Hello Space Cadets! Today, I wanted to introduce you to another author from my WARRIOR WEEKEND INTERVIEW SERIES.
Rick Partlow is that rarest of species, a native Floridian. He was born in Tampa in 1966, the son of a Baptist preacher. His dad was in his early 40s when he was born and had been the nose gunner on a B24 bomber in WWII—he had been shot down over the Ploesti Oil F
Needless to say, his father’s stories had quite the effect on Rick as a child, as did the tales of Robert Heinlein, whose “juvenile” novels shaped his adolescence. He fell in love with science fiction early, giving his library card a workout from age 8 on.
He attended Florida Southern College on an ROTC scholarship and graduated with a BA in History and a commission in the Army. He served as an Infantry platoon leader with the 25th ID in Hawaii before getting out and bouncing around from one job to another for a while before settling on teaching.
And through that whole time, he was writing. He wrote his first novel in 10th grade and his second as a senior in high school. They were both written longhand on notebook paper and he held his nose as he threw them in the trash can sometime while he was in college.
It was in college that he began writing his first science fiction novel. He began writing a story I called Rituals, which later, after many, many years and many revisions became Duty, Honor, Planet. At the same time he came up with a plot for a book that would later be the basis for the characters of Glory Boy and the Birthright trilogy.
Without further ado, let’s get this interview cranking!
Tell me a little about your military service?
I was in college Army ROTC and also served as an enlisted man in the National Guard while I was in college. After I graduated, I was active duty for a couple years in the Infantry, serving as a platoon leader in the 25th ID in Schofield Barracks, HI. I got out early due to the post-Gulf War drawdown and was in the reserves for a few more years to serve out my obligation.
How do you feel that your military service has influenced your writing?
It definitely gave me the background and familiarity with tactics and mindset I needed to write military science fiction.
Do you think your military service, and more specifically your training, adds to the realism in your books? If so, how?
Infantry small unit tactics have made my military SF more realistic since they apply whether you’re using M16s and artillery or Gauss rifles and orbital kinetic kill strikes.
When did you start pursuing your writing more seriously?
I’ve done that twice. First, back in the late 1990s I buckled down and finished two SF novels: Duty, Honor, Planet and Birthright. I signed with a literary agent and we tried our best to find a publisher but after a couple years we both gave up.
Then when I discovered self-publishing on Amazon for Kindle in 2011 and those two books sold 10,000 copies the first year, I got serious about writing again. I was still writing seat of the pants style and it took me a year each to write the two sequels to Duty, Honor, Planet, and then a bit under a year each for the two sequels to Birthright. After that, I began taking outlining more seriously and finished Glory Boy in three months. The first Recon novel took two months, the second a month, and the third also two months. I hope I can keep up this schedule for the fourth book.
Of all your work, which was your favorite to write?
I think that has to be Honor Bound, the second book in the Duty, Honor, Planet trilogy. That book more than any seemed to write itself, and it honestly surprised me how it wound up ending. That whole series was a lot of fun to write, mostly because it was all done seat-of-the-pants, not outlined much.
How many of your characters were inspired by your military service?
Most of them were created during college, so most were inspired by friends from college and the cadre at my college ROTC unit. Several of the NCOs there were Vietnam veterans and the Professor of Military Science was former Special Forces.
How many of the specific scenes you wrote were inspired from your service?
Not specifically from my service, but some were taken from the experience of other soldiers I talked to.
Do you feel like your writing has served any therapeutic value for you? Has it helped you process your military experiences?
I didn’t see combat, since I got out in the early 90s, so the most traumatic thing that ever happened to me was getting my ass chewed by a full Colonel promotable.
If you could serve with any of your characters, who would it be and why?
Definitely Jason McKay. He’s solicitous of his people, not a by-the-book martinet and he’s also very
If you would want to avoid serving with any of your characters, who would it be and why?
Probably Cal Mitchell, since he’s very hard to kill and tends to get into situations where the conventional troops around him get killed and he survives because of his augmentation. Imagine a Navy SEAL with superpowers…
If you could serve in any of the worlds you created, which one would it be, and why?
During wartime, it would have to be the Republic of Duty, Honor, Planet since they have better leadership.
What are you currently working on and when do you expect it to be ready for publication?
I’m currently outlining the fourth book in my Recon series. I just released the third book, A Battle for the Gods, less than a week ago and I expect the fourth book to be out my sometime in September.
How can people find you?
If this convinced you to find out more, look up Rick Partlow. I hope you all had a great time getting to know about Rick. Don’t be afraid to say hello here or on https://www.facebook.com/DutyHonorPlanet/. If s/he doesn’t respond quick enough, glitter bomb them! 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.