Sunday, 25 May 2014

Author Spotlight - Daniel Haight


Having reviewed and loved the brilliant Flotilla and Iron Mountain, I decided it would be in the world's best interest to meet the man who has created this phenomenal series, Mr Daniel Haight!

A native of the beautiful San Francisco Dan, very kindly agreed to me asking him some nosey questions!

        

My reviews can be found here - Flotilla   Iron Mountain


Hi Dan, first of all Flotilla was awesome, can you first of all tell us a little about yourself?
Sure! I'm the author of the Flotilla series, along with many published short stories. I'm a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, and I call myself a ‘blue collar geek' because I have a passion for writing, working with my hands and being a dad. I'm also a former radio disk jockey and I work as a ‘computer guy’ during the day.

Can you tell me how the idea for Flotilla was conceived?
Purely by accident - I was stuck in a staff meeting one day and started imagining a job where I didn't have to sit in a room and be bored for a living. Suddenly, I saw a boy living on the ocean and asked myself "How did he get there?" The answers brought more questions and I started writing scenes for this boy - soon they became the first draft of Flotilla.

I know you are a father and still in full time employment, how do you make the time to write?
You just have to make time - it's everywhere if you know where to look. All the time people spend on the Internet, on Facebook, on Twitter - if you added it all up - you could probably build the pyramids of Egypt all over again. I started analysing my days and finding time to write, instead of just being on the Internet. It takes discipline, but well worth the effort.

Jim is obviously the main character of Flotilla and Iron Mountain, is there any of your own teenage self in him?
Of course ... I just didn't make the same mistakes he did. I spent a lot of time going back through and remembering what it was like to look at the world through 15-year-old eyes. You forget how weird that experience is and it's surprisingly easy to lose that perspective.

I loved the world building of the Colony, how did you come up with it, do you plan or do you just let it come to you as you go along?
Thank you. :) I came up with it, added some things that I would want if I lived out there, added other details to make it a practical, livable space. When I visited London in a few years ago, places like Portobello Road stuck out to me. Just like flea markets in the US, they're practical, they're fun and many aspects of them exist by common agreement, although nobody seems conscious that they made a decision.

Why do you think Dystopian fiction has become so popular, its seem bigger now than ever before, coming of age stories now seem to involve some kind of disaster!
I didn't start writing because of the surge in the genre - truth be told, I was surprised to see other books like Divergent and the Hunger Games pop up at the same time. Someone pointed out dystopian fiction is a common creative response to the pressures and realities of young people and that answer makes as much sense as anything else I've read. Plus, when you think about current events, we're living in a somewhat dystopian society ourselves - I think this is humanity's way of dealing with it.

Have you been writing since a young age?
Absolutely - I started writing when I was 12 years old. :) But then I stopped for a number of years and came back to it when I was in my late 20s. I was 34 by the time I completed my first novel.

Can you tell me about what authors have inspired you?
Ooh, lots of them. Let's see ... guys like Gibson, Chuck Pahalniuk, Hunter S Thompson, Harper Lee, Louis L'Amour and Elmore Leonard. I also like poets like Bukowski and ee cummings.

If this was made in to a TV series or Film, personally I think it would be good as a tv series!, I would love to know who you would pick as the grown ups - Rick and Miguel? I think they would be so good on screen.
Cool - let's hope Hollywood feels the same way. ;) Rick, Jim's ne'er-do-well father, is a somewhat beat-up guy in his late 40s, early 50s. Imagine Robert Downey Jr. or Aaron Eckhart in that role ... they would be EPIC. Miguel, Rick's super-cool Mexican chum? He's a different animal all together. As readers will find out in Flotilla, he's got a wicked sense of humour and owns a lot of guns. I can't think of anyone better than Javier Bardem or Benicio Del Toro.

Have any films or tv series inspired your writing, as I said in my review I was getting a slight Blade Runner vibe!
It just so happens that an original Blade Runner poster is hanging over my desk as I type this. ;) I have to give a huge nod to movies like that, or the Matrix, the Firefly show and of course, Star Wars. But the biggest influence comes from authors like William Gibson, because he invents these dirty little futures where people have miserable lives and are usually running from something terrible. It's definitely informed the kind of writing I want to do.

Finally, how do you see the series panning out, how many books do you have planned?
For now, I'm finishing the series with the third. Might expand on it later, depending on how the fans react. *fingers crossed*

Some Quick Q's

Last Book - "The Diamond Age" by Neal Stephenson

Last TV Series - "Community" - it's an American show ... just got cancelled for the 3rd time ... :'(

Last Film - "Captain America: Winter Soldier" - I'll be seeing Godzilla in a sneak preview on Thursday! :D

Last Music Bought - Ooh, just so happens that I picked up a compilation of Brazilian music ... love music from different parts of the world!

Thank you so much Dan for taking the time to answers these, if you want to explore the Flotilla series in more detail I recommend you visit http://flotillaonline.com/ where you can find a ton of information on both books and Dan himself, you call also connect at https://twitter.com/FlotillaOnline.


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