Expanding the 7 questions for this edition with a science fiction author who plays his own part in highlighting the work of Irish comics creators (see the website details below). It’s 7 questions with Owen Quinn.

What was the first book you did that was published?

It was the debut book in the Time Warriors series, First Footstep.

What is the biggest thing you have learned since that book?

That the road to success is long and tiring. You’ll want to give up many times but you can’t because writing is in my blood.

What’s your process for writing a book?

Any book grows from a germ of an idea that you work a story round. I treat a book like an episode of a TV show. Open with a hook, grab the reader and draw them into your story. I know where the story is generally going but it can change along the way. I usually have a fair idea of how it’s going to end. For me, giving every character a life, no matter how minor, is crucial. It makes them people rather than ciphers for plot. Every story is a journey and my job is to make the reader see what I see in my head via words. If people connect and take even a piece of the story away with them, then the job is done. Although I usually end up sitting up many nights tili the early hours writing. It’s a good time with no distractions.

What is the biggest influence on your work? (Artists, writers, TV, movies)

All four and more. Everything, every day inspires me in some way and there’s loads of real life situations in the Time Warriors despite the aliens and villains eg bullying, unrequited love, dealing with the loss of a loved one and betrayal. Anyone can write about aliens invading but it’s making them unique with solid motivations that make the difference. Clive Barker said monsters should speak eloquent evil. Pinhead is a great example as he uses people’s weaknesses to lure them into his world. He calls it which makes the horror more terrifying because he’s right. In the Time Warriors books you’ll meet a species called the Mentara. They are centaur like, giant tarantulas the size of racehorses but with a humanoid torso. They see humans as food but in book 3, Red Water, you discover that they are more than just a flesh eating monster. And that secret is what grounds them as solid villains.

What are you working on right now?

I’m working on several new stories for the Time Warriors. The next book will be Wail of the Banshee. I think Ireland has so much rich mythology that is usually used in bad horror movies so I’m bringing Ireland back to the fore as a place for aliens and monsters to attack. Plus keeping an Irish person as one of the main leads who is not only black, female and from Belfast is hopefully breaking barriers and showing the world we are a changing country with a huge diversity. Plus outside of Big Liam, Colm Meaney and Ruth Bradley, there aren’t many Irish scifi strong characters so time to change that perception.

What do you out now or coming out next?

I have two new books coming out this year. In Venom, the Time Warriors will face an ancient evil in a seaside town off the coast of Ireland. It’s a creature that is the basis of a worldwide love we all have and have been scared by at some point and again uses our own pain and weaknesses to bring us to its side. And with the world the way it is, that is much easier than you would think. Plus I reveal the answers as to why all fast food companies use garlic in one form or another and why chippies sell squeezy bottles of vinegar over the counter. You’ll never look at pizza the same way again! I also have a collection of Time Warriors short stories coming out called the Moon Once More. It expands on the mythology of the books through a series of short stories. Not all stories can be full length novels so a collection like this is nice as you have a selection of stories to choose from. The actual story the Moon Once More is a very personal one for me and the book is dedicated to all we have lost through diseases in our lives.

What is your favourite Irish comic?

Oh impossible to answer. Since starting the Time Warriors website, one of my goals was to give all new and upcoming talent somewhere they could feature their stuff or be interviewed. I have met some many amazing talented people. There’s Darrin O’Toole, the guys at Lightning Strike who do so much for new talent, Green Monkey Comics from Gavin McCumiskey and so many more that should be recognised. I’ve gained such a new respect for all these people and we’re all on the same page-putting Irish talent on the map.

Time Warriors on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Owen-Quinn-The-Time-Warriors-and-Beyond/337782219613472
Time Warriors website: http://www.thetimewarriors.co.uk/