Hello, dear readers! Today I’d like to introduce you to Odin Oxthorn, author of the upcoming novel, Sleepless Flame.
Arcadia, both a city and a planet, was the ultimate culmination of an unrestricted capitalist society, a planet ruled by massive influential corporations, where the common labor force, once held by man, had been replaced by machines. Only those of “superior” intelligence, education, or breeding had any worth. The elite society had risen, both literally and financially, creating the Uppercity, segregating themselves into a world of decadence, cybernetic enhancement, and shallow entertainment.
In their shadow, were left the average, the unfortunate, and the unlucky to wallow in the rubble and poverty of the Undercity.
Almost thirty years after her exile from her home planet, Nara was growing complacent of the monotony of mercenary life: do job for Company A, anger Company B. Company B sends a handful of thugs to get rid of her. Take care of said thugs. Rinse and repeat for Companies C-Z. Buy a new shiny gun.
Most importantly, try not to piss off Galavantier Corp again.
A metaphysical wrench was thrown in her plans when the body of an Uppecity citizen was dumped at her feet. Normally, she would not have been bothered by the foolishness of a random tourist, but instinct told her that she needed to keep this one close.
Especially considering he was wearing an artifact of her race around his neck.
Bored with the monotony of aristocratic life in Uppercity, Garrett Galavantier often escaped to the shadows of the Undercity, scavenging for tidbits of knowledge and general trouble he could stir up with the local taverns. But his tenacious curiosity proved to be his undoing, and suffered a mortal wound when caught in the crossfire of a typical street conflict.
He later awoke in the home of a jaded alien mercenary, his sheltered naivete awe-struck with the sight of a foreigner up close. Despite his numerous visits to the intergalactic star ports, he had never met an outsider in person, and was plotting ways to learn more about them.
His family name the bane of his existence, Garrett concealed his surname from the mercenary, uncertain of whom the alien had dealt with in the past. After the initial awkwardness of introductions subsided, he managed to negotiate a contract with his savior, trading his vast accounts in exchange for intriguing stories of their history.
Both resolved to unite and search for answers to life’s most irritating problems, forming a pact that would result in the cataclysmic rupture of Arcadia’s delicate political structure.
Let’s learn more about Odin Oxthorn!
Hi there! Thanks so much for having me!
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I am a non-NT chronically bored individual that has a rather unfortunate habit of picking up new interests every month or so. But for the longest time, I have been a jewelry designer, a YouTuber, and an author. I have a Bachelor’s in Game Design, but after some soul searching, I decided that career path isn’t in my best interest to pursue. Now I spend the majority of my time crafting dark cyberpunk worlds from the depths of my imagination.
What is your favorite description of your books?
I have been told that my writing is a vivid soup that came from shoving Shadowrun, Bladerunner, and Firefly in a blender.
What does your writing process look like from start to finish on an average day?
After refueling with a semi-nutritional breakfast/lunch, I will usually Tweet out the first song from my current music playlist, or a song that really fits the mood for what I am working on. I’m also a bit of a fragrance fanatic, so I may pick a “scent of the day” from my perfume collection to influence my writing environment.
I’ll take clear out any plot bunnies that have been hanging around that isn’t related to my current work, then I write or edit in one to two hour spurts. Once I reach a natural stopping point, I’ll take short(ish) social media breaks to air out my brain. It’s kind of a less disciplined Pomodoro Technique. I can’t work with the rigid time limits since it’s difficult for me to get into a flow, so I will work until the quality of the words drastically changes.
I’ll then take an extended break for dinner and go back to it afterward. I will usually pass through what I had previously written earlier to make sure it is going in a direction I like before progressing.
To announce a “finished” work day, I’ll screencap a word count and tweet that out to use it as a goal tracker of sorts. Then I will go to bed anywhere from 2-4am and start the process all over again!
Have you always wanted to be writer or is this a recent development in your life?
I hadn’t considered making it a career until recently, but I have been writing for as long as I can remember. A lot of the career paths that I had thought I would enjoy sort of twisted in directions I felt would not make me happy in the long run, and I always grew up with the notion that being an author wasn’t sustainable. I am now learning to disregard that destructive feeling and cultivate my passion for world creation.
What are your favorite writing tools?
I am a fountain pen enthusiast, so I enjoy using my vibrant inks and special notebooks to jot down plot fragments until I can get them transcribed digitally.
What do you to break out of writing slumps?
That depends on the flavor of slump. If I’ve been working on a scene and the quality of my words deteriorates from weariness, I step away from my work and force myself to change my environment. If I can’t go out and take a walk to distract myself, I might simply go to another room and either play a game or watch someone else play a game.
If I have been struggling getting through a scene due to my stubbornness, I “crack the whip” so to speak and force myself to get in front of my documents until words come out. I’ll tell myself that it’s okay for it to sound horrible right this moment, and I often find that once I get going, the polish afterwards is much easier to work through.
What’s the first book you remember falling in love with?
The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White way back in grade school. I have no idea why this story stuck to me so much, I just remember being obsessed with it as a kid.
What do you like to do when you aren’t reading, writing or editing?
Submerging myself in a story-rich video game or working on my latest beading designs.
If you had a burger named after you, what kind of burger would it be, and what would you want to be on it?
I think it would simply be called “The Odin,” and from the outside, it would look like an ordinary cheeseburger, but the inside is stuffed with a rich, oozy aged cheese, bacon, and caramelized onions. Maybe a fried egg for good measure.
What disabilities/neurodivergences do you share with your characters? Why did you choose to write your characters with those?
At first, I did not connect with my protagonist on more than a superficial level. But as her arc developed, I began to see more and more parallels between her struggles and my own conflict with anxiety and depression. She and I share similar difficulties with connecting to other people, and bottling up discomfort to keep the world ignorant of internal strife. You could say we are both on a path of deciphering our mental illnesses and working on creating a healthier approach to living with it.
What should readers know about you before reading your work?
I have difficulties expressing myself in person, so I have spent a great deal of effort trying to convey imagery in my environments to bring a connection to readers and help them see another perspective. Writing is a form of communication to me, but I also want to entertain. I hope I can achieve both.