Hey, all! Today we have an interview with an author I’ve been getting to know lately: Drew Avera. I got to know him even better by doing this interview. So check him out, take a look at his books, and try typing his name because it’s fun. (Seriously–try it.)
Zen: Have you always been into science fiction? What got you into the genre?
Drew: I remember watching Star Trek reruns when I was a kid, not knowing that it was science fiction. When I was eleven I got into comic books which made me enjoy reading after several years of hating books. I think by time I learned what science fiction was, it became kind of a “duh” moment for me. I guess those old Star Trek episodes and comic books were my introduction to science fiction. Those were followed closely by shows like Sliders and Highlander, though Highlander is more fantasy in my mind.
Zen: What are your favorite sci-fi franchises?
Drew: My absolute favorite science fiction franchise right now is The Expanse. I love the books and the show. I tend to watch more science fiction than I read, though. Most of that is a time management issue for me. I might read one book per month, but I will devour hours of television each month. My current shows are Dark matter, Killjoys, The Expanse, The Flash, and Supergirl. I know the last two are super hero shows, but there’s science fiction(y) things in those shows.
Zen: You have two series out right now—Alorian Wars and Dead Planet. Give us a few sentences describing each.
Drew: I can break it down to one sentence each based off of what some readers have used to describe them. The Dead Planet Series is “Robocop meets Total Recall”. I don’t exactly agree with this, because it doesn’t match up with how I envisioned it, but I’ve heard the comparison from several people. The Alorian Wars is “Firefly meets Star Wars meets Dark Matter”. I drew that conclusion myself lol.
Zen: You’ve just finished up your Dead Planet series. Is that a good feeling, a sad one, or bittersweet?
Drew: It’s a great feeling. As my first series I don’t think it is as strong as The Alorian Wars, but it deserved to be put to bed properly by having an ending. I feel more relieved than anything with releasing the final book. There’s something to be said about finishing something, regardless of how hard it is. I hope that people who read and enjoyed the other two books will appreciate the end. It felt like the right way to say goodbye to the characters.
Zen: You’re a Navy vet—what did you do in the Navy?
Drew: I’m still in the Navy. I’m an aviation electrician by trade and I’m currently stationed on the USS Harry S Truman.
Zen: How does your military experience inform your writing?
Drew: Not many people know what it’s like to be deployed on a ship for several months. I can write about that without breaking a sweat. Well, that’s not true, I can write it, but reliving the horrible moments of feeling alone tends to create stress sweats lol.
Zen: Are there any genres you haven’t yet written in, but would like to?
Drew: I think I could write a good action adventure, but I haven’t taken the time to try yet.
Zen: Are there any sci-fi genres you’ll definitely never write in?
Drew: I don’t see myself writing any zombie books.
Zen: Do you have any pet-peeve tropes? Things that drive you nuts, as a reader?
Drew: Not really. I think the tropes are what makes it fun. Actually, I take that back. I hate how book covers will depict a guy in full armor standing next to a female wearing a sports bra in an effort to use sexuality to sell the book. Other than that, I would like to see more diversity in science fiction. I’m trying to add more diversity with The Alorian Wars.
Zen: What do you hope people take away from your writing?
Drew: I just want people to enjoy what they read and maybe take something out of it that makes them think about the world in a different way. I don’t want to convince anyone of anything, but I do want to provoke thought. I think that is a healthy thing, and much less alienating to a reader.
Zen: What does your writing process look like, start to finish?
Drew: It varies, but usually I will spend a lot of time thinking about a story before I begin to write it. From there, I will write an opening chapter or scene and see if I can get a feel for the story and/or character. If it is a strong enough idea, I start mapping out where it goes in a loose outline. I tend to write a sentence or two per chapter just to get the idea spread out. Once I have a decent outline I will start writing and I shoot for about two-thousand words per day. I don’t always hit my goal, but sometimes I exceed it, so it all works out. I can usually have a book ready to publish in four to six weeks.
Zen: What are you working on now?
Drew: I have two things in work right now. The first is a novella for an anthology coming out next year. The anthology is a spoof where the authors involved are writing funny space operas. It is kind of like Space Balls meets Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The second thing I’m working on is book three of The Alorian Wars. The book is called Mutiny Rising and it should be coming out in January or February. I’m very excited about this series and can’t wait to get a few of them out so people can read them.
Let’s finish up with some this or that.
Winter or summer? Winter.
Halloween or Thanksgiving? Thanksgiving, for the food.
Cats or dogs? Cats.
Clones or cyborgs? Cyborgs because they can do all the work.
Hawaii or Alaska? Alaska in the summer.
Running or swimming? Running, you can’t drown on land…
Morning bird or night owl? Morning bird, but that’s because of my job. I think in a perfect world I would sleep until noon and stay up until three or four in the morning.
Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Trek.
The Martian or Aliens? The Martian because it’s funny.
Print books or ebooks? I prefer print, they look better on the shelf.
Drew Avera is an active duty Navy veteran and science fiction author.
His work includes The Alorian Wars series as well as short stories in
the bestselling Future Chronicles anthologies. He grew up in rural
Mississippi with a love for comic books and spaceships. When Drew was
seventeen, he enlisted in the US Navy and now lives in Virginia with
his wife and kids. You can learn more about Drew by going to the