Greg Spry was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, in 1978. He majored in industrial engineering at the University of Wisconsin—Madison before earning a graduate degree in space systems from the Florida Institute of Technology. When he’s not writing the next epic sci-fi adventure, he enjoys playing kickball and cheering on the Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers. He currently resides in the United States.
1) When did you first discover your love for writing?
In late elementary school, I wrote my first novel, Crystalia, which filled 365 pages of two 5-subject notebooks (writing on physical paper really takes me back). I followed that up with another short novel, Bear Wars, in middle school, and wrote the very rough draft of Beyond Cloud Nine in high school. Further details about my early works can be found at https://www.gregspry.com/earlyworks.php.
2) Do you have a favourite place to write?
I write at my desktop computer at home most of the time. While I’ll occasionally take my laptop somewhere, I find that I’m most comfortable and productive at home.
3) Do you have a writing routine or process that you adhere to?
My larger publication process for a single book is as follows:
1) Write first rough draft
2) Refine characters/plot, self-edit, and polish second rough draft
3) Submit cover specs to designers
4) Submit chapters to a critique group and/or beta rears for feedback and apply to draft 3
5) Work with a professional editor to apply developmental and line edits (drafts 4 and 5)
6) Cover reveal
7) Have proofreader revise the book, apply changes to draft 6
8) Have beta readers provide feedback and apply to the final draft 7
9) Three-month pre-publication / ARCs / promotion period
10) Publication and promotion
4) Are there any authors or specific books you aspire to?
Arthur C. Clarke. The master had a way of writing easy-to-understand prose and dialogue while still including the hard science. You know he invented the geosynchronous communications satellite, right?
5) What inspired you to write the Beyond Saga?
My primary influence for Beyond Cloud Nine, Beyond the Horizon, and the upcoming final two books in my Beyond Saga actually came from an Anime series known as Robotech in the USA or Macross in Japan and abroad. I wanted to do a similar grand-sweeping, fate-of-the-universe-hangs-in-the-balance space opera series with the beginnings of FTL (faster-than-light) travel, first contact, space combat, time travel, and more. I also draw influence from Star Trek: The Next Generation in that I want the plots to deal with higher-brow ethical dilemmas rather than cliché good versus evil.
I talk about my motivation and influences in more detail at https://www.beyondcloudnine.com/Background.aspx and https://www.beyondthehorizonbook.com/Background.aspx.
6) Can you tell us a little about your book?
My latest release, Beyond the Horizon (Beyond Saga Book 2), is the story of a young ensign who must foil an attempt at genocide during humankind’s first interstellar mission.
7) Do you have a favourite amongst all your characters?
I certainly have an affinity for Brooke Davis of Beyond Cloud Nine and her tough demeanor. Lyana, the main character of Destalis (book readers won’t see until after I’ve finished the Beyond Saga), is a self-doubting introvert and martial artist who must get out of her own head in order liberate her home world.
In general, I think it’s important for an author to like their main protagonists. After all, the author has to spend multiple years with each character while writing his or her story.
8) Do your books contain a message for readers to consider?
Always. The main theme of Beyond Cloud Nine and the Beyond Saga is “Would you rather be happy living a lie or be miserable knowing the truth?” The antagonists have a plan to bring about a utopian society for the human race but it requires lies and deception to achieve. Every reader has to decide for themselves whether they think the ends justify the means. The Beyond the Horizon press release at https://www.gregspry.com/pressrelease.php discusses the theme in more detail.
9) Would you be interested in sharing a teaser?
The below excerpt is from the inside flap of Beyond Cloud Nine. In chapter 3, ten-year-old Brooke Davis accidentally kills her father:
I did it. At the age of ten, I killed my father.
It was an accident, but it was still my fault.
Nothing I do can ever make up for the heinous mistake.
But I will spend the rest of my life trying . . .
The canopy blew away from the flyer. A spring-loaded mechanism punched her out into open air.
Brooke plunged and spun out of control. Rushing air pummeled her in the face. Gravity shoved the terror-stricken screams back down her throat.
The automatic parachute blew open, jerking her body upward. Her orientation righted, and her descent slowed.
The Little Angel disappeared over the nearest mountain, but she couldn’t locate her father’s chute anywhere in the sky.
Where is he? Didn’t he jump out? Did his seat malfunction?
The wind whipped through her hair. Water trickled through a stream far below her hanging feet. A flock of birds glided past her.
A thunderclap jolted her heart.
An explosion mushroomed upward from behind the mountain, burning the image into her memory forever.
10) What would say has been your biggest challenge and achievement in writing?
Publishing my first book, Beyond Cloud Nine, was a big deal as I’m sure it is for most authors. I spent ten years (2004-2014) educating myself and learning how to write until I felt my craft was ready for prime time. Now, my biggest challenge is promotion, and I’m learning more and more each day about how to generate exposure and sales.
11) What have you learned about yourself as a writer through writing your books?
Based on reader and reviewer feedback, I’ve gained confidence and validation in knowing that my books are of sufficient quality to stand side-by-side with many traditionally published works.
12) Do you have any advice for other aspiring authors?
Absolutely. My writing process and advice for new authors can be found at https://www.gregspry.com/process.php.
Also, know that the process of being a successful author begins only once you’ve published your first book.
13) And finally, do you have any future works planned?
I’m currently writing the third book of the Beyond Saga, Beyond Yesterday, in which Maya heads back in time to figure out how a piece of modern technology ended up 200,000 years in the past. Then the saga will conclude with book four, Beyond Existence, in which Maya must travel to alternate timelines and time periods to prevent powerful exobeings from wiping mankind out of existence. Learn more about the Beyond Saga at http://www.beyondsaga.com.
After the Beyond Saga, I’ll resume work on the first full-length manuscript I wrote as an adult, Destalis. Set several thousand years in the future, Destalis will be the unofficial sequel to the Beyond Saga and finish exploring the concepts introduced in Beyond Existence. I haven’t yet decided whether Destalis will be a single novel or multi-book series. Visit the Destalis official website at http://www.destalis.com to learn more about it.
I also have plans to write a sci-fi comedy series of short stories entitled Bears in Space, the concept for which can be found at https://www.gregspry.com/bearsinspace.php.
Beyond Cloud Nine (Beyond Saga Book 1) Links
Amazon (Kindle): https://bit.ly/bc9kdle
Amazon (Trade Paperback): https://bit.ly/bc9prbk
Beyond the Horizon (Beyond Saga Book 2) Links
Amazon (Kindle): https://bit.ly/bthkdle
Amazon (Trade Paperback): https://bit.ly/bthprbk