Sunday Brunch is back! Before getting started I want to thank everyone who supports both indie authors and smalltime bloggers, including my little interview series! Brunch has always been a beacon of community and I’m endlessly glad to see how the indie SFF world supports it’s members!
That said, episode 25 of the Sunday Brunch Series features self published sci-fi author W.O. Torres! He is entered into the second SPSFC competition and if you don’t know what that is, I’ll include the link at the end!
Sci-fi means a lot of different things to a lot of different people and I love W.O.’s story! Read on to see how sci-fi positively influenced his life and eventually led to holding a book of his own!
🍳Welcome to the Sunday Brunch Series! As an introduction, can you tell everyone an interesting fact about yourself that isn’t in your author bio?
🎤Thanks for having me. So, an interesting fact about me that isn’t in my bio is that I have had three very close calls with death over my lifetime that include: a near drowning at Lake Camanche after swimming between islands and having to be saved by a boater, water poisoning (drank 160 ounces of water in a four hour period because I was training in 112 degree sun and didn’t know you could die from drinking water) and being hit in the temple with a rusty nail that was attached to a 2×4, while at the landfill. In each instance there was a medical professional who shook his/her head at me while uttering the same sentence…”you are lucky to be alive.” So, I got that going for me, which is nice.
🍳What’s your favorite brunch food?
🎤My favorite brunch food is such a great question and in my case it has special consideration. For the past 25 years I have skipped breakfast as part of an intermittent fasting regimen. But, when the stars align and the kids are in school, me and my wife have the day off and find ourselves craving mimosas…I will go bonkers over brunch! I start with a mimosa or bloody mary that has a piece of bacon in the drink.I absolutely love omelettes and will sometimes have them for dinner. I like to create my own with pepper jack cheese, mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes. Or, if I can find it on the menu I will always order a plate of chilaquiles, which instantly reminds me of my Abuela’s cooking
🍳I love that you mention sci-fi and other related media like Marvel comics as an outlet away from getting into trouble as a teen! What did that look like for you?
🎤I’m not using hyperbole when I say Marvel Comics altered my life in a good way. My neighborhood was filled with gangs, drugs and violence and unfortunately if you grew up there, it was inevitable that around the age of junior high school, you were recruited into the gang that spanned a couple generations. At the same time this was going on, I was out of my mind obsessed with Marvel Comics…think late 70’s to early 80’s (before Spider-Man had a suit that turns into Venom and when the “New X-Men” featuring Wolverine, Night-Crawler and Colossus had only been in print for a few years). I met a very small group of kids in grade school who were like me, and by that I mean could reference the origin story for Daredevil. We formed our own little “gang” and while other kids our age were running the streets, we were holed up in each other’s bedrooms arguing over the leadership styles of Professor X versus Mr. Fantastic
🍳You also mention Star Trek in your bio so we had better have your favorite show and favorite captain, bonus points for including your rationale 🤣
🎤 I began watching Star Trek in 1976, I know this because I have vivid memories and pics of my 6th Christmas presents which were 10″ action figures of the entire crew of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 (no letters after), that included a transporter room (you placed a figure in one side, then spun the top and watched them fade until appearing on the other side…I would give anything to still have it)!!! So, when I tell you who my favorite Captain is, rest assured that it is not a decision I entered into lightly. I’ve watched them all (full disclosure, I haven’t started watching Strange New Worlds yet) and there is one leader who stands above the rest and their name is…Captain Jean-Luc Picard. I will literally start a barroom brawl with anyone who disagrees with me. I have worked in Law Enforcement for nearly 25 years and we train constantly and never stop talking about leadership. It’s a weird thing in that nobody seems to be able to agree on a definition for what a leader is, but we all just know it when we see it. And that’s Picard. I would follow any order that man gave. Plus…Sir Patrick Stewart, I mean, c’mon on!
🍳So you grew up loving sci-fi and now have written a scifi book! How cool is that?
🍳The book focuses on time travel and technology, fun sci-fi topics! Are these your favorite subgenres or what nudged you toward writing the story that you did?
🍳I have so many favorite sci-fi tropes that I could never pick just one. If I’m being honest, I will probably never feel complete until I write a space-opera at some point in my life. That being said, there is something viceral that happens to me on a biological level whenever watching/reading about time-travel. I don’t know what it is but it began when I was fourteen years old and The Terminator hit theaters. That movie warped my mind like no other movie previous to it. My friends couldn’t stop talking about cyborgs (which don’t get me wrong, I love them as well) but I couldn’t stop asking theoretical questions about going back in time. The past thirty-five years I have made it a priority to consume any story that has to do with time-travel as that initial feeling still hasn’t gone away. So, when I started writing my novel, Tomorrow Lives Today, it began with a premise set in actual science I had just read about about called The Technological Singularity; a hypothetical future point in time where tech growth becomes uncontrollable and irreversible, resulting in unfathomable changes to humankind. I think the dots lined up and it just made sense to use time-travel as a tool to tell this story the way I wanted to.
🍳What was the last amazing book that you read?
🎤The last amazing book I read that I find myself thinking about months later, was Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. He’s a great writer first and foremost and he delves into trippy sci-fi concepts that he neatly connects to human relationships. I love his books. If you haven’t already read Dark Matter, it is about parallel universes and decisions made. That’s another genre that has exploded recently that Star Trek (the original) was decades ahead of in telling. Thank you Gene!
🍳Your book made it into SPSFC2! That’s exciting – are you excited? What are your general thoughts about a self published sci-fi competition?
🎤YES! Having my book selected as part of SPSFC2 felt like when your coach scans the bench and calls your number! GET IN THERE! I think it goes back to this new feeling (my book has only been out since 6/2/22) of being a contributor and not just a consumer. There are three-hundred other book entries so the chances of winning with so many other talented writers are about as good as successfully navigating the innards of a Borg Cube (yes, I’m saying there’s a chance), but just being included is a WIN as far as I’m concerned.
🍳Do you have any advice for those who are also self publishing, or considering it? I think the most common lament I hear is that it’s hard to get eyes on a new self published book
🎤 The best advice I can give after spending nearly four-years writing, editing, finding Beta Readers, a professional editor and illustrator, and countless revisions is…don’t give up. You can walk away and take a break, but keep thinking about your book, keep scribbling notes in a pad next to your bed or on your phone in the middle of a boring work meeting. Seek out other writers on social media in your genre and ask questions, answer questions. Keep pushing, keep grinding and enjoy the little victories, like closing a time loop or coming up with a dope line your antagonist would say and the end result will be greater than you ever imagined. Sometimes when the day is kicking my ass at work, I say to myself, “Hey, you wrote a sci-fi novel that’s four-hundred and fifty-one pages…you can do anything!”
🍳Thank you so much for taking the time to interview! This is the open forum question, so if you want to talk about ANYTHING else, please do so here!
🎤Thanks for having me and listening to me rant about things I’m passionate about. Each time I connect with anyone who is part of the sci-fi world always leaves me in a better mood than where I started. Since you handed me an open mic, I would also like to mention that books and stories need diverse characters. I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s and I can count on one hand how many Mexican-American characters I read or watched in sci-fi stories. It’s gotten better, but still a long way to go. My MC is Mexican-American like me, but his love interest is a black female. I am neither black nor a female but I didn’t think it should stop me from writing about Destiny Jordan, who is one of my favorite characters I have ever written. So, I connected with two extremely talented writers who happened to be black females and asked if they would consider being Sensitivity Readers to make sure I was showing empathy in my writing and avoiding any negative stereotypes when it came to Destiny. The experience from their feedback improved my writing in so many ways and I do believe some stories are best told from a unique perspective, but I also see tremendous value in adding diverse characters in your story, even if the characters differ from the writer.
Check out his book here!
Meet the author: bio from Am*zon
Mr. Torres resides in Northern California along with his beautiful wife, brilliant daughters, and their wonder dog, where he often writes once everyone is finally asleep.
As a child of the ’70s, his original works are inspired by his love of the golden age of Marvel Comics, Saturday afternoon Kung-Fu Theatre, Star Wars, Star Trek, James Bond, The Twilight Zone, and all things strange and unexplained.
These obsessions helped him avoid gangs, violence, drugs, and dropping out of high school, which were sadly all too familiar occurrences in his neighborhood.
He is wrapping up a twenty-five-year career in law enforcement and looks forward to the next chapter. Tomorrow Lives Today is his debut novel and was partly inspired by a lucid dream he had the same day his childhood idol, Stan Lee left this world and crossed over to the other side.
When not writing, he can be found coaching youth sports, attending dance recitals, and on occasion, enjoying a super burrito with carne asada…or carnitas.
Here also is the SPSFC link where you can track the progress of this book along with 299 others!
Thank you to everyone for taking the time to read and support indie authors!