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Author Interviews

Author Spotlight Interview: R.M. Kozan

By: Hidden Gems on November 14, 2023

Hidden Gems Books ARC service.

By: Hidden Gems on November 14, 2023


Today’s interview is with the hilarious and clever space opera author R.M. Kozan. Kozan writes stories packed with action and wonder. It was a pleasure getting to know more about their writing and interests.

HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet?

RMK: Weird, yet essential.

HG: Intriguing! When did you know you were ready to take on the role of author?

RMK: I felt I was a shoo-in after I hid the body of the real R.M. Kozan.

HG: LOL! Tell us a bit more about the inspiration behind your books or where you get your ideas.

RMK: It is mostly ChatGPT, although I also deploy a regime of Shakespeare-familiar monkeys on standard analog keyboards. (But seriously, I use alleged intelligence, not artificial intelligence.)

HG: What feeling do you hope readers are left with when they finish one of your stories?

RMK: Fingers and toes, principally. Try to shift your posture at the end of each section, or don’t hold the book or reading device quite so high. Once the tingling starts, you might need to read another author until feeling returns.

HG: Great sense of humor! Any interesting writing or brainstorming quirks?

RMK: None at all. I am a perfectly regular maniac, as my answers clearly demonstrate.

(Like all normal people, I keep a little book of ideas that I add to, sometimes in the middle of lunch with slightly-irritated friends, as I guffaw, chortle, and scribble at my book, preserving a few words of precious idiocy before they flee my mind.)

HG: Fantastic. What have been the challenges you’ve faced in your publishing career?

RMK: Getting people to read my books. Anyone know where I can get those eyelid-opening gadgets like they had in A Clockwork Orange?

HG: If only! What was the best advice you ever received related to writing and/or publishing?

RMK: Answer #1: Watching someone read something I wrote and crack up. “Which one? Which one?” I beg, determined to discover the exact passage behind their outburst.

Answer #2: I have had some very good copy-editor/friends who have provided essential oversight and powerful feedback. Among these, most notable was my partner Lois Crowe who read the 2010 draft of Ralf and complained “You need to start with a bang!”, inspiring me to write the action-packed first chapter. I miss her every day.

Answer #3: Stephen King’s On Writing.

Answer #4: “Keep your day job.”

HG: Wonderful responses. Thank you. Switching gears back to your books, tell us more about Breakaway: 1977 and what readers will love about it.

RMK: If you are a fan of Space: 1999, Breakaway: 1977 will feel familiar to you. As a youth, I was obsessed with that classic SF TV series and sought to use the idea of that teenage fanaticism as a foundation to build upon, or a lens to focus the feelings of wonder and mystery coming-of-age engenders.

Likewise, if you are keen to be immersed in a tale with accurate historical detailing of restless 1970s small-town youth who dream of escape to the big city, this might be your jam.

HG: Great! Could you tell us more about The Voyages of Ralf, Vol. 1: The Arc of Purchaser?

RMK: I could tell a lot more! However, I might get in trouble with my blurb writer and, believe me, you don’t want to be scratched by a monkey who never washes their paws.

My simian team wants you to know there exist extensive reviews around the web, and even a sample on that well-known retail site.

Not mentioned before, or anywhere, and unusual, is the fact that Ralf contains faux review quotes on its covers. These ‘accolades’ are all fake, and hilariously so (I assert) if you compare the front and back cover versions. Enough said. I hate to explain the joke, but it seems few have picked up on it. Can you?

Voyages of Ralf

HG: I think you’ve piqued our interest! What can you tell us about any other projects you have in the works?

RMK: There are a few.

Top of mind (and an open project in Scrivener) is the sequel to The Voyages of Ralf. I have a lot of notes, a few ideas, some incomplete outlines, and a few finished pages. The format will mirror Volume One and I have discussed the direction and likely way stations of the new voyages in an interview available on a different website.

Another work-in-progress is Cometh the Behemoth, a serious SF novel involving alien abduction for which exists a complete, but unsatisfying, draft. I suspect that just as The Voyages of Ralf had lain fallow as an early, even juvenile, attempt for a long period before I polished it into the partially-obscured gem it is today, so Behemoth must gently mellow in my unconscious while its main character slowly assumes a fuller life.

Also, I have been offering short story publication to new authors at Fresh Blue Ink via my Space Lizards of Canada! short story collection project. To date, I have received only one submission, and it was not relevant to the requested content. This project is only potentially active, and may eventually morph into something else. Control of the project may shift off-planet.

HG: Great! Lots to keep an eye out for. Switching gears, what do you enjoy doing when not writing?

RMK: Other than the requisite oxygen, food, water, and sleep-based activities, I enjoy fronting my rock power trio playing guitar and singing badly, all the while thinking someone might enjoy this spectacle. Here, finally, is the proof I have a good imagination.

HG: What was your last 5-star read?

RMK: Tau Zero by Poul Anderson. Spoiler alert! This tale of the cyclic universe kept me fascinated until the end.

I must say I also enjoyed Geezer Butler’s autobiography Into The Void recently. Autobiography is a sub-type of fiction, right?

HG: Surely! For fun, before we wrap up, let’s do a fast five! First one…cookies or cake?

RMK: This is where specifics are important. How big is the cake? How many cookies are included in that plural formulation? What type of cake/cookie? Let me assume the question is: do you prefer five 20-gram oatmeal raisin cookies, or one 100-gram double-layer icing-smeared dark chocolate cake? After careful consideration, intense introspection, dense deliberation, and credible consultation to various bodily organs, the answer is clearly 42.

HG: LOL. Movie or book?  

RMK: Both have their attraction. A book can be savoured over a series of days, letting the ideas roll around your brain, like a llama on slip n’ slide, while a movie is an instant hit of sugary goodness, with the best tidbits sticking between your teeth for some time. I generally prefer a movie based upon a book over a book based upon a movie.

And thinking back to the prior question, I guess I would prefer a cookie based on a cake versus a cake based upon a cookie.

HG: Pool or ocean?

RMK: Just a glass with ice cubes please.

HG: Introvert or extrovert? 

RMK: Too shy to say.

HG: eBook, print book or audiobook? 

RMK: Audiobooks are not for me. I am too impatient to listen. The big plus of eBooks is the choice of font size. My aging eyes find relief in gargantuan font. Some books beg to be printed; for example, The Art of Rosaleen Norton.

HG: Wonderful. Thank you! For readers that want to find out more about your stories and keep up with you, where should they go to connect or learn more?

RMK: The Fresh Blue Ink website is home to my writing; it provides contact information and a link to the associated blog. A Fresh Blue Inc Facebook page also exists, although I am rarely there.

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