Interview with Gingezel Inc

What are you working on next?
We are turning to space sports. We have invented a weightless game, Octagla, that combines features of lacrosse and hockey. It's a rough fast paced game, the players are the highest paid in the galaxy, and the stakes are high - the galactic championship.

Weightless space sports are a concept that fascinates Don. He played Junior A hockey and was invited to the Los Angeles Kings training camp. At university he played goal and he also was one of the founders of the Lethbridge Lacrosse Association and played goal for two of the teams.

This series is at the final editing stage. In parallel we are writing fantasy.
What is your writing process?
Because Gingezel is a collaborative series between a husband and wife team, our writing process is quite fluid. It usually starts with discussions, and occasionally arguments, at the dinner table about a technical point or what one of the characters would or would not do in a situation. Or Judi, who is definitely a 'write by the seat of her pants' author not a plotter, will wake up with a bright idea.

Either way, the basic idea and emotive scenes are captured in old fashioned pencil. The scene is fleshed out between us, dictated, and roughly edited. We tend to jump around within the novel time line, and not worry about continuity details until a novel is complete. That keeps us free to change the technical details as the plot evolves.

This kind of work style has evolved over decades of sharing careers, first as physicists, now as authors and artists.
What's the story behind the Gingezel series?
We started writing the Gingezel series for our own entertainment. Since we are both theoretical physicists and worked in the nuclear industry, it was natural to make the dramatic event a reactor accident. At the time we did not think of publishing the story, and of course we could not have foreseen the Japanese accident. We were simply interested in carrying technology into the future as an intellectual exercise, and in whether or not there could be an accident like that that was not an accident but sabotage. Since Judi's career was as an industrial risk analyst then as a risk manager, like Tranngol and his team in the series, she was focused on how the accident could happen and how everyone would react. Since Don is a software developer, his focus was on the sub plot where Dreen was fighting hackers.

It wasn't until there was a shelf full of binders and we re-read the story that we decided we had an epic series on our hands that would appeal to science fiction readers who like techie sci fi written by scientists.
How do you approach cover design?
To date our cover art has been abstract. Judi is a generative (mathematical) artist, and over the course of writing a book she develops a portfolio that conveys the mood of the book. When the book is finished, we choose a cover from that portfolio. We often include details that will not mean anything to any one but us, like using the favorite colors of the main character in the novel. Once the art is chosen, the cover text is designed to work with the art. Since we publish both digital and print versions, we have to make sure that the cover both works as a digital thumbnail and prints well.
Describe your desk
Judi's desk is a disaster zone. She uses it to write, create poetry, do art, design textiles, and do surface design. It is always stacked with paper, test prints, often swatches of fabric, and any research articles she has found or run off. In the middle of the mess is her trusty laptop. There are slotted shelves to the side where anything essential is kept, and they are sort of organized. To write she shoves things aside. Maybe once a month she has an archeological dig and gets far enough down to remember the desk is black.

Don's desk is a comparable mess, but visually less interesting because it isn't heaped with fabric and art prints.
Who are your favorite authors?
We can agree on Alexander McCall Smith, Anne McCaffrey, and Peter Mayle. Don would add technical writer David Pogue to the list, and Robert J. Sawyer. Judi would add Rudyard Kipling, Nora Roberts, and Sophie Kinsella.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Mostly on mundane housework. When there is more time, Judi spends her time with generative art, creating fine art and surface design. Don runs Apps & More Software, and spends his time on software development.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Finding out what happens next.
Published 2013-11-02.
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Books by This Author

Gingezel 1: The Limit by Judi Suni Hall, PhD. and Donald S. Hall, PhD.
Series: Gingezel. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 141,380. Language: English. Published: November 10, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General, Fiction » Science fiction » High tech
There is a fine line between pushing the limits of technology and pushing your luck. Some people think Dr. Mitra Kael, power systems engineer, crossed that line with her new hybrid reactor installed on the remote mining planet Drezvir. All Mitra wants to do is never see Drezvir again. She’s headed for vacation on the pleasure planet Gingezel. How much was she pushing her luck?