Hello Space Cadets! A quick update from me, then we’ll get to what brought all of you here! So I’m slowly picking up steam on book four of the Sleeping Legion Series, which we’ve tentatively titled Maternal Vengeance. I’m back on the dieting and exercise horse and using my FitBit Blaze to help guide me along. Life was easier before the injury; I could eat, drink and make merry without worrying about calories! Now I have to do the whole adult thing and eat healthy and work out. So much of the healthy foods have no flavor, it’s not fair! LOL, but like my old sergeant said, “if you wanna be airborne, you gotta be thin!”
Anyway, on to the interview! Today, I wanted to introduce you to another author from my WARRIOR WEEKEND INTERVIEW SERIES!
We’re welcoming Josh Hayes to the party, he co-hosts the Keystroke Medium YouTube vlog and writes his own version of SciFy Insanity. He spent a spell in the US Air Force, which is almost like being in the military, before he got out and joined the Wichita Police Department as a Meter Maid. Seriously, skirt and all! Okay, jokes aside he is a member of the Wichita PD and does what he can to protect the mean corn fields of Kansas.
I first met Josh through his YouTube channel, and he’s been nothing but helpful and friendly. If you’re looking for your own writing community, you should consider joining us on Keystroke Medium’s weekly live shows. They also have a Keystroke Medium Facebook group where the cool kids hang out. Now, rather than tell you about him myself, let’s let Josh talk for himself!
Without further ado, let’s get this interview cranking!
Tell me a little about your military service?
Thanks for the opportunity! I served six years in the US Air Force as a Security Forces troop. I was stationed at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming for the entirety of my enlistment. I had (in my opinion) a very fulfilling career, making E4 “Below the Zone” or six months early, and promoting to Staff Sergeant – E5 in under 5 years. My duties included: guarding nuclear missile sites, base patrol and the ANCOIC of the SF motor pool.
How do you feel that your military service has influenced your writing?
The old adage “write what you know” comes to mind. My passion is science fiction, military sci-fi in particular, and I feel actually serving automatically gives your writing a certain credibility. Not that you can’t write great military sci-fi without ever serving, but in my experience you can definitely tell a difference. Mostly with the little nuances that only those who’ve served tend to pick up on.
Do you think your military service, and more specifically your training, adds to the realism in your books? If so, how?
Yes. Most of the characters I have written so far are military bases, but also frequently are involved in some kind of law enforcement.
When did you start pursuing your writing more seriously?
I’ve dabbled in writing for most of my life (from the time I was 13 or 14) but I didn’t really take it seriously (as I could really make it into a thing) until about 2014. I met a buddy at work, Scott Moon, and he encouraged me to write, and finish, my first book. Since then I’ve published two books and three short stories in several anthologies and Scott and I have started an interview/roundtable podcast Keystroke Medium.
Of all your work, which was your favorite to write?
Right now I’m working on a military sci-fi thriller/mystery novel, Edge of Valor, a project I’ve been planning for the better part of 2 years. The complexity of this book and the cast of characters really pushes me to put by best writing-foot forward.
How many of your characters were inspired by your military service?
Most of the characters in my current project are in the military, so I’ve based them off of people I’ve met, had encounters with, or had knowledge of.
How many of the scenes you wrote were inspired from your service?
I wouldn’t say scenes specifically, but there are definite elements I have drawn from my career that I think give the project a lot of color.
Do you feel like your writing has served any therapeutic value for you? Has it helped you process your experiences?
Writing is definitely therapeutic. After I got out of the military in 2008 I joined a local police department and have seen many things that I want to forget about when I get home. Writing science fiction and fantasy allow me to escape into another world and divert my focus away from those things.
If you could serve with any of your characters, who would it be and why?
There is a commander of a naval ship in Edge of Valor that is basically my interpretation on what a great commanding officer would be; looks out for and cares for his subordinates, doesn’t stand on their shoulders to advance his own career, lifts his people up and supports then and leads from the front, not from the rear. Sadly, these are qualities that I find lacking all too often in most command structures, however, I have served under a supervisor who is exactly this way, and it was one of the best assignments of my career.
If you would want to avoid serving with any of your characters, who would it be and why?
The Captain of the same navel ship mention above is definitely one of those officers who will throw you under the bus in a moments notice if he thinks he’ll be able to further his career.
What are you currently working on?
I’m working on a number of projects at the same time right now actually. (Probably too many!) Like I said, I’m in the process of writing Edge of Valor, a military sci-fi novel. I’m also working on a short story for Chris Kennedy’s Four Horseman Anthology, as well as a third short story for Nathan Hystad’s Explorations: War anthology. And Scott Moon and I are working on building a collaborative fantasy world that we plan to start writing in early next year.
How can people find you?
If this convinced you to find out more, look up Josh and tell him JR sent ya! I hope you all had a great time getting to know about today’s awesome warrior turned author, he was certainly fun to interview! Don’t be afraid to say hello here or on their own website, the links are above! If he doesn’t respond quick enough, glitter bomb hide his donuts and put veggies in the box!! Mwahahaha!!
Until next time, stay frosty and don’t forget to keep your powder dry!
–> As usual, all images came from the Google’s “labeled for reuse” section or are screen grabs taken by JR Handley for use under the Fair Use Doctrine.