Interview with Jude Austin, Author of Nowhere to Hide
27 Dec 2022
What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Nowhere to Hide?
I wanted to expand on the Five Worlds series (although like all Five Worlds books, it works great as a standalone!) I also wanted to explore the worlds more. Up until now, the series has centered around Kata, with Alan making his debut in Homecoming. I wanted to take the book in a different direction and bring in several new characters. What I ended up with is essentially two interlinking novel-length stories in one thread.
If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Nowhere to Hide, what would they be?
KATA: “Was I Even There?” by Trip Cyclone. ALAN: “I’ll Be There For You” by The Rembrandts. DIRAN: “Hammer to Fall” by Queen.
What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?
This sounds strange, but although I write sci-fi, I never read it. Too many sci-fi books are all about space battles, dystopian societies, corrupt governments, rogue AI (or just full of AI) and hard-bitten military types. I don’t like reading about any of those things; I want to read about normal people that I can relate to being put in extraordinary situations. I came to the conclusion that if I wanted to read about alien worlds and regular future-people, I’d have to write about them myself. That’s why my brand of sci-fi is different to many other authors; it focuses far more on worlds and cultures, no dystopias, just regular people with problems that a lot of people face today.
Generally speaking, I’m optimistic about the future! I don’t understand why so many sci-fi writers believe the future is going to be such a terrible place. As for my favorite genre, this may surprise you, but I love reading old children’s books, like Amy Brooks and Nina Rhoades, and Angela Brazil. They offer a window into normal people’s lives over 100 years ago. Besides, my work deals with some pretty serious topics in places – mental health plays a large part, especially with Kata – so it’s nice reading something more innocent!
What books are on your TBR pile right now?
I’m going through a Dickens kick and rereading Oliver Twist. After that, I might try Great Expectations or The Old Curiosity Shop. Plus whatever book is sitting under my Christmas tree as I write this!
What scene in your book was your favorite to write?
Oh, that’s hard. If I had to really pick one, it would probably be most of Chapter 3, where we see Diran interacting with his wife Selenda. It was fun to write such a normal scene. You know, you have Diran, who’s a conscripted covert operative/assassin and one of the best at what he does, and Selenda, who’s in the same line of work and also a force to be reckoned with, and it was fun just writing the two of them interacting freely. Neither of them can admit to loving the other in public, in case that’s used against them, so it’s the only time we get to see how they act when they’re safe in the privacy of their own apartment.
Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)
My cat would love that, but since I work on a laptop, he doesn’t get to sit on my lap as often as he thinks he should! I have one of those reclining couches, so I just kick back and relax with my Smart TV while writing. I’m typing this on my other computer, though, and he’s curled up on my desk next to me.
The only real quirk I can think of is that I can’t work in silence; I need some kind of background noise, whether it’s YouTube or Netflix or anything.
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
I try and use Socrates’s Triple-Filter Test. I won’t copy-paste the entire story now, and it’s been attributed to other people besides Socrates, but it basically boils down to “If what you have to say isn’t true, or good, or useful, it’s probably best not to say it at all.”
If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?
Emotional abuse is just as damaging as the other kinds, and it needs to be talked about more and treated with the seriousness it deserves.
Jude Austin is the author of the new book Nowhere to Hide
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