Hi, my name is Rohan. As soon as I could read, I wanted to become an author. But when I started school, I was told I wasn’t any good at writing. It would be years later when I found out I was dyslexic. So, I gave up on my dream and started a twenty five year career as a chef. Last year I decided to follow that dream from my youth and I wrote a space opera called Cold Rush along with a number of short stories. During many parts of my career, I have worked very long hours in high-stress environments. My one release was always that half an hour before sleep, where I would lose myself in some magical world of fiction. My writing is an attempt to give back to those worlds.
What inspired you to write ‘Ex-Mech’?
Ex-mech is the backstory of a character from my first novel, Cold Rush. Gared is a veteran mech marine who suffers from psychological trauma. As I researched the effects of complex PTSD, I saw a story about future soldiers in deep space. What if you fought in a world where not only bullets and bombs were lethal but also the environment around you? What effect could that have on the human mind?
Could you give us an insight into your writing process?
My writing process is entirely organic. I guess this comes from starting to write before I knew anything about writing! I start every story with a single idea and a character arc, and then I write. This leads to a very long editing stage, but I hope it creates a unique and interesting work. I work full time as a head chef and write on my days off. My ideal writing time is early in the morning, with the smell of brewing coffee and the sun shining through my kitchen window, with my two dogs curled up at my feet. Heaven!
What do you consider to be the most enjoyable or important aspect of science fiction or fantasy, and why?
My favourite part of science fiction is the possibilities. I write in our future and limit the technology to science that we know can work. But that still leaves so much scope for potential stories. I love plots with twists and turns, characters with attitude and drive and villains who are real people, just arrogant, lazy or inept.
During many parts of my career, I have worked very long hours in high-stress environments. My one release was always that half an hour before sleep, where I would lose myself in some magical world of fiction. My writing is an attempt to give back to those worlds.
If you’d like to chat about space and writing, you can find me on Twitter @rohan_oduill