Interviews

This Interview was originally posted to the blog Infoespresso.

Q1. Hello Sir, can you please introduce yourself? Readers would love to know more about you.

My name is E. S. Fein. I think of myself predominantly as a psychonaut and perpetual student of reality, but most people know me as a writer and academic consultant. I graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Creative Writing. While bartending and working numerous odd jobs after graduating, my partner and I decided to travel to South Korea to teach English for a year. After operating a business for multiple years in Korea while teaching at a private school, we backpacked for a year across more than 150 cities throughout Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. Since returning to the US, I have authored a full length novel called Points of Origin, along with a collection of short stories called The Process is Love. I am now hard at work trying my best to stop putting off the completion of my second novel. I am also putting the finishing touches on a short story that will complete my second collection of short stories, which will be entitled Ascendescension. You can check out several of my short stories in writing and audio for free at OfficialESFein.com.

Q2. What were the key challenges you faced while writing ‘Points Of Origin’ book?

The single biggest challenge was convincing myself that completing a novel was even possible for me. I have written many short stories, some of them bordering on novela length, but a novel always seemed so daunting, sometimes even impossible. This feeling of it being impossible continued throughout the writing process, even when I was near the end. It was very much like climbing and summiting a mountain. It was all a mental game, but I suppose most everything is!

Q3. What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

I currently read multiple books per week and have read over 1000 full length novels and thousands of stories over the past decade, so there are too many to recount in full. I will just name some that come to my mind first in this moment:
● Childhood’s End, by Arthur C. Clarke
● The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula K. Leguin
● Anything by Philip K. Dick
● Eon by Greg Bear
● Diaspora by Greg Egan
● Anything by Stephen Baxter
● Anything by Ted Chiang
● House of Suns, by Alastair Reynolds
● City, by Clifford D. Cimak
● Solaris, by Stanislaw Lem
I’ll stop there!

Q4. What’s your favourite spot to visit in your own country? And what makes it so special to you?

Anywhere with an abundance of nature. Cities terrify me. Getting lost in the wilderness is a relaxing cake walk for me relative to even a short visit to a big city. I’ve travelled all over the world and lived outside my country for many years, but one thing appears to never change; no matter where I go, I really don’t like cities!

This image was created by _Sassy_39, check out their Instagram account!

Q5. Is there lots to do before you drive in and start writing a book?

Before I dive in, I have to lay down or go for a walk and let the story play out in my head like it’s a movie–usually I see my stories as anime in my head. I never get the whole movie planned out in one go, but that’s part of the fun. For all of my stories, when I start writing, I don’t know exactly where my characters or plot will end up. At the onset of writing, I have only the vaguest sense of the story’s total terrain, so the details, even some of the major ones, are a delightful surprise for me too!

Q6. How long did it take you to write ‘Points Of Origin’ book?

It took me just under 2 years to write the book, and just over a year to go through the full editing process. So, from inception to publishing, it took 3 years total.

Q7. On what all platforms readers can find ‘Points Of Origin’ book to buy?

Points of Origin is available from all online retailers, but most people get it from Amazon. You can also get it from me directly at OfficialESFein.com. It is available in both paperback and ebook, and it is also currently being turned into an audiobook by an incredibly talented voice actress named Betty Bat!

Q8. Tell us about the process of coming up with the book cover and the title ‘Points Of Origin’?

The title of the book was suggested by one of my beta readers, and though the title has been used before by other authors, I really do think it perfectly encompasses precisely what the story is attempting to convey and describe, both literally and figuratively. The title was too good to pass up!
As for the cover, I created it with the intention of it looking like a cosmic mandala. Each subsequent square is spaced at precisely the golden ratio. Each square is also made using an actual image of a nebula taken by NASA (they are completely public domain, but I did clear their usage with NASA just in case!). I really wanted a cover that wasn’t a run-of-the-mill scifi cover but that would still catch a person’s eye, and I think I achieved that.

Q9. When writing a book how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?

By allowing a large part of the characterization and plot to remain unknown even to me! As I stated before, I often allow my mind to go through numerous different scenes, like numerous potential plotlines of a movie, to see which will work best, and which my characters respond most interestingly to. I try to allow the process to be as organic and naturally grown as possible, rather than putting too much of my own conscious devisings into the creation process! It is a very paradoxical process — creating something that I want as little to consciously do with as possible so as to keep it as natural as possible — but it somehow works for me and many other authors as well, I’m sure.

Q10. Are there any secrets from the book (that aren’t in the blurb), you can share with your readers?

Without getting into any spoilers, I will say, in the words of one of the characters in the story, “do not confuse linearity with causality.” The chronological order of the chapters might not imply a linear causal relationship, yet on the other hand, maybe it does. It depends on the perspective you view the order from, and it also depends on your view of order in general.
Also, chapter 4, short and strange as it is, is more important than you might realize — even after finishing the book! It exists as an easter egg for only the most astute readers!
Thank you for this opportunity!