Wednesday, 2 September 2020

An Extra Slice of Cake With... Rob Edwards

This week I am delighted to welcome author Rob Edwards back to my blog for an extra slice.

Rob Edwards is a British born writer and podcaster, living in Finland.  His podcast, StorycastRob, features readings from his short stories and excerpts from longer work.  His work can also be found in anthologies from Inklings Press and Rivenstone Press.

His greatest geek pride is his entry on wookieepedia, the result of writing several Star Wars RPG scenarios back in the day.

Describe the types of books you love to read

Oh, that’s a tough one off the bat. I think I have reasonably eclectic tastes. Most of what I read falls broadly within the scifi/fantasy genre space, some epic fantasy or quirky scifi romp for preference, but I do love a classy murder mystery too. And comic books, I read a lot of them, as anyone who reads my new book can probably tell.

Which authors inspire you to write?

There are plenty of authors who inspire me to be a better writer. My latest book is definitely me being inspired by Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan books, with perhaps just a hint of Harry Harrison’s Stainless Steel Rat books -- I’ve not read them in decades, but the vibe of this story definitely owes something to it. Then add some favourite comic book runs from the likes of Mark Waid, Keith Giffen and Gail Simone. 

But, technically, you didn’t ask who inspires me to write more betterer, but who inspires me to write. To answer that, let me tell you a story.

In my youth I devoured books voraciously. These days I tend more to sip and savour, but in my youth, I read and read and read. Some of the books I encountered were magnificent gems, some were fluff with wonderfully ridiculous titles (Kent Montana and the Reasonably Invisible Man!) but some were absolute tosh. There is one series of books, I forget their name, and who they were by, even, although I do remember that the author was moderately well known. When I read them, I found myself thinking, “This got published? I can do better than that”. And that unknown known author who had managed to get a book deal… they inspired me to write.

(Full confession, I’ve done some digging, and I think I found the book I was thinking of… but I shall keep the name to myself because (a) I might be wrong and (b) I don’t wish to be mean)

If you’re looking for an answer with a little less shade, I can’t not mention my buddies at Inklings Press: Brent A Harris, Ricardo Victoria and Leo McBride. From the comic book side Matt Hardy at Mad Robot Comics. They all push me onwards with this and other projects.

Since we last had a slice of cake, what have you been working on?

I’ve been keeping busy. The latest Inklings Press anthology took way longer to come together than we’d intended (I don’t know if anyone else noticed, but 2020 has been a bit stressful), but it’s here now, check out Tales from the Pirate’s Cove for twelve piratical tales.

But, excited though I am by the Pirate book (it is excellent), I confess to being just a little but more excited about my debut novel hitting the shelves. It’s called The Ascension Machine and it’s book one in a sci-fi superhero series.

What is your next project?

Next up is the sequel to The Ascension Machine, which will be called The Crossover Paradox. The first draft is well underway, already about halfway done, so I’m hoping that can follow along reasonably sharpish after book one. The protagonist did a lot of growing in book one… now he must deal with how much life has changed for him. Also, there’s a murder and super-villains.

Meanwhile, if you want to read more about the world of The Ascension Machine and The Crossover Paradox, be sure to stop by to get some background.

Have you recently tried any new cake? What was the last cake you baked?

I did have a brief flurry of baking during lockdown. I tried a few attempts at a walnut cake following my mum’s recipe. Alas, Finland doesn’t have self-raising flour, and while several people have told me what to add if I’m using plain flour, I’ve never worked out the Finnish to properly identify those ingredients. So, it’s probably more accurate to say I baked a walnut biscuit using my mum’s recipe for walnut cake.

It still tasted nice, I thought.

You can connect with Rob across a vast array of social media:

Join me next week when I interview Mari Tishner. If you would like to take part in A Slice of Cake With... please fill in the form found here. I'd be delighted to have you.

You can also support my writing endeavours and buy me tea & cake - it's what makes the world go round!

Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find out more about her books on her website Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop.

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