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Beyond The Words, Past
A Science Fiction / Fantasy Column
By Courtney Skelton

Getting to Know Ted Iverson

Ted Iverson has created what is a great read. It holds your interest, it is very well written, and considering the genre of this book, I would not be surprised to see it achieve cult status.

The storyline did not seem like it started fast, yet it must have as things become interesting and intense within the first fifteen pages. I do know my reading pace increased as I had to find out the ending. It has a great mixture of futuristic writing as well as character building. The inventions stretched your imagination as far as what could be possible and yet still stayed plausible at the same time. The characters are developed so well that while reading you can’t help but to create a bond with them and cheer them on during their search for FTL. You learn at the beginning all their differences and then how tragedy brings all the Bindl brothers together. It was very interesting to experience the different reactions to the same news. Then, throughout the story, you would get one perspective talking on the phone, and then the very next chapter see that the other end of the phone line had a completely different take on the news and the call.

The breadth of the story is what really kept my attention. It is so vast and vivid. The story covers millions of miles, yet still allows you to sense every situation, and see very color and detail crystal clear all the way down to the smallest Nano device.

Highly recommended reading.

I reached out to the author Ted Iverson and he was generous enough to take time out of his busy schedule to share some perspective on this book as well as a little about himself. Here is how that went.

Do you recall how your love for writing originated?

Yes, when I was in grade school my older brother was an avid reader. He used to pass the books he’d read done to me, he was very encouraging. Most of them were science fiction. I loved the stories and all the unique views on how we could get into space and all the crazy inventions. I always thought I could write when I was that young. It just took me way too long to actually achieve that dream.


What inspired you to write this book?

It was when Revenge of the Sith came out. I ran into an old friend from grade school, and we reconnected. Back then we had always talked about writing but we lost touch we entered high school. We decided to go see the movie together and on our way there decided to try to write a book, our lifelong dream. We tossed around some very basic ideas for a couple of months. I would write the story and he would be the technical guy. As time passed it was apparent, because of his work load, that he would be unable to complete the project. During that time I had written several chapters and the story was taking shape. So, I just decided after going over them a few times, that I could write and I just kept going, Mission to the Stars was born! As you can see the inspiration was just finally putting words down on paper and realizing that I could do it. That carries me today.

Where do you get your ideas in general?

I read a lot of books when I was younger, my favorites were Tom Swift, The Three Investigators, The Hardy Boys and of course lots of science fiction. These all had great influences on me. My ideas are a reimagining of all those books, the sci-fi, adventure, and mystery. As I write, the ideas really just appear.


Do you have a favorite place to write?

I did, it was a little Café in one of the branches of our local library, the Bookworm. I actually wrote almost the entire third book in the series there. Unfortunately they recently closed. So I am currently writing at home. Writing at home can be difficult though, it can cause a lot of distractions.

Do you have a specific writing style?

This is a really good question. I would say that I don’t have any particular style in general. I’d like to say that each writer has his or her own style. My writing is a combination of influences over my lifetime of reading. I think I try to mix it all in, drama (I write to soundtrack music so it all plays out in my mind as a movie), expressive (I try to keep the language in the time period), and others. I guess you could call my writing style a melting pot!


How did you come up with the title and cover for Mission to the stars book one The search for FTL.?

I didn’t really have a title when the story started. I was concentrating on the premise itself. But as I got deeper into the story I realized that they were all searching for Faster Than Light Travel (FTL). Also, I knew that I wanted to write a series that would have adventures or missions, on Earth and space, so I had to have a base title. It all just came together. Mission to the Stars: The Search for FTL. The second in the series is entitled Mission to the Stars: Hostile Takeover and the third, which is at the editor right now, is Mission to the Stars: Arbitration.

When the first edition came out I was with a company called iUniverse. They are an independent publishing company. I had a friend who designs my ships because I don’t have the software to do that, and I sent the ship on the cover and details of what, in my mind it would look like just as they were about to enter Faster Than Light Travel and they did the rest. I was more than pleased with the outcome. I have since left them. The second book cover my son designed. But I am thrilled to say that I have reconnected with the person who did the original cover, she now has her own studio and she will be doing the cover for my third book. I am very excited!


From the book who would you consider to be your favorite character, and why?

It’s funny because my favorite character came out of nowhere. It is Joanne. She originally was just going to be Ty’s secretary. As the story evolved I understood that I needed a strong female character. So I went back, tweaked some things and there she was, bigger than life! I love the attitude and the toughness she brings, yet she has her soft side. She continues to grow in the second book. But her aside, I like all my characters and I hope that each reader can find one they love and want to follow. Who knows, maybe some will get their own novel someday…


Clive Barker has been quoted to say “I firmly believe that a story is only as good as the villain. Do you agree?

Yes, I do. You have to have a villain in every fictional story. Now that doesn’t it always mean it has to be a person. Villains can be internal conflicts, an object, even the environment around you. It can be any number of things. But you have to have that conflict to drive the story, make the reader want to keep reading to find out the resolution.


Is there a message in this book that you want your readers to grasp?

I wouldn’t say that I have a specific message in the book itself. What I strive is to have the reader decide what message they want from the book. I just want the reader to connect with the characters, get that emotional feeling that they want to know all about them, feel for them and follow them into the next mission.

What would you like to say to your readers?

I would just like to add that writing has always been a dream of mine. If I can get one person to pick up my book, or any other, then I think I’ve accomplished what I set out to do. If you have any desire to write, then you should just do it, it’s never too late to follow your dreams. Also to the parents out there; get your children to read, to read is to learn. Let them lose themselves in the world of words; you’ll never regret it and they’ll thank you for it. To this day my son and I love to sit and discuss what we’ve read.

Ted Iverson's Website

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Getting to Know Ted Iverson

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