Interview with Victor Nieves, author of Epitaph: Reveille

Victor Nieves lives in West Virginia. He enjoys writing, reading, and is a huge horror movie fan, zombies in particular. At the young age of twenty-one, he found a way to communicate his ideas and imagination with others through writing, which he plans on doing for the rest of his life.

His latest book is the sci-fi, Epitaph: Reveille.
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About the Book:

In year 2343, the galaxy receives a deadly wake-up call...

Nearly three-hundred years have passed since humanity ascended to the stars, joining with a conglomeration of alien races all living under the rule of a single, united community - the United Galactic Coalition - a joint, multi-species alliance that upholds the principles of democracy, freedom, and equality for all races.

The Milky Way Galaxy's future looks bright ...

Until a research team uncovers a mysterious crystal buried deep beneath the surface of a frontier world on the edge of settled space. This discovery proves to be the catalyst for an invasion from an unknown alien force that is just as ruthless as they are mysterious.

As the races of the galaxy are catapulted into a vicious fight for their very survival, fate hastily throws together a legendary admiral with a dark past, a brilliant scientist with precious little time to find the answers, an elite Special Forces Operative who must come to terms with a past failure, a spunky young military officer for whom this war is a baptism by fire, and a top notch Marine who will discover a truth that will define him as a hero.

These five men and women hold not only the keys to their own survival, but the survival of their entire civilization. With the clock ticking, the race to uncover the truth begins. As they try to fend off this cruel and merciless alien foe, this handful of soldiers must discover what secrets this crystal could hold that would be worth the destruction of all life in the galaxy. But the question is ...

... Can they do it in time?

For More Information

  • Epitaph: Reveille is available at Amazon.
  • Watch the book trailer at YouTube.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Thank you for having me! Where did I come up with the idea to write Epitaph: Reveille? I’ve always loved science fiction and fantasy. As a kid, my friends and I were constantly creating these elaborate make-believe games with insanely detailed plots. We had so much fun together. As I got older, I realized I wanted to continue share my imagination with other but I knew I needed a different venue, because playing make-believe in the yard with your friends is only socially acceptable for so long. When I discovered that writing a novel would be the perfect medium to do that, I jumped on it.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

One of the hardest things for me in writing a military/science-fiction novel was constructing a believable military system that would fit in with my universe. I also had trouble with character development, like making sure a character was far enough along in their development to be ready for the situations I was going to put them in and ensuring that they would conduct themselves in a believable manner in keeping with their past experiences. With constructing your own universe, such as a military system, I didn’t just look into my country’s military doctrine’s and policies but as many nations as I could, so that way I was able to get a good idea of how different militaries operate, and then I invented my own system from what I’d learned. For character development, something that really helped me was observing people; their mannerisms, their habits, which gave me insight into how people might behave. When you write military/science-fiction, though you’re given a ton of leeway, there is still an expectation to maintain a certain amount of believability. Say for instance, you’re researching the mechanics of a mass accelerator. Understand how a mass accelerator works so that you know how to appropriately incorporate that kind of technology into your book.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

My plan was to self-publish, but I had no idea where to begin. I saw an ad in the local newspaper about a publishing workshop, so I elected to attend. There, I met the instructor, Lauren Carr, who is the founder of Acorn Book Services. Lauren and her company help independent authors self-publish and they assisted me through the entire process. Her knowledge and expertise was invaluable and I learned so much. I’m very fortunate to have received her help, and she has served as an excellent mentor.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

Yes, actually! When I signed my contract, I couldn’t have been happier; couldn’t have been prouder of myself. But when I finally held the finished printed copy of my book in my hands for the first time … I realized that I’d had no idea of what being proud of myself felt like. It was an amazing feeling of accomplishment.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

Well, right now, I’m in the process of finishing book 2 in the Epitaph trilogy, titled Epitaph: Defiance. I’ve got quite a while to go, yet. I ran into some health problems a few months ago that kept me from writing for quite a bit, but now I’m back on track and I’m working vigorously to complete the next adventure in Epitaph! As it stands now, a release date in the first quarter of 2016 looks like where we’re headed! As for other novels? I do have another series in the works, the first novel of which could possibly be published shortly after the final book in the Epitaph trilogy. But that’s top secret, for now! However, I have been known to drop a few hints and tidbits of dialogue on Twitter once in a while, so if you really want to know more go there and follow me!

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

My favorite place to hang out online? Oh, man. That’s a hard question in that I don’t feel like I could give you just one! I love everything fantasy and scifi, so very often I find myself on websites pertaining to anything about the Lord of the Rings, Halo, The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, the Honorverse, it literally is endless. I really enjoy reading about creativity, but what I find most interesting is what events or situations inspired, say, J.R.R Tolkien to create such a vast and incredibly beautiful world like Middle-Earth, or what light went off in David Weber’s brain that led him to birth the iconic and immensely deep character of Honor Harrington? Discovering those things truly has helped me in my own works. From their ideas and their work, I find inspiration and can then forge my worlds, give life to my characters, and ultimately decide how the fate of both world and character will be linked. It’s very exciting!

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

In Epitaph: Reveille, I really strove to impress upon my readers how the worst possible situations life can thrust at us can also bind us together with the best friends we’ll ever encounter. Bonds formed through mutual struggle are often the strongest you’ll ever forge.

Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Of course! Thank you, as well! I’ve enjoyed this interview! Final words? I do. Always believe in yourself. If you can dream it, you can do it. Don’t ever let anyone tell you you’re incapable of achieving your goal. I was told that quite a few times. And now look. I’m a published author that just gave his first interview.
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