Author Interview with Dean Rosenthal

Last week, we reviewed Through The Whole of Space-Time by. Dean Rosenthal.

Today, we are going to discuss his writing. Hope you enjoy!

Questions about the book:

1. Where did you get the inspiration for the basis of your work?

Life’s mysteries, big and small. When I was a child I always needed to know the “how” and “why” of everything around me, and that’s never really changed. In my fiction I try to take on life’s big questions and attempt to answer them through my characters. Our lives are a journey, and so is this book.

2. Who was your favorite character to create?

That’s a hard question to answer; all the principal players, really. Perhaps Ooniva Elixxa—an alien scientist of low status—because she changes the most throughout the story and it’s fun watching her find confidence and self-respect. Keiff Carmadden was amusing too, because he’s often irritable and socially awkward, and yet his heart is in the right place. Any heroic deeds from this guy were purely accidental!

Each of the main players presented his or her own unique challenge, and bringing them to life meant also showing the civilization from which they came. I often felt like I was creating an entire universe inside my head.

3. How long did it take you to finish? Did you have any unexpected obstacles arise?

The idea for this book percolated in my mind for 5 or 6 years before I wrote a single word, and then I composed the first draft—roughly 700 pages—in about 12 months. Over the next few years I tightened the text and resolved plot issues, and in so doing brought the manuscript down to 650 pages, where the four 4-book series now stands. Book Two will be released soon, while subsequent installments still undergo minor tweaks, because I’m compelled to get as close to perfection as possible—even though I know perfection is unattainable.

4.  Did you have to cut out any material?

No, the book is just as I envisioned. Although I did add scenes in successive drafts as the plot transformed from an amorphous blob into a recognizable series of story arcs.

5. What kind of research did you do for your books?

A lot of fact checking. Galactic distances and scientific accuracy were high priority. Sometimes I channeled Keiff Carmadden in the far future to make sure I got certain details right on various alien languages and cultures.

6. How many unpublished/half finished works do you have? Do you have anything going to be published soon?

I wrote a few shitty first drafts in high school, though never got too serious about writing. Later I set off for college and really learned my craft. Over the next 10 years while drafting my first novel—which eventually fell by the wayside—I devoted much of my time to helping former classmates find potential in their second and third drafts; uncovering those diamonds in the rough taught me more about writing than a lifetime of shitty first drafts—and was just as creatively fulfilling. Someday I’d like to go back and revisit that early unfinished novel of mine because it still holds an inspiring premise.

More recently, however, the work I’ve done for others enabled me to bring my current novels to a state of near-perfection. Now I’m thinking about expanding my services, so any would-be novelists who are ready to release their creation into the world: I specialize in the needs of self-publishers. If you write sci-fi or horror, I speak your language, and that’s important when you’re about to hand over the product of your genius to an outsider. Wherever you are on your journey, feel free to contact me at and see how I can help bring your self-publishing goals to fruition. I’ll happily demystify the entire editorial process for you, and together we’ll find a service that’s right for your budget.

Also, watch for the second installment in my 4-part series, Through the Whole of Space-Time, Book Two: Dark Dysphoria, coming soon to Amazon.

Personal questions

1.  When did you know that you wanted to write?

In college I loved essay writing—I loved tearing apart classic literature, analyzing component parts, and putting everything back together in the form of a cogent argument. That was fun to me. Higher learning was fun. Later I experimented with creative nonfiction and dabbled in poesy (all lousy), until finally realizing narrative fiction was what I enjoyed most.

2. How much time/day do you spend writing?

A lot. Every day, including weekends. I’m either writing, or eating a book.

3. Who's your favorite author? What's your favorite book?

Italo Calvino, Dostoevsky, Stanislaw Lem. Hemingway. Lovecraft. Borges. More recently I’ve been rereading my favorite sci-fi classics—Asimov, Clarke, Herbert, Le Guin, Heinlein, among others—some of which I haven’t read since before high school. It’s been fun!

4. What's your favorite favorite color and why?

The Color Out of Space, because Lovecraft.

5. What do you do to get yourself in the creative mood to write?

a. Grab a cold or hot drink, depending on the time of year.
b. Plant backside at writing desk.
c. Perhaps read a chapter or two of current favorite inspiring author (see personal question 3).
      d. Music in the background; sometimes I prefer atmospheric, sometimes up-tempo, but always with a minimum of vocals.

6. Are you a coffee or tea drinker?

Tea. Hot in winter and iced in summer, and Arnie Palmer all year round (homemade, because most places make the lemonade overly sweet).

7. What do you do for fun besides writing?

Browse books, buy books, devour books. Planned get-togethers with friends are often made according to what bookstore is nearby. We're book people. Fun for us always includes some kind of bookish activity.

Thank you to Dean for answering my questions!

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