Hey Space Cadets! Not much happening on the home front, except more writing. So as I have nothing to add to the equation, let’s talk about today’s featured veteran!
I wanted to introduce you to another author from my WARRIOR WEEKEND INTERVIEW SERIES. You might remember him, I’ve previously interviewed him about his publishing house but today we focus on him, not his business. The introduction will be the same, because Chris Kennedy hasn’t morphed into someone else in the interim but for those of you who missed his earlier interview, check it out here. If some of this is repetitive, then your memory is longer than most people’s online these days! Kudos to you!
To help you appreciate why I chose to interview him, let me tell you more about Chris. He is a bestselling Science Fiction/Fantasy author and speaker. Chris Kennedy is also a former naval aviator (we forgive him for not going Army) and elementary school principal. Chris’ stories include the “Occupied Seattle” military fiction duology; “The Theogony” and “Codex Regius” science fiction trilogies; and the “War for Dominance” fantasy trilogy. You can also get his free book, “The Death of Atlantis,” at his website.
Chris has been called “fantastic” and “a great speaker,” he has coached hundreds of beginning authors and budding novelists (including yours truly) on how to self-publish their stories at a variety of conferences, conventions and writing guild presentations. He is the author of the award-winning #1 bestseller, “Self-Publishing for Profit: How to Get Your Book Out of Your Head and Into the Stores,” as well as the leadership training book, “Leadership from the Darkside.” You can find out more about having him talk to your group here.
Chris lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia, with his wife and family. He is currently working with the Navy to help shape Navy training processes for the year 2025. He is the holder of a doctorate in educational leadership and master’s degrees in both business and public administration. On a more personal note, like so many in the Indie Writing Circle, Chris is very willing to mentor new writers (though they all likely regret accepting my friend request!) through his social media presence. He’s an overall decent fella, the kind you’d enjoy doing business with.
Now for the man, the myth and the legend to speak for himself!
Without further ado, let’s gzet this interview cranking!
Tell me a little about your military service?
I am a retired naval aviator who spent 20 years in the service. About half of my flight career was spent flying A-6E Intruder attack jets off the carrier and half was flying the EP-3E ARIES reconnaissance aircraft. I have over 3,000 hours of flight time and over 300 arrested carrier landings. Even though I’ve retired from active duty, I’m still closely tied to the military, as my day job is managing the curriculum for enlisted sailors learning to maintain the FA-18 Hornet fighter jet.
How do you feel that your military service has influenced your writing?
Having spent time in two communities, I have a good feel for how a number of services operate, and have worked closely with a number of organizations in each branch of the military. While I certainly know and can write aviation (including space fighters!), I’m also passingly conversant on other military specialties, as well.
Do you think your military service, and more specifically your training, adds to the realism in your books? If so, how?
Absolutely, it does. With me, you get authentic actions and communications, as well as knowing what it’s like to have to “embrace the suck.”
When did you start pursuing your writing more seriously?
I started about four years ago. Writing wasn’t something I’d always wanted to do, but something that just kind of happened. One day, I had an idea that I thought would make a great book or two, and rather than throwing that idea away, I pursued it to its conclusion (it turned into Red Tide and Occupied Seattle).
Of all your work, which was your favorite to write?
I don’t know that I have one story that is my favorite, but lots of little parts of each. If I had to pick one, I would say, “Terra Stands Alone.” It showed I could bring a series to a successful conclusion (I think so, anyway), and I also got to use A-6E Intruders in the story.
How many of your characters were inspired by your military service?
I’m sure all of them have at least a little piece of someone I’ve known in the service, as I draw upon lots of people I served with when I’m writing.
How many of the scenes you wrote were inspired from your service?
I don’t know how many actual scenes were inspired by my service, but the interactions in all of my scenes, how people relate and talk to each other, definitely are inspired by my service.
Do you feel like your writing has served any therapeutic value for you? Has it helped you process your experiences?
The only negative I took with me from my service was how I felt about a couple of the leaders I served under, and choices they made which I knew were wrong. Certainly the leadership book I wrote was very cathartic in letting some of those things go.
If you could serve with any of your characters, who would it be and why?
I think that Shawn Hobbs and I would get along well together. In addition to serving with him, I’d also love to have a beer with him, too. That Dan Knaus guy is all right, too, but then again, he’s a red shirt of someone I actually served with.
If you would want to avoid serving with any of your characters, who would it be and why?
I don’t know that I could keep up with Master Chief O’Leary, and he always seems to be getting into the kind of “life-or-death” situations I always try to avoid.
What are you currently working on and when do you expect it to be ready for publication?
I am working on an anthology in the Four Horsemen universe called “A Fistful of Credits” which has some great names in it, like Brad Torgersen, Chris Nuttal, Terry Mixon and Doug Dandridge in it, among others. It will be released on June 30 and is going to be great! I also have a full length novel in the series, “The Golden Horde,” which will be released about six weeks after that.
How can people find you?
I hope you had a great time getting to know Chris. If this convinced you to find out more, look him up—he’s a heck of a guy! If he doesn’t respond quick enough, bombard him with stories about nonsense! 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.