03-10-2014: MilSciFi.com interviews
Nathaniel Danes, author of the military science fiction novel, The Last Hero
MilSciFi.com: Please tell us a little something about
Danes: Thank you for having me. The Last Hero
starts off a couple hundred years in the future after first contact with a race
of pacifists convinced humanity to make peace with itself and disarm.
When we first met the heroine,
the last Medal of Honor recipient, he's selling insurance for his
father-in-law. A natural warrior, he's made the best of a demilitarized Earth
and become a dedicated family man. He's drafted back into active service after
a third race destroys the New Earth colony, forcing a crash mobilization.
As he travels the galaxy
fighting the war, he struggles with the internal conflict between his lust for
battle and his father's heart which just wants to be with his daughter. The law
of relativity comes into play to complicate things.
There are big space battles
and large scale ground engagements to more than keep the blood flowing, but its
a deeper story than just action, explosion, fire fight, explosion, the end.
MilSciFi.com: Is this part of a larger series or
Danes: Absolutely! This is book one of a
trilogy. I'm already editing book two and have the third and final installment
worked out in my head.
MilSciFi.com: What inspired you to write this story?
Danes: I've always had an over active
imagination. As an adult I use it as a copping mechanism to deal with my
encroaching blindness. I'm loosing my sight to a genetic disorder, to escape
this depressing reality I like to drift off and let my imagination go wild. I
watch and read a lot of scifi which helps to plant some seeds.
Eventually, I worked this
story out in my head and had to get it out.
MilSciFi.com: Does science and technology play an
important role in this story (or in your work in general), or is it secondary
to the story telling and characterization?
Danes: If forced to rank them, I'd have to say it's
secondary though technology certainly does play an important and central role
in the story. It's just not as important as everything else.
MilSciFi.com: Do you have plans to expand upon, or
write other works based on this novel?
Danes: I've toyed with the idea of doing another
series in this universe, but its way to early to commit myself either way.
MilSciFi.com: Most authors we encounter write
novellas/novels, do you write short stories, and if so do you find it a
Danes: Can't say I've ever written a short
story. I like bigger plots and deeper history than can typically be achieved in
a short story.
MilSciFi.com: What advice would you give the aspiring
military science fiction writer?
Danes: Write and read and write some more.
For most people, myself
included, it takes a lot of practice before you start to develop into a writer
people will want to read. Also, find a friend who can read your work and give
honest and educated feedback.
Lastly, don't get discouraged.
Successful in anything rarely comes fast or easy.
MilSciFi.com: Who is your single-most influence in
science fiction author and what impact have they had on our own work?
Danes: Hands down, JoeHalderman. To be honest, I've only ever read one
of his books, The Forever War but that is what got be hooked on military
science fiction novels. Reading is a challenge for me and I used to only
read military history. The Forever War changed that and set me on the path that
lead to writing The Last Hero.
MilSciFi.com: What is the one thing you find the most
difficult about writing military science fiction?
Danes: For me, it's trying to give a realistic
and plausible depiction of what future combat will be. There are so many
directions you can go it can be hard to pick one and stay the course.
MilSciFi.com: Is military science fiction the only
thing you write, or is there something else out there we should be looking for?
Danes: It's the only thing I write and don't see
MilSciFi.com: Do you have any other projects in the
Danes: I've actually already written the first
two books in another series that will come out after The Last Hero series has
MilSciFi.com: Do you have any upcoming author events?