James A. Conan has written Travelling Show: The Story of the Holotheater. He is from Toronto and has a career in retail. He has been writing for just under a year now. He writes primarily Sci-Fi, some mystery, and satire as well.
Travelling Show started as “me just fiddling around with a fun story idea after watching Robert Downey Jr.'s Chaplin biopic. It ballooned into a 280 page (on Amazon) tale about the birth of a futuristic entertainment medium.” He started writing Travelling Show while still in school.
His main character, Gabriel Anthony, is to an extent, like just about any protagonist, an author insertion fantasy. He's suave and smart but a bit naive to start with, he goes from rags to riches, and he gets the lady. None of that is a spoiler by the way; it happens in the first two chapters, then things get really interesting. His great motivation as a star of the new medium of the Holotheater is to create something lasting, a cultural legacy. “I deliberately draw a lot of comparisons with Charlie Chaplin throughout the book.”
Conan started writing just for kicks, always figuring he'd end up in some other career and just write on the side. Now it's the reverse. “Everything else I do goes toward supporting this. I suppose the greatest single factor was the death of my grandmother early last year. I realized how short life was and that if I wanted to do this I'd better get cracking. I had a lot of projects on the go, and still do, but Travelling Show was the most unique, the most original, the best way to debut myself to the world.”
Conan has some challenges, but not what we might expect. “The writing is the easy part. I don't get writers block and I don't understand people who do. The difficult bit is getting noticed. There's just so much material out there, and even if you’re the diamond you have to fight through a whole lot of rough.”
His favorite author is Robert A. Heinlein. “For a couple reasons. Creatively, he was the best of his time, as well as in terms of technical foresight. I also admire what he did for the genre. More than any other writer he helped science fiction break out of the so-called ‘pulp ghetto’ and become a respectable literary. I think indie sci-fi is going through something similar right now. It's my dearest ambition to have people say one day that my work helped raise the bar the way his did.”
You can find Travelling Show on Amazon