06 September, 2011

UPGRADER Blog Tour: An Interview With Author Terry Tibke

Hello, everyone!

Today, as part of a tour to promote the YA Science Fiction novel Upgrader: Re-engineered, I have an interview with author Terry Tibke.

1. What was your inspiration for Upgrader: Re-Engineered?

Shannon Eric Denton, one of the Actionopolis founders and Chief Editor, I suppose you could call him, handed me over this paragraph:

    When Dylan Kent is exposed to a mysterious energy from another dimension he finds himself transformed into an ever-changing warrior in order to keep our world free from intradimensional invaders. These invaders have found a break in the Seam; the dimensional barrier separating our world from theirs. If Dylan is unsuccessful in repelling them, our world won’t be ours for long.

And that was my inspiration. From there, I fleshed out the story, collaborating with Shannon along the way. Actionopolis is fun that way. They supply the seed, and authors build from there. It was an altogether fun and exciting difference from what I'm used to.

2. What is your writing process like?

I have a busy life with a wife and two kids, another financial business job, an illustration and design job, and my job as a writer. With all that said, I typically do my writing at night. Seriously, the middle of the night. I go to bed the same time as my kids do at about 8pm, sleep till around 12am, then I get up a write. I hammer away at the keyboard for about two hours, then I go back to bed around 2 or 3am, then get up at 6am with my family. I've worked very hard to get as far as I am so far, and hope to further my writing career even more as time goes by.

3. Which books/authors have had the greatest influence on your work?

Stylistically, Orson Scott Card, Scott Westerfeld, and even Suzane Collins have had an influence over the past several years. When I started writing, it all sounded a bit more Tolkein'ish. Over time, I've found my own style--one that's much more comfortable to read. I'm sure anyone who's read my earlier works will agree that my writing now is much more efficient and crisp.

4. On writing and illustrating: do you find links between the two?

Both of these are very creative in nature. That's an initial similarity that's probably very obvious to anyone. In writing, you write a first draft, a second, then a third (and hopefully, though rarely) final draft that sparkles. In illustration, you rough your concept out, determine what works and what doesn't, clean it up, then color it to make it shine. But they're both jobs too, and like many jobs, they are repeatable processes that require discipline and self-motivation to complete. Neither illustration, nor writing, can you sit back and wait for inspiration to come. You have to keep forward.

5. What projects do you have in the works at the moment?

Several! Fans of my Armageddon series keep asking when the next book is going to come out, and will be pleased to know that book 2 is finished. However, I still have some illustrating to do, and I've had to put the series aside for now while I work with Actionopolis on the Upgrader trilogy. In the meantime though, head over to http://www.terrytibke.com to play the free Armageddon Card Game, which is in Beta testing right now.
   I also have another 1st draft of an Armageddon book done, though that's set as more of a prequel to the current series. I have a middle grade pirate adventure book I'm looking for an agent on, and I just turned in the first pass at Upgrader, book 2. I'll be starting on book 3 very soon, and am set up to do another completely seperate book for Actionopolis after the Upgrader trilogy.
   On top of all that, on the illustration side, I'm freelancing for an online game company doing character design. That's been really fun stuff to do. I also recently signed on to do script and story work with them. Working in games has been a lifelong dream, so I'm super hyped about it!

So, yeah. I'm way busy.

6. What's your best advice on writing?

Oh man, I have so much of it, because I've made most all of the mistakes you can make! :D Probably one that comes to mind though is on drafting.
   When I wrote my first manuscript, I'd write a chapter, then go back and read it through while editing it. Then I'd write the second chapter, then go back to the beginning and re-edit the whole thing. Eventually, I think I'd edited my manuscript over a hundred times. What a collossal waste of time! When you write a first draft, write it. Just keep going until you're at the end, doing your best not to go back and read much of it. Editing stuff is for second draft. Polishing is for third.


About Terry Tibke:

Terry Tibke is the writer, artist and creator of the novel Armageddon: The Battle of Darkening Skies, published by Eloquent Books (2009), and co-created and wrote the new Young Adult Sci-Fi, Upgrader: Re-Engineered, with Shannon Denton, published by Actionopolis. Terry was an animator for FatCat Studios, working on such features as Dreamworks' Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron and Adam Sandler's Meatball Studios' Eight Crazy Nights before beginning his writing career. Born in 1977 in Seattle, WA, Terry garnered numerous local young artist awards growing up. Then, at the age of eleven, Terry began the creation of the Armageddon world in preparation for its many stories to one day be told.    
   Hard at work on the next two Upgrader novels, Terry fills the wee hours of each night with writing, and doing design work for Social Titans, an online game company. 
   Terry now lives in Chandler, AZ with his wife, Sophany, and their two adorable children.

About Upgrader: Re-engineered:
A dimensional rift has opened, and now a headstrong young man must learn to use an ancient power before the Earth is enslaved.
   Dylan Kent is exposed to a mysterious energy from another dimension! Transformed into an ever-changing warrior, Dylan must harness these new powers in order to keep our world free from intradimensional invaders. These invaders have come to our world in search of the power Dylan now possesses. If Dylan is unsuccessful in repelling them, not only will he die but our world will die with him!

Where you can find Terry:


-----The Golden Eagle


Rachel said...

I love the writing advice. The books look really interesting.

....Petty Witter said...

Thanks for the intro to Terry, not an author I have read but my niece loves his books.

Old Kitty said...

Loved how the paragraph inspired the story! Yay!

Thanks for the intro to Terry Tibke and his books, Golden Eagle as well to his most unusual writing process!! I wish I could get up at midnight and write away! That's really amazing!

Good luck with Upgrader! Take care

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's interesting he was given a prompt for the story - and wrote a good one. Cool there's a card game attached as well.

Jen Chandler said...

Very interesting inteview! I really enjoyed his editing advice. I can relate! It's so easy to edit while your write instead of getting the first draft out into the open. Give it some room to breathe and THEN dive in for some edits.

Best of luck to Terry on the series and thanks, Eagle, for a great interview!


Hannah Kincade said...

Great interview! I WISH I could wake up in the middle of sleeping and write.

The Golden Eagle said...

Rachel: I do, too. :)

Tracy: You're welcome!

Really? How cool!

Old Kitty: Same here!

I agree. I know I wouldn't be able to write very well at that hour, either!

Alex: Isn't it? :D

Jen: I used to do that, actually; I'd write part of the first draft and edit it without finishing the draft. :P

You're welcome!

Hannah: Me, too. I'd just klunk over and snooze on the desk. LOL.

Mark Noce said...

Great interview, with lots of good insights. I don't typically read many YA novels, but I might check this one out now:)

Charles Gramlich said...

The Weserfeld name caught my attention. I've enjoyed a lot of his work.

Gail Shepherd said...

Wow, I would be totally psychotic if I got up at midnight to write. Although I've heard that is a really natural sleeping pattern and that people used to break their nightly sleep into two parts. I agree, I would never edit and re-edit early chapters before finishing, the way I did with novel number 1. Thanks for introducing us to Tibke; he's a role model.

M Pax said...

The plot is very intriguing. Congrats to Terry. :)

Milo James Fowler said...

"Just keep going until you're at the end, doing your best not to go back and read much of it." Great advice! I try to vomit out my first drafts as much as possible, knowing I'll have plenty of time later to clean everything up. But I can definitely relate to that "edit as you go" syndrome.

Belle said...

Great interview and interesting answers. Thanks a lot.

Bethany Elizabeth said...

Very cool interview, those books look awesome! I could never write at those hours, but I could do the getting up early thing. Maybe. :)

E.R. King said...

I can't believe Terry goes to bed, then wakes up to write for two hours! I'm impressed!
Thanks for the interview! It was great to learn about Terry.

ali cross said...

Great interview, Eags! I definitely think there's a huge relationship between art and writing, so I was nodding my head along with what Terry said :)

Marlena Cassidy said...

It all sounds pretty interesting. I like the dual writing/illustrating aspects of his novels. Though I don't think I could ever write in the middle of the night like that.

Jo Schaffer said...

Good interview. Wow-- his book was based on a prompt. Cool.

Anonymous said...

Its great to meet you, Terry. I like Orson Scott Card too. I should go back and re-read some of his stuff. best wishes for you and your writing success!

Anonymous said...

I agree about drafting. Going back, especially on something you'll revise anyway, is a waste of time.

I also write in the middle of periods of sleep. Many people don't understand, but I love the quiet of nighttime, and then at around 3 or 4 I go back to bed.

Reid Kemper said...

I enjoyed the interview. I mostly do all my writing after midnight, so I can relate.

BornStoryteller said...

Really good interview. I love writing from prompts for my short pieces. Love that he took this and ran with it.

Sometimes, the writing flows from 11pm to 2am. You know no one is going to call you and the interruptions and misdirections are at a bare minimum.

Thanks for introducing us to Terry.
The Rule of Three Writers Blogfest

Andrea franco-cook said...

Great advice. Thanks for sharing this info. Although I usually don't gravitate to this genre, the novels seem interesting.

Emily Rose said...

Interesting interview!

The Golden Eagle said...

Mark: Thanks!

Hope you do. :)

Charles: Same here. He's a really good writer!

Gail: I hadn't heard that about breaking up sleep before.

That's what I did, too. :P

You're welcome!

M: Indeed! :)

Milo: I agree. I did it throughout the first draft of my first novel!

Belle: You're welcome!

Bethany: Thanks!

I like getting up early--as in, 06:00. :P

E.R.: Me, too!

You're very welcome. :)

Ali: Thank you!

You're an artist? I hadn't known that! :)

Marlena: I would probably have a bit of trouble, too . . .

Jo: Thanks!

Isn't it?

Stephen: I have Ender's Game on my shelf right now from the library; but I have't gotten around to reading it yet!

Medeia: That's what I did for my first novel. :P LOL.

I like the idea of quiet, too . . . it's just the getting up in the middle of the night I'm not sure would work.

Reid: Glad you liked it! :)

Wow. It looks like there are a lot more late-night writers here than I'd have expected!

Stuart: Thank you!

True. Though I'd have to do a lot of hauling myself from the bed to get myself to write that early!

You're welcome! :)

Andrea: You're welcome. If you do check out Upgrader, I hope you like it!

Emily: Thanks! :)

anthony stemke said...

I enjoyed reading this interview, it was very interesting.
Thank You.

The Golden Eagle said...

Anthony: I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)