Interview – T.A. Uner discusses his latest book “Guns and Dogs”
T.A. Uner has been fascinated with the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre since 1978, when, as a mesmerized youngster, he first watched Superman on the big screen. He wrote his first story in 5th Grade, and bound it with construction paper. Little did he know that he wouldn’t write another word for 18 years. After graduating from George Mason University in 2002 with a BA degree in Speech Communication and History, he drifted from job to job searching for something that was already within him. It wasn’t until 2003 that his Father urged him to return to writing. That day he was reborn. Since then, he published 10 novels, all available on Amazon, and his latest book, “Guns and Dogs,” has been released in June this year.
First and foremost, thank you for accepting the interview. Can you please tell us more about you?
Born to a regular middle-class family, it was my mother’s side of the family that loved to read.
What made you want to become an author?
Back in 2003, I was struggling to find an outlet to express myself. My father said that since I am such a bullshit artist (sarcasm) that I should try and put stories down to entertain myself and others. It worked out and I wrote a bunch of practice novels to learn how to write better before attempting to seek publication.
Can you tell us more about your latest book “Guns and Dogs”?
I released a Science-Fiction YA thriller in June that deals with gun violence in today’s schools. It’s called Guns & Dogs and features two special canine characters that readers will come to love.
Can you also tell us why you chose to talk about guns and violence? What made you want to write about this?
Well, just like everybody else, I am tired of hearing about school shootings almost every week. I have nothing against gun owners. I think hunters, gun collectors, and responsible adults should own guns if they like. But personally, like millions of others, I don’t like the idea of assault weapons being so readily available in the United States. Yes, there’s a 2nd amendment, but it was written centuries ago and I think some people need to be taught that a line needs to be drawn. A balance needs to be achieved. A balance where everyone gets what they want.
In no way am I preaching “Guns Suck” in my book Guns And Dogs. A well-written book doesn’t preach. It just explains the story in a descriptive way and makes the reader think. Again, I dislike guns, but people have to be told a story and make up their own minds in the end. That’s the essence of writing.
You’ve published 10 books so far. What made you want to go with self-publishing?
Trying to find an agent was very challenging. I had some agents interested, but in the end nothing developed. Instead of waiting for someone else to get my books published, I decided to take the plunge myself. The important thing was to get out there.
If you had an advice for writers seeking to publish their novel, what would it be?
Make sure you take your time. First, write a few practice novels. Learn the craft. Then, find good beta-readers, and get your books properly edited. Pay the money and get good covers designed. I see so many poorly-designed covers out there it crowds the market and makes the good indie books harder to locate.