Wednesday, January 23, 2013

10 Questions with Novelist Bard Constantine (@BardConstantine)

This Author Spotlight features New Haven-based writer and novelist Bard Constantine, author of THE TROUBLESHOOTER.

Bard Constantine is a writer of gritty futures and far-flung fantasy.

If he were a pinata, stories would explode from his innards upon impact, much to the consternation of little children everywhere.

When not evading the straightjacket confines of his psychiatric 'buddies', he's usually found somewhere pounding a keyboard while trying to keep a tenuous grip on some obscure thing called reality.

His books are available pretty much everywhere, and he'd love it if you'd read one. Or two, if you like the first.

1.  How did you get into writing?

I think writing was an inevitable destination for me. I’ve loved reading ever since I knew how, and I’ve always been interested in creating stories. When I was younger I was mainly interested in storytelling through art, but that eventually evolved into writing. Art depicts scenes, but words have the ability to relate a complete story. That’s what I fell in love with.

2.  What do you like best (or least) about writing?

I love the journey that I get to go on while working through a story. I only have a general idea of what the final result will be when I begin a project, so all the twists and turns and surprise characters are simply amazing to discover along the way.

As for what I like least… a year ago I probably would have said editing. But over the past months I’ve developed a true appreciation for the editing process. It’s like now I can’t wait to finish a story or novel so that I can start to edit it. I’ve found that’s it’s only through the re-writes and edits that the true form of the novel is revealed. As an independent writer I feel there’s an obligation to edit your work until you lose count of how many times you’ve done it, because it’s all on you. So I guess the only thing I dislike about writing is the battle to make time to do it.

3.  What is your writing process? IE do you outline? Do you stick to a daily word or page count, write 7 days a week, etc?

Writing process?

Lol. I wish I had a writing process. Right now it’s ‘write when you get a chance’. I’m not very disciplined with sticking to a rigid schedule, though I’d undoubtedly get more done if I was. With writing it’s always a tug of war with full time work, family time, me time and writing time. Still, I was pleased with my production last year and hope to improve on that this year. As far as outlines, I don’t work with one very often, and when I do it’s very brief. I like to know how the story begins and how it ends. What happens in between is what I enjoy finding out without much forethought.

4.  Who are some other writers you read and admire, regardless of whether they are commercially “successful?”

Wow, that’s a good question. Robert Jordan was the author who first influenced my decision to write seriously, so he’s definitely on the list. In that fantasy genre I also greatly admire George RR Martin, Gene Wolfe and Patrick Rothfuss. A lot of people think that the classic noir writers heavily influence my Troubleshooter series, but Walter Mosley would be the greater inspiration. There’s really too many to name. On the lesser-known but equally outstanding level, I was recently impressed by Hugh Howey’s Wool series, and the poetic works of Victoria Selene Skye Deme are a kaleidoscope of brilliance.

5.  Should the question mark in the above question be inside or outside the quotes?

Inside, definitely. Leaving the question mark outside is quite rude and would no doubt insult the poor fellow.

6.  What’s your stance on the Oxford Comma?

Let the Lord of Chaos rule.

7.  What is your book The Troubleshooter about and how did it come to fruition?

The Troubleshooter started off as a writing exercise to develop my stream of consciousness writing. I posted chapters, or ‘episodes’ regularly, turning some of my online friends into characters of this strange noir-styled city. When I wrapped up, I knew that I couldn’t just let the project go. So I allowed it to simmer while I worked on another project, and when I finished I returned to The Troubleshooter and shaped it into an actual novel. The idea was to take a hardboiled private detective character with all the grit and flavor of that period, but place him in a "Blade Runner" type of environment, this dystopian melting pot of a city called New Haven. The result is a blend of old and new, noir and sci fi. It’s a wild adventure that introduces the character of Mick Trubble, a man with a mysterious past who happens to be quite handy at getting into trouble and shooting his way out of it.

8.  What’s your current writing project?

At the moment I’m wrapping up a short Troubleshooter tale for an upcoming anthology. After that it’s the next installment in the Troubleshooter series, a novel called The Most Dangerous Dame. I also have two unfinished YA manuscripts that I’d like to see published this year. So I definitely have my work cut out for me.

9.  What book(s) are you currently reading?

I’m nearly finished with the last Wheel of Time novel by Robert Jordan. It’s a big deal for me because I’ve been reading this series since high school. To finally have it finished is an event. After that I’ll be reading the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson, who co-wrote the last three WOT novels.

Yes, Brandon Sanderson continued the tale of Robert Jordan's epic, iconic series after Jordan passed away. It's on my TBR list. I almost don't want to read it, because then the series will be over.

10.  Who or what inspires your writing?

I’m compelled to write in order to exorcise all of these characters and stories that boil in my head. Other than that, I find inspiration everywhere, from other books to movies, people I know and things that I see. There are stories everywhere. I just have to get them out.

Finally, is there anything you’d care to add? Please also include where people can read your published stories, buy your book, etc.

I’d like to take the time to thank the buyers of my work and particularly the online network that I’ve developed –people who take the time to post, share, and review. It means a lot to me to know that readers enjoy what I’ve produced so far, and I truly appreciate their response.

My work can be found at 

My website:

You can follow me at:



Thank you, Bard. The Troubleshooter looks fantastic. I like the neo-noir "Bladerunner" concept. Let us know when the next installment is ready!

Be sure to check out The Troubleshooter and like and follow Bard on Facebook and Twitter.

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