What if there were a smartphone app so good at anticipating your every want and need that you and millions of people around the world adopted it and used it, not only for ecommerce, but also for every bit of information received through social media, blogs, newsfeeds, email and others? And what if all that information gathered by smartphones was used to manipulate the populace into believing that enemies were threatening them, and everything they held dear was under attack? How long do you think it would take for society to implode?
My first novel may be speculative fiction, but with online mega-retailers already able to predict what we want to buy next, government agencies collecting big data from social networking sites and predictive analytics coming into its own, it feels like the world is on the brink of something none of us may have anticipated.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I receive the greatest joy from allowing my imagination to run free. It's like being a part of a movie of my own making.
What do your fans mean to you?
Fans are my confirmation that I have produced something of value. I think all writer write for the reader. If readers become fans, then a writer has given them a story they with which they can connect. And that, to me, is the goal.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
A long time, unfulfilled desire to write. In my prior life I wrote in a technical and administrative fashion, occasionally writing a short story or essay. Upon retireing at an earlier than usual age, I needed to do something to feed my intellect. Writing is it.
What do you read for pleasure?
I like good literary fiction. The kind with very few characters and thoughtful, poetic introspection. I admire writer that can do that well.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
The Kindle PaperWhite. I find the back-lit, mat-finish screen ideal.
Who are your favorite authors?
Falkner and Stegner first and foremost. Falkner for his earthy prose of the people about whom he writes. Stegner for the shear quality of his work; it's intimacy touches my soul. I like Conrad also, for his poetically descriptive verse. Of more contemporary writers, I like Margret Atwood. Her approach to fiction is deeply thought provoking and the vividness of her descriptive passages is visceral.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I like to fix things and build things. I have a small workbench in the garage and a bunch of tools. When I'm not writing, I like to create hings from metal and repair small gadgets and fixtures. Writing is the same, except one builds something with words. And often, a piece of writing needs to be taken apart and reassembled a few times before it works properly.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Optimism. The belief that each day will bring something good, better, encouraging or enriching. I think we humans, so evolved as we think we are, focus on and dwell in the negative far too much. I'm just not wired that way. So every morning, when I let slip the embrace of sleep, something inside urges me forward to seek out what wonderful or enjoyable thing will happen that day.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story I ever read that truly made some kind of impression was the first book in Isaac Asimov Foundation series. It took my imagination to places I, until then, did not thing was possible. I was young and had been reading only the things that were a part of the mid-sixties established educational system. This book took me to worlds i did not know could exist. I read all genre now, but have a fondness for fiction and a weakness science/speculative fiction.
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