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Rexx Deane talks Babylon 5, Sci-Fi Writing and 65daysofstatic

Rexx Deane Interview

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Earlier this week I caught up with writer and author, Rexx Deane, to talk about his writing style, writing for science fiction, Babylon 5 and what music he writes to.

Below you’ll find my interview with Rexx in its entirety.

Interview with Rexx Deane – Author

Soda and Telepaths: Where in the world are you from?

Rexx Deane: I grew up in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, in the UK, but now live near Ross-on-Wye, a small town in Herefordshire.

Soda and Telepaths: What projects are you currently working on?

Rexx Deane: I’m writing what I’m terming a ‘cosy solarpunk mystery with an M. Night Shyamalan twist’. It focuses on a gardener whose life is disrupted when a big tech company installs a giant transmitter antenna near her house. It’s quite different to what I’ve previously written, but secretly works as a perfect prequel.

Soda and Telepaths: How did you first get started?

Rexx Deane: Writing in general? I’d dabbled in my adolescence but never thought seriously about it. I only considered writing novels after rewatching the Babylon 5 box-set and having ideas about a handful of characters I might like to see in that setting. One of the characters was inspired by my partner’s desire to get his legs amputated (to mitigate a degenerative joint condition) and another was a consequence of wondering how the physics of certain effects would work if magic was real.

My current project was triggered by an increased interest in gardening that developed during the lockdowns that began in 2020.

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Synthesis: Weave by Rexx Deane
Synthesis: Weave by Rexx Deane

Soda and Telepaths: What’s your favourite era of creative work by other artists?

Rexx Deane: I always enjoy ‘classic’ sci-fi from the 60’s-80’s. There’s great imagination in the works by Arthur C Clarke, Ursula Le Guin and Asimov, even though re-reading some of their stories now grates with my sense of writing style.

Soda and Telepaths: Are you more of a horror or sci-fi nerd? What are your go to films to check out?

Rexx Deane: I’m more of a sci-fi nerd, although I appreciate horror when it doesn’t rely on gore or jump scares. My favourite films from the last decade have to be Tron:Legacy and Oblivion. For horror, I recommend the inexorable creep of It Follows.

Soda and Telepaths: Who are your main creative influences and what aspects of your creative work can we find them in?

Rexx Deane: My partner and his attitude towards his disability has been a massive influence, and is present throughout my first three books in the form of Aryx. I’ve also been strongly influenced by the 90’s sci-fi tv series Babylon 5, the Mass Effect games and Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea novels. The tone and setting of the Synthesis:Weave series was largely shaped by Babylon 5’s battle between the forces of light and dark, the architecture of the Citadel from Mass Effect, and Earthsea’s handling of magic.

Soda and Telepaths: Who are your go to musical jams to put on while you’re working?

Rexx Deane: 65DaysOfStatic (@65dos), IX – a UK electronica/soundtrack band (@IXBandUK), and numerous game soundtracks – I get stuck in a loop quite often, and the most listened soundtrack at present is from Hand of Fate 1 & 2. I have a thing for music that makes me recall how I felt while playing the game/experiencing the story.

Rexx Deane in Nature
Rexx Deane in Nature

Soda and Telepaths: What strengths in previous jobs have helped strengthen your creativity?

Rexx Deane: Learning how to handle processes/pick up skills. I didn’t have had the courage to start writing novels until I realised I can pick up almost any skill as long as it engages me and I have a clear methodology or process to follow. That got me reading about how to write a novel/formulate a plot.

Yes, art of any kind requires a flair for it to be any good, but everyone starts off with a learning process. I’d find out if I had a flair for it afterwards. Being able to analyse the repercussions of actions farther down the line has also helped me to develop plots.

Soda and Telepaths: What weaknesses have you identified in your current project that you’re going to work on in the future?

Rexx Deane: Perceived time/tracking events. I took pains to note when/how long everything took in my first novel, but it turned out to be irrelevant in the long run. I relaxed this when I wrote my second book, logged it in more detail for my third (which was important due to characters being split up for long periods) and completely forgot to do it for the current book.

That was a big mistake, as it seemed everything took place during summer, but when I actually calculated the dates, the story so far ran for more than a year. I had to go back through and recalculate the timing for almost every event so that I didn’t have to change every scene that involved gardening or took place in a garden (which is about 80% of the scenes).

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Self editing is key
Self editing is key

Soda and Telepaths: Let’s talk about some memories that you had when you first started getting creative? How has this changed from childhood to adolescence to creating as an adult?

Rexx Deane: When I was younger, I wrote short stories with very poor structure. They were quite rambling and had no ‘point’. This carried on into my teens, when I wrote a fanfic story that blended various games and tv series, but again had very little structure.

Now, I’m a lot more structured and methodical with my planning, and that makes the stories flow better and gives them meaning. There’s still room for the odd ramble into the bushes, but characters are always dragged back.

Soda and Telepaths: What’s the worst nightmare you’ve ever had?

Rexx Deane: My partner dying in a plane was a one-off. A recurrent nightmare seems to be similar in theme, and hinges on my actions having no effect; gates that don’t meet when I’m trying to shut out a monster, or a light switch that turns a on a light in a dark room dimly.

Rexx Deane talks Babylon 5, Sci-Fi Writing and 65daysofstatic 1

Soda and Telepaths: Do you have a favourite soft drink?

Rexx Deane: I’m partial to a Dr Pepper or cream (vanilla) soda, although I rarely drink soft drinks. Water seems to be my adult drink of choice!

Soda and Telepaths: Who’s your favourite telepath or gifted character in pop culture?

Rexx Deane: Lyta Alexander from Babylon 5. She had such little confidence in herself to begin with, but then slowly became more powerful. She struggled to retain her sense of self while being used as a tool for ‘good’ in all the wrong ways.

Soda and Telepaths: Which creative work would you most like to be remembered for?

Rexx Deane: ‘Synthesis:Weave,’ my debut novel, mostly because I brought together numerous disparate elements and feel I wrote the sort of book I always wanted to read. My goals were to create a disabled character that disabled readers could empathise with, without him being ‘fixed’ and then throwing the readers under the bus. I also wanted to blend spirituality, religion and technology, and I think I did it well.

Check out Rexx Deane’s Social Accounts at any of the following links.

Rexx Deane on Twitter

Rexx Deane’s Website

Rexx Deane’s Books on Amazon

Rexx Deane talks Babylon 5, Sci-Fi Writing and 65daysofstatic 2


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