Interview with Jeff Knoblauch

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Before I started writing, I used to look up at the stars and wonder to myself. Although it was not an original reason for my writing, I discovered that sense of wonder wrote itself into my prose. I feel good sharing that wonder with my readers.
What do your fans mean to you?
I never used to have ANY fans! You mean there are people out there that ACTUALLY like my stories? It is humbling, and I'm ever so grateful that there are fans that enjoy the destinations and adventures that I bring to them.
What are you working on next?
Currently, I am almost finished with the sequel to book 1 of The Journey of Atlantis, and should be releasing it by the summer of 2018. Hold onto your hats; there's a storm a comin'.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have been reading science fiction since picking up comic books as a young lad. The places they go. The things that they do. The good guys don't always win. But, I noticed that the good guys may loose the battle, but with few exception, they always win the war. And that makes a good story!
Later, I fell in love with Star Trek and read all the novels that were done by Pocketbooks. At the same time, I was reading Ray Bradbury, Joe Haldeman, Arthur Clarke, isaac Asimov, to name a few.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
What else? Money! A fella has to earn his keep, doesn't he? I am nearing retirement with my "day job", and I am excited that I have something that I like to do, and even get paid for it! I feel energized with the notion that as one job is winding down, another job is anxious to have me full time!
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
It has been too long ago to remember my first story that I read, but one of the first stories that I remember having an impact on me was Isaac Asimov's short story "The Last Question". I understand that he won an award for that one, and I agree. The story was almost told like a cosmic joke that the punch line hit you over the head. Then you go "Ah Ha", and then "Wow"! I hope I can do that someday.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1. David Brin's The Uplift Wars- Part of an amazing saga of intergalactic proportions.
2. Isaac Asimov's I Robot and Caves of Steel and all the other robot books- Why? The 3 laws, of course!
3. Frederick Pohl's Gateway series- Great characters, and a fun ride every time.
4. Ray Bradbury's The Illustrated Man- One of the most novel ways of telling a short story ever.
5. Larry Niven's Ringworld series- He took a 'what if' like a Dyson ring and made it real. Great story!
Describe your desk
I have my fingers in quite a lot of work. I work a lot of transactions, pay bills, check on the marketing, write some more, plan future promotions, all from my desk. So yes, it is messy. It is not even organized chaos! I have duck tape on my desk! Why is it there?
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small suburban town. Our family only had enough money to get by. Being self sufficient was important to me. I did not want to burden our family's income any more than it had to be. So, I mowed lawns. I traded in pop bottles for deposits. I did odd jobs. I shoveled snow.
I don't suppose any of that influenced my writing in later years, but I was imaginative. I was creative. That's how I got all those jobs. I did not let a little hard work get in the way of what needed to be done.
In between times, when there wasn't anything in particular to do, my mind would wander. I asked questions. I asked so many questions that my mother spent ,what was a lot of money for us at the time, an encyclopedia set. After that, if I asked a question, my mother would say 'go look it up'. I did that and more. I found that answering questions just got you more questions. Where does it end? I liked watching Star Trek and knowing that is where we will go. To answer those questions and more. The questions never end, just as our growing never ends. Those are the things that science fiction tries to do. Answer the questions that we haven't even asked yet.
When did you first start writing?
After reading loads of books, I thought that I had a story to tell. I tried many times in the past, but my story would just peter out, or I would get busy again with life and abandon it. It has only been in the last couple of years that my brain wandered in the direction about space and asked the question that sparked the critical 'what if' that would remain in my brain day after day. It took over and I realized that I must get this down. I wasn't thinking about where I was going, I was just writing. I later decided to publish, because who was I writing this for anyway? It has been a good experience.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The Journey of Atlantis was born on the idea that many sci-fi books have these magnificent spaceships they gallivant around in, but where do they come from? How hard are they to make? What kind of resources? Nobody ever builds one. So, I did this in my first book. I delve into what it takes to make a space ark. The psychologies, the obstacles, the setbacks. Throw in a deadline, and you've got something.
Not everyone is going to like the idea of being left behind. It is the lifeboat scenario taken on a grand scale. Everybody handles the lifeboat drama differently and I tried to bring that very human behavior into the story. The book is a very human journey. About perseverance. About courage. About making the hard decisions.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The short answer is lack of money. I also didn't think that a traditional publisher would take a nobody like me and sell my books. They like a horse with a proven track record. Of course the circular discussion of how do you get 'proven' if you never get published kept me away.
I scoured the internet and checked reviews and recommendations and came upon Pronoun publishing. I liked their mission to help underprivileged struggling writers get published. They published for free. However, this is where my naivety to the publishing scene came in. Much like a lot of first time writers, I didn't know all the ins and outs of what it takes to put out a good book. I just thought you just wrote it! The joke was on me! I had wrote this story. I had to see it through. So, I rolled up my sleeves and started learning the ins and outs. It has been worthwhile. Difficult, but worthwhile. Learning something new is never a waste. Going indie is hard work, but just like a lot of other hard work, the rewards are generally better.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I take care of my handicapped wife and two dogs and two cats. That pretty much takes up my non-writing time!
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Since I pretty much left print books (I can't carry all of that stuff around), I have been reading Ebooks for some time. Also, since I am always on a limited budget, free is always good. I have to say that I have greatly expanded the authors that I like to read thanks to the free reading. It helps to try out an unknown author for free. I have read some duds that I was glad I didn't have anything invested in it. By and large, I have been pleased with what I have picked. I pick books like anybody else does. I read the reviews, the description (both the author and publisher). People say that the cover is pretty important, but not so much for me. The description is the most important next to the reviews. I can make up my own mind.
Published 2018-01-11.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Journey of Atlantis: Leaving Home
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 84,370. Language: English. Published: December 30, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Hard sci-fi, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
The solar system has 84 years left to live! Find out humanity's solution to the impending destruction of the Earth and the solar system in this very near future hard Sci-Fi story exploring the psychology and technology of an epic lifeboat operation. Many roadblocks and so little time push humanity to the edge. Book one sets the stage for the great journey and the many adventures that lie ahead!