Dax Harrison (Author Interview)

Dax Harrison looks like a great science fiction adventure. Any plans for this to be made into a series?

Absolutely! I had zero plans in the beginning beyond writing a single fun story. But of course, I fell in love with my characters, and the wonderful feedback I’ve received has stoked the fires even more. So I’m currently hard at work on Dax 2, with a few character arcs and plot points already sketched out for Dax 3!

What do you think makes a great story?

Everyone has their own ideal stories, but for me, it’s the characters. Give me characters that I’ll care about, that I’ll root for, and that make a fantastical world believable because they are so affected by it. I want to feel when my characters feel. And I’m an easy mark. You ever cry at movies? (Raises hand) All the time.

What inspired you when writing Dax Harrison?

Three things: My love of adventures, comedy, and film. Dax began as a screenplay, inspired by my love of the grand adventures during my childhood. Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Back to the Future, etc. Spielberg, Lucas, and Zemeckis own my heart, forged on the silver screens of the 80s. And I pretty much can’t do anything in life without injecting humor, whether it’s writing stories or making breakfast. So expect anything I write to have high adventure, but somehow, somewhere, someone’s gotta slip on a banana peel.

What are your ambitions for your writing career? Full time? Part time?

I would love to say goodbye to the day job and make a full living from my writing. Who wouldn’t want to work from home and make their own hours? We’ll see what happens. For now, I’m simply focusing on squeezing in time for the projects I want to do next and just having fun with it.

When did you decide to become a writer?

Admittedly, movies were my first love, not books, which may be author heresy. But once I realized I could create my own stories, and make them as insanely over-the-top as I wanted, without having to convince a studio to give me a $200 million budget, or worry about casting, or an executive producer wanting to add a teenage supernatural love triangle mid-way through production because THAT’S WHAT SELLS… I turned to books. Dax the 2014 screenplay became Dax the 2017 manuscript, and I couldn’t be happier with the result.

When writing Dax Harrison did anything stand out as particularly challenging?

With the story originating as a film script, I had to do a lot of mental gear-shifting. Film scripts are usually a barebones blueprint by design. It’s the screenwriter’s job to convey the story based only on what you will hear and see on-screen. No inner thoughts of characters, no wordy paragraphs about the history of the world, nada. Directors, producers, cast and crew will then form the rest of that vision and see it through. Novel writing is the opposite, so it took some re-training my brain and a ton of rewriting/reimagining scenes to make Dax’s world come to life as a proper book.

How did you come up with the story of Dax Harrison?

An idea came to me for a 5 minute short film: A drunk space captain falls asleep at the wheel, almost crashes into a planet, and blames his robot co-pilot. I thought it would be a fun little skit to make with friends for dirt cheap. But once I thought of the character, I couldn’t turn my brain off. I started working from a standard hero’s journey outline and kept building from there. A classic space-age hero with a ridiculous twist. I decided that even if it wasn’t something I could film, it was worth pursuing.

What do you like to do when not writing?

Consume all manner of content! Movies, music, TV, videogames, books (lots of audiobooks, thanks to my daily commute). I have an ever-growing list and never enough time for it. The wife and I have been constantly on-the-go during the holidays, which has been fun. But we’re definitely looking forward to some downtime to catch up on our favorite nerdy things!

How can readers discover more about you and your work?

You can follow my blog at tonyvwrites.com, where I post all things writing-related, and occasional random silliness. I’m also pretty active on Instagram at @rockhollywood.


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