No Wasted Ink is happy to introduce Warren Reed, an author of adventure and science fiction novels.
Hello, everyone! My name is Warren Reed, and I live on the East Coast in Portland, Maine. I grew up on action figures, comic books, Saturday morning cartoon shows (back when they were good), and science fiction novels. I love a good story as much as I love an adventure, and I’m always on the lookout for both.
When and why did you begin writing?
I think the first story I (legibly) wrote with a beginning, middle, and end, was in 1st grade. It was for a class project; each of us had to write and illustrate our own book, including a front and back cover. Being an avid drawer, I thought I would enjoy illustrating the most, but once I started writing, it soon became a struggle to fit the story into the allotted number of pages–I was having too much fun and didn’t want to stop. After the project was finished, I continued the story outside of school, and I’ve been writing stories ever since.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
For me, even though I’ve been writing for several years, the term ‘writer’ carries a certain weight; it’s something I continuously aspire to be, and I’m hesitant to label myself as such. Above and beyond everything, I consider myself a storyteller, whether it’s writing, drawing comics, or producing film/video. If I had to choose a point in time, however, it would probably be a few years ago when I was starting my latest story–now known as DARKRIFT: Arrival–and decided that it would be the first of my stories to have published.
Can you share a little about your current book with us?
DARKRIFT: Arrival is a YA/teen sci-fi action/adventure novel; it combines many of my favorite sci-fi themes and delivers them in a story that is meant to be fun and engaging. It follows two modern-day characters who are thrust into a sci-fi inspired, otherworldly adventure that presents them with mystery, dark moments, and epic showdowns…all the while trying to stay one step ahead of a ruthless enemy.
What inspired you to write this book?
When I was growing up, I loved reading sci-fi; it stimulated my imagination and got me excited to read. Quite often, though, I had to dig to find sci-fi novels, and many of them were not as exciting or adventurous as I had hoped. Many of them were slow and dry. I wrote DARKRIFT: Arrival as a tribute to the action-filled, epic-scale sci-fi stories I wish I could have found more of as a kid.
Do you have a specific writing style?
When a reader is reading one of my stories, my goal is for them to feel like they’re watching a big-screen blockbuster–I want the story to play out in their head like it’s a movie, as it does for me when I’m writing it. “Show, don’t tell” sums it up nicely, and being a very visual, imaginative person, I try to convey that in how I write so that each paragraph, each sentence, each word, has its own, unique energy that paints a vivid picture for the reader.
How did you come up with the title of this book?
DARKRIFT: Arrival relates to two simple (but relevant) elements in the book. The second part of the title is more self-explanatory than the first, but so I don’t give too much away, you’ll have to read it to find out more!
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There are some subtle themes, as well as messages, woven throughout the story, but my primary goal in writing DARKRIFT: Arrival is for entertainment. If readers happen to pick up on anything deeper, that will purely be a bonus for me as a storyteller.
Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Because DARKRIFT: Arrival, like many of my stories, centers around both sci-fi and supernatural elements, no, it’s not based on experiences or events in my own life. However, in an attempt to ground my stories in reality, I do base the personalities of my characters (everything they feel, say, and do) on people I know or have met. This way, I have a very real-world understanding of how my characters will react to the situations I put them in, and will hopefully make the journey of reading my stories more believable and engaging for my readers.
What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?
Authors such as Edgar Allan Poe, H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, and more “local” authors like Archer Mayor and Stephen King, have influenced me the most. I find them inspiring because they each have their own distinct style and are known for being masters of their genre.
If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor? Why?
I consider all of the authors mentioned above, as well as various others, mentors in one way or another…but if I had to choose, I would say Stephen King; he is a hugely successful author with many books, movies, and other accomplishments to his name, and he’s a Mainer (I often drive by his house when taking motorcycle trips). Having such a successful writer so close to home is hugely inspiring for any aspiring Maine author, but even more so than that, his writing of strange, and oftentimes dark subject matter has, over the years, inspired me to embrace those types of themes, instead of shy away from them.
Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?
I had a rough idea of what I wanted the cover to look like, and artist Meghann Pardee brought it to life. I chose Meghann because her portfolio was very diverse, and all of her work exhibited a style I wanted to capture for the cover of DARKRIFT: Arrival. Meghann was a pleasure to work with. Please, check out her portfolio.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
I think the best advice I’ve heard for writing is to write for yourself, not others. And, if you’re planning to publish, a professional editor really should be a part of your writing arsenal.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you. I had the story of DARKRIFT: Arrival brewing in my head for quite some time. A few years ago, I decided to sit down and write it. Part of my intent in writing it is was not only to offer YA/teen sci-fi fans a new universe to explore, but also offer an alternative, yet equally-engaging option to movies, television, and video games. So for anyone who has, or will, give DARKRIFT: Arrival a chance for themselves, or a YA/teen they know who might be on the search of a new and exciting sci-fi story, I humbly and graciously thank you for your support.
Cover Artist: Meghann Pardee