I’ve had the awesome opportunity to ask Tony Evans, author of Code Name Atlas (you can see my review here), a few questions. After finishing his book, I had some questions that I was dying to ask him, so I was ecstatic when he agreed to do an interview! He also graciously agreed to help me host a giveaway, so stay tuned to the end of this post for more information on that! Let’s jump right into the interview..
Code Name Atlas has a lot of military elements. How does being an Army veteran affect how you write about war-like situations?
There were several situations in the book that I pulled from direct experiences and it was fun to explore those combat situations where I was making the decisions on how things should end up rather than having life decide for me. And there were other times when my experiences were the seed for much larger fictional situations. Essentially Atlas is playing the role of the insurgent and uses the tactics that were used against US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, but I didn’t want readers to be swimming through a river of complex military jargon so I kept things simple and focused on a character driven story. I had fun writing the action scenes and I wanted the reader to have fun reading it.
Who are some authors that influence you as an author?
I remember reading the entire Foundation series by Isaac Asimov back in high school. Asimov is probably the biggest influence on me which is odd because Asimov was a proponent of non-violence and Code Name Atlas has a lot of it. Other than that it would have to be David Weber and his Honor Harrington series and several books by Orson Scott Card. The skill and ease with which they tell a story is amazing and is something I aspire to achieve.
How did you come up with the idea for Code Name Atlas?
The story was something I built slowly over time, but Code Name Atlas largely wrote itself. I didn’t have an outline that I wrote from, I wrote each chapter as I got to it and found characters and their traits as they occurred organically in the story. Actually the prologue was written as a joke for my wife. She thought I couldn’t write a story and I set out to prove her wrong. At first I wanted it to be a funny story, which I failed at accomplishing, and then it turned into a war story which seemed natural for me at the time. If you look closely at the prologue you’ll notice some bits of dark humor left over from when it was intended to be funny. As I continued to write the story I decided to write about people that have come and gone through my life, things I day dream about, and things I would find interesting if it happened.
How long did it take you to complete Code Name Atlas?
It took me a year to write the entire story and then it took me another two years to edit it several times. But the process is never really complete. I had to force myself not to read it again because I’ll always find something I could have said better or differently.
I noticed quite a few hints of Greek mythology throughout the story. Where did you get the idea to include these elements?
I always had a fascination for Greek mythology and read several books about it when I was younger. The relationships between the gods and the drama connecting them were interesting and complex. In Code Name Atlas all the characters are given code names which are names of characters in Greek mythology. I wanted my characters code names to reflect their Greek mythology counterparts at least in a small way. Atlas being the titan that held the world on his back reflects the struggle that Atlas deals with in the story with having to juggle many different things and holding himself accountable for everyone’s safety.
In the blurb at the end of the book, I saw that you said you’re interested in science fiction. What are some of your favorite science fiction books, movies, or shows?
I could easily make a long list for each, but there are a few that stand out like the new Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, Falling Skies, and the Starship Troopers book and movie for completely different reasons. I recently went to the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, CA where I got to see and interact with an absurd amount of Star Wars paraphernalia. Now I’m excited to see all the new Star Wars movies that are going to be released in the coming years.
Are you planning on writing a sequel to Code Name Atlas? If so, have you started? How is it going?
I do plan on eventually writing a sequel to Code Name Atlas, but I’m working on a different book at the moment. Although, I do have a strong idea on where to take Atlas and I have a few notes written down I’ve not committed to writing the sequel until I get a few other books out that I’ve wanted to write. But my wife bugs me nearly every week to write a sequel to Atlas, so it will get written eventually, if not for the world to read then at least for her.
And now.. For the giveaway! I have in my possession three different codes that will get you a free ebook copy of Code Name Atlas from Smashwords.com. I’ve decided to just run a Rafflecopter giveaway for this one, and it will end on May 31st. Check it out!