Liquid Cool

Author Interview With Austin Dragon – Creator of the Liquid Cool Series

Authors have a reason that compelled them to sit down and put their stories in written form. Would you mind sharing what motivated you do become a published author?

Every year I pick a couple of new things to do – salsa dancing, travel to Israel, etc. In 2011, it was to publish one novel and that’s it. What’s so ridiculous about the whole thing is that I was born a writer, wrote my first short story at 3 years old and was writing full mystery novels in middle school. After I graduated from high school, went in the military and came out, writing was not even a consideration for me as a career. Five years after publishing that first novel, I have 15 books in 3 series and much more on the way.

Crime noir and cyberpunk makes for an interesting combination of styles to tell a story. How did the merger of these two genre’s come about as you planned to write your Liquid Cool series?

My cyberpunk series is technically not cyberpunk at all from a literary standpoint. However, for the average cyberpunk fan, it is. The series is inspired by the sci-fi classic film Blade Runner. In my seeming attraction to genre blends, Liquid Cool is Blade Runner meets The Maltese Falcon. It brings in my other favorite genre–the mystery detective, and specifically the golden age of film noir mystery detectives.

However, the real impetus for the series was to have a series that was the opposite of most of my sci-fi work—fun. I have done and will do quite a bit of serious, provocative, emotional work. I needed a series that would be nothing but the light side of things. Liquid Cool is that—action, fun, and laughs. I can still sneak in the serious issues, but that is not the primary focus of the series.

What was your inspiration to create the social order your protagonist Cruz, laborer turned private investigator, lives and works in?

I wanted Cruz to be an everyman to connect with the reader right away. Sure, none of us can build a classic hovercar in out parent’s garage in high school, but the fact that he is a laborer drifting through life, searching for his purpose is something many can relate to. He is the kind of the protagonist you like right from the start and can’t help to be enamored with his world of craziness—cases and characters alike.

The characters inhabiting your Liquid Cool stories are a colorful and interesting collection of individuals. Their names in particular are a bit different. Describe if you would how you created your characters and the naming process for each.

I think every great protagonist needs great people around him or her. Cruz has a rich set of characters around him that add to the fun of the series. As for the names of the characters, it’s funny you ask because I’ll touch upon that subject in Liquid Cool Book 6, which I’m writing now. In the world of Liquid Cool, there were periods where certain naming conventions arose. One generation it was “cool” to have numbers as surnames. In the past, as we know, Biblical names were the norm. In Cruz’s time the names often relate to tech in some way.

The “city” itself in a noir style story often can be a character in its own right. Metropolis certainly takes on the persona of a classic noir city, dangerous yet alluring. Some people struggle to get by while others prosper on the misery of those around them. What did you draw upon to create the supercity Metropolis for your Liquid Cool series?

I use the name Metropolis and many people, understandably, think I’m referring to Gotham City of Batman. Actually, it is the Metropolis of Fritz Lang’s classic movie, but I don’t expect most to remember a classic 1927 film. A blend of Blade Runner (rain and neon) and film noir (the shadows and attitude), my Metropolis is all that in one. It’s not a city, it’ a supercity. It isn’t ethnic; it’s super-ethnic—different ethnicities, nationalities and languages (not often seen in sci-fi), very social class-minded, and race—it’s Earthers and off-worlders.

The work of other authors often serves as inspiration for the work of other authors. What authors and books influenced you and your style of writing and storytelling?

Honestly, the series was more influenced by films than books. I’ve read Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (loved!), never could finish William Gibson’s Neuromancer, though I tried three times, or Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash. But really its movies that inspired he series because it is very visual.

What lies in the future for Cruz? Will he settle down or do more cases lay ahead in his future?

Oh yes! Cruz will focus on solving smaller cases—he’s married with a new kid. As I mentioned I’m writing Liquid Cool #6, which means #5 is “in the bag”. The other reason for creating the series is that there is no ending. I can simply come up with a new case and write it. I also plan to do a few novellas to feature the many “interesting” clients and criminals Cruz faces but it’s in the context of shorter cases to solve.

What advice would you give any author considering starting out in the writing profession?

Always remember that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time for you to hone your craft, find your readers and fans, and build your writing business. Always keep learning (but you don’t need to spend tons of money to do that, if any at all: Google and You-Tube are your friends!), be accessible to your readers, and have fun–you’re a creator of worlds of fantastic imagination!

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