Etherea Magazine sat down with Tim Kaiver for the Independent Author Spotlight, found in our September issue. Tim first came to the attention of Etherea via his stellar knowledge of Australian Authors (particularly in the LitRPG genre), and his willingness to suggest other writers’ works. A stellar guy, and we are glad he agreed to the interview.
Can you tell us about yourself?
Hi all! I’m Tim. My winner for best video game discovery goes to when Joe Campbell brought Final Fantasy III over to my house back in 1994. We made it to the part where you get Sabin and I could have kept playing without food or sleep if I was any older than twelve and dependent on my parents to buy me hot pockets and put a roof over my head. My winner for best real-life adventure goes to studying abroad in Australia at the University of the Sunshine Coast. I didn’t make all the best decisions while on that trip, but somehow I survived and redback spiders didn’t follow me home, so that was a relief.
Business-wise, I’m the author of the Ciphercraft series of LitRPG Sci-fi Fantasy books that ask what would happen if a Stargate mission unlocked a real-life game system and started the clock for a small team of “players” to gain levels and prepare their homeworld for invasion. Prior to this series, I wrote an apocalyptic fantasy called Godsknife, which was my non-zombie apocalyptic adventure inspired by Stephen King’s Dark Tower series and The Stand. It takes place in Iowa on the brink of an insect invasion with mutated praying mantises helping an Order priestess open a rift into the Abyss.
What is your latest book about?
Resurrection City is a town building Fantasy LitRPG where the price my heroes paid to discover an ancient city’s ruins won’t come close to the cost it takes to build it. The Cipher has rewarded Cullen with XP to distribute across areas of Resurrection City, from military to defense, economy and more, but he’ll need so much more than that to protect his people. And he must do it while negotiating treaties with invaluable allies and fighting off sorcerers, mobs, and the dungeon core growing up out of their backyard.
It also has a mini-story where I inserted Eddie Vedder as this bard turned evil spirit who wants a chance to make things right by helping my heroes fend off an invasion from all sides. Fun, emotional at times, and full of action while giving me a playground to insert my love of Age of Empires into the game mechanics and story.
How have you found the experience?
My experience writing started out with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle comics in 1st grade and became more serious in college… but struggled with what to write. I spent a semester in Australia, went broke in New Zealand, and after graduating taught English in South Korea. Soon after I read Dune and binged all the Stargate SG-1 and Firefly, then I was off to the races of writing my next epic.
It’s thirteen years later, but I’m continually challenged by the nature of writing as more of a lifestyle than it is ever really reaching our goals. In an increasingly tough market, I have had to learn to be content with not giving up and tackling one problem at a time and center my thoughts on gratitude and why I love fiction. It’s a challenge, but when you feel like you’ve been made to do something and to do it well, the process becomes the reward. I am surprised to say I enjoy getting the chance to write more than if someone told me I don’t have to because I already have.
What is next for you?
Next up is the last book in the Ciphercraft series, Portal Wars, which is the preparation for the alien invasion we’ve been waiting the whole series for. I also have a series releasing through Aethon Books called, Badges of Dorkdom, which is inspired by Raistlin and what it would look like if a geeky college kid was transported to a fantasy realm and given the chance to play Raistlin as a character like in DnD.
Do you have anything you want to plug?
Resurrection City launched as an audiobook on 9/14. All three books in the Ciphercraft series are now available in Kindle, paperback and on Audible.
Thank you very much for your time!
Cipher’s Quest, Windwalker and Resurrection City can be purchased via Amazon, and Tim can be found at @TimKaiver on Twitter