In the first episode of 2022, Tom Kranz gives a preview of his next book currently underway, a sequel to his successful, five-star sci-fi novel Time Travel Rescue. The new book is called Moon Rescue and should be out in the spring. Tom also recently attended a percussion convention and found some inspiring words about writing from a drummer. How did that happen? Give a listen!Buzzsprout - Let's get your podcast launched!
:00 Tom Kranz
Hello everybody. Welcome back to the Independent Author podcast. I'm Tom Kranz. I appreciate you subscribing and downloading my episodes. Happy New Year. I'm recording this in mid-January 2022. I don't want to jinx myself, but so far, it's been over two years and I have dodged the covid bullet. People around me have gotten sick. One of my sons got infected. He was asymptomatic, but he had to quarantine, and of course, a lot of folks that all of us know have had either breakthrough cases, or been positive for no apparent reason or because maybe they weren't careful. I don't know, but I'm so far into January by a couple of weeks and as I said, so far so good.
What brings me here today is my mission of writing and writing for myself. Do I write for a bigger audience? I asked that question to most of the authors who I interview for this podcast. The answers are kind of varied, but I think that the common denominator is that most of the independent authors, if not all of them, who I've interviewed are writing because of a specific passion for a specific subject or because they just want to write and essentially write for themselves.
I'd have to say that, you know, I've been writing since high school, writing professionally, since college, as a newsperson, and then later, as a communications director for a company, and I'd have to say that I write for my own enjoyment. I come up with these stories for my novels out of thin air.
Some of them are based on actual people who I've met here in there but there's really no real life model for any of the people I write about or any of the situations that I write about. So, that brings me to my current project. I'm currently writing a sequel to my first science fiction work called Time Travel Rescue. The sequel is called Moon Rescue and it kind of picks up somewhat where the first book left off, just very broadly. It takes place mostly on the Moon where in the 2060s we have come to build a basically a domed city that's become a refuge for people who have the money to escape the Earth as the Earth slowly disintegrates in, erodes under climate apathy and warming and increasing storms and increasing floods and rising sea levels and it takes place in and underneath this dome mostly.
But it also has to do with, you know, some of the bad influences up there. Shocking that human beings would bring their addictions and their crimes with them off-world, but it happens. And the book is going to deal with the people who have to track down those bad guys and why crime is burgeoning and what was supposed to be essentially an off-world paradise. It's an interesting exercise writing science fiction because at least I feel like I have to walk a line between being somewhat accurate and somewhat true to the subject but also telling an engaging story, you know. It is fiction after all.
I remember getting a review of my first sci-fi book by a gentleman who was very, very concerned by a couple of the scenarios that I described because he said well that just couldn't possibly happen. You know, in the real world physics wouldn't allow that to happen and I took note, you know, and I said, okay, that's fine.
The fact of the matter is that in writing this book, I have as a consultant, a Master's in mechanical engineering who's got a lot of knowledge about space, how things work and he actually teaches a science class in my hometown of Philadelphia where he's got some students who are very read up and very much advanced in subjects like astrophysics and space. So, I actually have a source of, you know, good information, when it comes to things like living in weightlessness, does Wi-Fi work on the Moon, those kinds of questions. That's the kind of stuff that I'm dealing with right now. I'm about halfway through this book and I'm hoping I'll have it done by, I guess, early spring or mid-spring. That really is about a month or two away.
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Then the last thing I wanted to impart in this particular episode was, I had the opportunity back in the fall to go to Indianapolis for the annual convention of the Percussive Arts Society of America. I'm a lapsed drummer. I played the drums from age 13 until maybe 20 years ago when I moved to New Jersey and I just didn't have the time anymore to pursue it. But I've always been interested in drumming and drummers. And I, you know, resurrected a practice pad and my sticks, and I try to keep my chops up, but my very good friend Don from Seattle has been a lifelong drummer lifelong musician, and he goes to this convention every year. And so this year, we met out there and we spent a few days.
The reason I bring it up is because, there was one of the workshops, that kind of reminded me of writing. That workshop was done by a drummer named Tommy Igoe. Tommy Igoe is probably I guess a modern-day equivalent of a Buddy Rich type of drummer. He is an astonishing technician on the drums. He has played all kinds of music. He led a big band in New York for a number of years. But he also plays funk and blues, and he can play jazz and he plays rock. He's a very what I call aggressive drummer. He's not afraid to really attack the kit and he's got an ego, I would say, probably the size of New Jersey. And I kind of mean that in a good way. He's very driven and he's very passionate about the instrument but during his workshop, he talked a lot about finding your own voice as a drummer and, you know, you might ask yourself well, how can a drummer find a voice? Isn't it just a matter of keeping time and making the noise and, you know, keep the rest of the, keeping the song kind of moving?
And the answer is a big fat NO on that. As you become good at the rudiments and you become a good technician, you do actually find a voice and your voice is in terms of phrasings, the way you attack, the drums, the volume, the touch. You have the way you interpret music, the way you interpret songs and I found so much of what he said, relevant to writing. You know, it's one thing to learn grammar and spelling and sentence structure and all that stuff's important, but you really have to find your voice. You have to find out what it is that you want to write about and why. What is your motivation for writing like that? You know, in my case I really just am now able to tell stories that I wasn't able to tell in 25 plus years as a journalist in the very strictest sense where I was telling, you know, kind of reporting the news as unbiased and as fairly as possible and that keeps you within certain guardrails along the road of writing that story. Now, I can make things up. I can come up with stories. I can fantasize and find a way to make those stories come alive on the page, or as an audiobook so that a total stranger might be interested in reading it. And my theory there is, if I if I'm interested in it, I think other people may be interested in it too.
Sounds simplistic but that's kind of the way I approach it and that's what I think. Tommy Igoe meant about finding your voice, you know you look in your, you look in the mirror and you look at the guy or girl looking back at you and you say, what is it that person trying to say What is it that you're trying to do? And once you figure that out, I think that you can move forward a lot more with a lot more nimbleness in terms of coming up with storylines, coming up with plotlines, figuring out what you want characters to do, and why. So that's what I've kind of I've been spending the last few years doing here with my writing.
Now, my sixth novel is trying to find what my voice is and what it is that I'm trying to say beyond just facts and figures and good sentence structure and good spelling. There comes a time when I think every writer seeks to go to the next level which is to really try to get into what it is you're feeling what it is you believe, as my old high school teacher once said, the universal truth that you're trying to get to. That's a lifelong pursuit for some and som will never get there. And hopefully, maybe I will before I die. Who knows? In any event.
I appreciate your listening. I hope you'll listen to some of my past episodes. I'll be getting back on the stick and finding new authors to interview now that the new year is here. I really appreciate your time and attention and I hope that you'll be listening to future episodes. Happy new year and be safe out there!