Introducing The Author: Paul Regnier


Speculative author Paul Regnier may not be a household name. I haven’t seen a lot of interviews with him or followed a blog tour that featured him. He does have an active presence on social media in places like Facebook and Instagram, but for some reason—maybe because of the dwindling of active blogs—Paul doesn’t have a lot of “guest appearances.” Happily, Speculative Faith, where I write every Monday, has had him as a guest contributor.

But typically, when an author generates content, he’s more apt to talk about his book or writing or some other related topic. Most don’t talk about themselves much.

That’s OK because, as it happens, I know Paul personally. Until he moved, I was in two writing groups with him.

I first met Paul at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. A mutual friend introduced us, with the idea that we might want to include him in our small group of speculative fiction writers.

Since then Paul has gone on to co-teach a youth workshop at Mount Hermon. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Our group decided that he would be a good fit. He is a believer in Jesus Christ, a writer who loves various types of speculative fiction, a family man who, at the time, lived in the greater Los Angeles area, which is where all of us in the group live.

When Paul came into our little group of Christians writing speculative fiction, he was transitioning from screen writing to becoming a novelist. In fact, I think the first work of his that I read might have been a screen play.

I noticed a couple things in those early days. One, Paul had a great sense of humor. Some of the lines coming from the mouths of his characters had members of our group laughing out loud! Two, he was really, really good with dialogue. I mean, essentially dialogue is all that screen plays are. That and some stage direction to introduce scenes. (Obviously, I’m not a screen writer!)

At any rate, as Paul moved into the realm of novels, it was pretty clear that “work on your dialogue” was never going to be a critique any of us would offer.

Paul’s first publishing effort was a foray into self-publishing. The book came out before he had much of a social media platform, and I’m not sure it’s even still available. Let’s just say, he learned a lot through that experience.

From that first effort (fantasy, if I remember correctly) Paul moved on to Space Opera. He wrote the first book of his Space Drifters series, The Emerald Enigma, and after moving on from his agent, found a home for it at Enclave. He went on to complete that series, which became a trilogy, all with the same publisher.

Shortly after Paul joined the local chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers to which I also belong, he and his wife decided to move. With two young children, they determined that there were better places to raise kids than Southern California (imagine!) Paul and his family now make their home in Treasure Valley, Idaho.

Believe it or not, that first original writing group still “meets” from time to time. We were doing the online meetings before the Covidvirus made so many turn to Zoom in order to “gather.”

After completing Space Drifters, Paul went on to write and self-publish the Paranormia books which I’ve introduced here at Spec Faith (here and here).

I’m a big fan of the way Paul tilts a genre by making humor as integral to the story as the adventure. I think it’s a gift—the sense of humor but also the ability to write it and to make it a part of his characters so that it doesn’t feel forced or contrived.

In the long run, besides knowing that Paul “is a technology junkie, drone pilot, photographer, web designer, drummer, Star Wars nerd, and a wannabe Narnian with a fascination for all things futuristic,” what matters the most to readers are the stories.

Maybe the Paranormia books, because of their unique blend of genres, will put Paul on the map and make him that household name so speculative readers will start looking for his books with regularity. I don’t know. I do know that he’s a talented writer, and he keeps getting better. I don’t think readers will be disappointed if they choose one of his books in their search for a new exciting series or a stand-alone novel.

Published in: on June 29, 2020 at 4:03 pm  Comments Off on Introducing The Author: Paul Regnier  
Tags: , , ,

Review: Space Drifters By Paul Regnier


cover_SpaceDriftersI’ve been away from blogging for a week, but not actually by choice. I had a health issue that kept me doing little more than eating and sleeping. And reading.

Reading really is a wonderful pastime, but without realizing it, I’ve gotten away from doing as much as I usually do. So it felt great to get back into books again.

I read some good titles—mostly fiction, but I gobbled down one autobiography and am working on a couple more at a slower pace (now that I’m back to writing). Today I want to give my review of a very fun science fiction, Space Drifters by Paul Regnier (Enclave Publishing).

The Story

Glint Starcrost, the captain of an older spaceship, has a bounty on his head. He’s broke, his ship is falling apart, and his computer is going a bit haywire. Add to that, a time traveler from the past has landed on his bridge, and a fleet of Zormian star pirates has surrounded his craft. Oh, and then there’s Jasette, the beguiling beauty who masquerades as a bounty hunter but who is actually a princess with a secret agenda of her own.

All Glint wants is to reverse his ill-fated luck, which he believes he can do if he can find the Emerald Enigma, a treasure he’s only heard about and which some believe to be a myth. Of course, he isn’t the only one searching for it. Hamilton Von Drone, his old nemesis from the Space Academy who stole his rightful place atop the class of space pilots, is also plotting to track down the priceless object.

Fortunately Glint has his faithful friend and right hand . . . well, lizard, Blix, at his side through all these adventures. Technically Blix isn’t a lizard. He’s a Vythian, a lizard-man with shiny copper scales, a brown bandoleer filled with daggers criss-crossing his torso, and charcoal pants over “his muscular reptilian legs.”

Quite the motley cast of characters and quite the story! Can Glint evade the bounty hunters, find the Emerald Enigma, best Hamilton in their latest confrontation, and survive the crash of his computer, Iris, who has a warped view of her relationship with him?

I’ll let you read the story for yourself to discover the twists and turns that develop along the way.

Strengths

As you may have surmised by my story intro, this space opera is a bit tongue-in-cheek. There is lots of humor and a healthy dose of parody. The characters are likeable, to be sure, and the interplay between them is delightful.

Blix reminds me of a character in Donita Paul’s DragonKeeper Chronicles—Rigador, a meech dragon. He’s also a bit like a lizard-ish version of Spock, the Vulcan in Star Trek. He verbally spars with his captain and is right most of the time, and as it happens, is the character who is most intrigued by the Bible. Of course, he’s intrigued by anything he can read. It’s the time traveler, Nelvan, who brought the Bible aboard.

The presence of a Bible, and I suspect, of a Christian, fits in naturally to the story. Without giving anything away, the Bible turns out to play a significant part in the story, but not in the way most people would think. It’s set up perfectly without any suggestion of heavy-handed preaching. In fact, it’s treated with no more regard than any other book, though there’s every opportunity for that to change in volume two of the series.

Each of the characters comes across as an individual, and they each have their own set of problems and goals. Their voices are strong and unique, which makes the story particularly feel like a movie, or at least, a book I can visualize. [As an aside, I think it’s interesting how voice can make a book feel more visual!]

Weaknesses

This first point is related to the parody aspect of the story. I think: there’s a plethora of hard-to-pronounce names of strange places and races. And things. It’s one of the dangers of writing speculative fiction, I think—a danger I may fall into in my own writing. Certainly the strange names can give a story the feel of otherness, which is necessary for worldbuilding, but it can also be a deterrent to some readers who don’t want to wade through so many strange pronunciations.

Secondly, there were a few times when I wanted our fearless captain to treat people differently—with less anger and hostility. Fortunately, this story is related in the first person so we readers are privy to Glint’s thoughts. We know he says a lot because he’s trying to create a certain persona which he thinks starship captains are supposed to portray. His inner musings let us know what he’s really like, and it’s that person I enjoy the most. So I found myself wishing for more “nice Glint” sections, though honestly, I don’t know if “nice Glint” would work as well.

Recommendation

Space Drifters is a fun story with characters that seem like real people. Anyone who enjoys space opera and humor will love this book. It’s a fast read, one I happily recommend.

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: