R. Curtis Venture was born in the United Kingdom in 1978. A graduate of Applied Biology, he has previously worked in entertainment and hospitality, business development, and intelligence analysis. His first great passion was for science fiction, both in books and on the screen, and he spent his childhood years swooping about on a BMX making “peow peow” noises.
He is currently employed full-time in the legal sector, and he therefore makes time to write by completely ignoring his friends, family, and social obligations, and avoiding pointless activities such as sleep.
You can find R. Curtis Venture on both Facebook and Twitter, where he welcomes interaction with readers and encourages feedback. To see what he’s reading these days, follow him on Goodreads
What inspires you to write?
I’ve always been writing in one way or another during my life, and always watching and reading science fiction. In recent years the trend seems to have gone towards neatly packaged stories with cookie-cutter characters, “surprise” endings which are clearly laid out in the opening act, and – worst of all – the use of the deus ex machina intervention at the climax. The actually well-crafted stories meanwhile (such as Firefly) always seemed to get canned. The Armada Wars universe is my humble attempt to do it right. I want to fill that universe with flawed people in situations that could easily occur, and give them problems that can’t be solved with only a gadget and a pithy comment.
Tell us about your writing process.
I start by thinking about the story I want to tell. In my method, this is the end-to-end series of large scale external events which are going to prompt some kind of action from the characters. Once I have a skeleton for the story, I start to devise the characters. I do this by figuring out what sorts of people would be caught up in the events, and where their paths might cross. Once I have a set of characters to fill the more interesting roles, I provide them with a biography and a set of basic traits. Once that is done, if it’s done right, they create the rest of their personality themselves and begin to turn story into plot.
For my planning out I use a combination of iOS tools: Reminders, Notes, and Pages. I do this so that I can easily share between my phone (perfect for when inspiration strikes) and MacBook. I also make quite a lot of use of spreadsheets, since my writing involves complex time-lines and whole rafts of ships, planets, and people.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
It’s essential to listen to the characters. If you know the character well enough, you know what they will say and how they will react in a given situation. But sometimes they surprise you, and you’ll end up writing a scene which isn’t at all what you planned but absolutely what the character would definitely do. If you don’t listen to your characters, you miss those opportunities to write the perfect scene.
What advice would you give other writers?
Never stop trying to learn, and learn from a wide range of sources. There are different methods to suit different people, and you don’t have to go with the first one you learn about. Have the confidence to experiment with different styles, and don’t be afraid to receive constructive criticism from strangers with writing experience.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I decide to start by using the Kindle publishing platform because it is reasonably straightforward, has good market penetration, and pays good royalties. This then led to me publishing paper versions through Amazon’s CreateSpace service.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I expect eBooks will continue to encroach on the market, but I can’t see paper books disappearing in the foreseeable future. Publishing itself, I hope, will become a more accessible and less corporate endeavour.
What do you use?
What genres do you write?
Military Science Fiction, Space Opera
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print