Q: Why did you choose science fiction as your genre?
Science fiction is the literature of ideas! It allows writers to immerse readers in situations that could not occur here and now, and thus offer fresh drama that isn’t a retread of books or films they’ve seen before. The challenge is to make the story and the characters authentic and credible.
Q: What in your background impacts your fiction?
I’ve held a variety of jobs, some of them on the strange side, that offered opportunities to observe human nature in stressful circumstances. For example, I’ve worked as a debt collector, a car salesman, and a private investigator, and I’ve spent as long as seventy-one days underwater in a Navy submarine.
In addition to a work history that provides story inspiration, I grew up in a single-father household, so my brother and I had to be more self-reliant than most other kids. I think this has given me a predisposition toward proactive, independent-minded heroes who don’t waste time brooding or craving sympathy.
Q: What advice do you offer first-time novelists?
I think it’s vital to always use beta readers, and take their feedback to heart. Beta readers shouldn’t be friends or relatives, and they should have similar reading preferences as your intended paying audience. There’s always a temptation to release your work to the public as soon as possible, to see if people will like it, but I don’t think an author should expect anyone to pay for their work until it is the very best they can make it.