If you are a fan of Science Fiction then you quite possibly are a fan of Randolph Lalonde and his Spinward Fringe space opera novels. When Indie Author Land approached him for an interview, we rated our chance of success at 50-50, at best. However, he did better than simply grant us an interview, he recorded a special podcast on Crewcast Radio for us! So pop on your headphones and give it a listen. We have, however, included a transcript of a few excerpts below.
Tell us about the Spinward Fringe.
It is a series of space opera novels. A space opera is a dramatic type of story generally set in the future where you have futuristic characters who have complex relationships with each other and great big villains or challenges in the galaxy where they have to fight for freedom, fight for their lives. I like to focus on the characters, more than the galactic struggle. In the Spinward Fringe series there are small victories and a lot of running away from the worst possible situations.
What kind of readers will the series appeal to?
If you like Battlestar Galactica, if you liked Star Wars or Star Trek, you’ll probably like this. Having said that, I’ve had readers who say they’ve never read science fiction before say they’ve tried it and they liked it. Since the first book (in the Spinward Fringe series) is free, it’s worth giving it a try.
How is Spinward Fringe like Star Trek and how is it different?
The major difference is that in Star Trek the crew always got along, it was always a fairly happy crew. In Spinward Fringe, sometimes the characters get at each others’ throats. Another difference is that this is not such an optimistic future for humanity. We’ve behaved the way we’ve behaved in creating these realities – and they’re not all pretty.
Do you have an end planned for the series?
I’ve learned the lesson of planning your ending every 3 books.
Are the books stand-alone or should we start from Broadcast 0?
You would want to start from Broadcast 0. It’s free!
Tell us about your cast of characters. Which one is your idealised self?
Initially Jonas was my idealised self. Of course, I embellished him, so he has some mental features that I don’t lay any claim to. He remembers names – I don’t remember names. And he has great patience. But he’s developed so much that he’s wandered away from my idealised self and become much more interesting.
What can you tell us about Broadcast 8?
Broadcast 8 has things you haven’t seen yet but I’ve been thinking about for 5 years. And that includes space piracy, a callback to covert missions, different characters getting nice big story arcs of their own.
No book, not even great science fiction, markets itself. What do you do to get the word out there?
I use social networking (@RandolphLalonde) to talk to my readers, cos a lot of my readers have become long-distance friends. I’ve actually seen a few authors online who talk to their readers like they’re the huddled masses. It doesn’t take long before readers think “You obviously think you’re king; I’ll be back when you put out another book!”
Tell us about you.
Most of my time is taken up by thinking, dreaming about fiction. If you’ve ever listened to one of my podcasts, most of them are about Spinward Fringe.
I play drums, I play guitar terribly – not terribly well, just terribly.
I’m working on a project that no one’s heard of and no one will hear about it until this novella is finished. I’m also working on Broadcast 8. My goal is to put out 3 novels this year. One will be a character-based novel that explores a big “What if” question that affects all of history. Most people I talk to about this concept tell me they’ve never heard of this concept before. That will be a short project that I hope to release before June. And I hope to release Broadcast 8 before June as well. I’m hoping to get Broadcast 8 and 9 out this year.
Enjoyed this interview? Then check out our conversation with Hugh Howey, author of Wool.