When I'm not at the keyboard, I'm generally reading, practicing tai chi or middle eastern dance, or cooking.
When I was in college, I spent a summer working in London. I'd enjoyed tea before that, but then I got actual, really good tea there and never looked back.
Then, I realized that there is an indigenous presence in the Solar System. It's us. So, then, I got to wondering what would happen if a more technologically advanced society moved next door to us, the way we moved next door to the American Indians.
The Lord of the Rings movie set an entirely new standard for fantasy in the movies.
The hard part about questions like this is that SF covers such a broad spectrum. There are so many authors who are good at so many different things.
So, one of the things I was doing with the aliens in The Quiet Invasion was creating that advanced society which had ideas about morality and proper use of natural resources that were radically different from ours, as the Europeans were from the American Indians.
Once, I got an idea for a short story during a Halloween concert while watching someone play the bones during the performance of Dance Macabre.
Oh, and for capturing the wonder and magic of fairy tales and turning that into fresh and modern stories, there is no one around to the Neil Gaiman.
Octavia Butler, of course, is brilliant and disturbing.
Now, Venus is an extremely hostile environment, and as such presents a lot of challenges for a science fiction author who wants to create life there. However, as I began to research it more thoroughly, I found myself intrigued by the possibilities the world offers.
Now, of course, the great thing about the solar system as a frontier is that there are no Indians, so you can have all the glory of the myth of the American westward expansion without any of the guilt.
My father was a major SF fan in the '40s and '50s, so the house was full of SF books. That's where I got my start and I never looked back.
I'm told my SF is of the hard variety and my Fantasy is romantic but hopefully all the characters are strong and the plots are lively.
I'm mostly a novelist these days, but I have written short stories in Fantasy, Science Fiction and horror.
I think the diversity of authors and readers is expanding, which is wonderful, because it means the type of story being told is also expanding.
I think people enjoy a series. When you like a story, many readers want more of the same, which is dandy, if the author and the characters have more to say.
I suppose if I was to have to pick a few, Ursula LeGuin would have to top the list. It was while reading her work that I decided I wanted to be an author.
I myself was born in Sacramento, California in 1966.
I have to do more close research and fact checking for the science fiction. This is not however to say that writing good fantasy does not involve doing good research.
I have a better internal and intuitive understanding of folklore and myth than science and technology, so in that way fantasy is easier.
I graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in Communications and left formal education behind.
I feel SF is going through an experimental phase right now.
I describe my plots as follows A character is walking down the street when all of a sudden a piano falls on them. They spend the rest of the story digging out from under that piano. How they dig, how long and how well, this all depends entirely on the character.
Fortunately, many people also enjoy a stand-alone as a sample of something new, like trying the special at a favourite restaurant one night instead of going for the usual.
First and foremost, The Quiet Invasion is a first contact story. What would we do if we actually found evidence of alien life out there It's also about politics.