Interview with John Sanders

Who are your favorite authors?
I grew up reading fantasy and science fiction, so my range of favored authors is varied as well. My very first self chosen author was C.S. Lewis. But the two authors who have had the biggest impact on me would have to be Robert Heinlein and Anne McCaffrey.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
C.S. Lewis, "The Horse and His Boy." I was a delayed reader, when it came to reading actual books. Before C.S. Lewis, I read books by Charles Schultz. C.S. Lewis open up a whole new world of possibilities to me at age thirteen. Language, reading, writing has always been difficult for me, as I struggled with Auditory dyslexia in a school system designed for mainstream learners. Reading by choice for the first time, something other than comics, open my visual imagination through words that previously meant very little to me in the past. I learned to judge great writers as the writers whose words let me see images with the stories they told.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Bringing characters to life and share them with others.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading, watching science education shows, playing with my kids, doing something creative, or cooking.
What is your writing process?
The story for my first book was a short story that I wrote almost twenty years ago. The story had been maturing and remixing in me for quite a long time. Family and life both kept me from writing it and also contributed to it final shape. Once a college professor gave me some very good advice. He said, "Write what you know." When I first conceived of the story, there was much I didn't know and the short story when I read it again almost a year ago, revealed that. My process involves life experience and time. Get the idea, the character, the emotion, whatever it is down in black and white. Then carve the story that is already there out of what you have written in the rough. I used to get hung up in grammar and spelling, but I have learned to get the rough down first. That's why it is a rough.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Once not to long ago (perceptually speaking) I would have said the the first half of my life was spent being a Marine brat in California and the second half learning how to be a civilian in Oklahoma. With the help of my two best friends I enjoyed adventures aplenty playing RPGs and summer camp outs. But that would only account for twenty four years. The other twenty five years was spent trying to grow up and trying to find what I thought was missing in my life. That journey has taken me through a tour in the Marines to lands far and near, marrying my best female friend and having three handsome boys, watch my second oldest best friend die from cancer, and come to terms with that with the help and love of my oldest best friend. Life experience influences my writing the most.
When did you first start writing?
Most likely When I started creating game scenarios for the RPGs we played as teenagers. Though at the time, I'm not sure I would have seen it that way. Beyond RPGs, it would have been high school English in the tenth grade.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have two e-reading devices. One is the Kindle Paper white and the other is a Kindle HD Fire. Both provide access to any books I own as well as drafts of the book I am currently working on. The Kindle HD fire has Text to Speech which I find to be a very handy tool I use this to listen to the book I am working on to help edit.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Amazon often sends emails that feature books that are similar to the current ones that I am reading. Also I love to browse titles, I call it research.
Describe your desk
Two speakers (playing non vocal music quietly), a wide screen monitor, a Frank Lloyd Wright styled lamp with a dragon perched on top, some paper clutter, a wireless mouse, and a well used nine year old key board to match the nine year old CPU.
What's the story behind your latest book?
What Makes us human, what is a soul, what is it to love, and what will you sacrifice for love.
Published 2014-02-22.
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