Before I get started, I have to give full disclosure. While I enjoy many of the books I blog about, I am a HUGE fan of Kevin Domenic. His writing is very clean and his trilogy is very compelling.
A couple of days ago I had the chance to interview Mr. Domenic and here is what he had to say…
How did you come up with the plot crisis for Arus? Was it an analogy for something in your own life?
To an extent. I’ve always defined Arus’ character as “the person I wish I was.” There are things in my own life that have shaped who I am in a negative way. I can be a bit of a cynical pessimist at times, so I wanted Arus to be the exact opposite. In essence, I was writing my own role model. From there, the story kind of built itself around him.
Were any real-life people the inspirations behind any of your characters?
I guess Arus’ mother is a lot like my own. But other than that, not really. Not in The Fourth Dimension series, anyway. I wrote another book years ago where I defined the main male character as “the person I really am.” But that book needs a lot of editing and rewriting before I’ll be ready to share it. For The Fourth Dimension, most of my inspiration came from movies, video games, and oddly enough, WWE wrestling. The Undertaker’s character, in particular, provided some inspiration for Kitreena’s more cold-blooded moments.
I found the space scenes just as full-fledged and believable as the village scenes. Were any real-life settings the inspiration behind any of the scenes in the book?
Until just a few years ago, we had a beach house at Point Pleasant Beach in New Jersey. I used to go there every summer, and the thunderstorms there were amazing because you get such a clear view of the sky. I always felt that would be a cool backdrop for an epic battle scene. So at the end of Eye of the Tornado, I used that setting to start out the final battle.
Oh, and for the record, what you see on TV is NOT an accurate representation of the Jersey shore.
How old were you when you started writing the 4th Dimension series, and how long did it take you to write three full-length novels?
I started writing the first one when I was fourteen years old. I never envisioned writing as a career back then; it was more of a hobby. It wasn’t until I was twenty-two years old, working full time and attending community college, that I really made the decision that I wanted to pursue this as a career. I had written a few books outside of The Fourth Dimension, but I knew I wanted this story to be my “baby.” So I took the basics of the original manuscript and completely rewrote the story, this time dividing what was once a single book into three. I started work on that sometime in early 2006, I think. Between going to work full-time, school part time, and trying to make time for the lady in my life, I didn’t get much done.
In May of 2007, I got laid off from my job. I had built up a bit of a savings, so I decided to take the rest of 07 off and dedicate every day to those books. I finished the early drafts just before Christmas that year. At that time, my goal was to send them to traditional print publishers. But after sending out over a hundred submissions and receiving plenty of those rejection letters that we all love, I found myself getting a bit discouraged. My fiance was friends with Anne Rice online, and she convinced her to read a couple chapters for me. Anne told her that she saw no reason I shouldn’t be published and suggested self-publishing through Kindle and Smashwords. A few years later, and here we are!
Wow… so, did you have any problems keeping the facts straight across all three books over such a long timeframe?
Oh yeah! I usually type little notes to myself at the bottom of the document, but this time I had to create a whole separate text file for all the different storyline and character threads that I was weaving. It was the only way that I could remember where and when I wanted to bring them together.
Who was the most difficult character to write?
I would have to say Kindel was the toughest to write. I believe that every good villain needs to honestly believe that he or she is actually the hero. Though I’m a big fan of Star Wars, I never understood how the Sith could follow an ideology called the “Dark Side.” That’s pretty much proclaiming yourself to be evil. And evil, by its very definition, is wrong. It doesn’t make sense.
Take the different world leaders out there. Most of them, though we may not agree with them, honestly believe that they are acting in the best interest of their countries and their people. It’s the clashing of those ideologies that causes conflict. That’s what I wanted to recreate. The difficulty came in writing a convincing viewpoint that I personally don’t agree with. That was hard.
Do you have any new projects in the works that we (ahem, I) can look forward to purchasing?
Always. I’m currently writing something completely different from The Fourth Dimension. It’s a Christian young adult book, which I realize won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. My intention is to show how the negative events of our lives help us to grow and mature. Don’t worry, though. This isn’t going to be something you’d find on the Lifetime Movie Channel. Aside from that, I have two other books that need revisiting. And there’s much more to come from The Fourth Dimension, too.
Are you a member of any online or real-world writing groups?
Actually, for any indie authors interested in connecting with each other, there’s a group on Facebook that I just joined called “Indie Writers Unite.” Everyone has been really friendly and helpful so far, and I think it will be a good place for advice and support from others!
Do you use any other social media?
Oh yeah. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, myspace, Digg, Stumbleupon, and a number of others. I’m most active on facebook, though. I actually have three separate facebook pages. There’s one for me, one for The Fourth Dimension series, and one for my Retail Ramblings blog. Links to all of my sites can be found on my website, http://kevindomenic.blogspot.com. Just scroll down a bit and you’ll see them listed on the right sidebar.
The website is fairly new, so there’s not much in the way of real content yet. But I guarantee that there’s lots of great stuff to come! I’ll be posting blogs, updates on my work, random thoughts, and maybe even an author interview or two. Know anyone that might be interested? (hint, hint)
Where can my readers find more of your work?
Currently, I’m self-published on amazon.com, Smashwords.com, and most other ebook sites like Barnes & Noble and Sony’s Reader Store.
I also run a humor blog about experiences with crazy customers during my 11 years of retail work. It’s called Retail Ramblings, and can be found here: http://retail-ramblings.blogspot.com
On Smashwords, I’m currently running a Buy 1 get 1 50% Off sale on The Fourth Dimension books! Details can be found here: http://tfdworlds.blogspot.com/2011/03/sale-buy-1-get-1-half-off.html
Do you intend to continue writing more books in the Fourth Dimension world? Or do you think that storyline has run its course?
Arus and his friends have only just begun to explore the stars. There’s plenty more to come! I hope to begin work on Volume IV later this year once I finish my current project. I’m not sure how long the series will run, but I’ve got the basic plots for the next three volumes planned out.
And for something totally frivolous. Describe the perfect meal. What food makes do you crave at the mere mention of the name?
*chuckles* If you’d asked me that a couple of weeks ago, I would’ve said the boneless buffalo wings from Longhorn Steakhouse! But I just found out they discontinued them, and thus, my reason for eating there. A piece of me died inside on that day.
But at home, it’s anything with Frank’s Red Hot sauce! My fiancé created a dish that I really love. It’s a breaded chicken breast with hot sauce and Italian seasoning mixed into the bread crumbs. It’s my favorite!
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions and for humoring a fan.