10 Questions with Science Fiction Novelist Peter Laurent (@petes117)

This Author Spotlight features
Science Fiction novelist
Peter Laurent
author of

Author Peter Laurent was born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand. He studied 3D animation in Auckland, then worked full-time in Mount Maunganui.

Peter then formed his own company, Indiana Games Limited, and has been freelancing art and animation back in Auckland ever since.

The Covert Academy (Volume 1) is his first novel, borne of a passion for creative storytelling.

1.How did you get into writing and why do you write?

My introduction to writing came out of the blue. I literally said to myself, “I’m going to write a book.” So I did! I have had no formal training in writing, though English was my best subject in school. I have always been a visually creative person, which led me to study and work in 3D animation for ten years before attempting a novel. I think the experience from those years of being an artist strengthens my writing. Anyway, I had some downtime during my animation work when I struggled to find a new contract, so I began writing to fill my time.

I write because I have all these stories and characters in my head that need to get out. I bet every author says that!

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

Research is what I like the best and the least. It’s a double-edged sword. It can be fun to discover interesting facts and slip them into your writing or have it lead to new ideas, but it takes a lot of time and patience.

Other than that, seeing your characters come to life on the page is a huge thrill.

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?

I write around ten pages of notes before I jump into writing the book itself. I outline character bios, locations, props, backstory and a brief plot summary. They’re more guidelines than rules, just to get me going. Getting started is the hardest part of any job, especially writing!

On my first book I averaged around 1500 words a day, 4-5 days a week. I’m going slower on my current project. I’d take quality over quantity any day. As long as I’m consistent, I’m happy with my process.

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

My all-time favourites are J.R.R. Tolkien, Isaac Asimov, and Bernard Cornwell.

But the author I admire most is Hugh Howey, author of the Wool series. He is paving the way for independent authors everywhere, and he writes a great story, too.

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

Outside. But it still looks awkward on the page even outside the quotes, doesn’t it? I avoid those situations by re-wording the sentence if I can.

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

We have to pick sides? I use it when I need to depending on the context, so I guess that means I’m pro Oxford Comma!

7.What is your book The Covert Academy (Volume 1) about and how did it come to fruition?

My debut novel The Covert Academy (Volume 1) is about a young street urchin who discovers a powerful device that could shift the balance of power among the world leaders. He becomes swept up in an on-going struggle between those who seek it, the omnipotent authorities and an underground resistance.
It came into being from the simple concept of a ninja school. I wanted to put a unique spin on it by incorporating elements from the science fiction and young adult genres. The story grew from there!

8.What’s your current writing project?

I’m writing the sequel to The Covert Academy (Volume 1), which I aim to complete around August-October 2013. I’ve learned a lot from my debut novel, so it’s bigger and better from here on out.

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

I’m re-reading The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn as inspiration for parts of my sequel. I actually find it difficult to read anyone else’s work while I’m writing my own. My head becomes lost in the world I’m creating and another story would be distracting. I churn through books at any other time!

The last book I read was CyberStorm by Matthew Mather, an excellent indie author.

10.Who or what inspires your writing?

Living in New Zealand I am lucky enough to have stunning scenes of nature outside my window. Taking a walk through the bush clears my head. Besides that, I take inspiration from all sorts of places. I grew up reading the adventures from Uncle Scrooge comics and watching Ducktales and Batman.

I love the uniquely creative stories of Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert’s video games such as Day of the Tentacle, Monkey Island and Grim Fandango.

Last but not least, there is also a special lady in my life who inspires me every day.

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

I’m amazed at the generosity and kindness within the indie author community. It’s humbling and gratifying. I’d like to thank anyone who took the time to read my book, post a review or contact me with feedback. I hope the sequel will be worth the wait!

Thank you Ryan for inviting me to do this interview, it was a lot of fun!

My book can be found on Amazon in eBook and Paperback format:

The Covert Academy (Volume 1)
Kindle                          Paperback

It will also be published through these stores in May:

More information on my upcoming project can be found on my Goodreads blog:
Or Twitter:

Thank you!

Thanks, Peter. The Covert Academy (Volume 1) looks great. I recently saw it at #6 on the Amazon Top 100 in SciFi list. Well done!

Be sure to check out The Covert Academy (Volume 1)  and visit Peter's Goodreads blog, and follow him on Twitter. And grab your copy of The Covert Academy (Volume 1) now!

The Covert Academy (Volume 1)
Kindle                          Paperback


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