cj Sez: Betcha it’s been a long time since you met someone who likes to weave chainmail. Yay! Lyrical Pens is excited to shine the spotlight on Mystery Thriller Week author Damon L. Weeks from England who does just that. Damon stops by today for an author interview and tells us about his latest project…Ten Little Astronauts.
When he isn't writing, Damon enjoys weaving chainmail. He began making chainmail armour ten years or so ago, but quickly discovered that there was no longer much of a market for it and so switched to jewelry instead. He now attends a variety of craft events, selling items made of modern metals such as aluminium, niobium and titanium, but constructed using thousand year-old techniques.
What draws you to your chosen genre?
I actually don’t feel as though I’ve ever really chosen a genre at all: I’ll write anything if I feel like it. However, statistically speaking the vast majority of my writing is humour, typically in a sci-fi or fantasy setting. I like to make people laugh, and I find that I have more opportunities to do that when I have a chance to write the rules of the universe in which the story takes place.
pushed. Most of my stories each year are written for Flash Fiction Month: an annual event during which participants write one story a day during July. When you have to come up with a story every single day, it’s far easier to come up with a short, funny story than it is some deep and meaningful comment on the human condition.
Conveniently, short, funny stories also tend to go down better at open mic nights.
What’s your latest project?
My latest project is Ten Little Astronauts: a sci-fi reimagining of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. Ten astronauts are awoken from suspended animation to deal with a crisis on board their ship. Selected from a crew of thousands, none of them knows any of the others: all they know is that one of their number is a murderer. And until they work out who it is, none of them can go back to sleep.
I found that moving the essence of Christie’s mystery into a hard sci-fi setting made for a much swifter start to the story and a much tenser atmosphere. Having the characters thrown together by a crisis immediately explained how it was that none of them had already met, while setting the events of the book several trillion miles from civilisation made it obvious why they could not simply call for help. With the ship itself steadily freezing—the ranks and ranks of cryogenically frozen passengers drawing all the heat from the air—there was also a natural reason for the characters to have to work together in order to save themselves, rather than simply sitting in a room on guard against the killer.
What’s your biggest achievement as an author?
Overall, Ten Little Astronauts has already been the best-received of my works, and I see that as something of an achievement in itself. However, it’s also led to a couple of things that have been definite high points for me. One is that it earned me an MA with Distinction, as it formed my final project for a Creative Writing course at the University of Winchester. The other is that it’s the first of my works to be accepted by a publisher.
Unbound launched the book shortly before I graduated, and they were kind enough to fund a video to promote it. I was very pleased to be able to have it filmed on board HMS Alliance: a submarine I’d visited as part of my research.
View it here:
As Unbound is a crowdfunding publisher, it’s up to me to reach enough supporters to actually see Ten Little Astronauts make it into print. At the moment it’s about a quarter of the way to its goal and has more than a hundred people behind it already.
Click on the links below to find out more about Damon Wakes.
If you like the sound of Ten Little Astronauts and would like to help make it happen, you can do so here: https://unbound.com/books/ten-little-astronauts
cj Sez: Thanks so much for visiting Lyrical Pens, Damon...the premise of Ten Little Astronauts is absolutely intriguing. I wish you the very best for great success with the project.
Okay, Lyrical Pens visitors, drop Damon a comment and let him know you stopped by for a visit. And you-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.
Coming 2017—“Bad Day at Round Rock” a short story in The Posse,a Western anthology of tales of action, romance, mystery, myth, and truth.