Rhett Bruno is a science fiction/fantasy author who puts an emphasis on developing unique characters within their world. I’d like to welcome him to the readers of No Wasted Ink.
I’m Rhett Bruno. I grew up on Long Island and have been writing since before I was young. Ever since I was little I to creating worlds or stories. At first it was with toys and games, then drawing, but by High School I dedicated myself entirely to writing. I just found that it was something I was better at than drawings. It has always been something I do on the side, however. During the day I practice architecture in westchester county, ever since I graduated from the Syracuse University School of Architecture.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I first considered myself I writer when I got offers from small presses to publish The Circuit: Executor Rising.” So only recently. I don’t think I really improved as a writer until I started reading a ton of books in order to study science fiction. It was always something I had to do. It calmed me and left me satisfied.
Can you share a little about your current book with us?
My books is an adult science fiction novel published by Mundania Press. It is set in a grim future where the Earth has fallen and humanity now lives in contained settlements throughout our solar system (A place humans have begun to call The Circuit). Grass, trees and other animals are a rarity. The story is fast-paced, explosive, and revolves around four characters whose lives are intertwined because of the actions of Cassius Vale, the enigmatic former council member of the New Earth Tribune.
What inspired you to write this book?
My initial inspiration came from watching classic science fiction movies/shows like Star Wars and Star Trek and noticing how artificial gravity is just kind of an accepted technology. After doing some research I found out just how far-off most of the theories are and came up with the idea of us finding a new element (Gravitum) deep in the Earth that gives us the ability. When I was thinking up the story I wanted the notion that human curiosity has repercussions to be prevalent and so that was when I decided that the mining of Gravitum would be what unsettled the fragile nature of our homeworld. While that is never directly stated in this novel, it is intended to be implied. Everything else sort of evolved around that idea of Earth being a shackle that humanity is bound to even after they evolve beyond the planet’s surface.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I don’t think so. I think it’s constantly evolving. I used to focus a lot more on description, but I wanted The Circuit to move along at a brisker pace. I always hoped it would be something perfect to read during a train commute to work. Fitting since the history of the Circuit is based upon large-scale, public transportation.
How did you come up with the title of this book?
The series name has been set in stone since before I even started the first chapter. Something about The Circuit resonated with me after I decided to name the setting the Kepler Circuit (After 17th century astronomer and mathematician Johannes Kepler). Executor Rising, another of my novels, took a little longer to come up with. When I submitted the book to publishers the subtitle was Progeny of Vale, but since there are really four main character it felt unfair to have one of their names in the title. Executor is a position within the New Earth Tribune that plays a large role in the first novel. When I thought of it I immediately told my publisher to update the contract. It was so obvious that I don’t knew how I didn’t think of it sooner.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I think there are plenty of messages about humanity sprinkled throughout the series, but I really want the readers to each have a unique experience in their reading of it. I want them to take out of it whatever they feel. I guess if I had to pick any message it would be about the dangers of curiosity; that there are repercussions for everything that is done in the name of it.
Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Actually no. I tried my best to disappear into the world and craft all the characters around their own experiences.
What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?
More than anyone Robert E. Howard. His Conan stories are unbelievable, and there is so much energy in his writing that it is a shame he was taken so early in his life. Other writers I hold in high esteem are Tomothy Zahn and Frank Herbert. The way they balance multiple characters and multiple perspectives is masterful. I didn’t really know if it was something that could be done effectively until I read their work.
If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor? Why?
I guess it would be Robert E Howard. Only because his stories were the first that I really ate up. I wanted to write with the same vigor that he had, and hopefully one day I’ll get close!
Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?
Adam Day. He was a close friend at college and really is an amazing artist. I wanted to work with someone I knew to design an original cover that I could really be proud of and I trusted him to do an awesome job. Personally I think he exceeded my expectations.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Same as you’ll see anywhere else. Keep writing. Also, make sure you get feedback from other people. It’s so easy to get lost in your own little world as you work that you forget you’re writing for other people. So you have to get opinions and read other similar work to really start to understand what the public may actually enjoy.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I guess it would be to give my book a try and really give it an honest review. I went to Architecture School so I know how vital constructive criticism can be to get better at anything. So if you don’t like my book, and you actually read it front to back, let me know why!
Rhett C. Bruno
White Plains, NY