This month Havok hosted Kerry Nietz–author and former Bill Gates minion. Since Kerry’s been working with computer language since the dinosaurs (or just the ’80s) we figured he’d be able to write a pretty good story. Let us know what you think by checking out Havok and getting to know Kerry. Careful, he’s not a great pet person and might use technology to his utmost advantage. Like to giveaway books if you enter at the end of this post.

Inquiring minds want to know–just how much did you love dinosaurs as a kid?

Quite a bit. I had dinosaur toys and books that I cherished long after the dog chewed them or the pages started to fall out. Saturday morning kids’ shows fed that obsession, with shows like “Land of the Lost” and “Valley of the Dinosaurs.” Any old movie that had dinosaurs in it was on my must watch list too, like “King Kong”, “The Land that Time Forgot”, and “One Million Years B.C.”.

Then over time that fascination was superseded by other speculative loves like “Star Wars” and “Star Trek”, but it never really went away.

Case in point: My youngest son has a first name that starts with “T” and a middle name of “Rex”.

In addition to all things prehistoric, what other fantasy/sci-fi/fairytale creatures do you enjoy writing about?

All of them, but the ones I’m most known for are robots, vampires, zombies, and cybernetically-enhanced humans.

In real life, are you a cat or a dog person? Or can you barely handle a fish?

Generally, I’m a dog person, but since starting a family the only pets we’ve had are cats and fish. The demands of three young children sort of necessitated more independent animals. In fact, there were times we almost forgot we had our last cat. Thankfully, she didn’t seem to mind. We managed to keep her alive for a long time…so that’s something.

What influences your writing the most?

Technological advances and world events.

I tend toward the harder edge of science fiction, so when I write about, say, Amish vampires, I like to have some idea how they might realistically come about. That’s where technology comes in. It is grist for the “how”.

World events are grist for the “what” and the “why” of my stories. For instance, the plot of Mask involves a system where everything, including people, can be voted on. Everything is kept or discarded based solely on its popularity and perceived value. That idea comes straight from the headlines.

Tell us about your current project.

I’m currently writing two stories. One is a sequel to Frayed, which released last year. It features cybernetically-enhanced humans, robots, and despotic leaders in a dystopian future.

The other project is a sequel to Rhats!. Rhats! a novella I wrote using the vast palette of the Takamo Universe, which is an upcoming Massive Multiplayer Online game. That story follows this rat-like alien named Frohic in his many adventures. Sort of a “Firefly” meets “The Hobbit” with a dash of “Star Wars” thing.

Sounds like something no diehard fan of gaming, sci fi, or dinosaurs wants to miss. Sort of like the latest issue of Havok Magazine, where you can get Kerry’s flash fiction and even more great dinosaur theories.

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Meet the Author

Kerry Nietz is a refugee of the software industry. He spent more than a decade of his life flipping bits, first as one of the principal developers of the database product FoxPro for the now mythical Fox Software, and then as one of Bill Gates’s minions at Microsoft. He is a husband, a father, a technophile and a movie buff. He is the author of several award-winning novels, including A Star Curiously Singing, Freeheads, and Amish Vampires in Space.