Monday, June 6, 2016

Interview: Brett Michael Orr

Hi everyone! I'm starting a new series in which I interview fellow unpublished or newly published writers and ask them about their writing. The goal is for y'all to make some new connections and get to know some other authors.

Today's spotlighted writer is Brett Michael Orr! Here's a little bit about him:

I’m a young writer from Brisbane, Australia. I passionately write Young Adult books in a variety of genres, including science-fiction and dystopian. I’m an avid reader and reviewer – some of my favorite YA novels include A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray, and Unwind by Neal Shusterman. You can follow me on social media via @BrettMichaelOrr on Twitter and Instagram, my Facebook page at/BrettMichaelOrrWrites, and my profile on Goodreads as /brettmichaelorr.

1.     And the dreaded, standard first question! When did you start writing?

I've been writing for as long as I can remember. When I was little kid, I used to write stories and draw illustrations for them, and then I became more serious about writing in my teenage years. I think I've always been drawn to creating worlds, and writing was the best way I could explore them and bring them to life.

2.     What was your first MS about?

My first manuscript that I seriously pursued was about a distant world colonized by human clones, and followed a teenager who was framed for murder. It had super-soldiers and plenty of twists and turns. Although it didn't work out at the time, it was my first book and I spent at least 6 years writing and rewriting it, so it'll always hold a special place in my heart.

3.     What is your current MS about, and why do you love it?

My new manuscript is about a dystopian society where the wealthy elite schedule their own deaths in lavish parties, and follows a young corporate heiress who has her 'death order' forged, forcing her to go on-the-run from assassins and her own friends and family. I love it because it's giving me the opportunity to explore political and social concepts -- political in terms of super-corporations basically running a nation, and social in terms of our fear of death and how we approach leaving our families behind.

4.     Do you have a new shiny idea that’s distracting you from your current project? How do you keep your focus?

I have a new idea, although it's more of a concept than a real workable idea - it would be a historical fantasy fiction. I keep my focus because I know that getting one entire book finished and sent to agents is more important than having three half-completed ideas floating around, but I admit it's hard sometimes not to chase all the new rabbits down their holes (they call them plot bunnies for a reason!) 

5.     What are some things you love that usually end up in your MSs?

Somehow all of my books have intense action scenes. I'm not sure if that's a 'love', but it's something I always incorporate into my books. I also love exploring fringe science where I can - the almost-reality science-fiction-turned-science-fact.

6.     Which fictional character would be your best friend?

Oh friend, I think, would be Ronald Weasley. I know that's pretty cliche to use Harry Potter, but I honestly think I could get along with Ron really easily and comfortably!

7.     What authors would you say have most influenced your writing?

I think Christopher Paolini (Inheritance Cycle) was the author who really inspired me to start writing my own novels, but I also sought inspiration from fellow Australian Garth Nix, and my early years of reading Eoin Colfer and Anthony Horowitz influenced a lot of my writing style.

8.     Where’s your favorite place to connect with other authors?

Twitter is the best for meeting and talking with authors from around the world, although you can't beat attending writing festivals to find like-minded writers/authors (even met my current partner at a writer's festival!)

9.     What else do you like to do besides writing?

I work as a software and web developer for a living, and in my private time I'm reading or maybe gaming!

10.  Favorite GIF? 

I love this GIF because - well, first, it's a perfect scene from the book and who doesn't like seeing Draco get punched? - but because of Tom Felton's story about the scene. Emma Watson was supposed to give him a 'screen slap' (a fake slap), but instead actually hit him!

11.  Anything else you’d like to add? A pitch? A reading suggestion? An advertisement?

If you want to read the latest book and movie reviews, you should follow me on Twitter (@brettmichaelorr) and subscribe to my blog! I also wrote the Young Adult Science Fiction novel, The Bureau of Time, and you can find links to purchasing my novel on this page

Thanks so much for having me on your blog!

Thank you, Brett, for joining us! Happy writing!! 

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