AUTHOR: Thomas K. Carpenter
BOOK TITLE: Gamers
PUBLISHER: Black Moon Books
Please tell us about yourself? I'm a speculative fiction writer which is a fancy way of saying I write about made up stuff. I love writing about the underdog and how they learn to overcome. After my family, writing is my main priority. I had a whole bunch of other hobbies and interests, but I've given them up to be the best writer I can be and I hope the books I write give my readers a moment of respite from this crazy, crazy world.
Tell us your latest news? I recently released two second novels in trilogies. One is for The Digital Sea trilogy and the book is called The Godhead Machine. The second, is the second book in the Gamers trilogy called Frags.
When and why did you begin writing? I've always been writing. It's hard to remember a time when I wasn't writing. It took me a long time to figure out that it was my calling though. I got a degree in engineering and work for a major car company as my day job, but I've converted any of my hobby and free time into writing.
When did you first consider yourself a writer? When I finished my first book.
What inspired you to write your first book? Eventually if you want to be a writer, you have to decide to write the book. Making that decision was life changing, but worth the time and effort. Having written over a dozen novels now, it doesn't seem like such a climb anymore. In fact, as soon as I finish one book, I can't wait to write the next.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? At first glance, Gamers is about a girl, Gabriella DeCorte, trying to find her way in the world: growing up, what does she wants to do with her life, holding onto her friends as adulthood approaches, where she fits in the world. And in this future extrapolation of our world, eye-screens and sense-webs allow games to invade every facet of society. Everything becomes a game. A game to be measured and the results compared, to improve society, to improve people…to decide who fits and who doesn’t. When Gabby learns what the games are really for and how society divides the winners and losers, she has to make a choice, as we all do, and that’s what the novel is about.
On a different level, Gamers is about how we learn, and what do we with that information? Whether we like it or not, we’re measured all the time in school or at work. No Child Left Behind has brought forward an important topic for how we want to teach our children. Can you measure a person? Does a number define you? An SAT, or an ACT, or a LifeGame score?
And finally, Gamers is about games. I’m a longtime gamer, maybe even sometimes a hardcore gamer, and I’ve had a lifelong love affair with playing games. The gamification of society is a dream topic for me and exploring how that impacts our lives and having fun with it made writing these novels a blast. I believe that translates into a fantastic reader experience for anyone, but especially gamers.
What books have most influenced your life most? My life rather than my writing? If I'm talking my life: The Tao of Pooh. If I'm talking about writing then I'd say: Game of Thrones, Ender's Game, Neuromancer, The Dark Tower, and, well, this list could go on for a while, but I'll leave it at those.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? I'm going to choose two because they're a couple: Dean Wesley Smith and Kris Rusch. They've influenced me the most in the business of writing because they've taught me how the business works which has freed me to concentrate on writing the best books I can.
What are your current projects? I'm finishing up book three of the Gamers trilogy. The book is called Coders. I'm really happy the way it's turning out. Wrapping up a trilogy is a bit scary and intimidating, but I think it's going to be good.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? If I wanted to change it, I would have. That's the great thing about being a writer.
Do you ever have problems with writers block? If so how do you get through it? I've never had it. I spend a lot of time thinking about my books and characters so it's never an issue. Writer's block happens to those that haven't worked hard enough at their craft.
What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing? Hanging out with the kids or playing cards with my wife. We have active kids so that takes up a lot of time. My daughter was on a team in the First Lego League, which is about using robotics in a competative setting. It was amazing to watch her struggle and learn and grow. Next year my son joins the team which will be fun to watch.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? Game of Thrones by George RR Martin. He took a whole genre and turned it on its head. Every character deserves its own book (though I suppose by the size of the series that each one actually gets its time in the sun) and each one is a flawed and interesting person. I love how he takes characters you hate and flips things on you until you at least begrudgingly respect them and the decisions they made. I’ve reread each book in the series four or five times, each time gaining new insights on how to be a better writer.
Do you have any advice for other writers? Write. Write. Write. Read. Read. Write some more. Is there any other way?
Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them? Black Moon Books is my publishing house. I used them for my anthology Mirror Shards and my novel projects.
How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. - please share your public links.
My website - www.thomaskcarpenter.com
Twitter - twitter.com/thomaskcarpente
Facebook - www.facebook.com/thomaskcarpenter