Q: How did you get into fantasy and science fiction?
Fantasy and sci-fi are a great way to explore the big questions in a fun way: the nature of good and evil, what real heroism looks like, the balance of order and chaos, the boundary between man and machine. That is what has always drawn me to these genres.
Q: What is your latest fantasy release?
The most recent pure fantasy story I’ve written is called Rush. It’s part of the Once Upon a Kiss anthology. It’s a twist on Beauty and the Beast. One of my characters from Ragnarok, a Navy SEAL named Rush, is the beast. Rush has problems with women. I really wanted to write a standalone story that showed how he got to that point and write a realistic redemption for him.
I also have a sci-fi short that’s coming out soon in the Explorations: War anthology that fits the description of sci-fantasy. The premise of the anthology is that a distant sentient star is at war with humans. My contribution, Friendly Fire, features a Space Marine who becomes the target of an entity that is trying to help.
Q: What sub-genre of fantasy do your books/series fall under? Is there a different sub-genre of fantasy that you would like to experiment writing in and why?
My I Bring the Fire series is sci-fantasy with a hefty dose of myth. There is a lot of science in it, because I love science. Science and technology are human “magic.” I also love mythologies, especially the way they change from place to place and from time to time. It is very indicative of cultural circumstances. Loki is the hero in my I Bring the Fire series. My Loki isn’t “evil” and he wasn’t evil in every oral tradition either. Hel, in the Germanic tradition was also somewhat benevolent–not like Marvel’s version.
I’m currently branching off and writing sweet (no sex on the virtual page) paranormal romances in my I Bring the Fire universe. I want to play with ideas of soul mates, immortality, what it means to be “good,” and what it means to be powerful … there still is a lot of science in them. Is paranormal sci-fantasy romance a niche? I have four books planned … but I originally had only two books planned, so maybe that number will grow.
Q: Do you have a specific method for developing characters?
Nope. I fly by the seat of my pants and get to meet them as I go along.
Q: What do you think makes a good story?
In fantasy and sci-fi, characters have to be believable in order to suspend the disbelief in unbelievable situations.
Q: What fantasy book are you reading now? Are there any new authors that have caught your attention?
I just beta read a story for Becca Mills that has yet to be named … it was awesome. I found some great indie authors with series that I love and put them into this (currently free) anthology too.
Q: What was the most memorable moment in your publishing journey?
I received a note from a critically ill fan saying how much my books had helped him get through his illness. Delivering someone from pain, even if it’s just for a little while, means that I’ve done something worthwhile.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Find some good beta readers. You need people who like your work, but isn’t afraid to tell you where you go off course.
Also, don’t be afraid of free once you have a series of at least three out–especially if you have an overarching story line. Going permafree with Wolves , the first book in my Loki series, was a game changer for me. I also have a free lead in to my Archangel Project series, called Carl Sagan’s Hunt for Intelligent Life in the Universe. You don’t have to go permafree. Kindle Unlimited free days are a great option too. I do tri-monthly free runs of Archangel Down.
Q: Do you have a favorite character from your books and/or series?
Well, at this point, Loki is sort of my patron saint … or … um … whatever. So I gotta say Loki.
Thank you C. Gockel for participating in this author interview. Connect with C. Gockel’s work here: