Joshua (J.C.L.) Faltot is an author and speaker. His first published work, Epiphanies, Theories, and Downright Good Thoughts, was released in 2012 and was a satirical take on the video game generation Joshua grew up in. Since then, Joshua has shifted his focus from satire to science fiction; a change he attributes to his desire to be “more than just another angry voice.” His most recent book, The Road to Mars, is the first in a series of books that will chronicle a future where a fully colonized Mars and the Earth are in conflict.
Faltot has also done a variety of short fiction including The Scientist’s Dilemma, The Color of Soul, and Spirit, Run. This and other books by Faltot can be found through most all online retailers.
Joshua is married with two children and resides in the state of Ohio.
Your novel, The Road to Mars, begins an ambitious trilogy. Can you tell us a little bit about the series?
First off, thanks for asking me to be interviewed. The Road to Mars, as a series, follows a family in the midst of a conflict between Mars and Earth. In the not-too-distant-future, the society living on Mars is aiming to colonize the rest of the solar system. But, in their pursuit they have crippled the Earth and left mankind divided between planets. Now, the question is: push onward and leave Earth behind? Or try to save the planet mankind first hailed from? I’m not finished with the second book so there’s plenty I’d like to say, but can’t just yet. However, what I can say is that there is lots of interplanetary travel and fun with genetically enhanced humans. You know, because that’s cool and stuff.
Do you strictly write science fiction or do other genres appeal to you?
Other genres do appeal to me. I started out as a satirist, but my heart just wasn’t in it. I suppose that part of me will have to come through in other ways! I’ve written some fantasy, psychological, and spiritual stories too.
You’ve written short stories and novellas. As a writer, what attracts you to the shortened written form?
The challenge. Some might see a short story as the “poor man’s novel”, but it’s more about learning how to tell a story. Learning how to be more intentional and so on. Not every story has to 300+ pages to be good.
Like many writers you maintain a blog (at https://jclfaltot.com/). Can you tell us why you like blogging and how it helps you as a writer?
I enjoy sharing what I’m up to, but I like to use blogging as a reflection tool and keeping myself accountable. When you put things down in writing you attach some accountability to whatever it is you are doing. If I’m talking about it, writing about it, then I ought to do it too. And it’s interesting to hear from people I’ve never met, but may be going through similar things.
Does living in the Midwest influence your writing?
Honestly, I never thought about that, but I’d have to say the people here inspire me. The more people you talk to, the more you can absorb new experiences and apply them to your writing.
Which author(s) inspired you and why?
Orson Scott Card is someone I consider to be my “virtual mentor”. Never met him in person but his style and storytelling techniques convinced me I could have a voice in publishing. But, then there’s Frank Herbert – the one who first opened my eyes to sci-fi so I have to give him some credit too. Thank you, Muad’Dib (little Dune reference for you).
As an independent author, you have the freedom to pursue the stories you want to write and have complete control over your work. What do you find most enjoyable about the creative process?
Setting my own pace. I read and write everyday so I don’t always need someone looking over my shoulder. I bounce ideas off of my wife a lot because she can give a 10,000 foot view of whatever it is I’m doing. So whenever I’m too involved in a story I’ll ask her something and get a good reality check. It pays dividends to be with someone who doesn’t think exactly like you.
On your website you mention speaking at schools about being a writer. What do you enjoy most about such appearances and book signings?
Encouraging others. Writing is a passion of mine, but not a lot of people know what that means or what it looks like to pursue a passion. Giving my testimony helps others, I feel. It doesn’t even have to be about writing; just be something you’re willing to work hard for and not necessarily see results right away.
What are you writing now?
Lots! I like working on more than one project at a time (keeps those creative juices flowing), but my main project at the moment is finishing up The Road to Mars’ sequel, which I expect to release sometime later this year. Its title will be The Shadow of Mars and will continue to explore Mars’ involvement with colonizing the rest of the solar system. So less time on Earth this time around and more time on foreign worlds. And again, that’s all I’m saying for now! In addition to that, I’m doing a story about a fictional dictator and another about a dystopian society that enacts horrible punishments on its criminals depending on the level of their crime. Both of these I’d love to finish and release this year, but we’ll see how 2017 goes.
Where can readers find your work and where can they find you online?
My website, jclfaltot.com, is a great resource for updates, blogs, etc. And I do have a Twitter and Facebook page too. Whenever I attend a signing or give a presentation, my content can be found in either of these places. Thanks again!