Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Joel Dane Interview - Cry Pilot

Photo Credit: © Ben Z. Naftali

Joel Dane is the pseudonym of a full-time writer. As the son of an Army Private and an Air Force Staff Sergeant, he was raised on war stories and inter-service rivalry. He’s the author of more than twenty books across several genres, and has written for film and TV, including a dozen episodes of a Netflix Original Series. He lives in California and Maine–not at the same time–with his family.

What inspired you to pen your first novel?
Ignorance, mostly. I thought, 'I can write better than this published swill!' Shockingly, my first novel didn't sell. Or my second. Or my third …

Tell us your latest news.
I'm finishing KILL ORBIT, the final book in the CRY PILOT trilogy, which will come out next August. I'm loving wrapping up the third book before the first book is published.

Also, I'm putting in a screen door, and really looking forward to the cross ventilation.

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?

Linda Nagata and Marko Kloos are probably the most direct influences on this book, though I'm also a huge fan of the 'found family' trope in SF, like Firefly.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
"I am going to buy copies of this for all my friends!"

But less selfishly, I just hope readers enjoy an action-packed romp-with-a-heart that's set in a future that's a bit different, and that as all the narrative drive of a dystopia but plenty of optimism, too.

Did you learn anything from writing CRY PILOT and what was it?
There's a lot of talk about the importance of writing stories that shape better societies, but the relationship works both ways; the work that goes into improving society also helps shapes better stories. With CRY PILOT, I got an inkling of how much I am a beneficiary of all that work.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating Maseo?
In amongst the firefights and training sequences, the series touches on the tension between loyalty to one's principles versus loyalty to one's tribe. Maseo comes down harder one on side of that divide than I'd expected.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I'd introduce Calil-du to any of the characters in any of the books about the Trump White House.

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?
On the fuel gauge on a car's dashboard there's a little triangle that points in the direction of the gas tank. So when you stop for gas, you can tell which side the pump should be on. I learned that way too late in life.

What was your favorite childhood television program?
I didn't watch much TV as a kid, but my favorite children's TV programs now are AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER (animated, obviously) which is a work of genius, and PEEP AND THE BIG WIDE WORLD, which likewise.

If your life was a song, what would the title be?

Just Keep Writing, You Lazy Fuck, and Fix That In the Next Draft.

What are 4 things you never leave home without?
Reluctance. (x4)

What is one unique thing are you afraid of?
Well, now it's that I'm so boring that I don't even have a unique fear.

If you could live in any period in history, where would it be and why?
Continuing with the boring theme, here and now. Because this is when my wife is.

Which incident in your life totally changed the way you think today?
I got a cat. Never thought I was a cat person. Turns out I'm stupid for them.

What did you do for your last birthday?
Mourned my ongoing decline and the inevitable approach of death. Also, treated myself to a nice lunch.

Where can readers find you?
Judging from the above, under 'Boring' in any dictionary. I promise that the book is more interesting than I am! (Also at and on Twitter as @crypilot)

A devastated Earth. Rogue bio-weapons. And a recruit with secrets. In this explosive new military science fiction novel, a tight-knit infantry squad is thrown into battle against a mysterious enemy that appears without warning and strikes without mercy.

There's only one way for a man with Maseo Kaytu's secrets to join the military: by volunteering for a suicide mission as a 'cry pilot'. He cheats the system to survive, but you can't fake basic training. Assigned to a squad of misfits, Kaytu learns how to fight, how to obey, and how to trust. Yet the more he bonds with his fellow recruits, the more he risks exposure of his criminal past.

Keeping his secret is about to become the least of his problems. Kaytu discovers that his platoon is being deployed against a new kind of rogue bio-weapon. One that has torn apart every military force it's ever faced . . . .

You can purchase Cry Pilot at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you JOEL DANE for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Cry Pilot (Cry Pilot #1) by Joel Dane.