Friday, June 12, 2015

Summer on the Water, Season 2, episode 5 - Paul Kater

Today I welcome Science Fiction novelist Paul Kater to my blog. Welcome Paul to the Summer on the Water blog. I'm sure you'll have plenty to talk about with my readers. 

First of all, what is your novel about? Give readers a brief elevator pitch. 

Bactine is a mix of Science Fiction and Steampunk with a nice little romance mixed in. Imagine you are an intergalactic soldier who has to take the fall for the mistakes of someone else. And you're shipped off to a distant planet far away as a punishment. How surprised would you be to find sailing ships and pirates there? Daniel Zacharias, a rebuilt soldier, has to experience that. He's never sailed on a boat before and now he'll have to, just to survive.

Since this blog is entitled Summer on the Water, what body of water you set your story near? Is it real or fictitious?

Considering that I have never been on that distant planet it's safe to assume that the water there only exists in my mind (and that of the readers who already visited there). I chose this theme because of the vacation of a handicapped friend. He suffers from MS and he was able to do a sailing vacation of a week on a ship that is prepared to have people in electric wheelchairs. I saw the photographs that someone had sent him and I heard his excited story about all the things that he and the others had been able to do, despite their handicaps, and that was the best inspiration I could have. I told him that I was writing my book based on his stories. I even went to visit him and ask details on certain things of the ship he'd been on, like sails, maps and other stuff. It was beautiful to see how enthusiastic he was about that. That was the best reason to write that book.
Does water have any special meaning for you personally?

The water in my story is a dangerous kind, not the kind we have here. Metal ships won't live long in it, that is why they use wooden ships with sails. That for me is the connection to the old days where fearless people went out in their wooden ships to discover things that lay beyond the horizon, the place where no one had gone before. The water on that distant planet has lots of those dangers built in.

That sounds fascinating! I'm sure readers will really enjoy this. Now, onto some publishing questions, and specifically self-publishing questions. Why are you choosing to self-publish? What is one piece of advice would you give to authors who are thinking of self-publishing for the first time?

My first books were rejected by several publishers and someone kept urging me to get the stories out. Self-publishing was the logical way to go. I have tried getting a few other stories out through publishers but none of them think that these stories have any value. At this point I will keep self-publishing, because I'm used to it and this way no one can tell me what's good or not except the readers. And their voice counts.

New indie authors: I suggest you publish your first book and immediately start writing the next one. Don't wait for the big success to come in because of your fantastic writing. It is that, but you're not the only one who does the first book wait. Don't waste that time. Go on. The book industry is not a sprint, it's a race for the long run.

Okay, now for a little fun. You are asked to give a Ted Talk. What will it be about?

A Ted Talk. Wow. That was a bit of a surprise. I'm glad however that I know what these are. I'm in Europe and Ted isn't that known here yet (as far as I know, but then, what do I know). I think I'd like to emphasise the importance of reading in such a talk. Not because I'm a writer but because I'm a reader. Reading is something that's better for a person than many people would acknowledge. It's calming. It engages one's brain so that has some exercise. It's expanding one's knowledge (provided your read the right books or magazines). Yes, reading would be my subject for such a talk. There is so much knowledge in books, on all the shelves in libraries and in digital / digitised editions all over the world. Leaving it in those books is simply a shame. Read these things, use them, turn them into wisdom. Wisdom is what you get when you take knowledge and employ that in the world outside the covers of the book.

Where can readers find you, Paul?

And where can people purchase Bactine?

The eBook:


  1. Great blog post. Interesting premise, too.

  2. Nice interview! Pleased to "meet" you, Paul. I'd love to see that Ted Talk.

  3. I love the part about the wheelchair accessible sailboat! Very good story premise. I will check it out. Also,what is a Ted Talk?

  4. A truly unique story idea. Lovely cover as well.

  5. I totally agree with the advice to start on another book ASAP. Books sell books. But often you need several in a series before readers will commit.

  6. Thank you, Paul, for visiting! It was very informative and I think we all learned a lot.