02Feb2012: MilSciFi.com interviews Gregg Feistman,
author of the corporate thriller, The War Merchants.
MilSciFi: "Welcome. Please tell us a little
something about your novel."
Feistman: "As I said, itís a corporate
thriller, set primarily in Philadelphia and New York City, but with scenes from around the
world. An investigative journalist and
public relations professional stumble on a secret corporate cartel who, since
the end of WWII, have used their influence to manipulate governments and world events
to cause small local and regional wars around the globe, all in the name of
profit. They must expose the cartel
before its next strategic business move: the takeover of Russia."
MilSciFi: "Is this part of a large series or
Feistman: "This is my first novel and Iím
currently working on a sequel."
MilSciFi: "What inspired you to write this
Feistman: "I had this idea for a few years
before I started writing. I kept up on
the news and started doing some research and found people have no idea what the
financial cost of war is and how profitable it can be. After all, the U.S. is the world largest arms merchant."
MilSciFi: "Most authors we encounter write
novellas/novels, do you write short stories, and if so do you find it a challenge?"
Feistman: "My past writing has been as a
playwright (I had two shows off-off-Broadway many years ago) and as a freelance
MilSciFi: "Since time is of the essence for
getting a read up to speed in a short story, do you have a strategy, or
preferred method for doing this?"
Feistman: "In my novel, I try to hook the
reader in the first sentence, the first paragraph and preface or the first
chapter. I want to make the reader
curious as to whatís going on so they will want to read the next page and the
next page, etc."
MilSciFi: "What advice would you give the
aspiring military science fiction writer?"
Feistman: "The best advice I can to any
aspiring writer, regardless of the genre, is persistence. Writing is hard and writing well is harder
still. But if youíre a writer, you have
to write. Itís what we do, like a
painter paints, or a composer composes, a writer writes because thereís
something in their DNA that compels them to do it. If youíve got a story to tell, then do it.
Another piece of advice I can give is if youíre writing for the
money, youíre writing for the wrong reason.
Sure, itís nice to get that royalty check every once in a while, but few
writers get rich doing it. Do it because
youíve got a story to tell and you need to tell it Ė even if itís just to
yourself, family or friends.
Finally, give yourself permission to write crap. Nobody, not even Shakespeare, got it right
the first time. Everyone needs an
editor. Just get your thoughts and words
down until you have a first draft. One
of the big secrets of good writing is re-writing."
MilSciFi: "Who is your single-most influence
in science fiction and what impact have they had on our own work?"
Feistman: "I like all genres from non-fiction
to fiction. Thereís no one influence I
can cite, but I admire good writers, from Nelson DeMille to David McCullough."
MilSciFi: "What is the one thing you find the
most difficult about writing military science fiction?"
Feistman: "The most difficult thing about
writing fiction of any kind is finding the time to write Ė life often gets in
the way! But if itís important to you,
then you make or find the time to write."
MilSciFi: "Please tell us about your
publisher, and how did you came to chose them?"
Feistman: "My publisher is Strategic Book
Publisher, a division of Ingram. They
are a Print-on-Demand publisher. I was
fortunate enough to be referred to them through another publisher I had
submitted the manuscript to."
MilSciFi: "Do you have any upcoming author
Feistman: "Iím working on a couple of
in-store author appearances for this spring at the Barnes and Noble stores in Glassboro, NJ and in the Neshaminy Mall."
MilSciFi: "Thank you, for your time."