The mountains and waterways of Southeast Alaska provide the backdrop for all kinds of industries. For Max Florschutz, a sci-fi and fantasy author born and raised by Wrangell, they served as the inspiration for a writing career.
Growing up on an island meant a lot of time to explore for Max Florschutz, who now lives in Provo, Utah. He says those in Wrangell who knew him growing up know he has a lot of imagination. It’s exciting, he says, to come full circle and see his work again in his hometown. He was here to visit his family in early June.
“I went to the library, and signed the copies [of my books] they had, “said Florschutz,” Because to me it was like I grew up going to the Wrangell Public Library, I got book after book after book and then I went. and one of my books was a book that somebody else can take over there and get it’s like, âOkay, I contributed to the cycle. Other people may experience it as well. And it was really cool.
Florschutz says he always thought he would write a few books.
“I didn’t expect to write eight or nine,” he added.
His path to becoming an author has not been completely linear. Florschutz says that for a while he wanted to develop storylines for video games. But it didn’t work: âI pulled off a good shot. It is a difficult industry to integrate. It is complicated.”
After graduating in 2011 from the Brigham Young University campus in Hawaii, he says he started playing with writing fiction.
“And I handed over one of the [the stories] to a friend. And he said, ‘Dude, this is really good. I would pay money for it. I’m like ‘Woah, really?’ And so it got me thinking. In fact, a lot of people were like, âYeah, I would pay money for that. I was like, ‘Well, let’s find out.’ Turns out people would, they were right.
Florschutz says he enjoys presenting unusual ideas through the free medium of science fiction and fantasy.
âGood luck that most kids choose a finance book,â he jokes. His most recent book “Axtara – Banking and Finance” is about a dragon running his own bank. âYou can introduce people to something that they wouldn’t understand in an ordinary book. But you can still explore ideas and concepts that then get them thinking, and that are actually applicable to the real world. “
During the course of writing seven books, he says he grew up, particularly in the art of creating a mystery.
âThis first book I’m giving him nowâ¦ it’s currently in the three star category,â he says. âI tell people, ‘It was my first. it’s hard. I’m looking back now and the wrong direction is just easy to spot.
And as he grows as a writer, he says he’s getting more and more positive feedback. Most of the time. He recalls a one-star review: “That said, basically, in essence, ‘There’s so much storyline and character development, I just want some action, blegh.’ I have this one star review. And then even better, I have a two star review from someone who says, “There’s just too much action. I want more plot developments and characters Put these two in a room and have them fightâ¦ you can’t please everyone.
Florschutz has also been running a writing blog titled “Being a Better Writer” since 2013. There, he updates fans on his writing progress and posts tips on writing science fiction and fantasy.
âOne thing I always tell people is that if you’re going to write something, always do your research. Sometimes the curiosity itself can be a search, he adds. âThe more open you are to looking at different aspects of the world, you know, documentaries, you talk about icebreakers or penguins, whatever. The more ideas you have buzzing around in your head, the more they can collide and the more they will come out.
Florschutz’s current project is the latest installment in an epic trilogy about an unlikely trio’s quest to bring back a missing computer programmer to planet Earth.
âI can easily say this is the most stressful project I have worked on to date,â says Florschutz. âBecause not only is it a big book, and there’s everything going on, but it’s the finale of a trilogy. It must therefore live up to the two books that came before it, one of which is easily one of my bestsellers. Very popular. And so that has to answer all the questions that they haven’t answered, you know, that has to tie it all together. And so it’s just a huge project. It was also, it’s really cool.
This third book, Starforge, is complete and weighs just over 500,000 words. It is currently awaiting editing. In the meantime, Florschutz says he will be working on other projects, such as another short story book.
âIn fact, I even wrote some Alaska short stories, in one of my collections, mainly because people kept asking questions about them,â he laughs.
But even Florschutz’s Alaska brings an air of magic – ghosts, superhuman mental strength, creatures lurking under the kitchen stove. Then again, who could claim that there isn’t a bit of magic in the land of the midnight sun?
Contact KSTK at [email protected] or (907) 874-2345.