Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Interview with Paul Corcoran

Describe your hero, or heroes.
That’s a relatively easy start, my mum and dad. I’m pretty sure most people come out with a load of stuff about some great historical character or modern-day scientist or tech guy. Not me.

Let me explain why. For all the time, I was lucky enough to spend with my parents I never really knew them until a lot later in their lives than I wished. As a young man, 17 ½ and more a child than a man, I joined the British Army and that was the last time I really spent at home. It was only years later because of the jobs I was doing that I had to undergo what was called at the time ‘vetting’. They dig into you and your family’s past to ensure that there is nothing hidden there which could possibly have a bearing on your security clearance. And what they found out surprised me.

My father had originally been an officer in the Irish Army prior to the outbreak of World War Two. He resigned his commission, left his family in safe and neutral Ireland, to join the RAF to fight with the British against the Nazi’s because he thought it was the right thing to do. During his service, he met my mother and therein lies another story.

My mother had been a nurse with the air ambulance. She served in the western desert where, on one occasion, the pilot of the plane carrying her and a load of wounded got lost, was low on fuel and was forced to set down at a German airfield. Rather than fling them all in a POW camp the Germans treated the wounded, refueled the plane, and sent them on their way. She also somehow took part in Operation Market Garden, the abortive allied attempt to secure the Rhine bridges.

You couldn’t write this stuff! All the time I was growing up my parents never mentioned any of this. When I asked them about it they just told me they thought it was the right thing to do so they did it.

Tell us about your main character.
In my latest novel, ‘The K’Tai War, Book One, Invasion’, there is more than one central character but the main story circulates around the Carter family, Dave and Sue, the parents, and Chris and Jodee, teenagers who are rapidly nearing adulthood.

The planet they live on is invaded by an alien race called the K’Tai, the family becomes separated during the initial invasion and in their struggle to become reunited we learn more about them and the K’Tai.

Without spoiling the story, it quickly becomes evident that Dave and Sue are not the clean-cut family types that they pretend to be, displaying martial skills that only highly trained combat troops would have. In reality, they are… Oh no sorry you are just going to have to read the book to find out.

What type of setting did you place your story in?
The main part of the story takes place on the planet Agate. Once thought to be nothing more than a farming world on the edge of human controlled space bordering the ancient K’Tai Imperium, with the discovery of the rare mineral Redlazore, a key component in the construction of the only known star drive, Agate quickly becomes a major mining colony becoming humanities key source of Redlazore.
The K’Tai Imperium is having its own internal problems and civil war is brewing just beneath the surface and the leaders of the Imperium see the seizing of Agate as an opportunity to slap down the upstart humans and deal a decisive blow in their own war against the secessionists.

What inspired your story?
Having written the Saiph Series, my previous science fiction series, I noticed that it had been almost exclusively concerned with the military and political side of conflict, huge space armada’s blowing the crap out of each other while ignoring the effect war had on the normal guy in the street.

With ‘The K’Tai War’ series I’m trying to tell the story of not only those massive armored combatants but those that are stuck in the middle just trying to keep their family safe during it all until they inevitably get sucked into the conflict.

Is your story a part of a broader work or series?
‘Invasion’ is Book One in ‘The K’Tai War’ series. A series of three planned novels made up by ‘Invasion’, ‘Resistance’, and ‘Secession’.
‘Resistance’ should be out around Christmas with ‘Secession’ out before Easter ’18.

In four lines, tell us about your story.
On the ground, Dave, Sue, Chris and Jodee Carter get caught up in the whirlwind of violence that is the K’Tai invasion of their homeworld. Separated they must each fight to survive and reach safety.
In space, the K’Tai forces easily vanquish the much smaller human forces of the League. What they had assumed would be an easy victory and a short, sharp conflict rapidly turns into a war of attrition they cannot afford.

Who is your favorite author or book series?
Well I read a lot of alternative history as well as science fiction so if I could indulge you with two authors.

Firstly, General Sir John Hackets ‘The Third World War’. A book which I read while serving in Germany shortly after the Berlin Wall came down. The book is a terrifyingly realistic telling of how easily it would have been for the world to descend into a Third World War and how that war could have been thought. For a young man sitting only a few miles from what was a couple of years before the Inner German Border and the overwhelming forces of the Warsaw Pact it had an impact on my outlook on life and politics.

The second book, a series really, was one which most probably inspired me to begin writing my own military science fiction. The Starfire Series by David Weber and Steve White.

What can I say, outstanding military science fiction by two of the biggest names in the game. An enemy we all love to hate and fear in equal measure. A mix of races who come together to fight a common enemy because if they don’t it’s the end of the line for all of them. A war that rages from one side of the galaxy to the other. Yeah it does not get any better!

What are you working on now?

Busy, busy. I am working on the fourth book in the Saiph Series, ‘Legacy of the Saiph’, due out mid-October. The second K’Tai War book, ‘Resistance’, due out before Christmas. An untitled work in another successful author’s universe which I hope to be able to tell you all about in the near future but for now my lips must remain firmly sealed. And last but not least the first book from my own small publishing press, Matthew Williams ‘The Cronian Incident’, which will be released in mid-September.

About the Author

Author of the Amazon bestselling Saiph Series, PP Corcoran writes fast-paced military science fiction because he gets to mix his two loves; shoot em ups and science. A 22-year-veteran of the British Army, Paul began his writing career in 2014. After serving all round the world, this native of Scotland now lives in Northern Ireland and writes epic space opera for a living; he recently ranked #10 in Amazon's Sci-Fi Authors.

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