I’m excited to welcome to Five Questions Minneapolis-based author D.F. Lovett, who released his debut sci-fi novel, The Moonborn, in 2016. David the head editor and writer for the blog What Would Bale Do, and he writes the acclaimed Reddit novelty account /u/DiscussionQuestions. He has also collaborated on several film projects with the production studio Corridor Digital.
The Moonborn is the story of Ishmael, who lands on the Moon to ghostwrite the autobiography of Adam Moonborn, first man born on the Moon. Ishmael soon learns the job is not as straightforward as it seems. In an adventure tale inspired by Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, they embark on a mission to destroy all of the Moon’s rogue robots, whom Adam Moonborn holds responsible for the death of his family and the impending downfall of civilization.
Here are the author’s answers to my Five Questions.
Do you remember the first character you created? Tell me about him/her/it. Not specifically, but it would probably be the personality assigned to one of my action figures. For most of my childhood, a lot of the writing I did was inspired by stories that my brother and I first invented with Star Wars and G. I. Joe action figures. I know this isn’t very specific, but a lot of those characters blended together or would evolve over time.
How did you feel when you saw your work in print / electronic form for the first time? The same way I feel now: a mixture of pride, excitement, and self-consciousness. I wrote for the junior high newspaper in seventh grade, which was the first time I encountered the frustration of an editor changing my words. I remember specifically some negative criticism I got from a classmate over a review I wrote of The Phantom Menace where I referred to Jar Jar Binks as an “alien.” My classmate told me that was incorrect, as most of the movie takes place on his home planet, so he’s not an alien. I guess that got me started early at learning how to respond to criticism, although it frustrated me at the time. I think I have a thicker skin now because of it.
A lot of the writing I did as a child was inspired by stories that my brother and I first invented with Star Wars and G. I. Joe action figures.
What is your favorite piece of advice for new writers? I think of myself as a relatively new writer. The idea of giving advice seems a little egotistical. The main thing that I notice is that a lot of other aspiring writers seem to have not read much outside their genre, and that seems like a problem to me.
If you were king, what would you change about the publishing world? Less stigma around self-publishing. I’m thrilled to have self-published a book, but for certain people there’s this embarrassment attached to it. Lots of people assume that you only self-publish if you can’t find a traditional publisher or whatever. In the case of The Moonborn, the book I published last November, from the very first word I knew that it would be self-published.
What is your next project? Timeline? I’m currently trying to put some work into my non-fiction writing, specifically television reviews and blog posts. I have several works of fiction going. One is a western fantasy, another is a more traditional historical fiction novel, and the third is a semi-sequel to The Moonborn. I’m having trouble deciding which of those three I want to focus on.
Bonus question: If you could reincarnate as another writer, living or dead, who would it be? I can’t think of any other writer I would want to live the full life of, but it would be interesting to see the world through the eyes of few different writers, even if briefly. I’d be interested in seeing what a day in the life of Ernest Hemingway or Charles Bukowski was really like. How much did they resemble the characters they presented to the world?
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