Ken Lozito

Ken Lozito. Science Fiction writer. I’m based out of Pennsylvania outside of Philadelphia. My most well known series is First Colony, but the Federation Chronicles and Ascension series also have a strong readership as well.

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How long have you been writing for and how much of that time have you spent writing fiction?

I published my first book in October 2013.

What’s the average word count for the books you write and how long does it take you to write your average book?

About 80,000. About 5 weeks to write the first draft. I usually take about a month to plan it.

What is your writing routine (Do you have a daily word count goal? Do you write whenever the spirit moves you?)

Monday – Friday. I aim for 15,000 words a week or 8 – 10 chapters.

How much do you research for a book before you start writing?

It depends. My previous book, Infinity – First Colony Book 13 required a lot of research about the planet and star system they were exploring.

What do you find most difficult about writing a book?

Determining which writing process works for you and navigating through advice that doesn’t work for you.

Which of your books are you most proud of and why?

I’m proud of all my books, even the early ones, because writing them all helped me improve my craft.

Which of your books was the most difficult to write and why?

Usually the most recent one, but if I had to pin it down I’d say Sanctuary – First Colony Book 4. I was dealing with tinnitus and they had me on steroids, which was hard. This was after going through getting laid off of work and making a serious push to write full-time. Writing during the pandemic was a challenge as well.

Which self-publishing platform do you like the most and why?

Amazon because it’s easiest to reach readers there. My goal is to earn a comfortable living doing this and you just don’t hear about authors having breakout successes on the other platforms.

Would you publish with a traditional publisher if they contacted you? Why?

It depends, but probably not. I’d consider working with one of Amazon Imprints because they know how to market a book.

How many unfinished or unpublished works do you have?

Nothing unpublished. I do have an earlier fantasy series thats unfinished. 2017 was a transitional year for me, and it meant having to make tough choices about what writing projects get my attention. I’m happy to expand on this.

Do you prefer creating stand-alone books or series?

Series. Series. Series.

What’s one character you wish you would have created? What do you find compelling or interesting about this character?

Nothing comes to mind. I put a lot of effort in my characters and I’ve written a lot of them.

What book do you wish you would have written? Why?

I’ve written the pet writing project or story that was in my brain for years and years. I enjoy what I write, so I haven’t come across this yet.

Do you find it challenging to write characters of a different gender, race, or culture than you? Do you do any special research for these characters?

Not really anymore challenging than writing any other characters. We all have different motivations and backgrounds that drive us. I apply the same thinking to my characters. I have done research into specific psychological conditions because they influence how a character behaves. Soldiers with PTSD for example.

What does success as a writer look like for you?

Earning a comfortable living from the royalties I make from my book. This means paying my bills, saving for the future and retirement, and being able to pursue my interests and hobbies.

Writing can be a lonely job. Do you take any special steps to ensure you remain part of the world?

Great question. Yes. I have a few writer friends that I interact with and meet up with in person when possible. I also try to attend at least one author centric event a year. This year I’ll be going to 20Books conference in November. Other conferences I’ve been to are NINC.

Constantly sitting and writing can be physically debilitating. How do you take care of yourself, physically?

Get up once an hour to walk around for a movement break (About 10 minutes). Exercise and using a sauna.

Do you read your reviews? How do you deal with bad ones?

Yes. I don’t like the bad reviews 🙂 I don’t pay that much attention to the bad ones. I don’t put my effort into pleasing the minority of readers. Actual poor reviews are just that my books weren’t a good fit for that particular reader. I’ve written enough books and had enough validation to be confident in my storytelling capabilities.

What books have you read that were particularly inspiring?

I thought The Martian was pretty inspiring. It was just fun and compelling.

Do you have a favourite author? A favourite book?

Lots of them. Jim Butcher, Skin Game is a current favorite of mine.

Do you plot your stories in great detail before starting to write, or fly by the seat of your pants?

The slider for this is about 60% in the plotter. I’m happy to speak about my writing process. I haven’t met a writer who doesn’t like to talk about writing 🙂

Of all the characters in your stories, which is your favourite?

Connor Gates

Have you based any characters on real people? If they found out, how did they respond?


What’s the best thing about being an independent author? The worst?

I like being my own boss. I like control of the creative process. Writing stories is my favorite part of this whole process. The worst is not being able to do more. I’ve worked to clearly define goals so I can feel like I’ve accomplished something for the day. Not everything is about wordcounts, especially in the plotting stage.

Do you make a living selling your books?


What advice would you give to a new author?

Finish. Give yourself permission to write it poorly. Not everything has to be perfect to finish writing the story.

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