It is my pleasure to host author Paul J. Joseph my blog today.
Me: Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Paul: Yes I have. From an early age I wrote stories, even in elementary school. In fact, in middle school, while everybody complained about having to take typing class, I used it as an opportunity to speed up my writing process. In high school I wrote two novels and several short stories, which, though not my best work in hindsight, were good practice in the fundamentals. My writing took a back seat for a while as I worked to establish my career, but I had always hoped to integrate my creativity into everything I did. I ultimately chose to move to teaching full time because it gave me the flexibility I needed to devote attention to my writing.
Me: What made you pen down this book?
Paul: The Turing Files series is all about robots and the idea of artificial intelligence, something I’ve always been fascinated with. Like all my stories, Romo’s Journey, the first story in the series, started with a character, Romo, who I envisioned as an outsider looking in at humanity and trying to make sense of who we are and who he is. This exploration started on a colony ship bound for Mars and led to five other books, the most recent of which will be available on May 15th.
Me: How long did it take for it to become a reality from an idea?
Paul: I believe in the philosophy of always doing a little bit each day and more when I am particularly inspired. The first draft is always the hardest to write. Most of my books took less than six months to bring to a publishable draft.
Me: What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Paul: I’d like to say I am never NOT writing, and this could almost be an accurate statement. I say this because the characters are operating in my mind all the time and I’ll often discover critical story elements while doing other things. I got some of my best story ideas while walking, driving, and working. I also find that it stretches my imagination to do other types of creative projects, including film making, computer graphics, 3-D printing and other pursuits. I also enjoy photography, drone flying, and traveling whenever possible.
Me: Are you a plotter or a pantster?
Paul: I believe I would be a “pantser,” assuming that means riding by the seat of one’s pants. My philosophy is to begin writing with some sort of vision, but not necessarily all of the specifics. Sometimes I will know how the story ends, sometimes not. In the case of my first book, Homesick, I knew the last words of the story, but little else. The actual writing begins with the setting and at least one character to explore it. What they see determines what happens next. I have known authors who claim that one must know every detail about a character’s life before you can write about them. I disagree. I believe, just like meeting new friends, you learn those details as you get to know them. Knowing in advance would spoil the surprise.
Me: Describe yourself in three words.
Paul: Child of God
Me: What should readers expect from this book?
Paul: Romo’s Mission is another step in Romo’s attempt to learn about who he is. His journey has taken him to Mars with the colonists and then on a lonely trip to the Martian ice cap, where he discovered a doorway to other worlds. One of those worlds is reaching out to Earth. Something happened to Romo while he was there. Something he can’t remember. And he needs human perception to understand. Romo and his close friends must cross a desert and travel to a point in space where strange things are happening. There he discovers more about who created him and why. But he also encounters a dangerous force that puts Earth in danger as well as the colony on Mars. Readers can expect true science fiction and a mind-bending story that will keep them guessing and thinking, and it will not be soon forgotten afterwards.
Me: Are there any new projects underway?
Paul: Yes, in fact I am now well into the first draft of the next book in the series, currently titled The Railas Litigation. Railas is essentially Romo’s brother, and he is experiencing many of the same moments in history that Romo does. But he is on Earth with a different set of problems to solve, though they now appear to have the same cause.
Paul J. Joseph is an independent film maker as well as a storyteller through writing. One of his films was featured in the 2010 Ava Gardner Independent Film Festival. He has been teaching mass communication courses at a college level for 25 years, and currently works at a small private university in North Carolina. He lives with his wife Tyreese, his son Ian, a mother in law, and three cats.
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