow on volumes after that (still cheap, of course). I also have been heavily influenced by the serial nature of comic books and I wanted to bring this sense of continuing adventure to my story. There will, however, be an omnibus (consolidating all four volumes) once I’m done writing the last volume.”
Wayne also offers up some advice for aspiring writers and those hoping to get into the writing industry. He said:
“My advice for aspiring writers: Read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. He encompasses the dynamic of discipline and creativity in an incredibly intelligent voice. But basically it’s this: Amateurs wait for inspiration, professionals just get to work. Creativity is a muscle, so write every day.”
He also goes on to explain his theory on inspiration and how to overcome some difficulties that can be found whilst writing, and also how to get over them. Wayne said:
“My theory on inspiration is that there is a constant, unimaginably rich flow of material that is always bombarding us through every day life and the works of us. Writer’s block occurs when we let our ego build a wall around our ‘authentic selves,’ (for lack of a better term) and this creative flow. So my approach to breaking that is always trying to reduce my sense of personal identity (you know how people get attached to these labels…I’m a Lakers fan, I like THIS music, I write THIS genre, I’m THIS I’m THAT) by wondering, “What would it be like to be someone else? How would that person think? What would they do?” And the “what ifs” start coming from there. I would say that the ability to access that free flow of inspiration comes from deeply, DEEPLY knowing yourself…and in order to do that I believe that you have to examine yourself and your tendencies to the point where it’s really uncomfortable. That’s a tall order, but I think that’s one way to do it…or the other way to do it is skate the edge of madness and be totally obsessed like Stephen King was for awhile (guy doesn’t even remember writing some of his novels because he was in a drug-induced haze).”
You can buy Echo Volume 1 on Amazon in both the UK and the US, as well as Echo Volume 2 in both the UK and the US.