About Author

P.G. Sundling

P.G. Sundling
  • Writing:

    Thrillers Action & Adventure Humor Science Fiction Fantasy Horror
  • Country: United States
  • Books: 1
  • Profession: Author
  • Born: 14 September
  • Member Since: Mar 2019
  • Profile Views: 3,518
  • Followers: 33
  • Visit author: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon, Pinterest, Linkedin,
BIOGRAPHY

Star Wars ignited his dream of becoming a writer. Role-playing games unleashed his imagination, taught him world-building, and provided a platform to tell stories from an early age. Video games inspired his other passion for computers and technology.

In high school, P.G. learned writers needed “day jobs.” He decided to chase his passion for technology as an engineer and learn to write on the side. P.G. decided to live a frugal life and retire before he hit fifty to write full-time.

P.G. graduated in Aerospace Engineering from UCLA in 1992. From working in IT at UCLA to coding on billion-dollar e-commerce systems for multiple Fortune 500 entertainment companies, he worked in technology for twenty-four years. He was part of a team that won P.C. Magazine’s Editor’s Choice for Best Virtual Desktop.

His novel, The Internet President: None of the Above, won the “Cross Genre” category in the 2018 American Fiction Awards. In November 2018, at the age of forty-nine, he retired to write full-time, achieving his lifetime goal.

P.G. Sundling's Books

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Book
The Internet President: None of the Above (None of the Above Series Book 1)
(1) (1) $2.99 kindleeBook, Paperback, Audio,
The Internet President: None of the Above (None of the Above Series Book 1)by P.G. SundlingPublish: Apr 18, 2018Series: None of the AboveThrillers Action & Adventure Humor

P.G. Sundling's Series in Order

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  • None of the Above

    The Internet President: None of the Above (None of the Above Series Book 1) - Published on Apr, 2018

P.G. Sundling interview On 09, Aug 2019

"Star Wars is one of the best all-time examples of world-building and inspired the author, P.G. Sundling, from an early age. He was 48 when he published The Internet President: None of the Above. It won one award and was a finalist towards a second award. He is easily inspired by science fiction movies and cinema has always been a great love of his life. He has taken writing classes throughout his life. Some of the more memorable ones were "Trading Your Addictions For Creativity" with John Hruby and "Creating Strong Female Characters" with Christine Conradt."
Where were you born? In what ways has your childhood influenced your career?

I was born in LA and I'll die in LA. Bonus points if you know that's a movie title. I get antsy when I leave Los Angeles for more than ten days.

As a child, I promised myself I would never lose my imagination as an adult. I've kept that promise.

How did Star Wars ignite your dream of becoming a writer?

Star Wars is one of the best all-time examples of world-building and inspired me from an early age. My parents had seen the film and thought the creature cantina scene was too scary. So I had to wait until the film was re-released to see it. The Star Wars Storybook (with its pictures), the novelization, and the comic book were all I needed to be inspired, even without the film itself. I knew I had to be a storyteller.

How old were you when you published your first book and what was it called? What kind of reception did your book receive?

I was 48 when I published The Internet President: None of the Above. It won one award and was a finalist towards a second award. It got five out of five stars from Thriller Magazine and got some rave reviews. I've received some nice notes from my small, but growing fanbase. Of course, not everyone "gets" the book because it's so unique. One of my favorite reader quotes was, "I will now expect more from books." How do you top a comment like that?

What was your main source of inspiration for starting a writing career?

Star Wars lit the flame and Dungeons and Dragons allowed me the opportunity to get experience with storytelling and world-building. I'm easily inspired by science fiction movies and cinema has always been a great love of my life.

What are some underrated books or authors you know that never made it to the bestselling list? Why do you think a lot of very beautiful stories never get to see the spotlight?

There are millions of books. As a rule, 95% of books are crap. Think about how many that good 5% translates to. Good storytelling just isn't enough anymore given the high volume of choices today. There are more stories than ever being adapted with services like Netflix and so many things vying for our attention span. The "15 minutes of fame" has turned into 15 seconds. We live in a hyperactive era where there are too many neglected books to mention.

Normally, how long does the research process for a book take? What kind of research did you have to do for writing science fiction books?

Each book in the None of the Above series will be more science fiction. The first book only has minor sci-fi elements, but the transition is complete with book three. The Internet President: None of the Above covered such a variety of topics that I had to read well over a dozen books. I also watched videos of every weapon that's fired. Grenade launchers sound more like a bounce off a tennis racket than the whoosh I expected.

For book two, most of the research will revolve around artificial intelligence. I worked in software for 24 years, so I already have some general background. I'll probably spend at least a month just reading books all day and writing down notes on the dreams I get.

What memories do you have from graduating in Aerospace Engineering from UCLA in 1992?

I graduated at the end of the first Cold War, the absolute worst year to get an Aerospace degree. It was a GOOD week in my field if they weren't laying off 1,500 workers. When recent grads were interviewed about the situation I said, "I'm not going to be working for McDonald Douglas. I'm going to be working for McDonald's." That plus what I had to say about diversity and the need for more women in engineering made it on TV.

It was a rough time with an economic downturn as well. I went through a lot of jobs that didn't fit me, like sales and temp work to keep afloat. At one point I thought, I'm a writer, why not do a creative cover letter and resume. That creativity tripled my response rate and helped me land my first job in computers working for the UCLA Math Department.

Decades later, it was money from my software career that allowed me to retire early to write full time. My writer self and engineer self have come full circle.

What inspired the plot of "The Internet President: None of the Above"? Did you expect it to win the “Cross-Genre” category in the 2018 American Fiction Awards?

Back in the 80s, I had the idea of a politician changing their name to "None of the Above" and running for president. I go into more detail on the book's origin in the "Fact Versus Fiction" section of my novel.

I blend over a dozen genres and have unique original ideas on top of that. I felt I had a real shot at an award. I'm only aware of three possible awards in the Cross-Genre category. The book won one award and was a finalist in a second award. Two out of three isn't bad. One of the audiobook narrators, two-time Grammy-winner Stefan Rudnicki said, “If anyone has effectively crossed genres, it’s you!”

How important do you think book covers are? Who usually designs your book covers?

I have no artistic talent, so it takes a few rounds with an artist to get a cover right. I love my covers. It's the closest I can come to being an artist. With each book, I plan to do an author photo similar to the cover. The next two covers are planned out already, well before the books are finished.

What is the most outrageous thing you've done to write or publish one of your books?

I made an oath that I wouldn't cut my hair until I was completely finished with the book. The book ended up being a couple of years late. Fifteen months after the ebook release, I still haven't launched the hardcover yet. My hair is down to the middle of my back. It won't be long before I cut it and donate my hair to a cancer charity.

Perhaps my author photo is one of the more outrageous things. I wore a T-shirt with my book cover on it. Then had an artist digitally add the dark clouds, puppet master strings from my fingers, and the capital building. Then I made a shirt of that and wore it when I got my driver's license picture taken. It probably won't show in the DMV photo, but I'll know that I'm wearing me in that photo.

What is the most amusing experience you've had as an author?

When events in real life happen that resemble plot points from the book, I find that trippy and amusing. It happened a lot about half-way through the book during the 2016 election cycle. I had to stop reading the news and stay off Facebook for a while because it was getting too weird. I cover a lot of this in the "Fact Versus Fiction" section of the book.

The latest example was an economic mystery from the book, a situation that shouldn't normally be possible. Turns out it's not only possible but happened and those economic conditions were one of the justifications for the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates in July 2019.

Are you friends with other authors? If so, how have they helped you in your journey as a writer?

I've always had writer friends, but most of my life I fell in the aspiring writer category. There's a big hurdle between having ideas and finishing a story with them.

I've taken writing classes throughout my life. Some of the more memorable ones were "Trading Your Addictions For Creativity" with John Hruby and "Creating Strong Female Characters" with Christine Conradt.

Do you remember the first bad review you got and how you dealt with it? How do you deal with bad reviews now?

I was devasted by my first scathing four-star review on Amazon. It took several days to get over it and I had trouble sleeping. I wrote a post on Goodreads to explain why I included a trigger warning in my book.

I got a rash of three-star reviews when I did a Goodreads giveaway, so I'm unlikely to ever do another one. I got a two-star review that didn't like the wacky premise, so I'll be adding wacky to the description and try to be upfront about one of the premises.

There's a lot of politics in the book, and not everyone enjoys politics in their political thrillers. I plan to release another edition (after book two) that allows a user to click past those parts and get a snarky summary instead. There will be a whole new layer added, a self-satirizing book. Besides, if the book is ever adapted to film or TV, that stuff will be cut anyway.

Which is the next book you are writing? When will it be released?

Hot Nights and Cold Wars is book two of the series. I'm hoping for late 2020, but because of the way that the book ends, I need a chunk of book three done before I release it. I plan to include a book three preview with the book two audiobook. That might delay the release to early 2021, but book three should follow on sooner.

What are your thoughts on AllAuthor and its services? Got any feedback?

The monthly cover contests are what caught my attention first. I'll be back with my next cover for sure.

The generated author pages are well done and the userbase of the site is very friendly. I love little touches, like turning over the book to get to the book previews.

P.G. Sundling All time Favourite Books

View all (1)
The Internet President: None of the Above (None of the Above Series Book 1)
(1) (1) $2.99 kindleeBook, Paperback, Audio,
The Internet President: None of the Above (None of the Above Series Book 1)by P.G. SundlingPublish: Apr 18, 2018Series: None of the AboveThrillers Action & Adventure Humor
P.G. Sundling P.G. Sundling
This book blends a dozen genres and will leave you guessing. It's got actionable political ideas and a chapter on how to improve the education system wrapped in a genre-bending narrative that builds to an action-packed climax. It's like no book you've ever read before.

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