September 20th, 2019
I asked Chad where he would like to talk:
The sunset creates streaks of purple and orange above us, illuminating the paintings of nude extraterrestrials on the surrounding cafe walls. The waiter delivers two cups of Zinthian tea to myself and Laura Mae. We know it’s fresh because the waiter drops the spiked sand worm into the hot water right in front of us. The hot water scalds the writhing worm, causing blue slime to squirt from its pain receptors, mixing with the water and rapidly making it delicious.
Picking his nose with his forked tongue as he smacked his lips, our reptilian waiter asked if we needed a few minutes to order. We told him ‘yes’ and he quickly scuffled to his next table, waiting on a pair he had just spotted with his rotating eyes and swiveling neck.
L:What inspired you to enter the world of writing?
C: I loved reading ever since I was in elementary school, getting books out of the school library. And by the time I got to junior high, I was inspired to create my own stories.
L: How long have you been writing for?
C: Since I was in junior high. I used to waste time in study hall by taking a piece of paper and writing a one-page story about two Godzilla-style monsters fighting each other. Each story had the winner from the story I wrote the day before fighting a new monster and the same monster didn’t always win. I really just did it to make this kid in my study hall laugh, but my study hall teacher was also an English teacher and she gave me some encouragement as well. Also, the very first A plus I got on anything ever was for a short story I wrote in junior high (for a different English teacher) called Magic Water.
L: What are you currently working on?
C: I am working on the third installment, the second sequel, to my book The Tattler, about a (now former) paparazzo who hunts down aliens with his journalist ex-girlfriend. It is only in the outline stage, but it’s coming along well. Lots of weird ideas in that series, taking stories we know and exposing how it “really” is. Example: Unicorns aren’t magic. They don’t gallop on rainbows. They’re just an endangered race of horse that were overbred when people used horses in war. Who wouldn’t want a horse with an extra weapon sticking out of his face? That kind of thing. Also some “will they/won’t they” with the main characters.
L: Are there any books or authors who inspire your work?
C: Bruce Coville was a big influence on me back then because of all the quirky aliens he came up with for the My Teacher is an Alien series and a few others. I like Michael Crichton as well, but his stuff is closer to actual science than my work, where I go more science fantasy.
L: What has been the most challenging for you so far?
C: Marketing my work after I self-published. I have Aspergers, a form of autism, which includes social anxiety, so getting myself out there has been difficult. But I do okay, all things considered and I am working through it. I’ve done a few book signings and I’m moving forward.
L: What is your favorite writing trope? Least favorite?
C: My favorite trope would be when there’s a mysterious character who reveals something important about themselves later in the story. Could be anything. My least favorite trope is when THAT trope is done poorly and its predictable.
L: Besides writing, what is it you like to do?
C: I’m a big movie geek. I like sci-fi, superhero and Star Wars movies. I can pretty much watch anything except horror. The Sound of Music is one of my favorite movies too, so I like all kinds.
L: What would you say is your favorite book or series of all time? Why?
C: A tie between the My Teacher is an Alien series and the Han Solo trilogy. I don’t care if it’s not canon anymore because of that movie. The books are better!
L: Are there any regrets you have or anything you wish you knew sooner?
C: Well, I kind of got scammed by a somewhat-dishonest glorified-vanity publisher called Publish America (around 2004) that caused me to stop writing for a while. I started up again when the Kindle became a thing and I knew a little more about the publishing business. Unfortunately, I found out about a class action lawsuit against them WAY too late. Would have helped with marketing my new stuff. Anyway, if you see any books online with my name on the cover published by Publish America…avoid!!! Turtle Rocket Books is the real me.
L: In a brief statement, have you self-published or traditionally published? What was your experience?
C: I self-publish because I want full creative control over my work. This includes connecting the separate series I am writing into a multiverse in the fourth Tattler book. Kind of an Into The Spider-Verse thing with portals and other dimensions.
L: What are you currently reading?
C: Starship by Brian W. Aldiss
L: What genre do you read?
L: What does a typical day of writing look like for you? Any rituals or ‘must-haves’?
C: I don’t have any rituals, but I try to write when I am less tired, which is difficult because i work nights. But editing especially, I can’t be THAT tired.
L: Any songs or type of music you need to listen to when you write?
C: I never listen to music when I write. I tried and find it distracting.
L: Who is your favorite literary character and why?
C: Spider-Man in the comics. The way comic books give people thought balloons give him a relatable dimension that I love and that the movies don’t touch. I guess that would be too much narration. He wouldn’t have to break the fourth wall like that other superhero in the red suit. But Spider-Man thinks some funny things in the comics.
L: Where would you say you get most of your inspiration?
C: Thinking of things I want to say and then thinking of a quirky sci-fi way to say them. Or thinking something my characters would benefit from learning and then putting them through the ringer to get there.
L: For aspiring writers out there, what would be the best advice you want them to know?
C: Like anything else. Practice makes perfect. Keep it up!
Chad Descoteaux is a sci-fi writer from Rhode Island USA. His work combines relatable characters with “out there” sci-fi scenarios and plots, mixing weirdness with sentiment. He has 11 books so far, available at turtlerocketbooks.com and plans to build a 14-book literary multiverse.
Find Chad on Twitter and his website!
The Inter-Terrestrial: Volume 1 – An alien scientist has a half-human “inter-terrestrial” son on the primitive planet of Earth. Aliens from neighboring planets (Mars and Venus) think they own the Earth and are adamant that it not be used by higher species without their consent. For twenty years, this alien father has been trying to figure out a way to get back to this forbidden planet to see his son, desperately looking for an opportunity to present itself.
But how did this “inter-terrestrial” come to be? How has his human mother protected him on a planet where many people hate and fear what is different? And what role would this hybrid play in proving that humans are not inferior to our alien brethren?
Buy it here!