There's this thing going around the intertoobz, wherein an author is challenged to provide “7 Things About Me as a Writer.” Below is mine.
- I am in respectful awe of “pantser” writers who can write a whole book from start to finish with just a vague notion in mind of where the story ought to go. I'm a “plotter,” complete with outlines and a timeline spreadsheet, and would like to be better at it, because I am (so far) a slow writer. This is in puzzling opposition to Thing #2.
- I read fast and voraciously, and like to hoard own my books. I'd guess I read about 250 fiction books a year, and 99% of them are in digital form. I still love the kinesthetic feel of books in my hand, but I'm more fond of being able to take one small Kindle on vacation, instead of an extra suitcase just for the books.
- Overload Flux and Minder Rising (out by the end of May!), the first two books in the Central Galactic Concordance series, are actually prequels to the main story arc. I wanted to test the waters, and my own skills, before plunging into the full, complex saga I have in mind. There is one more prequel coming, too, and maybe a novella. And yes, I have a master outline for it all (see Thing #1).
- My muse's home base is science fiction, but it likes to visit fantasy, mystery, suspense, and action-adventure. My muse is also an incurable romantic, so every idea I have always includes a little romance. And in the case of the CGC series, it's woven throughout each book.
- I make a godawful book reviewer, because I just can't be objective about another writer's book—I know how much time and effort goes into producing it. I make a pretty good beta reader, though, for the genres I like.
- My co-author and I invented the internet. Quit laughing and let me explain. Our first novel, Hooray for Holopticon, was written one summer back in the dawn of time (OK, around 1990). We shopped it to major publishers, who all turned us down. It's a well-plotted comedic romp, but most of the wonderful technology we delighted in creating has come to pass, including the internet, email, and computer viruses. Fast forward to 2009, and the dawn of respectable indie publishing. We had this dandy manuscript sitting in our virtual desk drawer, so we published ourselves in 2009 and market it as a retro SF comedy.
- My characters and stories often come from questions. For example, in Overload Flux, Luka Foxe comes from the question, “What if the very talent that makes you brilliant is killing you?”, and Mairwen Morganthur's question is “What if you didn't think you were human?”. In Minder Rising, field agent Lièrén Sòng has to decide what to do when he discovers he's been wrong about a lot of things. The whole Central Galactic Concordance story arc centers around how we as a species deal with evolutionary change.
So that's it, my 7 things.