Back in February, I was contacted by Notch Publishing to do a short interview. I really enjoy introspecting my journey and what got me here, and the interview got me thinking about my early influences. I'm re-publishing the bulk of the interview below, but you can also view the original here. Note: I bought a new copy of Shadow Castle after writing this and read it to my daughter. She loves it.
1. An important book you remember from your childhood and why?
There are a lot of books I remember from my youth, but the one I read first was the Bible. Everyone said to start at the New Testament, but I thought that was crazy, you have to start at the beginning of the book! If you skip the Numbers and Leviticus, the first 20 books or so in the Bible read like a fantasy novel. That was my first foray into the world of kings, gods, armies, betrayal, war, lust, and even poetry.
Then, a few years later my mother mentioned that she really enjoyed this book called Shadow Castle when she was a little girl. I found it on her book shelf, and read it. It was then that I made the connection that the type of story that I had read in the Bible (several times by that point) was something I could get over and over and over again.
Once I stumbled upon Narnia, that was it, I was hooked. Reading and escaping into stories became one of my first loves in life.
2. what do you love the most about writing?
My favorite thing about writing is that I get to help continue the grand adventure that all tales tell. I put my own spin on it, but by and large writers are all weaving a tapestry of human expression. I know that as readers read my tales, they’ll take a little bit with them to the next story they read, and they, and their future reading experience will be all the richer for it.
I also like to think about the future; what will we achieve? What great wonders will our descendants create and see? How will the fabric of society hold together as we advance—or will fall? What if we overcome all the petty things that drive us now, what will our future hold?
That, inevitably, led me to Science Fiction, where my current writing is all centered.
The ‘verse I have created is called Aeon 14. I named it this because one of the key tenants is that it takes 14 billion years for complex life to evolve in the universe (an aeon is a billion years in astronomy, and we are in our universe’s 14th). In Aeon 14, humanity is at the leading edge of life in the Milky Way galaxy, so far, alone amongst the stars.
But not really alone. We have brought with us our sentient creations, artificial intelligences. Much of Aeon 14 is set in this world where humanity and our creations are trying to find balance.
Set against this backdrop is the struggle surrounding one ship, and more specifically a woman on this ship named Tanis, who is trying to leave her past behind, while she and the AI in her mind are slowly becoming something greater than the sum of their parts.
My first series of 4 books, The Intrepid Saga, follows Tanis on her journey to a new colony world aboard the Intrepid. The next series is entitled The Orion War and deals with the consequences surrounding some advanced technology that the scientist aboard the Intrepid devised.
The first book in the next series will be out on April 2nd, and is entitled New Canaan. It follows the establishment of the colony world, and some of the problems they run into with some of their neighbors, and leads to a conflict that will spread war across all the human worlds.
All told, the Aeon 14 universe will end up containing a couple dozen books as I plan to explore different time periods and segments of the conflicts that occur. I’m incredibly lucky in that not only is it my passion project, but it’s one that a lot of readers are really excited to get into.
3. What will your next book be about?
(He didn’t quite tell us, but this will give you an idea)
If any readers who made it this far like strong heroines, a fantastical future for humanity that is still grounded in good, hard science and a bit of sex, starships, and space battles thrown in, then this is just the kind of read for you.
Note, Shadow Castle is still available!