1. If your friends were asked to describe you in one word, what would it be?
2. What do you love most about the genre you write?
The “sense of wonder” that certain books elicit. I think I first experienced this when I was eleven and most recently just last week. Some authors can make it happen by the grace of their words and the scope of their imagination. It’s something I like to think I strive to capture in my own work. Occasionally, I may even succeed.
3. What do you want readers to take from your books?
I’d like them to come away in a better mood than when they started. I want them to get to the end and feel they’ve been entertained. That’s the bare minimum. Otherwise I’m just wasting their time. If I get to ask for a little more, I hope they’ll come away with some fresh insight that they can apply to their own daily lives to be happier and more satisfied, and to realize how important they are to the people around them.
4. Do you find it hard to kill off your characters?
Very. In fact, an underlying theme in a significant portion of my fiction objects to the notion that death is the end of us, that once the meat suits of corporal life go bad that’s it. Sorry, but I prefer to believe that our lifetime of experience and creativity and accomplishments and joys and sorrows are NOT constrained by our physicality. Rather, we are complex patterns of the information of our lives which endures long beyond our bodies. Oh, wait, that’s not quite what you were asking. Um… still, yeah, killing off characters is hard for me. Unless they’re the bad guys, then I do so with delight and glee and as graphically as I can!
5. What are you working on now? Can you share a teaser of it with our readers?
I like to work on multiple projects in parallel, so answering this question gets complicated. Currently, I’m revising a prequel novella to my award-winning Science Fantasy series about anthropomorphic elephants (in space!). I’m also writing book two in a proposed nine-book series of light SF about a young woman (who looks human but isn’t) with the ability to teleport most anything (except herself) anywhere. Then there’s the first novel in what may be a new series about a doctoral student onboard a space station around Neptune whose life and career goals get disrupted by various aliens who have entwined their destinies with hers, with both comic and dramatic results. Meanwhile, I have two separate projects with different writing partners, one which is a trilogy (with all three books in differing stages of completion) that is an urban fantasy about a professor of demonic languages, and the other is an opened ended series about an experimental college where young Humans are learning how to interact with their alien counterparts so that Earth can more smoothly do business with the many other races of the galaxy, even as they grapple with all the emotions and turmoil and farce of dorm life. I’m also compiling notes for a book tentatively entitled Hypnosis For Writers. And I’m working on a non-fiction project that compiles the best of ten years of blog posts and 100 authors most memorable meals. Oh yeah, and I’m also supervising the publication of the Klingon translation of L. Frank Baum’s classic, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
6. What do you do when a flash of inspiration hits you at an inopportune moment?
More often than not, I stop what I’m doing and tell myself the story of the thing that’s exploded in my brain. Or better still, if possible, I describe it to my wife, because doing so gets it out of my head and converted into words, which makes it realer.
7. What keeps you going while writing?
Not to kill the mood, but this past year put me face to face with my own mortality. That in turn led me to re-evaluate what my priorities were and how I wanted to use my time. Time spent writing now comes in at third place. Time spent with my wife and my dog occupy the first and second slots. So what keeps me writing is the choice to write.
8. Where can we find you on the internet?