Sunday 19 February 2012


Q: What is the name of your latest book and if you had to summarize it in less than twenty words what would you say?
A: A coming-of-age story about how the gamification of life might impact one very determined girl. 
Q: Do you have plans for a new book?  Is this book a part of a series?
A: Gamers is the first book in a trilogy.  The second book, Frags, was released in time for the holidays and the third book, Coders, will hit stores in the spring.
Q: What can we expect of you in the future?
A: I write in the speculative fiction genres, but I don't necessarily keep barriers around those definitions.  A good story will have elements of mysteries and thrillers and keep the reader wide-eyed with wonder.  The setting just sets the furniture for the story to take place. 
But what to expect?  I would say my books tend to be about the underdog.  My protagonists are all challenged in some way, and almost invariably, that makes them an underdog.  I love rooting for people who've been counted out.  My characters have autism, or are blind, or social pariahs, or forced to hide their genders because of oppressive societies. 
But these challenges don't define them.  Instead, they overcome their problems and use them as a strength.   Redefining themselves in the way they want to be seen.  These stories - these journeys across the page - are about how they overcome.
Q: What do you think makes a book a bestseller?
A: If I knew the publishing houses would hire me as their editor.  The answer is that nobody knows.  One common theme is for it to have great characters.  I can give you ten reasons why The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo shouldn't be a bestseller based on commonly held myths, but the one reason it is, is because of its main character Lisbeth Salander.  She's a great example of the types of characters I try to write about in my novels. 
Another great example is Katniss from The Hunger Games.  Gabby from my novel Gamers shares traits with both of those well known characters.  She's driven, intelligent, resourceful, and will go to any length when her friends or family are in danger.
Q: What is your favorite book and why?
A: Game of Thrones by George RR Martin.  He took a whole genre and turned it on its head.  Every character deserves its own book (though I suppose by the size of the series that each one actually gets its time in the sun) and each one is a flawed and interesting person.  I love how he takes characters you hate and flips things on you until you at least begrudgingly respect them and the decisions they made.  I’ve reread each book in the series four or five times, each time gaining new insights on how to be a better writer.
Q: Do you have a certain routine for writing?
A: I write most evenings and every Saturday and Sunday morning.  I spend my drive to and from work thinking about my current project and often wake up in the middle of the night with insights about my characters or a thorny plot problem.
I also tend to listen to the same album during the creation of a novel.  Keeping the music the same helps me get right back into the mood of the story.  I think of it as theme music for the movie in my head.
Q: What can you tell us about Gamers?
At first glance, Gamers is about a girl, Gabriella DeCorte, trying to find her way in the world: growing up, what does she wants to do with her life, holding onto her friends as adulthood approaches, where she fits in the world.  And in this future extrapolation of our world, eye-screens and sense-webs allow games to invade every facet of society.  Everything becomes a game.  A game to be measured and the results compared, to improve society, to improve people…to decide who fits and who doesn’t.  When Gabby learns what the games are really for and how society divides the winners and losers, she has to make a choice, as we all do, and that’s what the novel is about.
On a different level, Gamers is about how we learn, and what do we with that information?  Whether we like it or not, we’re measured all the time in school or at work.  No Child Left Behind has brought forward an important topic: how do we want to teach our children?  Can you measure a person?  Does a number define you?  An SAT, or an ACT, or a LifeGame score?
And finally, Gamers is about games.  I’m a longtime gamer, maybe even sometimes a hardcore gamer, and I’ve had a lifelong love affair with playing games.  The gamification of society is a dream topic for me and exploring how that impacts our lives and having fun with it made writing these novels a blast.  I believe that translates into a fantastic reader experience for anyone, whether they're a gamer or not.
Writer Bio: Thomas K. Carpenter resides near St. Louis with his wife Rachel and their two children.  He earned his degree in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Missouri Rolla.  After finishing up his M.B.A. in the summer of 2006, he returned to his roots of writing fiction.  When he’s not busy writing his next book, he’s playing soccer in the yard with his kids or getting beat by his wife at cards.  He keeps a regular blog at 

Twitter - @thomaskcarpente
Thankyou for taking the time to take part in an Interview for my blog!

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