I’m delighted to be hosting G J Ogden in my hot seat as part of the blog tour for his debut novel, The Planetsider.
Find out his inspiration for The Planetsider, the best part of his writing journey and more.
There’s also a tourwide giveaway you won’t want to miss! For UK residents a signed paperback copy of The Plantesider is up for grabs and Internationally, an e-book.
Here’s more about The Planetsider:
Several generations after ‘The Fall’, the scattered clusters of civilisation that grew in its wake live in ignorance of the past. No-one wants to know what caused such devastation or why. No-one, except Ethan.
Ethan used to believe in the guardians; mysterious lights in the sky that, according to folklore, protect the survivors, so long as you believe in them. But the death of his parents shattered his faith and forged within him a hunger to know more. One night, a light grows brighter in the sky and crashes to the planet’s surface. Ethan then embarks on a heartbreaking journey in which harrowing discoveries unveil the secrets of the past, and place him at the centre of a deadly conflict.
Powerful, thought-provoking and emotionally absorbing, The Planetsider is a gripping, post-apocalyptic thriller that will keep you hooked until the very end.
Available to purchase in digital and paperback formats.
Welcome to Jera’s Jamboree.
Please summarise The Planetsider in 20 words or less.
A man learns the truth about a catastrophic event and becomes embroiled in an ancient war and fight for survival.
What was the idea/inspiration for your novel?
I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of faith and believing in something bigger than oneself as a way to find comfort, especially in the bleakest times. The central character, Ethan, is a young man who lost his faith as a child. He lives in a world that is bleak and unforgiving and unjust, and he needs to understand it and the truth about what happened to make it this way. He needs to make sense of past events, and derive some closure from them, so he can move on. And this is what drives him on his journey in the story, and what influences his decisions, for better or worse.
Is your novel part of a series? What is in the future?
I have a sequel planned, and a strong idea of how that will play out. I haven’t started writing it yet, but hopefully will start soon (marketing your own book is more work than writing it!). I also have many other ideas – I just need the time to write them.
Who would you cast in the role of your characters if your book were optioned for a movie?
A difficult, but great question! I’ll have to go for the central two characters, Ethan and Maria.
I think Ethan would need to be played by someone enigmatic, perhaps a little introverted, but still with a stance that instantly conveys his capabilities. So perhaps Adam Driver (minus the Kylo mask).
For Maria, I actually had envisaged her as a sort of cross between Marina Sirtis (as Councillor Troy) and Penelope Cruz, with the fire of Cruz and the emotional empathy of Sirtis. In terms of actors, I love Shailene Woodley, but maybe also Michelle Rodriguez or even Ronda Rousey!
If The Planetsider was to be made into a movie, I know with absolute certainly that I’d want BANKS to do the soundtrack, because she’s incredible and I love her music. I know you didn’t ask this, but I just added it in, in case Ridley Scott is reading… ( 🙂 )
Do you have a favourite book? What is it about that book?
I think I have different favourites at different times, but if I was to pick one, it would be The Stars My Destination, by Alfred Bester. Gully Foyle’s journey from a total nobody into an eventual messiah-like figure, driven by a powerful need for revenge, is quite a ride. And the ending is very powerful and thought-provoking.
What inspired you to write?
I’ve always loved writing, but at school I was steered more towards science. I remember that for my A-Levels (High School in the US) I originally chose English Language, Media Studies, Computing and Physics, because I loved writing and stories, and wanted to be a journalist, but I was also a computer nerd who loved Star Trek, hence the rather mixed bag of subjects. However, I was told that these subjects were incompatible with each other and encouraged to focus only on science and maths subjects, which I did, eventually going on to study physics at university (UMIST in Manchester). But I loved writing more than physics and so ended up spending more time contributing to and later editing the university magazine, and my first job after graduating was for a major PC magazine as a reviewer. I’ve spent the last fifteen years in either PC-related journalism or marketing roles, and it’s taken me a long time to circle back to that point when I was 16 years old and being asked to choose a path. I don’t regret the road I took, as the journey has been fun and worthwhile, but now I’m hoping to take the other fork in the road and hopefully pursue writing as a career in the future.
Do you think movie adaptations do books justice? Do you have a favourite?
I think some do and some have to make inevitable changes, simply to account for running time or to ensure they appeal to a mass market. I think you have to consider them as separate things, and not expect that a movie adaptation should be 100% faithful to the book. That’s why they are called ‘adaptations’.
For example, I personally really loved The Divergent trilogy of books, and I also love all the movies, even though the storyline in the movies diverges (ironically) from the books as they move forward. I think it’s a real shame they never got to finish the movie series. Despite it being different, I still really enjoyed it, for different reasons than I enjoyed the books. So I think it can be okay for adaptations to make changes; you just have to make the right changes!
Finally, can you share with us what has been the best part of your writing journey so far?
It’s hard to pick just one, as the whole process has been great fun so far, but one highlight was the moment when my first book proof arrived, and I saw the physical book for the first time. That was pretty great. But I also really enjoyed finishing the first draft of the book, and typing, ‘The End’. Even though it wasn’t really ‘the end’, because it went through additional drafts and edits before the final version, I still felt a great sense of achievement at finishing the first draft, and finishing the story that had been bouncing around in my head for such a long time.
Wishing you success with all your writing projects.
Thank you for being my guest.
G J Ogden studied Physics at UMIST, but spent more time writing for and later editing the University magazine, GRIP. This was the stepping stone into the first of his careers in IT journalism. He created and launched Custom PC magazine for Dennis Publishing Ltd, the most successful enthusiast PC magazine in the UK, before later moving into technology PR and marketing. A proud nerd and sci-fi geek, he has had a lifelong love of computers and technology. The Planetsider is his first novel.
Connect with G J Ogden
Entry for the tourwide giveaway is via the Rafflecopter below. Please note Jera’s Jamboree is not responsible for the giveaway. Please read the terms and conditions on the Rafflecopter.