Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Our Interview with Radu Daniel Hurmuz!


My name is Radu Daniel Hurmuz, I am 23, living in London. My background is in electronics and software development, but I have always had a passion for writing and storytelling.
Ever since I can remember, I have been drawn to fiction of all sorts and from diverse genres, ranging from war novels such as Jarhead and the works of Sven Hassel to high fantasy like Lord of the Rings and science fiction of all shapes and sizes (Dune, Starship Troopers, The Forever War etc.)

Through my writing, I enjoy exploring the motivation of characters that stand opposing one another. It always seemed to me unrealistic how people divide the world in black and white, good and evil. At the end of the day, they're all simply points of view, and I hope readers of my upcoming novels will enjoy seeing the main conflict from the two different perspectives and understand the motivation that drives everyone into a clash of ideologies.
Being born in Bucharest, Romania just a year before the revolution shook the country; I have heard horror stories growing up of what happened in those days. This one event and many others have made me curious for answers and the real truth behind what we hear every single day on the news. The most prominent view that I give credence to is that the world truly is made up of shades of grey and nothing is as it seems until you get to the bottom of it.
I always look for a sense of synergy in my life through everything that I do and enjoy. From music, books and films to concerts and rock-climbing, I seek fulfilment every day in order to enjoy life to the fullest.

The title of my book is "Mind Fields: Volume One", the first in a series of novels I am looking to publish over the next couple of years. This first book will most likely hit Amazon by the end of February or March. I will have a better date in mind as soon as the editing is finished.

                                                       Bio provided by author

It was our pleasure to get a chance to get to know a bit more about Radu and his dream of getting his first book published! We get an opportunity to visit with with an author before he is published. His book Titled "Mind Fields: Volume One" sounds like it might be a psychological thriller. So sit back and get comfortable and please give a warm welcome to Radu!

1) What makes for a good hook in your stories? Where does your inspiration come from?
In order to attract a reader's attention, I try to tell a story that they have never heard before, or one that has been around for years but seen from a new perspective. I try to make my characters as believable as possible, their motivations clear and the situations they find themselves in to be plausible, even in the novel's world. The question of inspiration is one that I could write essays about, mostly because of my intrigue with thought-processes and the idea of original thoughts, but I will try to keep it short.
Inspiration is not something that strikes in the middle of the night like an assassin; it's a nexus of thoughts and ideas that coalesce into a scene, a dialogue or a new perspective. I draw most of my inspiration from music, imagination and dreams. Some people that I have spoken to say that music and books are like water and oil but I disagree. With enough imagination, every single note can be a motion or a thought in the character's mind. And when you hear one line of a song, it can be the spark that leads you down a path in your head and points you to a story that you never thought you knew.
2) Are you an organized writer? Do you do things like take notes and make lists of characters? Or do you free write and work it out as you go?
What I prefer doing is not writing anything down. You see, when you first come up with an idea for a story it is limitless. However, the moment you set anything down on paper it diverges from the original thought and ends up somewhere on a back alley behind a dusty old building when it should have actually been the main avenue into town. The moment I come up with an idea I keep it in my head and then I try to connect it from beginning to middle to end, from scene to scene, like a 20-hour film. After I have most of the scenes complete in my head, I write a paragraph for each chapter and leave the rest swirling between my neurons to be put down on paper in all its detail when the moment comes.
The characters themselves have to be real to me. As such, I look at them not just as characters in a story, they must have a history. Their actions in the novel must be just a period in their lives, rather than the entirety of their existence. Once all these people are alive in my mind, then I can let them loose and see how they would interact with others, what they would say, how they would behave. The novel must be a snapshot of a life.

3) What is your normal writing day like? Do you write when you are inspired or do you have a schedule?

I normally set a portion of the day aside for writing. When I sit down, I tend to complete the scene that I have envisioned and I ignore everything else around me. However, if I don't feel the scene is as great as the rest of the novel then, instead of wasting my time in frustration, I let it simmer in my imagination until it is ready to be put down on paper. Surprisingly, I do most of my writing at night, when everything is quiet and I can focus only on the story and how it ties in to the rest of the novel. Because of my owl-like schedule, I have spent many a sleepless night in order to complete everything that I could before I would lose the idea. I remember sitting down one night, having promised myself that I would complete only one scene and head to sleep, only to find myself at six in the morning, having finished two chapters.
4) Who is your favorite author and how did they inspire you to write?
To claim one author above all others as my favourite would be doing a disservice to all the great writers whose work I have had the pleasure of reading. However, some of the writers that have had an impact on me and have inspired me to write are: Frank Herbert (Dune series), J.R.R. Tolkien (Lord of the Rings and its surrounding myths), Robert A. Heinlein (too many great works of science fiction to name them all) and H.P. Lovecraft (At the Mountains of Madness being my favourite story of his). My love for writing has not only come from authors, it has accumulated over a number of years from diverse artistic mediums. Music, above all others, has helped my curiosity and imagination to literally see and feel the stories that I have yet to write down. By focusing on the narrative and watching the stories unfold in my mind, accompanied by a soundtrack from Steve Jablonsky or Vangelis, I have found that I can create the stories I have always wished to see.
5) It’s easy to see that you have a passion for writing but is there any part of it you don’t like?
There are two, in fact. The first is the passage of time, which somehow seems to fly much faster than I expect it to. This, in turn, makes the writing process lengthy and frustrates my creativity. In my head, I have already written the story several times over but, in reality, it unfolds over days and weeks. Perhaps it is for the best, though. We cannot get what we want immediately, which makes the end product so much more enjoyable to have.
The second is editing. It is not because I dislike correcting mistakes; it is because the action of editing takes you through the story at a snail's pace and you get to relive the same scene over and over again. It is like seeing a ten hour film at a quarter of the speed.
6) Do you make time to read and if you do what are you reading right now?
When I am getting ready to write a new part of the novel or a short story, I tend to stay clear of books, mostly because I don't want the end result to be inspired from a passage I have just read. But I don't know what I would do without reading novels. They are a wealth of imagination and creative spark. I have just finished reading the fourth book in the Gears of War series by Karen Traviss, called 'Coalition's End'. It's a great novel with some very enjoyable characters and I recommend it for all fans of military science fiction.
Not wanting to waste any moment, I am now re-reading the Dune series. It is a piece of fiction that words cannot do justice. From the life-like characters to the deep running motifs of dominance, war, power-structures, schemes and salvation, it is, to me at the very least, a standard that all great stories should aspire to.
7) How did you get started in writing in the sci/fi fantasy genre? Is there personal life experience in the writing?
Science-fiction allows you to deal with darker concepts such as war, death and injustice without pointing a finger at any particular group, however much we would all love to do so. It lets you tell a universal story that resonates with people without limiting it to any particular event from real life. I believe that it is a medium that is underused at the moment because it can be the host of great conflicting stories and characters rather than simply a moralistic tale.
Through my research into topics that I have never known before, I have found a great deal of truths that people would rather hide or dismiss. Many of these truths, I have taken into consideration and I have come to appreciate and understand them. What I hope to achieve by putting forward these ideas is to give the reader the benefit of my research in a medium that not only informs but also entertains.
8) What lead you to want to publish with Kindle Direct Publishing? Does this mean you see the publishing industry headed this way?
What drew me to Kindle Direct Publishing is the ease with which you can take your material and put it online for others to purchase without the need to go through the normal publishing process. I have had some difficulty in dealing with agents and publishers, mostly because they do not understand my work and wish to change it to something more friendly or approachable. As always, it is hard to convince me to change something that I have invested so much of myself in it and I have looked for a different medium to publish my work. Frankly, the more I look at the current situation in the industry, the more I believe that eBook formats are the way of the future. However, I can't help but feel nostalgic when I remember the first books I read. They were old and weary, with hardened paper and yellowing pages, it was truly an experience to savour, reading something that had been printed more than five decades before.
I, personally, hope the publishing industry will embrace the ease with which KDP allows a writer to publish his work and will begin accommodating for writers of the 21st century, with online submission and replies that do not take six weeks to reach you back by post. I suppose that what I want is a more author-centric process than what it is at the moment.
9) Do you have any online sites where others can read more of your writings?
I recently created a blog where I am currently posting my short stories. The link is: http://fragmentedinlife.blogspot.com/
I will be posting more thoughts and stories as soon as I can and I hope that visitors will enjoy my strange fascination with dystopian and dark tales.
10) Do you have any more stories in the works? What kinds of stories do you plan to write next?

The novel 'Mind Fields: Volume One', which I am looking to publish in the very near future is the first in a series of books that I have envisioned for the universe of the story. I am currently working on the second volume and should have it out the door by the close of this year. I am hoping readers will enjoy the story as much as I enjoy writing it.
To give you a small presentation of what it is all about, seeing as it is shrouded in mystery at the moment, 'Mind Fields' starts off in the ending days of the Iraq war, as the reader follows the story of an air force pilot drawn into a world of conspiracy and research into paranormal capabilities of the human mind. It is a story that will take the audience through the substructure of US politics and the secrets that are buried deep within it, the study of human consciousness and the possibilities it can offer and society's underworld.
While I love the medium of science-fiction, and I see many other stories unfolding inside it, I am also an avid fan of crime novels and I have quite a few story ideas for my take on this genre. In the end, what truly fascinates me is the human condition, with its moments of euphoric exaltation and its deep abyss of pain and suffering.
11) Who would be your first choice to play the main character of your book titled "Mind Fields: Volume One"?
I do have someone in mind for the main character. However, I will also list the four which I feel are the most prominent in the book: For Michael Anders, the air force pilot, I think actor James Marsden (X-Men, Superman Returns) will really do him justice. As Katya Dubkova, Michael’s colleague and lover, I believe Julie McNiven (Supernatural, Stargate Universe) is a perfect fit. Finally, actor Robert Miano would portray the role of doctor Ian King with just the right amount of aloofness that I have always pictured him to have, while Gerard Butler is exactly the right man for the role of David, the most secretive schemer I can imagine.
12) If you could meet anyone from any time who would it be and what would be your first question?
It is hard to decide on only one person, as I have a lot of questions. But if I would choose one, it would be inventor Nikola Tesla and the first thing I would ask him would be: "What is your interpretation of the nature of space-time and how would you describe it?"
The man certainly knew things that he kept to himself and I would really enjoy his explanation of what he thinks existence to be.

Look for his book "Mind Fields: Volume One" coming soon!

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