Creative Outlets with Bryan Todd
I've known Bryan for about 5 years now, and in that time, he's become one of my dearest friends. We've explored a million different creative and technical outlets over the years, from app development, guitar pedal design, game design, and now we are each other's critique partners and we collaborate often, including The Legend of Varya universe, of which, Frosthammer was the first novella.
I started writing a few years ago, primarily focusing on sci-fi and fantasy. Along with C. Scott Frank, I've published one book and am currently in the process of constructing two novels and a serial.
What inspires you and/or why do you write?
I like to create. Writing is one outlet for creating. It allows me to paint a picture in someone's mind, even though I don't have talent as a painter (digital, normal, or otherwise).
Describe your process as best you can:
Often, I think of an unfortunate situation that might befall a character, and start from there. For example (I'll do it for you live): it would be truly unfortunate for a crew of four humans to face the inevitability of death while trying to restore power to a dead interstellar spacecraft. The only module that is functioning is the biology module, allowing for a sub-par natural oxygen regeneration system to stay their death sentence, albeit not indefinitely. The title of this story is "Deep Black". That's my process. I just showed you.
Biggest challenge for you, and how have you overcome it? (Or how are you working to overcome it!)
I often see where I want to go with a story, and move there from where I am very quickly. My chapters can often be short, as the characters go from Point A to Point B without much contextual information. I'm working to build suspense, and only escalate the tempo of the story when it's necessary.
What do you consider your biggest strength? (Don’t be shy!)
My biggest strength is a technical knowledge of the aerospace field. It makes sci-fi writing easy. I can talk about crossing over hydraulic systems, pulling circuit breakers, and missing re-entry orbits by burning the rocket engines for too long because I've put a lot of time into studying those things, and some of them I discuss on a daily basis in my day-job.
Any other advice for authors, based on your unique experience?
Find someone to bounce ideas off of. Someone that you can meet with over breakfast on Saturdays. Someone that can say "That's really dumb, don't do that," or "Yeah, chase that idea, it sounds great!" It needs to be someone you trust to give good feedback based on the genre that you're writing, and it needs to be someone that will be honest with you when your work is sub-par.
Where can other authors or readers connect with you and find your work?
"Legend of Varya: Frosthammer" is available on Amazon, published through CreateSpace. "The Admiral" will be available as a part of the #redditwriters 2017 anthology. Look for the release of "Mach", "Legend of Varya: Violence of Time", and "The Children of the Fold, Book 1: Awakening" in the (hopefully near) future!
I'm really excited for all the work Bryan is doing. I'm biased, but I love The Legend of Varya. We can't wait to start sharing more about this expansive universe with you very soon!