1) Tell us about your books. What genre(s) do they belong to? Are they part of a series or can they be read as standalone stories?
My two novels, Dakiti: Ziva Payvan Book One and Nexus: Ziva Payvan Book 2, are both what I like to call “sci fi spy thrillers.” They’ve got assassins, conspiracies, frame-ups, and espionage, but they’re set in a fictional galaxy and center around a race of superhuman characters. And while the stories do contain plenty of action and intrigue, they’re very character-based and many of my readers have commented about how much they’ve enjoyed the character development. It’s great to know there are people out there who love my characters as much as I do!
Dakiti was completed Fall 2010 and then sat around gathering dust until I decided to spruce it up and pursue publishing in May 2014. The same thing happened with Nexus; I finished it in 2013 and published it this past December before focusing on Ronan, the third book in the series. While the character development is continuous throughout the series, the plots of Dakiti and Nexus are completely separate, with only minor overlapping details. I’ve had a couple of readers mention that the books could indeed be read separately, though I personally wouldn’t recommend it (then again, I’m kind of biased!). However, Ronan draws heavily from the plots of the prequels and ties everything together. Introducing two seemingly-unrelated plots and then combining them into one was SO much fun!
Writing and art have always been my two primary hobbies, and now that I’ve been writing seriously for a couple of years, art has sort of gotten pushed to the back burner. I love to just set my writing aside every so often and work on a new piece of concept art. I really love to read too, and I think that’s really important as a writer. It’s just hard to make time for it these days! I’m also a gamer, though more often than not I end up re-playing all my favorites rather than playing something in my ever-growing pile of new ones.
3) Did anyone inspire you to start writing? If yes, who, or did you always know you just had to write?
Not that I can recall. In 5th grade, we had a project where we had to write “books” (we illustrated and bound them by hand and everything) and I thought that was a lot of fun. I started a Star Wars role-playing game with friends in junior high and we essentially “novelized” it. That’s when I really started writing seriously. During a high school English class, we went through a character development phase and I started creating all of these characters I didn’t know what to do with. They found themselves into short stories or into scenes of the Star Wars story I was writing with my friends. The more I wrote, the more I needed to write. I’ve always had this problem with both art and writing; if I accumulate too many ideas, it’s like they start clogging up my brain and I have to get them out.
4) Any advice/tips for newbies?
It may sound cliched, but don’t quit. It’s as simple as that. Write a little bit every day. Back when I was working on Nexus, I went through two different periods (both of which lasted 4-5 months) where I didn’t get any writing done. Maybe I’d gotten to a boring part, or maybe I was stuck and didn’t know how to move forward. Doing nothing didn’t help. While working on Ronan, I’ve followed a “Just Do It” philosophy and have written a couple of different blog posts about it. Yeah, it takes self-discipline, but whether you’re writing 20 words or 2,000 words a day, you’re still making progress. I started keeping track of my word count changes on a day to basis and it really helped in terms of being able to see that growth.
5) Can you tell us a little bit about your new book?
As I mentioned, Ronan is Book Three in the Ziva Payvan series. I started outlining it back in Spring 2013 before I’d even finished Nexus, and I finally started working on it a little bit last summer. I set it aside as I prepped Nexus for publishing and picked it back up this past January. It was completed at the end of June, and I’ve been busy editing and formatting it all summer.
Without giving too much away, the plot takes material that was introduced in Dakiti and continues following a plot arc that was left open at the end of Nexus. Unbeknownst to readers, there’s been quite a bit of foreshadowing in the past two books, and it has been really fun to tie the stories together. And of course there’s also a lot more character development. Sometimes I feel like I enjoy writing the characters more than the plot itself!
6) When does your book release?
Ronan will be released in Kindle and paperback formats on September 1! It’s just about two weeks away. Meanwhile, the Kindle versions of both Dakiti and Nexus are available for only $0.99 to give potential new readers a chance to catch up with the series.
This is always a hard one to answer because I typically don’t notice the frequency of word-usage until my beta readers get back to me with 80 of them highlighted 😉 I’ve been trying really hard to cut back on my usage of “suddenly,” “said,” and extraneous uses of “that.” I’m always careful about my usage of “certainly” and “essentially” too. Gotta love those adverbs!
8) Last but not least: What’s your favorite type of candy, if you don’t mind me asking?
It kinda depends on my mood or what I’m doing! I love having hard candy like Jolly Ranchers to suck on while I’m reading or gaming. I love minty things (Junior Mints or York Peppermint Patties), but you can never go wrong with chocolate. Sometimes plain old MnM’s are the best!
EJ Fisch is a long-time fan of the science fiction genre. She’ll readily admit that she has has a vivid imagination, which can be both a blessing and a curse. She has been writing as a hobby since junior high and began publishing in the spring of 2014.
When she’s not busy writing, she enjoys listening to music, working on concept art, playing video games, and spending time with her animals. She currently resides in southern Oregon with her family.
Have questions? Comments? Thoughts about characters or plot points? Connect on social media or email at firstname.lastname@example.org!