Jukebox Time got a chance to interview author Derek Erickson in regard to his book We Were Delta. We got insights into his book, tips for aspiring writers, and much more!
Q. Your latest book We Were Delta is already creating quite a buzz. Could you give us a sneak peek into what readers can expect from it?
A: Of course! We Were Delta is a post-apocalyptic science fiction. It begins with a doomed journey to save one of the last human reservations. When a Delta gets involved, what should have been a small conflict turns into the tipping point to reignite a galactic war. You’ll experience the universe through two very different views. Through Sadie, you’ll see all the beauty, horror, and glory of space travel that humanity has always dreamed of. Through Louis, you’ll feel an existence that has become a grinding machine, an endless conflict of little joy, and how hard you’ll fight just to feel human again.
Q. As an author, how does your personal life and experiences influence your characters and stories?
A: We Were Delta came directly from my experience as a soldier and the strange camaraderie and loneliness that all veterans feel. Soldiers get separated a lot due to our work and our reunions are always interesting. It’s a joyful, almost morbid moment checking up on each other. How have you been, done anything crazy lately, where’s life taking you, and anybody we know dead? This story originally was a short piece about two immortal veterans meeting up again on an alien planet for a drink. It was alarming how well most military members I knew connected with it.
Q. In the writing process, how do you handle the balance between staying true to your original vision and adapting based on feedback from editors or early readers?
A: Staying true to my vision is pretty easy. Most feedback comes from obvious problems I tend to overlook. It’s so simple to miss the little details that will drive your readers crazy! Such as, in a different book I had a family with four dogs get separated after a tragedy, then I never mentioned the dogs again. What happened to them! I depend on early readers/editors to hit me with those nagging questions.
Q. Any tips or advice for aspiring writers?
A: This is not a quick process. Almost all serious writers will write stories or even books that never see the light of day. You might spend a year working on a pet project you love and realize it’s just practice. Don’t lose hope because you wrote 200,000 words and see its destined for the trash.
Q. Given that writing can often be a solitary endeavor, how do you keep yourself motivated and focused during the creative process?
A: Working on a good book can be as addictive as reading a good book, you just get sucked in. But it’s important to remind yourself you don’t live in those sheets of paper and the real world is still moving. I like to get outside, walk the dogs, spend time with friends, and have conversations outside of the ones I’m writing all day.
Q. Away from the writing desk, what hobbies or activities do you enjoy that help rejuvenate your creativity?
A: I once heard it’s very difficult to write something if you haven’t experienced it, so when I need creative help, I go experience things. Scuba diving gives you a feeling of weightlessness like space, especially if you go at night. Boxing after work inspires fight scenes or struggling with exhaustion. Taking my dogs out for long walks is a great way to clear my head and air conversations with my characters. Sometimes you just need to be away from the desk.
About the author: Derek is an Army veteran, author, and epidemiologist. He fights the Covid pandemic by day and writes at night (superhero name pending). He’s currently publishing in adventure, fantasy, paranormal romance, and psychological thrillers.
About the book: The Delta were created to save the world. They were immortal warriors who shrugged off lasers, were stronger than a thousand men, and could win wars single-handedly. And until yesterday, they were just like Earth. A bedtime story. Now Sadie’s reservation is about to be invaded. The bugs are coming and there’s no time to question legends. Grandma swears a Delta can save them and that’s all that matters. But Sadie could have never known who she made a deal with. A simple job to save the reservation is about to plunge her, the planet, and possibly the whole galaxy back into a war everyone had hoped to forget.
Order your copy now: We Were Delta