USS Cuchulain interview Time Warriors author, Owen Quinn

Could you tell me a bit about yourself?

My name is Owen Quinn, I’m an author and photographer living in Northern Ireland. I’ve been a sci fi fan all my life.

What was your inspiration? Could you talk about a bit about your Time Warriors novels?

Originally as a 16 year old I wanted to write for Doctor Who so wrote a sixth Doctor story by hand, complete with potential novel cover but it was sent back because it was hand written. As a young fool who thought this story would become an instant classic, I took the hump and decided to create my own series and heroes. Now as I got older, I couldn’t believe half the rubbish that was being churned out so mapped out what would be the first Time Warriors television series then wrote them out as a story arc similar to what we saw as far back as Buffy and Angel. Life got in the way so it wasn’t until my thirties that I properly wrote them as a book. I got an agent and he loved them and when we sent it to publishers it turned out the single book was in fact a four book saga as you see today. What I always wanted to see was sci fi based here in Ireland but not exclusively and have strong Irish characters as leads in the series so I created Jacke. You have to create characters that people can identify with and be ready to go on these adventures with with strong enemies. As I say, anyone can write monsters invading the Earth but it’s breaking that down into something the reader can connect with and take away with them. As Clive barker says villains should always talk eloquent evil. Book five and six are coming out and there’s a few other projects in the works I can’t reveal yet.

Could you talk about the process of being self published?

I got tired of waiting for publishers who didn’t want money up front to publish the books and it was the recession so self publishing was the only way to get them out there. I read about an author called Catherine Ryan Howard who did exactly that and followed her advice so here we are. I went via Createspace which is a good avenue for someone starting out. It helps if you have computer literate friends who can work through some of the processes otherwise you will pay Createspace to do stuff for you such as covers, templates etc so some tech minded is always good to have as it saves you money. What I will say to anyone thinking of doing it, remember your book is a product like any other. Treat it as such. Would you buy faulty kettle? No, so ensure your book is free of typos, the story is as you want it to be and your cover is exactly what you want. If it takes you six reads to get rid of the typos do it. Better that than having mistakes which will put people off. Many people self publish without any thought and declare themselves authors; they’re not. They make up their own reviews etc which will get you nowhere fast. You will be found out as many have. So make sure you’re book is something that you would buy and not be disappointed with. To get your book out there is a proud achievement so treat it with pride. Self publishing was a bad word to many publishers but not so much these days as more and more are using it and using it properly.

You also have a website https://timewarriors.co.uk/the-time-warriors-and-beyond/ . A site for anyone to contribute reviews, articles and editorials, what was the inspiration behind this site?

Yes I’m always looking for contributors and the site was originally just for the books. But I went to a comic book signing, Savage Noe, written and drawn by local writers and artists. I was there to take photos for them. I wasn’t expecting a big crowd but the lien was out the door. I stood there and watched person after person come up and say thy could draw, write or had an idea but didn’t know where to go to explore the possibilities.Right then I knew I had to make the Time Warriors website more than about me and the books. It had to be a platform for anyone out there who had a talent could come to be featured and shared out either by a feature or interview. It rapidly grew to global as the world of people in my position trying to get their comic book, art, books film, or monster making out there. The world of cosplayers is an amazing one and W now is known as the place to come to get your name out there which makes me very proud indeed. As for contributors, it isn’t just about writing articles or news pieces, it’s about honing their skills and seeing what the results are. I always help them with advice about how to do articles and reviews etc so it’s giving them a chance to write about anything they want to. When I get messages from other countries asking for interviews or complimenting the site I’m chuffed. A lot of the time you think no one is taking notice when in fact you never know who’s watching your work.

How did you get involved with the USS Cuchulain group?

I have always been a Star Trek fan having attended conventions all over the place and I discovered USS Cuchulain on Facebook. I invited the founding member for an interview. It quickly escalated into other members being featured and one of them reviews the Star Trek Ship Collection for me. Star Trek conventions here were happening all the time years ago but died away so it’s wonderful that there is a new interest in Star Trek even if I don’t think much of the movies. And it’s great Irish fans are bringing it back to here which can only benefit sci fi fandom in general here. I met some of the members at Dublin Comic Con and will be meeting more of them in the months ahead.

What was your favourite fan moment?

Depends what you mean. If it’s movies, I have so many favourites; favourite horror is Salem’s Lot by a mile. Favourite meeting a celeb moment, so many, George Takei was particularly memorable man as was Nichelle Nichols and Jimmy Doohan. And of course the Doctor Who celebs are great ambassadors for fans. Doctor Who as you know is my passion but if I had to pick a Star Trek moment I can’t; again too many to list, Tin Man,Sins of the Father, Best of Both Worlds, The Offspring, Reunion, the list goes on.

What do you have coming up?

I have books five and six of the Time Warriors coming up and next year will be great for fans here as there are so many cons it’s like heaven. As for the site, TW will continue to bring you new talent and stories from the world of sci fi and fantasy so stay tuned.

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