Winfield Strock writes science fiction and steampunk, if nothing else I got to learn what this mystical genre was. For those of you who don't know, it's the sci-fi sub-genre set in the time when steam power was still widely used, but the writer usually provides alternative technology.
M.P.-What guides your writing?
W.S.-A thought, a concept, an idea for a character; each of these has driven me to write. My best first effort began while working at a hotel in the middle of the night. I realized how many people make the world work the way it does and all of them not really seen as people while they work. So I wrote about a cab driver who wondered each night whether he would perpetrate evil or good based on his fares. My first book came from a series of imaginings that started with the thought that maybe history’s greatest adventures might not have ever been written. If so, why? What if the first radio transmission triggered an invitation to another world, not so far away? Why is Mars red? Why is it so dead and yet shows tiny signs of life not so long ago?
M.P.-Since you intertwine the past and science fiction how much research do you put into your books?
W.S.-I research in spurts. One of my characters is pulled straight from history, Nicolai Kibalchich. Of course I’ve imagined life for him within my book, but it begins with his place in history assassinating Russia’s Czar. I concentrate more on the story and the characters’ development than any great technical detail or accuracy. I want enough detail to put the reader in the scene, nothing more.
M.P.-Your first book was a trilogy wrapped in one book, do you see yourself writing a series in the future?
W.S-Short answer, definitely. I’ve recently released a prequel short story Voices Amongst the Aether and I’m writing a sequel, tentatively titled Aether Legions. From here I see a third book forming in the clouds on the horizon. I really like the idea of characters developing over the course of time, although I can’t imagine ever writing my lead characters into their old age.
M.P.-Since steampunk is a reflection of the works of Verne and Wells which writer would you say influenced you when you were young?
W.S.-First was Frank Herbert of Dune fame, then Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft, Michael Morcock, and Edgar Allen Poe; though several people have likened my style to Edgar Rice Burroughs.
M.P.-Can you tell us a little about your current book?
W.S.-Voices Amongst the Aether begins the Aether series. Goaded into adventure by an old friend, writer Julian Turleau invites a young inventor and his wife into his home. Their goal? Invent the first wireless communications and make their mark on world history. When fear and jealousy collide with excited pride, all hell breaks loose amidst their breakthrough. Amidst the turmoil they nearly miss an unexpected surprise.
What’s next for you?
I’m writing a sequel for ‘Adventures’ and two other works, one is a short story that keeps growing and the other is a contemporary science fiction novel about alternate means of interstellar travel and a strange sort of contest between alien enemies to court Earth in their millennial war.
Be sure to check out Wilfred at http://adventures-above-the-aether.blogspot.com/