Patrick Stutzman’s fascinating premise–a woman alone

 Thanks for being with us today. First, would you tell us a bit about yourself? What area of the country do you live in, do you have a family, pets, etc. Are you a coffee fiend, or do you have another “addiction” you must have on your desk at all times? What’s your education, if it’s relevant to your writing, and how does that education help you/or do you find that you can write well even without the diploma others might think they must have?

My name is Patrick Stutzman, and I am a science fiction author. I live in the greater Kansas City area with my wife, two daughters, and a host of animals (a dog, three cats, a gerbil, and a couple of hermit crabs). I drink coffee but only at my day job. I hold a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology, which I feel helps me with creating new and believable technologies for my stories.

Tell us about your new book.

At the time I write this, I am preparing to release the third book of the Chronicles of Anna Foster series titled Alone in the Crowd. While the first two books take place one after the other, several years have passed when the third book opens. Several new characters are introduced in this one, but we still follow Anna’s exploits. This one promises more action and adventure.

What inspired you to write this story? What interesting thing did you learn or research to write it that you didn’t know before?

 Honestly, it was a desire to keep my writing skills sharp that got me started on the book series. I had just finished my job as a game designer for the Star Wars Roleplaying Game, and I could not think of a better way to do so. As for Crowd, it was just a natural progression of the storyline that began with the first two books. The most interesting thing I researched for this book was how a human body decays after death. I know it’s a gruesome topic, but it had to be done.

How would you best describe your books?

 My books are about a woman trying to survive while alone and isolated from the rest of Human civilization. In some ways, you might say it’s like having Robinson Crusoe set in the future.

 What is your favorite genre to write? To read?

 My favorite genre is science fiction to both read and write, although I also read fantasy and a little horror.

 What would you write if you could do write anything you wanted to write?

 Beside my own books, I would choose to return to Star Wars. I absolutely loved writing for the Star Wars universe and would gladly do it again.

What do you most like about writing? Least like? When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

 Writing allows me to release the creative side of myself and let it run rampant; that’s what I like most. What I like least is chasing it around and cleaning up its mess. I suppose the first sign of me wanting to write came to me in 5th grade, when I was given free rein in creative writing. I created story after story and happily shared them with the class throughout the year. I even wrote a play and performed it for the class.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Are there any writing websites you find particularly useful?

 The only group to which I belong is Science Fiction & Fantasy Saturday, which is found at I don’t have any one particular writing website I favor. But, one particular blog I find useful and entertaining belongs to Chuck Wendig and is located at He presents tips for writers with a humorous and somewhat vulgar spin.

 Is there any special music you like to listen to while writing? How does it inspire you?

 I prefer to listen to orchestral soundtracks to some of my favorite movies and TV shows. Some of the soundtracks in my writing repertoire are Babylon 5, Dragonheart, Princess Mononoke, Star Wars (both trilogies), and the video game Command & Conquer: Generals. The music evokes certain moods and ignites my creativeness that help me create certain scenes for what I am writing.

Do you belong to a critique group? What do you find most valuable about the experience?

At this time, I do not belong to a critique group. I probably should find one.

 Tell us a little about your path to publication. How many books have you published? How many books did you write before selling one?

 After I finished writing Paradise, I went on the prowl for an agent or a publisher. Nobody wanted me. I decided to not give up home and went with the self-publishing route. Thus far, I have self-published two books. To date, I have not sold any of my books to a publisher.

What’s your favorite thing about the book featured here today? Any special memories you have in the creation of it?

The one thing I enjoyed the most was the background for the extraterrestrial race that made a brief appearance in the second book, Alone in Paradise. I had already created the basic biology for the race a number of years ago as an experimental concept, but I had to add so much more detail to them for the third and the upcoming fourth book. For example, I have several references to tracking time between Humans and the other race, so I had to figure out how long a local day was on their planet, how they tracked the passing of time (and had it make sense), and how it all translated to Human terms.

What are you writing now? What’s next for you—will you be making personal appearances anywhere our readers can find you?

Right now, I am part way through the fourth book of the series. I have the basic outline already plotted and have the first draft partially done. I am scheduled to appear at ConQuest taking place in Kansas City from 24-26 May.

What would you like to tell readers?

 If you have read any of the previous books of the series, Alone in the Crowd promises more action and suspense than the first two books. I hope to have it released before Memorial Day weekend.

 Feel free to contact me via Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus with your questions, comments, compliments, hate mail, etc. (Okay, maybe not so much on the hate mail.) I should be pretty easy to find. I do read all of them and am very likely to respond.

Thanks again, Patrick! Very interesting points and best wishes with your book sales!


One Comment

  1. Thanks for visiting! I, too, write with soundtracks–=my favorites are FIREFLY and THE STAND. Something in those minor chords really matches my works.