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Author Interview: T. A. Bruno

T. A. Bruno grew up in a suburb south of Chicago and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the film industry. Since then, he has brought stories to life for over a decade as a previsualization artist. At home, he is the proud father of two boys and a husband to a wonderful wife.

Interview

Use three to five words to describe yourself.

Creative, fun, motivated.

Can you give us a little background on your debut?

The Song of Kamaria trilogy is coming to an end early next year with the third and final book, At the Threshold of the Universe.

Series blurb: As the lights go out in the Sol System, humanity flees the grip of nightmarish machines and journies to a far-off world called Kamaria. It is a paradise, but not without its own dangers. Low in numbers and desperate to survive, humanity will be forced to adapt to this strange new world or face extinction.

Can you give us any insight into your planning and writing process?

I like to describe myself as a gardener. I’m a big proponent of making an outline, like one might plan a garden layout, but then I allow myself to see where that outline grows. It’s a little bit of both in the plotting/pantsing mindsets. I typically know where my book will be heading, but it still surprises me during its creation.

Silence or music or other when writing/editing?

I often listen to orchestral music while I write. Especially when writing dramatic scenes.

Based on your experience, can you offer a piece of advice to budding authors?

Write the full first draft knowing you will go back and rewrite it in several edits. If you know you have a plot hole in your rear view mirror, write yourself a note to tackle it on the second pass. Keep the momentum of that first draft all the way to the end, then go back and make it look like you planned it that way.

You can erase one book or series from your mind entirely so that you can read it again for a first time, which do you erase?

I thoroughly enjoyed A Fire Upon the Deep and its sequel A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge. They are so deliciously weird and inventive. A bit of a slow burn, but I felt like the perfect reader to absorb them. They were exactly what I like to read.

Who are some of your favourite authors/books?

Vernor Vinge with A Fire Upon the Deep and its sequel A Deepness in the Sky, Micaiah Johnson with The Space Between Worlds, Neil Gaiman for a few of his novels, Dan Simmons with the Hyperion Cantos, Andy Weir with the Martian and Project Hail Mary, and Becky Chambers for a variety of books.

Who are your favourite book characters?

Piranesi from the book of the same name was an excellent character that I loved reading about. Such a unique world in that book. Other than him, there are characters I love in many of the books I read, it’s hard to choose!

Do you have any favourite magic systems?

I don’t typically read fantasy, but I intend to start next year. So at the moment, I don’t have any I can point at.

You can bring one world from a book or series to life and live there, which world do you choose

Well I have to be bias with this answer, because Kamaria, in my books In the Orbit of Sirens and On the Winds of Quasars is a world I brought to life. It’s the perfect place for me to daydream. But if I want to be fair, I really enjoyed the universe built in A Fire Upon the Deep. Big open and filled with life and some interesting concepts.

What book or series would you love to see on the big screen?

I know I’ve been saying it, but A Fire Upon the Deep. Mostly because all of my other favorites are in the middle of being developed or have already been developed. I feel like Fire would be crazy to see on screen, especially with the way the Tines work.

You can collaborate with one other author, who do you choose?

Neil Gaiman would be magical to work with. I just love the little things he slips into each one of his stories.

Have any cultures/civilisations inspired your writing?

Not per-say, but movies greatly inspired my books because I work in the film industry. I wanted to make a book that if I got really REALLY lucky, maybe one day I could get the opportunity to work on its film adaptation.

What is your favourite mythical creature?

You’d expect me to say Sirens, but I got to go with Fauns or Satyrs. I think they are just fun characters, sort of like a Hobbit but a little more fantastical.

What is your favourite mythical race?

Here’s a weird answer, but Grippli. They are these little frog guys from Pathfinder and other various Dungeons and Dragons books. I played as one named Blek in a campaign my friend ran a little while ago, and he’s still a fond character to me. (Easter egg, there’s a small creature called a Wizz’ik in In the Orbit of Sirens named Blek as sort of a self-nod at my old Pathfinder character.)

You can have one superpower, what is it?

Easy, flight. I’d save so much on plane tickets.

You have the ability to morph into any real—not mythical—creature. Which creature do you choose?

Any bird that can fly far distances. I think Eagles do well, or maybe an Albatross.

You can go back in time and live a different period of history, when do you choose?

I’d just go back to the 90’s again. I had a good childhood.

You can meet any five people in the world, who would you choose?

(If it’s living or dead) Neil Armstrong, Carl Sagan, Neil Gaiman, Vernor Vinge, and Ryan Reynolds.

Would you rather…

  • ride a dragon or fly a spaceship?
    • Spaceship for sure.
  • have the ability to fly or be indestructible?
    • Fly.
  • be an elf or an orc?
    • Elf.
  • have the ability to travel to mythical worlds, from your favourite books, or the ability to travel faster than light and visit planets and solar systems in this world?
    • Mythical Worlds!
  • face one orc or three goblins in battle?
    • Three Goblins.
  • be an expert swordsman or archer?
    • Archer
  • be able to wield elemental magic or raise and control the dead?
    • I’d say elemental magic, smells better.
  • live in a city under the ocean or one floating in the clouds?
    • Floating in the clouds.
  • be able to see the past or see the future?
    • Future for sure!

Thank you for taking the time, we really appreciate it.