Interview with James Fox, Author of Retaliation (The Sol Saga Book 2) | NewInBooks
What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Retaliation?
Really the story behind The Sol Saga (Revolution and Retaliation) stems from a story I was told while on a film set back in 2010. A friend and colleague served in the US military for a time, and he shared some stories with us occasionally. One of those stories really stuck out to me. It was one of selfishness and greed, which left my colleague and several others just twisting in the wind behind enemy lines. I wanted to write a story about the mixing of politics, corporate greed, and war. The Sol Saga was originally a television series pilot, but I put so much research and backstory into it, that I thought it would make a cool book series too.
If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Retaliation, what would they be?
What an awesome question! I wrote the book to Lindsey Sterling’s albums on repeat. Almost exclusively listened to her for both books. So, I’d have to say one of her tracks almost assuredly influenced the characters in some way or other. Brennan was a lot of Artemis and Helena was Between Twilight and Spalding and Colt were Beyond the Veil and McAaron was Heist.
If you had to write a blurb for the last book you read, what would it say?
Fun fact, I’m terrible at blurb writing. Like, really super bad. I wouldn’t want to diminish my fellow authors by absolutely massacring their stories. However, the last book I read was Fringe Runner by Rachel Aukes, and it is incredible. The characters are deep and complex, flawed and exciting! The plot twists and turns like an eel in your hands, once you think you know exactly what’s going on, it writhes out of your grasp. It was very engaging! I hadn’t binged a book series that hard since The Lightbringer Series by Brent Weeks!
What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?
I’m all about Science-Fiction and Fantasy. I read those two genres almost exclusively. I haven’t yet published any fantasy, but I am working on something that I’m pretty excited about. Hopefully, I’ll be able to add that to my list of genres here soon. There’s just something fascinating about taking contemporary issues and thrusting them into a fantastic world and experimenting with it.
Do you have any quirky writing habits? Where did you write Retaliation?
My whole life is a quirky habit haha. I exclusively write to music, I almost can’t think without it. I type really really fast, and just kind of zone out. I also have very little memory of what I write, so when I go back and review my work for the day – it’s almost like reading it for the first time. I’m not entirely sure that’s a good thing lol! Other than that, I’m a morning writer. If I haven’t started writing by noon, it’s almost not worth it. A typical day for me is around 15k words. Then, I have to get up and do something else. The other thing is, I normally have some kind of video game up on my screen while I write. I normally ignore it, or at least I am not actively playing it. Just having it on screen allows me to trick myself into saying “Hey, I played video games all day! It was a great day!” Even though I likely never did anything at all in the game.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice I’ve ever received? To never give up on the things you love. Storytelling is a passion for me. I cannot go a day without working on the craft – trust me, I’ve tried. So, being able to turn that into a career has been incredible. My Dad told me once, “You can wake up every morning and hate what you do, and spend all day wishing and waiting to do something else. This path yields more enjoyment for half your day. Or, you can love your work, and wake up every morning excited for what the day brings. This path means you’ll work your entire life, without rest from the stresses that brings, but you’ll look forward to it.” I think that was sound advice. Both have their pros and cons. It’s important to figure out which works best for you.