Sunday, October 28, 2018

Interview of Author Isaac Philips

AW: Tell us about yourself…
I am first and foremost a follower of Jesus. I live in the insufferable humidity of central Florida. I was homeschooled all the way through high school, which enabled me to develop my creativity and instilled the self-motivation needed to be a novelist. As a kid, I created plotlines and characters out of anything I could get my hands on, especially LEGOs. I guess nothing has really changed there. I’ve also been designing custom board games for as long as I can remember. I enjoy playing disc golf and ping pong when I get the chance. My other interests include philosophy, psychology, and doughnuts.

AW: Tell us about your book….
The Unknown Hero is my debut novel. Readers will explore intricate worlds, unravel the schemes of the solar system’s greatest leaders, and face ethical dilemmas alongside the protagonist. Fear and speculation ripple across the solar system, when an immense warfleet shows up out of nowhere. The rulers of the seven inhabited worlds must scramble to determine a course of action. Together, they can stand against the threat but the decades of political enmity between them will not be easily ignored. Swept into the panic, a timid, young rancher will come face to face with the invaders and uncover the secrets of the solar system that he holds dear.

AW: What genre do you write and why?
I wanted to read an adventure with an epic space setting. However, most science fiction novels focus on strange technologies or dystopian futures. They tend to be too weird for my tastes. So, I determined to write a science fiction story that was driven by adventure and interplanetary politics. That way I could have all the cool space ships and alien planets without the dark undercurrents or the silliness that people often associate with the genre.

AW: What was your inspiration for this book?
Building on the pervious answer, The Unknown Hero is the book I had been looking for all those years ago. I crafted the plot around the planets, characters, and societies that I so desperately wanted to read about. Most of my original ideas didn’t survive to the final draft, but they inspired better ones.

AW: Do you have a favorite character and why that one?
In my writing, I try to go the extra mile to make each and every character a unique individual, even the ones that only show up in a single paragraph. They should all feel like they’re thinking for themselves, influenced by the untold events of their lives. Because of this, there are a lot of minor characters that I really like, Linotra and Vorrnum to name two. If I had to pick one, though, it would have to be Sufralycoo. He’s constantly trying to manipulate circumstances to his own ends and control the other characters’ perceptions of him. You never know what he’s going to say next. That’s what made him such a fun character to write about.

AW: Did you find anything particularly difficult in writing this book?
I didn’t read much in my youth. When I started writing, I had no clue how good writing looked and sounded. Writing is an art; you only get better with practice. As I read more and honed my skills, I applied what I learned to the book. Over the course of nine years, I completely rewrote The Unknown Hero three times, and that’s not counting the innumerable edits in between.

AW: What project(s) are you currently working on?
Of course, books 2 and 3 of The Unknown Hero trilogy are my primary projects. I’m also working on a novella about an imaginary friend. The story is meant to be very enigmatic while having a quaint, homey feel. It’s a fascinating blend, and I’ve been enjoying the results so far. I have a notebook full of other story concepts that I will occasionally write random scenes for if I don’t have any ideas for the trilogy.

AW: Do you have any interesting writing quirks you want to tell us about?
I’m dyslexic. That’s a big reason why I didn’t read much as a kid. So that I won’t get lost in the letters as much, I normally write in an oversized font.

AW: Do you have any advice for writers out there?
Hold the reigns but let the horse walk on four legs. Let me explain what I mean by that. You have to keep your story on track with a detailed plot, but you have to let it follow its logical course at the same time.
Imagine a marble track. The marble is your story. The track represents the setting, characters, and circumstances. They control where your story will naturally go regardless of what your plot says. To force the story in any other direction would be to fight against the world you created, and that always creates annoying plot holes or a choppy storyline. You have to craft logical circumstances to guide the story to the next essential point of your plot naturally. It’s not easy, you might have to make major adjustments, but you’ll be glad you did. Your story will have more depth and will be more engaging when you’re done.

AW: Where can we find you? 
I post on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram under the username @FictionbyIsaac. There you’ll find news, thoughts on books and writing, and even some pictures of my latest board game designs. I’m also on Goodreads. You can read the full synopsis and prologue of The Unknown Hero on my official website,

AW: And of course we have to know, where can we find your book? 

The Unknown Hero is available in both paperback and e-book form on!


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