Brady Koch is an independent sci-fi writer that lives with his wife and children in Westchester County, NY. A constant presence in the flash fiction scene, he has curated his first collection of novellas and short stories into Guns, Gods & Robots: Seven Curious Tales.
- When did you first discover your love for writing?
- I’ve always dabbled, but didn’t really love it until I found the courage to take some of my stories to a local writers group. Somehow their feedback validated my work enough to really allow myself love my work. I was a little insecure about it beforehand.
- Do you have a favourite place to write?
- Some people like to be at the bar until last call, I prefer closing down the library. There’s zero distractions and the librarians are great at enforcing a quiet atmosphere.
- Do you have a writing routine or process that you adhere to?
- I tend to writer about 30 mins in the morning then again on my train back from work. I might get another hour in at night time after everyone’s asleep. This schedule lends itself nicely to writing shorter works is a good fit as I prefer working within these smaller spaces.
- Are there any authors or specific books you aspire to?
- I like Kurt Vonnegut’s conversational tone, Bradbury’s economy of storytelling and Brian K. Vaughn’s ability to world build while anchoring his work in humanity.
- What inspired you to write Guns, Gods & Robots?
- My wife is discerning with her sci-fi likes. It was fun to write my stories in such a way that hooked her on a human connection with a character, then transition in sci-fi concepts in such a way that when she was finished with the story, she’d say “I didn’t know I would ever like a story like that.” It’s like if Rocky Balboa trained and trained for his fight with Apollo Creed then he was challenged to a bout with that robot he bought Paulie for his birthday in Rocky IV. An awful analogy not indicative of Guns, Gods & Robots, but I want to see how many more readers like her I can win over.
- Can you tell us a little about your book?
- Guns, Gods & Robots is a collection of seven sci-fi novellas and short stories centred around the themes presented in the book’s title. They can be read independently, but there’s enough of a shared world in the diverse set of stories that they also build off one another.
- Do you have a favourite amongst all your characters?
- Cid the engineer is likely my favourite. He has a job that requires him to hold a certain blind faith, but he’s analytical at heart. The challenge he faced with his broken robot forces him to find a balance between both sets of needs.
- Does your book contain a message for readers to consider?
- I don’t like leading the reader too much. Guns, Gods & Robots is full of strange scenarios and unusual circumstances and I want the reader to see if they agree or disagree with the choices my protagonists are making. I know I don’t approve of many of their decisions. Having stated all of that the closest message I’ll commit to is how can we preserve our core of humanity while the world evolves around us at an accelerating pace.
- What would say has been your biggest challenge and achievement in writing Guns, Gods & Robots??
- Honestly just picking the final seven stories was an achievement. Like a music album, I had more than enough to pick from and creating the perfect playlist was daunting and rewarding. The good news is I now have a lot of “b-sides” to share with my readers as a result of curating this collection.
- What have you learned about yourself as a writer through writing Guns, Gods & Robots??
- I’ve always been happy when laying out a really unusual scenario in such a way that it seems common place in the universe these characters inhabit. It would be an exhausting read if every character was constantly shocked at the fantastical events transpiring in the stories. The reader may flinch at a robot missionary, but to a blue collar maintenance worker in my story, that’s just another day in the office.
- Do you have any advice for other aspiring authors?
- I encourage writers to write with one specific person in mind. I’d rather please one person really important to me, than try and create something that is meant to be everything to everyone. That specific person is as important to me as whatever my “author’s voice” is supposed to be.
- Anything else you would like to say?
- Give an independent writer a chance and compose a nice email to them after you’ve finished their book. The letters I would get early on in my writing career, really kept me motivated to continue to hone my storytelling.
- And finally, do you have any future works planned?
- Of course. I’m about halfway through a new novel about a crime writer involved on the wrong side of a bank robbery scheme he inspired.