Author Spotlight: David Rettig of Project Dandelion

As anyone who follows me on Twitter(@DiannaLGunn is where you can find me) is probably already aware, I am a huge fan of crowdfunding. I love how powerful crowdfunding is for indie artists of all kinds and the massive variety of projects being funded at any given time.

I’m also a huge fan of the niche crowdfunding site Inkshares, which is designed specifically for writers. They actually act as publisher for you, directly connecting you to editors and marketing professionals once you’ve successfully completed a campaign. They also have a really cool credit program which allows you to earn credits when people buy books you’ve recommended.

Anyway, I discovered today’s author on Inkshares and was immediately excited about Project Dandelion. The first chapter draws you into the world right away, introducing fascinating concepts and characters in scenes that have enough action to keep you interested. It’s still actually in draft mode right now, which means you can follow and give feedback. The draft system is also a cool way for writers to test the audience for a book before starting the funding campaign.

David’s been kind enough to come over here and answer some questions about this upcoming science fiction epic. I hope you’ll enjoy learning about his process as much as I have!

  1. Can you tell us a bit about your novel, Project Dandelion?

It’s about two people: a young woman, Kyrsia, from a savage planet and a man, Ien, from a dying world, who find each other. Both of their lives have recently undergone radical shifts from where they wanted to be.

  1. What part of the story came to you first?

On Ien’s world, most people live to be over 1,000 years old. On Kyrsia’s survival is so difficult, most people never see 40. I wanted to write a story about what that interaction would be like. Imagining that came first.

  1. How much planning did you do before you started Project Dandelion?

Ten years. Or a four hour road trip from Chicago to Indianapolis, depending on your perspective.

I had thought about it for a decade, what immortal people would be like. Imagine not having to fear death, to have nearly unlimited time. What would you value? What would you fear? My daughter, Rebecca, encouraged me to turn it into a science fiction book.  She still inspires me.

  1. One of the worlds in your story, Saoghal, features humans who have become almost ageless but also almost sterile. How does this shape their society?

Saoghal seems serene on the surface: no predators, long life, plenty of food. But under that surface, things get strange. The Council of Saoghal selects a mate for you based on someone who is most likely to allow you to reproduce.  Everyone, straight or gay, is required to produce two children. Two of my main characters are gay and must live under this rule. Murder is unheard of; there hasn’t been a violent death on Saoghal in millennia.

  1. What is the hardest part of the writing process and how do you make it easier for yourself?

Editing. Easier? Tequila.

In all seriousness, editing is painful.  Imagine looking at twenty or thirty hours of writing and deciding that those chapters don’t work and pressing the delete key. It’s like cutting a chunk of flesh out of my body each time. I hate it, but then I read some book where it’s apparent that the author didn’t care enough to invest the time to edit, and I think “I want to write something that matters.”

  1. You’re currently crowdfunding your project on Inkshares. What made you decide to go the crowdfunding route?

Let’s call Inkshare an experiment. I’m not committed to it. I don’t think their terms of service are in line with my goals as a writer, but I’m still editing and may change my mind when I’m ready to pull the trigger.

  1. What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned so far?

Read the Terms of Service. On the surface, Inkshare seems like a no-brainer, but when you find out that you don’t get paid a thin dime for the first 250 – 750 books they sell, well, you see my trepidation.

  1. What are you reading right now?

Icebitch by Dick Grimm. Dick Grimm is a friend of mine and a damn fine author. Chapter 1 of Icebitch is flawless. A real work of art.

  1. If you could give an aspiring writer any one piece of advice, what would it be?

Find an author’s group. Get feedback. Listen to feedback. Apply feedback. Rinse. Repeat.

  1. What are you working on now that readers can look forward to?

I’ve got a few interesting projects.

Dark Places is currently on Channillo (online), but will likely be pulled into traditional print soon. It’s a work in progress about a gated community full of the worst sorts of people in the middle of a zombie apocalypse.

Project Dandelion Book 2: Kyrsia returns to her homeworld, Baoli, to find it has succumbed to a charismatic dictator, and she is an enemy of the state.

Six Degrees is another work-in-progress (around 15,000 words). It’s an epistolary scifi novel about the humans who willingly turning into cyborgs and a mysterious man behind it all.

Unplugged is another WIP which looks at a world where privacy no longer exists. In fact, it’s illegal to hide information of any kind.

Lastly, Raising A Sociopath is a fictional story of a boy raised by a psychopathic father.

Lately, I mostly work on editing Project Dandelion, but when the editing is too painful, I write something else.

Project Dandelion Blurb

Project Dandelion scattered humanity across the stars, leaving a dying world behind. Separated by the vastness of space and thousands of years, the children of Earth have all but forgotten their common heritage until a mysterious voice from a distant world speaks.
On her homeworld of Baoli, Kyrsia fights everyday for survival. High metal walls separate the only human settlement from a savage world filled with giant armor-covered spiders and deadly plants. Elite warriors, the Kansho, constantly battle the Baolian predators to prevent them from overtaking the city. Krysia’s ambition to join the Kansho takes a sudden turn when, in a dream, she learns of other humans on a distant planet who survived Project Dandelion and are coming to Baoli.
On utopian Saoghal, humans have thrived in peace and prosperity. The strange environment of Saoghal has made the inhabitants nearly ageless, but at a high price: the people of Saoghal are nearly sterile, and no one knows why. A Saoghallan religious order, the Speakers, learn of the humans on Baoli, and now the Saoghallans are coming to Baoli.
Kyrsia must uncover her mysterious past, her role with this new world, and why she dreams of a faceless man from the stars.
Author Bio
Twenty years authoring business reports prepared David Rettig for writing fiction, especially horror and fiction. He has three kids, two masters degrees, and one cat, and leads a small collective of authors known as The Broad Ripple Morning Writers. His blog is available at Project Dandelion will hit the shelves Summer 2016.
If you think Project Dandelion sounds interesting follow it on Inkshares.