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Interview with Richard L Sanders, author of the Phoenix Conspiracy series

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Tell us about The Phoenix Conspiracy series.
The Phoenix Conspiracy Series is a space-opera/mystery about an intelligence operative who is racing against all odds to unravel a conspiracy deeply entrenched within his own government; one that threatens not just humanity but the entire galaxy. 

What genre is it?
It’s a crossover of science fiction and suspense/mystery.

What kind of readers will it appeal to?
To anyone who likes a good mystery and doesn’t mind reading about young adults trying to save the galaxy.

Complete this sentence for us: if you like ______________, you’ll love The Phoenix Conspiracy series.
Star Trek/Star Wars/Sherlock Holmes.

The lead character is Calvin Cross. Can you tell us a bit about him.
Calvin is a brilliant and successful young intelligence captain with a noble heart who inspires deep loyalty from his closest companions. Despite that, however, he’s not quite as smart as he thinks he is and he privately struggles with addiction.

Is the series going to keep running on and on, or have you already got a big ending planned? If so, what can you tell us about it?
I’ve had several people tell me to keep the series going for as long as people are willing to read it, but that runs counter to my philosophy of how stories should be written. Unlike a television show, where the writers can’t plan in advance for how long they’ll be on the air (so they make up a bunch of filler and don’t usually have the end in sight when they begin, and more or less improvise as they go) The Phoenix Conspiracy Series has always followed a planned-out story arc and elements of the ending have their earliest seeds planted in the very first book. The series currently stands at three books (The Phoenix Conspiracy, The Phoenix Rising, The Phoenix Crisis) and will have two more. The Phoenix War which is due for release this summer and, if all goes well, I hope to have the fifth and final book (yet untitled) out by the end of the year. 

We’re not asking you to blow your own trumpet, but can you tell us about some of the reviews the series has received? Have reviewers pointed out things in your own books that you were not aware of, or given you new ways to look at your stories?
The books have received generally very positive reviews. I think most readers who give it a fair chance find something to enjoy. There have been a few negative reviews which correctly point out that a few typos survived the editing process and every now and then they’ll find a formatting error. It is difficult as an independent to eliminate every unwanted artefact and make the document perfectly compliant with Amazon’s software. I do the best I can and, I believe, most readers understand that. For the most part, though, reviews have been very positive, particularly in the U.K. where the vast majority of my readership exists. The first book averages 4.2 stars, the second at 4.7, and the third at 4.6; that encourages me to keep writing. I get e-mails from fans on a daily basis and that helps keep me excited about the series. 

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m 26 years old, I love the outdoors and I recently picked up skiing. I’ve enjoyed reading since I was a small child (even though it was originally very difficult for me to pick up and my parents worried that I’d never learn to read). I’ve been writing stories since I was very young, kindergarten probably, but The Phoenix Conspiracy and Betraying Nexus were the first stories I’ve written that I actually released to the public. I have a degree in Economics and am currently studying for my J.D. but writing fiction is my truest passion. 

Have you got a website where readers can keep up with your work? How can we follow you on Twitter and/or Facebook?
Yes I do. www.richardlsanders.com and my twitter is @RichLSanders.

What’s next?
After The Phoenix Conspiracy Series is over there are several projects that I have begun outlining. But perhaps the most exciting one to me currently is a traditional fantasy series. There’s just something about swords, horses, and steel that captivates me.

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Enjoyed this interview? Then check out our interview with Randolph Lalonde.

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