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INTERVIEW: Bryan Thomas Schmidt

Bryan Thomas Schmidt (http://bryanthomasschmidt.net)  is the author of the exciting new space opera trilogy: The Saga Of Davi Rhii.  Book 1, “The Worker Prince”, will be available on October 4, 2011.  In addition to his new book, Bryan has published numerous short stories and 1 serial (The North Star Serial).   In his “spare” time, he hosts the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer’s Chat (http://bryanthomasschmidt.net/sffwrtcht/ ) every Wednesday at 9PM on Twitter and also writes the SFFWRTCHT interview column for GraspingForTheWind.com.


Jim Black:  Why don’t you tell us about your new book?

Bryan Thomas Schmidt: The Worker Prince is the story of Moses with a Star Wars feel. Two groups of colonists, enemies on Earth, wind up by a twist of fate as neighbors in a far galaxy and one enslaves the other. Years later, the prince of the Boralians finds out he was secretly adopted from slaves and is a Vertullian. As he begins to discover what that means, it puts him at odds with friends and family, especially his Uncle Xalivar who leads the Boralian Alliance. Then a tragic accident sends him on the run (it’s featured in the exclusive excerpt Grasping For The Wind is posting today). And he has to decide who he is and where his loyalties lie. The decisions he makes could change the lives of everyone he knows forever. It’s full of action, political scheming, family drama, a little romance, friendship, rivalries and alien races.

JB:  The Worker Prince is the first book in a trilogy.  Do you have a schedule for the other 2 books?

BTS: Book 2, The Returning, is being polished and will likely show up Summer 2012. Book 3, The Exodus, is tentatively scheduled for 2013.

JB:  Who were your favorite authors when you were growing up?  I thought I heard you mention Robert Silverberg.  Do you still read those authors?

BTS: I love Robert Silverberg. Also love Stephen R. Donaldson, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkein, Alan Dean Foster, Timothy Zahn, Mike Resnick, Orson Scott Card, David Eddings, W.E.B. Griffin, Nicholas Sparks, John Grisham, Tom Clancy (early stuff),and Stephen King.

JB:  Are you actively reading science fiction today?

BTS: Oh yeah. Because of #sffwrtcht alone I read a book a week and often more. Epic fantasy books tend to take longer. And I squeeze in for fun and classic reads whenever I can. When writing, especially, I read in the genre to help me stay in the mood.

JB:  Because of faith and the influence of the Star Wars movies, I was wondering if you have ever had a chance to discuss these subjects with Kathy Tyers?  Kathy has written for Star Wars, mainstream science fiction, and for the Christian markets.

BTS: I have not. Didn’t know that about her. Now I need to look her up. I do have one of her Star Wars books though.

JB:  Do you think you would want to try your hand at writing a Star Wars novel?

BTS: Oh yes. It’s my dream and a goal. I hope The Worker Prince does well so I can talk Kevin J. Anderson or Paul S. Kemp into introducing me to Betsy Mitchell. Kevin and Paul are friends and writers I admire, and I’d love to try my hand at it.

JB:  Is there anything you can tell us about the fantasy novel that you are working on?  What type of fantasy is it (epic, urban, etc)?

BTS:  Sandman is about Isaac Ryder, a man with amnesia who wakes up beaten outside a desert town not knowing who he is or how he got there. As he journeys, he discovers who he is and goes in search of the wife and child who are kidnapped by bandits. Two friends he meets join the quest and they have quite an adventure. There’s a stigma on magic so many magic users are shunned and there are many secrets in the land. Lots of political warring and such as well.

Jim Black:  Do you have any plans to write more stories in the North Star universe?

BTS: I have to write 12 to finish the serial. It’s about to run out at the magazine and they want more as soon as possible, so I imagine I’ll be writing those as I polish The Returning and Sandman. I have brief plot outlines done already.

JB:  Do you have a preference between science fiction and fantasy?

BTS: Well space opera is my first love, but epic fantasy is a close second. But science fiction was what started it for me.

JB:  Your last CD came out in 2009.  Are you working on another?

BTS: No. The one from 2009 I pulled because of some issues and have not even had time to fix those and reissue it. My music is on hold as I pursue writing and try and make a career of it. I still love it though I’m not composing much beyond silly songs for my dogs at the moment. (They love that by the way as long as I include their names—Louie and Amelie).

JB:  Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.

BTS: Thanks for asking great questions and making time to chat. People can find me at www.bryanthomasschmidt.net and there’s a page for #sffwrtcht as well as The Worker Prince, book trailers, a store, etc.