Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on this year’s release of your space-opera novel, Space Tripping, through Inkshares! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the book’s premise, and what inspired you to tell this story?
Patrick Edwards: First off… Thank you! And I’d like to especially thank Michele Brittany and the Fanbase Press team for the kind and thoughtful book review.
Now, what was the question again? Ah, yes, the premise…
Jopp is an alien transport pilot (a.k.a. space trucker) who drunkenly crashes on Earth. Chuck is a twenty-something college dropout working as a delivery driver who discovers Jopp trying to steal his truck. They are both abducted by an intergalactic corporation, and Chuck is forced into helping Jopp work off his debt. Of course, nothing goes as planned, and the two of them unwittingly find themselves thrust into the center of a dangerous mystery. Cue the thrilling plot twists and slapstick hijinks!
Honestly, I’ve found the easiest way to describe Space Tripping’s premise is to simply say, “It’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy but with rampant profanity and drunken shenanigans.”
As for what inspired me… can I say the entire canon of the science fiction genre?
The two types of story I most enjoy are ones with a sci-fi/fantasy/supernatural element and humorous misadventures. This book was a result of me taking all the aspects I love about storytelling, tossing them in a bender, and pressing the Frappé button.
BD: What can you share with us about your creative process in writing the book, and what have been some of your creative influences?
PE: I love the idea of taking all the clichés of a genre, dumping them into a sandbox, and then playing around. Writers like Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, and David Wong have been very influential on me in this regard. I also wanted to write a story without a detailed outline, but rather I would create an interesting scenario to start from, and then see where the characters take me. Other than a few major plot points, most of Space Tripping grew from asking myself, “How would these characters react in this situation?” Then, I’d write out the consequences of those character actions, and ask myself the question again. Rinse and repeat.
BD: As a first-time novelist, what has been your experience in releasing Space Tripping, as well as to the overwhelming stellar reviews from critics and readers alike?
PE: I’ll get back to you on that one after I finally come down off this book launch high.
But honestly, it’s been so surreal. The outpouring of support, not just from friends and family, but from people I didn’t know before this process has been incredibly humbling. We had the first book signing at the Barnes & Noble in the town I grew up in, and the whole time I was sitting there thinking, “How the hell is this happening to me?”
BD: What do you hope that readers will take away from your work?
PE: Pure enjoyment. Maybe a stitch in their side from laughing too much. That’s all. I just want to write stories that make people smile.
BD: What makes Inkshares the perfect home for Space Tripping?
PE: The fact that Inkshares was co-hosting a “Space Opera” publishing contest with Nerdist Industries couldn’t have been more serendipitous. I’m a big fan of Chris Hardwick and his Nerdist podcast. I spent a lot of time in my car traveling back and forth from Chicago to Cincinnati (doing the long-distance relationship thing) a few years back. Chris has a message he often likes to repeat, which is to quit waiting around for someone else’s permission to be creative. Just go make your thing and put it out in the world. Hearing that over and over again was a big factor in my resolution to make this book happen. I spent about 14-15 months writing the first draft. Then another year polishing and editing it. Literally, the same week that I was going to start submitting to publishers, I heard about the Nerdist/Inkshares publishing contest. I submitted my humble works and “BAM” here we are talking about it.
BD: Given the success of Space Tripping, it is no surprise that a sequel (Space Tripping: Holy Hooch) is in the works. Are you able to share any information about what readers may anticipate from the next book?
PE: No spoilers!
What I will say is this next book is definitely not a simple rehash of the same jokes and story beats. We are definitely going to shake things up a bit. I don’t want to pump it up too much, but I’m getting excited about what the new villain character is evolving into. Rest assured, it’s still going to be a whole lot of fun. Remember, that’s Priority 1-A around these parts.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
PE: Kinda. Sorta. Actually, you all might be able to help with this. I’m looking for an artist to partner with on a speculative comic book project. So, if you’re an artist and you like my particular brand of silly prose, hit me up.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Space Tripping and your other work?
PE: If you’re interested in what’s going on specifically regarding Space Tripping, you can check out Spacetrippingbook.com.
I also have a small collection of short stories, illustrations, and pun-filled comics at Ramblingwaffle.com.
Or you can just connect with me on Twitter, @RamblingWaffle.
That handle has a long and uninteresting backstory involving pancake monsters and a swamp made of syrup. Let’s just say it’s a good thing I had my bacon sword with me or I wouldn’t be here today. I know… it sounds so boring. You probably aren’t interesting in hearing any more about it.
Thanks again, Fanbase!