About the Book:
On a planet forsaken by a pan-stellar Empire in times long forgotten, old stories tell of an infamous day when swarms of imperial starships clouded the sky and abducted all able men and women. Nothing was ever known of them thereafter. The planet, known as Arweg, was left stranded, inhabited only by orphaned children, the unlearned elderly, and the helpless. Years went by, the old died, and the children grew to become adults in an ignorant world surrounded by crumbling technology they were unable to understand and much less operate. After ages of darkness, civilization reemerged to a point where a small portion of the little technology preserved in time could be worked.Two young Arwegians unearth a metallic capsule and trigger a chain-reaction. The strange pod will relay a signal into deep space and summon an immense octopus-shaped starship known as Goddess. The Empire is back, and it wants to restore Arweg to its former status as a full member of the Confederacy. It is the Dawn of a new Era. Or is it?
A voice from the past will warn the Arwegians the real purpose of the Empire is to modernize the planet only to make it suitable for a renewed colonization and slavery. Some will believe it and some will not. The Revolution has begun.
Dawn follows a small group of characters from both sides who will be drastically changed—those who survive—through war, love, loss, courage, hate, compassion, and friendship as the years go by, extreme events take place, and hope is almost the only thing left…
I had always seen writing as a means to express myself across the distance. I kept handwritten correspondence with several friends for years and thoroughly enjoyed both the intimacy it offered and the way writing allowed me to put my thoughts and feelings into words, thus giving me a better way to explain and therefore understand myself. I soon found out that thinking about something and explaining it in written words were two different things, and that I enjoyed the process, the extra reflective effort to dissect ideas, thoughts, feelings, and to finely define them with words. I have never stopped ever since.
The way I got into fiction writing, however, was purely coincidental. I was sitting one Sunday evening with an old friend on my porch stairs, and he started a game: a shared story. I said the first paragraph, he added a second, I added a third… the following day I simply started writing. I had never written a single short story before. It had never occurred to me. Seems like I thought I had something to tell, because it caught. Story making lets you write about anything while playing God at the same time. The power you have over your characters and their world is both exhilarating and terrible. I am always glad when my characters are doing fine, and I always have a hard time when they suffer. Even after having finished, re-reading certain paragraphs always comes at a price. I didn’t expect that. And I like it.
2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?
I write at any time and normally on my PC, but that’s incidental. I could write anywhere, provided I have an urge to. I never push it. When I feel I have something to say, I write. When I don’t, I do not. And when I do, neither the time of day, the place, or the distractions are a factor. Everything vanishes, the text flows, and something concrete is distilled from a general idea. It’s pretty nice.
3: Where do your ideas come from?
From everywhere? From nowhere? I don’t know. I blog about things that matter to me and write about these same things in my fiction work too, albeit metaphorically. I normally write about feelings, although I often disguise the message. In the end, I think many of us writers are just trying to fix our own worlds. I didn’t want to write a sci-fi novel, I wanted to write about the irreversible, about how we face and cope with those life-changing experiences that cannot be turned back. The characters who carried my hopes and fears just happened to live on another planet.
4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?
More than a plan, I have a concept, a line of ideas or of feelings I want to explore, and a rough context in which to place it. When I started Dawn, I wrote the first part in two months. Then I stopped for five years. I had known what I wanted to say first and I had written it. I knew what was expected to happen then but I didn’t know how or why. It is like I knew the question, that was the first part, but not the answer. Took me five years to figure it out. Once I did, I wrote the second part in another two months.
The details, the little intertwinings that make the plot fresher and more interesting are the “chance” result of thinking about the story over and over again. Most of these big-little things come from the subconscious and are like tiny gifts that explode in your mind without warning. I enjoy those events quite a lot.
5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?
My first and only novel is Science Fiction. I have a non-fiction book almost finished and have started a third work, a prehistorical fiction novel. The reason why I picked sci-fi is quite simple. I wanted to tell a story, but I didn’t want to burden myself with the documentation effort it would take to properly fit it in any given time-period. Sci-fi allowed me to start from scratch. Later on it turned out I extremely enjoyed adding to the sci-fi part of the story, but that is something I didn’t expect in advance, although I do read sci-fi with certain frequency.
My next novel is all about documentation. It’s a long term project, hopefully to be finished. It’s yet to be determined if I will be up to the task.
6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?
Ha ha ha that’s a nice question. I do not know. All my characters have faces of their own, of course, but they do not always come from real people. Brod is a guy I know, Mara takes after a marvel comic hero called Longshot, Arlet might look like Marvel’s classic Dr. Strange (comic, not movie). Dunali comes from several women, Arzo Barr could be Rob Reiner with black hair, General Suwen could be Lee Van Cleef, or a short haired Dr. Gero from Dragon Ball.
If you push me, Jared Leto/Jake Gyllenhaal could be Brod, Eddie Redmayne/Tom Holland could be Mara, Marion Cotillard could be Dunali, James Franco could be Arlet, and Emma Stone could be Rora. I’d love to have Clint Eastwood for General Trop or the Pilgrim.
7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?
I don’t read much but I read all the time. I do not have favorite authors, I have favorite books. My top 30 books are probably from 25 different writers. I could name Patrick O’Bryan as the author of my most loved historical novel saga, I read all Stephen King in my youth, but not anymore.
8: What book/s are you reading at present?
Right now I am reading Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee, by Dee Brown. Just finished Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan and Two Westerns by Forrest Carter. I spent the winter and spring either aboard WW2 U-boats or in the Eastern Front, which I didn’t know much about.
9: What is your favourite book and why?
If I have to choose a novel, it would be Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey Maturin saga. There are so many reasons. I love the history period, absolutely love the main characters and how you accompany them as they get on in age along the 21 books. I find the way O’Brian depicts tall-ship warfare fascinating, and I love the kindness and the humor of the author’s tone. So much more than frigates shooting canon. It would be Frank Herbert for SF, Tolkien and Abercrombie for fantasy… I read a lot of non-fiction and the books and authors are simply unaccountable. You can learn more through my Goodreads page.
If you want an unfair list, apart from the mentioned ones, I could Add One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest, To Kill a Mockingbird, Life of Pi, Flowers for Algernon, The Physician, Aztec, The Journeyer, Shogun, With the Old Breed, Russia’s War, Guns, Germs and Steel, Q, A higher Call, I am Legend, Gates of Fire, It, White Fang, The Hitchhicker’s guide to the galaxy, Cryptonomicon, Hyperion, Armor, Band of Brothers, The Chosen Species… and comics…
10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?
That’s pretty simple. Stop thinking and start writing. Go one step at a time, get your idea, put it down black on white, and finish it (the hardest part). If you enjoyed the process, repeat freely as often as you want. If you are asking about becoming a selling author, now that is a totally different issue that has not much to do with writing.
11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?
I am not a very dedicated social media inhabitant. I tweet now and then and I blog, or used to (always depending on me having something to say). I also have a web-page, but it is a store for my work as a freelance photographer, not to my writing. My FB is next to nonexistent.
About the Author:
Weston earns a living working by himself as an engineer, teacher, and freelance photographer, but not from writing. In all honesty, even though he enjoys writing in different forums and used to blog every now and then, he does not see himself as a fiction writer. Dawn is his first work of this kind, which is the reason why he invested in it far more effort and love than it probably deserved.
Avid reader, lone traveler, slow trail-runner, passionate photographer, terrible guitarist and worse singer, amateur modeler, persistent sketcher, weekend trekker, occasional painter and sculptor, self-taught gardener, committed father and husband, and first of all, a curious man… you can learn more about the way Weston sees life through his old but still current blog.