Interview with Jex Collyer
- Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a SciFi writer from Lancaster, UK. I’m a lifetime fan of Star Wars and have always been drawn to narratives that are larger than life. I studied creative writing to MA level and then last year released my first book, Zero, with Dagda Publishing. Zero is book one in the Orbit Series and is character-driven Scifi, described as ‘James Bond meets Firefly’. It made it into Northern Soul Magazine’s ‘Best Reads of 2014’ and the sequel, Haven, is due out on the 24th Oct, which I can’t wait for.
- Who are your favorite authors?
That is mighty hard to choose! But I think my absolute favourite authors aren’t actually SciFi. They were formative in developing my taste in fiction as well as my own style of writing and they are Robin Hobb of the Fantasy Farseer Series and Anne Rice of the Vampire Chronicles. They helped me realise that I like my fiction, whether I’m reading or writing it, character-driven, human, gritty with a healthy amount of darkness thrown in.
- Tell us a bit about your books.
I’ve had enormous amounts of fun writing the Orbit Series. As I mentioned earlier book one, Zero, came out last year and book two, Haven, is out on Oct 24th. Zero can be found on Amazon and Haven will be up there too as soon as it’s launched.
The series follows the story of Kaleb Hugo, a soldier in a military establishment called the Service that governs the Earth and her orbiting colonies in the not-too-distant future. Hugo holds a prestigious position and has a glittering career ahead of him, until he makes a controversial decision in battle and is publically discharged but secretly re-assigned to captain the undercover black ops vessel the Zero. The Zero is manned by an unruly crew of orphans and misfits who look to their wry and unconventional commander Ezekiel Webb for leadership. During the course of their dangerous underground missions, Hugo comes to experience a whole new way of looking at the world, the Service and himself.
During the course of the series, fate conspires to lead Hugo and Webb down ever darker and more dangerous roads. Both men have to constantly re-learn what it is to depend and trust one another as well as watch their step in the myriad and convoluted politics of the world they live in, where revolution is always just round the corner.
- If you could travel back in time to any place and period in the past where and when would you go?
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
- What attracts you to writing in your genre?
I like really down-to-earth, realistic, human narratives but I LOVE them set against a larger-than-life backdrop. I find genre fiction so much more interesting and it lets me have much more fun with my characters. Besides, I’ve always had an overly-fertile imagination and so general or literary fiction tends to leave me a little unstimulated.
I write my novels in science fiction in particular just because it’s a life-long love of mine, ever since watching the Star Wars films as a child. I find spaceships, lasers, other planets and the infinite amount of possibilities they offer too tantilising to pass up.
- Tell us a little about your books. I see you like to delve into many different genres.
As well as the Orbit Series I have had my short fiction (sometimes this is fantasy, horror, speculative or dystopian as well as Scifi) featured in a number of other publications. I enjoy all sorts of genre fiction and use short stories as a chance to stretch my story-writing muscles and try something different. I particularly like to dabble in horror around Halloween time, so watch out on my wordpress (http://jcollyer.wordpress.com) as I often like to post a free ghost story for the occasion.
I find contributing to anthologies and publishing free shorts in different genres helps me to keep my hand in with all the genres I love, and there are a lot of them, as well as a useful way to keep those story telling techniques keen.
- Are you planning to participate in any more anthologies? Any hints about your story?
The dystopian SciFi ‘No Way Home’ anthology that featured one of my stories and came out in March this year did so well that the collective is discussing releasing a follow up anthology called ‘Crime and Punishment’. I have already drafted and submitted my story. It is set in future of our own planet and is about a newly retired military counsellor, Felix Dalton, who has been roped in to persuade a young man accused of murder to explain to his accusers just how he managed to kill seventeen people without touching them. He claims powers of the occult, but Felix suspects there’s more to the story than meets the eye.
- What do you like to do to relax?
Relaxation, ha! I think I remember that. Writing novels takes up most of my spare time. When I do get ahead and find some time for myself I like to walk in the countryside and read.
- What are you currently working on?
I’m currently drafting book 3 in the Orbit Series. I’m having tremendous fun and suspect this will be my favourite book so far. It is due out summer 2016.
- How can readers connect with you?
I love speaking to readers and writers as well as fans of SciFi, Fantasy or genre fiction in general. Hit me up in any of the following places: