Interview with Kenneth Hardman

When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I am a professional engineer at a major aerospace company where I analyze systems and troubleshoot issues. I also mentor college engineering students and high school students as time permits. When I'm not engineering, I'm enjoying my wife, children, and grandchildren. I like to cycle, hike, play guitar, and research family history (genealogy).
What is your writing process?
I examine engineering experiences that I have had professionally, and with college students and I put together a plausible story outline based on those experiences. I try to make it a little adventure like so to be enjoyable to read, but my main purpose if to make readers aware of the culture and career of engineering.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't remember the first story I ever read because I was a late bloomer in reading. Even during and after college I preferred picking up a textbook, not a novel. I think I had a mid-life reading crisis and determined that I needed to experience recreational wholesome reading so I asked around and made a choice for my first serious novel, "Moby Dick." Wow, that was a big read and at times took determination, but as Captain Ahab was determined to find the whale, I was determined to have success with my first novel reading. Sometime later I read, "North and South" by Elizabeth Glaskell and was very impressed with her descriptive skills.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Around the World in 80 Days, and Journey to the Center of the Earth were pretty good. North and South. The City of Ember. And a number of non-fiction books.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I read on my MacBook Air, and my iPod Touch.
When did you first start writing?
As an engineer, I have been writing since college, but mostly technical writing such as procedures, specifications, theory of operations,... A few years ago, I decided to improve my writing skills by trying fiction. In addition to Engineering Short Stories, I am writing historical fiction based on my ancestors.
What's the story behind your latest book?
And an engineer, I laugh or cry at the myths people have regarding the laws of physics. For example, a large percentage of the population believes that there is no gravity in space. This, along with some case studies I have of some early efforts to measure astronaut weight, or more specifically 'mass' in space on orbit has inspired my current project.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing is like engineering, organizing, solving problems, being creative, selling a good product or story...
Published 2014-04-05.
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