Kirk Outerbridge developed a passion for storytelling at an early age. Through years of reading Fantasy and Science Fiction novels, comics, table top gaming and watching endless hours Japanese anime, he developed a keen sense for what made stories enjoyable and more importantly—what didn’t.
While pursuing an engineering degree in college, Kirk endeavored to tell his own stories, choosing writing as the easiest and cheapest medium to master—or so he thought. Several years and several hundred thousand words later, he produced a Sci-fi trilogy that shall never (God willing) see the light of day, but that did teach him much needed lessons about the craft of writing fiction.
After college Kirk returned to his homeland of Bermuda where he reunited with his childhood friend and future wife, Ria. But before marrying his lovely wife, Kirk entered an even greater marriage and devoted his life to Christ in 2002.
With a new found direction in life, writing fell by the wayside but the urge to tell futuristic stories never left. After much prayer and contemplation, Kirk purposed his writing for God’s Will, seeking to draw to Christ those who shared his passions for all things futuristic and Sci-fi.
Kirk currently lives with his wife Ria and 18 month old son Miles in beautiful Bermuda. He is a faithful member of the Church of Christ and is a professional engineer employed by the government.
Kirk, I had never heard of cyberfiction until I visited your website—very cool, by the way. Before you dive in with telling us about your debut novel, could you first begin with defining this genre?
This is the term I’ve coined for the particular sub-genre of Science Fiction I enjoy writing. I originally considered myself a Christian Cyberpunk author, but then decided that term was a bit misleading for those familiar with the Cyberpunk genre.
For those not familiar, Cyberpunk can be classified as a sub-genre of Science Fiction where technology (or the abuse of it) has led to a dystopian society, where the fringes are oppressed by a fascist majority. The majority are usually depicted as sheep led by large corporations or corrupt governments, and the heroes are usually the fringe runners, or non-conformists of the society—hence the punk in cyberpunk.
But as an optimist at heart, I grew tired of all the angst and gloomy predictions of the future and did away with the Punk while keeping the Cyber, hence Cyberfiction. Technically some call this genre Cyberpunk 2.0, or a world where technology exists, but the society has moved beyond the dystopia.
And as for the Christian in Christian Cyberfiction? Well, as a Christian, I believe nothing’s worth writing unless it can convey some portion of God’s truth and Cyberfiction provides an excellent platform to do that. Most Cyberpunk stories have deep philosophical themes at their core and adding Christianity is a natural match.
Your novel, Eternity Falls, came out this month. Can you tell us what your book is about and set us up for the next book in your Ricky Macey Cyberthriller series?
Eternity Falls is about a genetic breakthrough called “the Miracle Treatment” which grants eternal life—that is, until one of the earliest clients of the Treatment suddenly dies of natural causes.
The company’s Marketing VP, Sheila Dunn, is convinced there is some religious sabotage at work, and she hires religious counter-terrorism expert Rick Macey to uncover a religious conspiracy plot that may not even exist.
With only days before the media blows the story wide open, Rick and Sheila must work together to solve the case. If they fail, the lives of millions of clients and the Miracle Treatment itself could be destroyed forever.
The next book in the series is tentatively titled The Tenth Crusader. The story follows Rick Macey as he investigates a political assassination in the Philippines that leads him to confront a dark secret in his past.
I see on your website that you’re from Bermuda. After picturing a crystal blue ocean, a white sandy beach, and coconut trees, I settled down and wondered about your journey as a writer. Tell us how you came to be a cyberfiction author.
I developed a passion for storytelling at an early age. As a kid, I read lots of fantasy and science fiction novels and comics. I played table-top role-playing games and watched endless hours of Japanese anime. Through all that, I think I developed a keen sense for what made stories enjoyable and more importantly—what didn’t.
I always enjoyed writing and dabbled with short stories and such, but in college, around 1996, I decided to get serious and write my first novel. The result was 350,000 word monstrosity that took five-years to compose. While I know now it will never be published, it was not wasted time. The experience helped me hone my craft as a writer, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
In 2002, I dedicated my life to Christ and shifted gears. I could no longer write the stuff I used to write and thus stagnated for a bit. But after some soul searching, and prayer, I realized I couldn’t be like that one-talent man and decided to use my gift for writing and storytelling for God’s purpose.
Learning the craft of writing is a long and arduous trek that most authors make on the road to becoming good at what they do. Tell us about your experiences with growing as a writer.
One of the hardest things was finding my voice as a writer. Sometimes I still don’t know if I’ve found it. After that, it was growing thick skin to withstand criticism and critiquing. It’s a tough thing to do, to become vulnerable enough to put your writing and soul out there, but it’s all apart of growing as a writer.
I learned a lot through getting professional help editing my novel. I recommend this to anyone. It will help you see where things are right and wrong. And sometimes it takes a little humility to learn the lesson, but once you do, it’s something you will cherish to have under your belt.
The other big lesson I learned is to have tenacity. I made the conscious decision to become a serious writer in 1996. It’s taken me 13 years from that date to achieve my goal of publishing my first novel. While some may do it faster, the important thing to note is that talent or aptitude alone is not good enough. It still takes time to develop the craft of writing and it’s an ongoing process. It can be a long, hard and often times thankless road. But don’t ever give up on your dream. In the end, you’ll be proud of what you’ve accomplished—published or not.
When you’re not writing cyberfiction what types of books do you like to read?
My favorite genre is cyberpunk (probably not too surprising *grin*). In fact I’m itching to read my fellow Marcher Lord Press Author, Kerry Nietz’s new book, A Star Curiously Singling. Read all about it here.
Readers who follow my blog know that I have a tradition that keeps the interviews spontaneous and fun. Before you leave us, could you tell us about a funny moment that you experienced as the father of an 18 month old son?
My son, Miles, recently learned what a Tiger was from watching “My Baby can read videos”. As he loves cats, I assumed he’d love tigers as well. A few weeks ago, we were at a furniture store and there was this lovely porcelain tiger statue. It was slightly cartoonish and really cute.
I took Miles over to it and asked him what it was. At first he said it was a dog, probably because the statue was as big as he was and he could see the face properly. But then I told him, “No, look closer. It has stripes. What is it?” After which he apprehensively said, in his cute little voice, “Tie-gah…”
I then tried to get him to pet it as I was doing, but the kid wouldn’t have any part of it. Although he didn’t understand that it wasn’t real, he evidently knew that there was a big difference between a cat and a tiger.
In that respect, he was far wiser than his dad that day. 😉