1). How did your writing journey begin?
I would say it began in High School. I used to draw and write comic strips. The drawing part is what excited me the most, but it wasn’t until I was well into my adult years and looking at these comic strips with adult eyes that I realized I had a knack for storytelling. I was in my early twenties when I decided to delve into full fledged writing.
2). Who are your writing inspirations?
David Weber has long inspired my writing. He puts together exciting, intensely visceral battle scenes, whether in space or on the ground, futuristic or contemporary. Steven Barnes and Charles Saunders are also outstanding inspirations. I came across Barnes’ work in the 80s and particularly enjoyed his alternate history novels Lion’s Blood and Zulu Heart, featuring an alternate antebellum United States where Africans are masters and Europeans are enslaved. Charles Saunders’ Imaro series riveted me. His African centered fantasy works are high quality adventures.
3). Are you an outliner or a panster?
I outline in my head, more or less. I have an idea of how I want a story to end, but I don’t get into stark details.
4). What are your favorite books?
In regard to science fiction, it’s hard to nail down absolute favorites. The Lost Regiment series by William R. Forstchen is very memorable. Steven Barnes’ Lion’s Blood and Zulu Heart also stand out because they were the first alternate history books I read, featuring African main characters and an alternate timeline where Africa is the dominant power in the world. Charles Saunders’ Imaro not only appealed to me because of its great action scenes and fantastical settings; it ushered in a new genre of fantasy, Sword and Soul, and paved the way for writers like Milton Davis to produce stunning works of African based fantasy.
5). Describe your writing process.
I imagine a story, drawing inspiration from a variety of events. It could be from today’s headlines or from the mists of history. Or I might be inspired by science or something sociologically related. I populate the story with characters, run scenes in my head and put fingers to keypad in a flurry of literary production.
6). What inspired you to write Superium? I wanted to create my own take on an alien invasion and what it would require to effectively resist alien occupation. Attacks on Earth by aliens have long been a science fiction trope since H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds. Superium is my unique contribution to the literature.
7). Tell us a bit about your story.
The Superium is a vast, starfarring, expansionist, brutally aggressive imperial colossus bent on galaxy wide domination. After a ridiculously easy conquest of Earth, Superium overlords settled in for what they thought was going to an uneventful occupation of this rich new acquisition and its primitive population. They didn’t count on resistance being waged against them by mysterious insurgents wielding weapons no humans should have possessed and demonstrating shockingly deadly capabilities. The insurgents’ ruthless tactics and spectacular attacks send the invaders reeling as they struggle to confront this unexpected foe.
8). How do you feel about Atlanta being a Black Speculative Fiction hub?
I feel great about it! Atlanta is a black mecca. It’s only right that black speculative fiction should shine bright there.
9). Will there be more stories about this character?
I’m already working on a sequel.
10). How do we keep up with all things Ronald T. Jones?
You can find me on Facebook and Twitter. I also have an Amazon page.
11). What advice would you give to new writers?
Many people say they want to write a book. If the book writing bug bites you, don’t procrastinate. Map out ideas and start writing. Don’t worry about typos; don’t worry about grammatical errors. You can sort those out later. Just write!