A father of three and husband of one, R. L. Copple has done many things in life, from cooking at Wendy's to pastoring a church. Currently he lives as a financial officer by day, but at night, he writes. He's been published in several on-line/print magazines, you can check out his collection of works at the links below his interview.
Let's get started.
1) What genres do you write in and what books have you published?
I write mainly fantasy and space opera novels and short stories. I've dabbled in some mainstream fiction and have one non-fiction book published.
- Currently I have two fantasy books: Reality's Dawn and Reality's Ascent.
- Two space opera books: Mind Game and Hero Game.
- One anthology of my short stories: Ethereal Worlds
- And one non-fiction: How to Make an Ebook: Using Free Software
It is unique in both how it came about and the style. It started out as a short story I wrote in 2006 called "Steamy Realities," that was picked up by a magazine called The Sword Review (which merged with Dragons, Knights, and Angels to become what is currently Mindflights). I decided to write some more stories in that world, following the character's adventures based on that first story. Originally it came out in a five-story novella in Nov. 2007. I later filled it out with more stories in 2010, and Splashdown Books picked that up and published the "new and improved" fifteen-storied novel version in Feb. 2011.
But this is unique in that the book is more of what is referred to as a "braided novel," in which each chapter is a stand alone short story, but together they tell a bigger tale. They are also a bit unique in that they reflect a sort of morality play, much like Everyman, but without being preachy about it. It is an obvious Christian-themed series, but I've had Muslims like the stories. So I think there isn't anything "in your face" about the Christian elements.
One of my best reviews I've received on this series (Reality's Ascent is the second in the trilogy) is an 11 year old who couldn't put them down and enjoyed them more than he did Harry Potter.
3) Who has been your favorite character to write so far and why?
I tend to like most of them, who are not villains anyway. But probably the most fun to write and who my readers seem to take a liking to the most is Joel. I think because he is a bit quirky, unpredictable, and a bit mysterious as most don't know for sure how to peg who he is. And interestingly enough, he appears in all three of the books in this series, and in the spin off series from this world I'm working on.
I did a character interview with him a while back, which your readers may find interesting.
4) How would you describe your writing style?
Quickly paced, not a ton of description and internal character monologues. I tend to focus on interaction and dialog more. Which is why I tend to write more YA stories, as my style fits that group better, though I don't do much "teen aghast" type writing. So I find most adults will like my stories just as well as the younger crowd.
The other description is a bit of humor. My humor tends to be dry and situational, but as long as I don't get too corny, which sometimes I do anyway when the story calls for it, it usually blends in well with the stories.
5) What is it you hope your fiction writing accomplishes for a reader?
There are two main goals I have for my fiction. One is obviously to write an entertaining story. That is the main reason people pick up a fiction book, to be entertained. If you don't do that, you don't do anything. Because people tend not to read boring books. Any other purpose gets lost if people don't read it.
But I also like to help bring to a reader new perspectives they haven't considered before, or an angle they haven't seen on an old point of view. I find fantasy and space opera especially well-tuned to that, because they are in strange new worlds, and what might get an immediate wall in a familiar setting, a person will tend to have a more open mind in an unfamiliar one. But if the reader comes away from one of my books with a new way of seeing various issues and thinking about it while enjoying the story for its own sake, I know I've done my job as a writer.
6) What future novels are in the works for publication?
Splashdown Books will be publishing the final book in The Reality Chronicles trilogy this coming summer, Reality's Glory. I have another spin-off series I'm working on from that world, two books written and being edited out of a planned five-book series. I'm excited about those as I liked how that world and characters have developed.
I am also working on another braided novel, but this one is a space opera called The Underground, about a young, agnostic girl who ends up helping a group of rebels headed by a priest. I've written and published in ebook format four of those stories so far, and once done, I'll combine them to make a full novel. I started them last year, but some personal issues put the series on hold. But I am expecting to get back to them in the next few months. So if anyone is reading this who has bought those stories, never fear, they will continue.
7) What is your contact information?