Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Interview with Travis McDougald

I hope everyone had a great Easter. We Do Write is back to spotlight another aspiring author for your reading pleasure. Today we're talking to Travis McDougald.

Welcome, Travis. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am 40 and I am your Galactic Emperor, I mean you no harm. Sorry couldn’t resist. I am a retired DJ after 15 years, actually I retired 3 years ago when I decided to help my mother raise horses. You will find a lot of musical references in my stories because of that. For my “Day Job” it is absolutely amazing. I get to raise and train such beautiful creatures and spring is here so it is time for new foals (babies).

I love horses. And foals, how sweet! So, what is the name and genre of your manuscript?

Science Fiction (wait…there are other genre’s?) Formally it was published and called “Eternity’s End?” now it is re-titled as “4012-The Eternity Razor”

Here’s the part where you pitch it. What’s your story about?

In the year 4012 peace has reigned and science has grown to become that of a god,casting off unnecessary fictions such as religion and love to pursue the purity of scientific knowledge. while children are created in test tubes to be free of all defects. It has been years since the revolutionary scientist Darren Kathudrin disappeared into space after committing the forbidden act of illegal cyberization to revive his son. Now, strange ships have appeared in deep space and Earth is under attack. Only a star ship being decommissioned and a 100 years old stands to defend Earth beginning a chain of events heralding the destruction of not only Earth, but the entire universe.

Salvation lies in the most unlikely place: a reclusive warrior with solid gold hair. Exiled because she was born and out casted because she was born to be perfect with the power of gods. Born with solid gold hair and a living metallic skeleton the genetic structure known as Michelle was forced to live alone and be raised by robots and computers never seeing another human. The lessons of an android instructor that taught her nothing but war and death, the ways of the warriors of Earth’s ancient past. Unknown to her that she is destined to fight the perfect war and fight for her very existence as well as the existence of everything and everyone in our universe. Her path to discovery will lead her down a road of peril, misfortune, love, and a battle she has been fated for since before she was born. However, with so many hidden forces arrayed against her, will she live long enough to discover the truth of her past?

How did the idea of the story come to you?

A dream I had when I was 6 years old, about a girl with golden hair, and then when I saw Star-Wars in 1977 I knew It was meant to be a story and have actually been working on it that long.

That's a long time indeed! Is your manuscript complete or still a work in progress?

A WiP at the moment because I am changing several key elements throughout the book.

Sci-Fi novels are usually lengthy due to world building. Tell us about your word count.

The Original word count was 102,526 for “Eternity’s End?” and I am projecting 115,000 for the Razor because I am adding a new scenario into it. The refinished plot is done and the first chapter is almost done, since I type 65 wpm I am expecting to have it re-written and ready to submit by the end of April.

That's soon. What is your next step?

Self-Publishing is not my goal, I prefer traditional just like all of my heroes were published. I would really like to find an agent but if not many traditional publisher now take unsolicited manuscripts, lots of folks will tell you that they don’t but Penguin has it on their website that they will now. Agents get kind of big headed about the fact that they are an agent so it makes me leery of them.

I think that depends on the agent, so good luck in your search for the right one. Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?

I don’t have a critique group but I do have a twitter friend that is reading for me.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

Clearing my head and sitting down to write, after that the stories flow. Just getting to that point first.

Any tips you’ve learned about writing you’d like to share?

Actually a lot but the main thing I would suggest is research, obviously if people can read this then they are connected to the greatest information resource in the world, it’s amazing how much stuff there is on writing. So research and research and then have coffee and research some more.

Who are your inspirations?

Author C. Clark, Douglass Adams, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, Homer. That is just a small list and I have read all of the works by them, it’s because I have a low IQ that I am not a better writer after having read so many by the masters.

Let’s get to know you on a deeper level. Tell us three things about yourself.

  1. First of all I have messed with computers since 1984 (my first was a Texas Instruments TI994A) and all my computer names begin with NEA. I was around when the internet came on-line.
  2. I love Science Fiction which is why I write it. Really it was all Darth Vader’s fault. I remember coming home and being excited about Vader after I saw Star Wars for the very first time.
  3. I love animation, older stuff like Thundarr the Barbarin, Herculiods and Space Ghost. I love some Anime, again older stuff like Super Sonic Soldier’s :Borgman and Dangio (Inter Galactic Black Market is just too cool.)

Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Who would you like to give a shout out to?

First of all would have to be the editor that was assigned to “Eternity’s End?” Angela Sasser for her patients and understanding as well as her ability to suggest things. I have a spot on my blog that talks about her editing skills.

Second to my friends and family who have always supported my writing and especially to my mother Janice N. Chapman who inspires me with her poetry.

And finally, where can people find you online?

My personal website is (pronounced “kay-vamp”)

My writing blog is

Tweet me here:

Thank you so much for chatting with us, Travis, and good luck on the road to publication.

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