For our third (not-quite-as-grossly-late-but-still-pretty-late) foray into the Blog World Tour, we’re featuring Alasdair Shaw.

Alasdair Shaw grew up in Lancashire. After stints living in Cambridge, North Wales, and the Cotswolds, he has lived in Somerset since 2002. He has been rock climbing, mountaineering, caving, kayaking and skiing as long as he can remember. Growing up he spent most of his spare time in the hills. Recently he has been doing more sea kayaking and open water swimming.

Alasdair studied at the University of Cambridge, leaving in 2000 with an MA in Natural Sciences and an MSci in Experimental and Theoretical Physics. He went on to earn a PGCE, specializing in Science and Physics, from the University of Bangor. A secondary teacher for over fifteen years, he has plenty of experience communicating scientific ideas.

The Two Democracies: Revolution science fiction series starts with Independence, and continues with Liberty. The third story, Equality, will hopefully be released in summer 2017, followed by Fraternity the year after.

Truly, an author who has already reached great heights.
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Hello Alasdair.

On to the questions!

Mr. Shaw. What would be your main characters’ favorite books?

Indie discovers reading early on in Liberty. As an AI, he already knows the content of all the books in his database, but he finds he enjoys reading them linearly. Various things that happen in the story remind him of things he has read, or prompt him to read something about them. A couple of times he refers to Asimov’s Robots series, so I suspect that is his favorite.

Johnson doesn’t see the point in reading for fun. Indie tries to convert her, and she does at least read Wind in the Willows. Right now, though, her favorite book is probably some naval training manual.

Classics. What do you think of video trailers for books, and do you have a trailer/will you create one for your own work?

I think that trailers could be a very effective marketing tool. They are brilliant for sharing on social media, with the potential for going viral. However, I personally think one of the benefits of books over films is not dictating the details of what things look like. A trailer could potentially spoil that.

I can almost hear the “pew pew pew!” noises.
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I don’t know. The static image trailer is pretty cool.

Fair enough. Then how are you publishing this book, and why?

Liberty is being published Indie. The level of control is the most appealing factor, followed by the royalty percentage.
I have to admit that I also want to avoid being pressured by external deadlines. With some of the books I’ve published through trad houses, I’ve found that I rush to meet their deadline, then they appear to sit on it for months before setting another incredibly short deadline for me.

I personally hate deadlines, unless there somebody else’s. Have you ever taken part in a multi-author anthology?

I am actually in the process of editing one now. It is a science fiction short story collection on the theme of “The Newcomer“. they can be submitted here until 31 October 2016. [Which is, of course, a date in the past. My fault. -Jim]

Good deal. Finally, what is your favourite movie and why?

The Fifth Element. It has a superb blend of serious scifi with clever comedy. Great actors, and acting. A simple but effective plot. Well-done effects that don’t detract from the people and story. Good soundtrack, especially when the opera singing matches the fight sequence.

Thanks, Alasdair! You can sign up to his mailing list here. The Two Democracies universe intersects with our own on Twitter, and also on Facebook.