Interview with E.F. Skarda, Author of The Mortal God
02 Jun 2020
What can you tell us about your new release, The Mortal God?
This book is what I would consider Adventure Science Fiction. It really has a cinematic tone to it, along with some comic book undertones. I started writing this story when I was 13 years old and was really into superheroes at the time. Essentially, the story follows a supersoldier named Kyle Griffin and his team through a series of events that finds them questioning their allegiances, along with their very beliefs in the society around them. Kyle’s decisions bring them into conflict with the government’s divine ruler, Lord Aeron, who also happens to be Kyle’s grandfather. In a thematic sense, it’s a story about choices, principles, and emotions, and how those can drive what our reality becomes.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
Honestly, I’ve always loved writing. For the longest time I just did it for myself. If there was a situation in my life that I didn’t feel was fair, I could write about it and see it turn out however I wanted. That made me feel powerful. I just think that there’s real freedom in being creative, and I want that be a permanent part of my life.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
Number one is Old Man’s War by John Scalzi. Revolutionized the way that I viewed science fiction. The Forever War by Joe Haldeman is in that realm as well. I’m also a big fan of the Red Rising series by Pierce Brown, as well as the Reckoners series by Brandon Sanderson.
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
I would want to talk to Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, the two authors that go by the pen name James SA Corey, also known as the men that created The Expanse series. I think that their world building is so complete and immersive, I would love to get in their heads on how they envision their scenes, and how they develop their plot lines. It would be so illuminating.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
I mentioned before, it’s the freedom. The freedom to create anything you want and see it play out in your mind. We all have things that we wish we could do, or wish we would have done, but writing makes that all possible. I think it’s the closest humanity will ever get to true divinity.
What is a typical day like for you?
Well, let’s see…I usually wake up around 6 am, work out for an hour or two, then pack up my eight-year-old son and drag him with me to my office for several hours. I’m a physical therapist by trade, so I see patients most weekdays, though that’s been a bit different with the pandemic issues lately, as I’ve been playing the role of school teacher as well. After work, I come home and we make dinner, and after my son goes to bed, I get the chance to sit down and write. I’ll generally do that for two or three hours before going to bed and starting all over again.
What scene in The Mortal God was your favorite to write?
There’s a scene where Kyle’s team, led by his second in command, Captain Jackson Hilton, is left to seek refuge with a group that they once considered their enemies. Needless to say, it doesn’t go over well, and the team is taken hostage. It wasn’t initially a part of the book, but as I was editing it I could see the exposition happening so clearly…it probably took me only forty-five minutes to write the entire chapter. It was the fastest I’ve ever seen my fingers move across the keyboard. I wish all inspiration could be that definitive.
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
I tend to gravitate toward a “no days off” philosophy when it comes to writing and self-improvement. I always want to go to bed better than I woke up. Whether that means I’m a little stronger, a little smarter, or a little more humble…as long as I made progress that’s enough. The same goes for writing. If my current project is a little closer to being complete, then the day was a success.
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