Interview with Author: Daniel Haight
It is a pleasure to welcome Science Fiction author of Flotilla, Daniel Haight.
Welcome Daniel to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know you and your story better.
What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?
The title ‘Flotilla‘ doesn’t signify anything deep – it’s what you call a group of ships together on the ocean, which fits the setting of the story.
Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you? If so, give a few examples…
Sure. I think the biggest example of this would be Jim, the main character. He’s a reference to Jim Hawkins, the main character of ‘Treasure Island.’ As one of the first great adventure/pirate stories, I wanted to make an homage that people would recognize.
What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?
Oh, that was easy – I’ve been reading / writing / watching sci-fi since I was in the 6th grade! I remember watching Star Wars and Star Trek and being so enthralled by the stories that I wanted to invent my own universes to play in.
What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and do your characters reflect some of these attributes?
Ha! Good question – I’m not sure writers *are* sane. There’s a great Frederick Forsyth quote that goes ‘People make allowances for writers, as for all other lunatics.’
At the end of the day, we’re all the same weird, naked apes … writers just have their own way of expressing creativity. We’re sculpting ideas and emotions into words on the page instead of carving on stone. That’s all we’re doing. As far as the characters reflecting … you might be surprised to learn that our characters have nothing to do with us! I’m finishing a short story right now where I genuinely hate the main character. I hate the choices he makes, the attitudes he has and the way he comes across to other people. He isn’t noble, he has almost no redeeming qualities at all. That’s a polar opposite to the person I try to be. On the flip side, sometimes characters reflect your own choices but really it’s about creating a ‘room’ inside your head. Inside that room are the setting, and your characters and it’s like I’m watching them like a reporter. I let them go, talk, fight and act … then I write down what happens.
What kind of research did you have to do for the novel, series or set of stories that was different from others?
Ooh, tons of research – I usually have three or four tabs open – one to Google, one to Wikipedia and I’m back and forth constantly going “Okay, if he’s going to use this gun or this tool, what do they look like? What do they sound like? How would this *really* feel if I were there right now?
What makes you laugh?
I’ve actually thought about this question! I love ironic and whimsical humor – stuff like Monty Python and ‘That Mitchell and Webb Look.’ Then I’ll get bored of that and go listen to Jeff Foxworthy. You’ll get a laugh out of me if you say something really honest and authentic. Sometimes humor is the sincerest form of commentary.
What makes you cry?
I get upset when I hear about things happening to kids or other innocent creatures: animals, people … whatever. Hearing about people being cruel really pushes a button on me.
What are you a fan of and is this reflected in your writing?
I’m a fan of great authors (Elmore Leonard, William Gibson, Allen Steele, Hunter S Thompson) and I try to reflect their level of quality in the writing. Can’t say I’m there yet but I’m trying to be. 🙂
Again, thank you Daniel for answering these questions and helping us to become better acquainted with you and your story, Flotilla.
Flotilla is an unyielding exploration of people and technology in a perilous world. When 15-year-old Jim joins his dad on Colony D, he doesn’t see it as the new frontier in green technology and sustainability; he sees a free pass out of rehab to spend the summer on a man-made island in the Pacific. Jim thinks his troubles are marooned on the mainland, but it turns out that his dad has secrets of his own. When things stop adding up, and Jim becomes suspicious, he makes a horrible discovery.
But now, that’s the least of his problems.
The United States come under attack, and Jim’s parents go missing. Drug runners and modern-day pirates are coming to settle a score. All he and his sister have now are an old boat, limited supplies, and each other. Jim must race against time if he wants to escape the catastrophic meltdown of civilization.