What’s your background, what compelled you to start writing?
Actually, I started writing technology textbooks nearly twenty years ago, almost by accident. I asked a friend of mine to edit a small article on SATA hard drives I was writing for a Linux tutorial website, and he ended up recommending me to a publisher who needed a chapter written for a networking guide. After that, everything just mushroomed and now I’m a professional technical writer. I’ve always wanted to be a fiction writer and have tried several times over the last several decades, but it wasn’t until just a few years ago I felt like the tales I crafted became authentic rather than derivative.
What book from your childhood do you remember the best? Why?
Probably Edgar Rice Burroughs’ 1914 novel, A Princess of Mars. When I was in Junior High many years ago, all the other kids were reading Tarzan novels, but I was hooked on John Carter’s adventures on Barsoom and, in many ways, I still am.
Does writing energise you, or exhaust you?
Probably a bit of both. I have to overcome inertia to start writing, but once I get going on what I think is a terrific concept, it’s almost impossible to stop. Unfortunately, real life and a day job sometimes get in the way.
What’s your writing Kryptonite?
Lately, the state of the world. There seems to be something about this year that sucks the energy, and even the imagination, out of me. Really, before 2020, I didn’t think anything could do that to me.
What kind of research do you do?
What else? Google. Actually, I do quite a bit of research when I write. For Time’s Abyss, I had to research South Pacific islands, submarine designs, theories on nuclear fusion, the extinction event that occurred 65 million years ago, and the Soviet space program…and that’s just for starters!
In relation to your latest book;
What sparked the idea for Time’s Abyss?
Time’s Abyss actually started out as a shorter and very different story I originally submitted to a magazine requesting science fiction/military stories. It was one of the first I’d written and submitted. It was rejected, but I kept exploring it, reworking it, and when BHP’s submission call came along, I saw the opportunity to expand it into something even more fantastic than it was originally intended to be. I dedicated this tale to the late Andre Norton and her 1958 novel The Time Traders. I’ve often wanted to modernise that series and that desire ended up being one of the major influences for Time’s Abyss.
And, lastly, what’s brewing?
I’m just finishing a steampunk fantasy short story about space pirates on Mars. On the surface, it sounds kind of silly, but I love writing retro fiction and fantasy, stories that would have been popular in the 1960s and earlier. This one isn’t just pure adventure, but an inspirational tale of heroism and sacrifice. Another of my stories will be published in the next month, is to be featured in a “magical schools” anthology, only, in my case, it’s a magical preschool. My oldest granddaughter was the inspiration for that one.