Q1. Hello and welcome to my blog! Tell us a little bit about yourself. How and when did you start writing?
I have always been a storyteller. From my earliest days, I seemed to possess the ability to weave anything I saw or thought of into a story. Whether it was something as complex as a civilisation or scientific discovery, or as simple as a swing set or salad fork, if I chose, on the spot, I could spin it into an imaginative tale.
Writing them down came later. By year 7 I was already keeping a notebook.
Q2. Who are your favorite authors and do you think they’ve influenced your work?
I read broadly and a lot making this a difficult question. Everyone I read, even unskilled authors, influences my writing. From Plato, Seneca and Tacitus, to Galileo, Descartes, Philip K Dick and George Orwell I’ve gained an understanding of how to communicate more clearly what I wish to say. I’m also a huge fan of poetry and start each day with a Shakespeare play and a poem or two by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Wordsworth, Alfred Lord Tennyson or Lord Byron. Other poets as well.
Q3. What are your biggest achievements? You can include professional and personal ones.
Home educating my wondrous daughter, who, now in college, is not only brilliant but an amazing pianist. And, perhaps, writing my first meaningful novel, Fractured Horizons, and having it published. Finishing school, however, was also a great lift, but, in retrospect, I wish I had pursued a career in theoretical physics or astronomy along with literature and the violin. I think I would be happy stationed at the Keck observatory studying the heavens and lecturing, on my off days, to children.
Q4. I’ll be reviewing your novel AHNN this Sunday; how about you tell the readers what it’s about and what inspired it?
AHNN is a complex novel with lots of relevance to our future and our present. It describes a day, far in the future, or maybe not, when everyone is connected through neural implants to a system of intelligent computers called, AHNN. AHNN is an acronym for Augmented Human Neural Network. The messages and warnings, of which there are many, I intentionally buried in a witty, often absurd, but diffusely sensitive satire.
The humour dominates, but just beneath it there is a meaningful story.
The inspiration came to me one day while mountain biking trails in Seattle when everyone I saw had their eyes glued to their smart phones. Even while walking in groups through this miraculous forest in the U-District. Always on – always connected, no one actually talking, carrying all the information extant on the planet in a palm sized tablet. From there, the story of AHNN took shape. I wrote the entire book that summer.
Q5. What are you working on right now and what can we expect from you in the future?
I write in three very different fiction styles and one, modestly entertaining, non-fiction style. At the moment I’m finishing three new novels. One, an amusing satire, similar to AHNN in style, that literally and intentionally pokes fun at all elements of the human race and our seriously misguided priorities.
Another is a straight Science Fiction piece (Style 2) about a future in which robots (synthetic humans – indistinguishable from humans) and human beings share, equally, the planet Earth, but have come to a point where they are now competing for its dominance.
The third new piece, a book I’ve titled The Edge of Light, should be published in early spring. It’s in that 3rd style I spoke of which is poetic fantasy. In fact, the entire book I’ve written is in verse and revolves around a young girl who is a Goddess of the Persian Empire during the wars with Alexander the Great and his Greek/Macedonian empire. But, the Goddess is also a young University student in modern day England attending UCL, and a young girl in Modern day Tehran with a loving mother who works at the central library. It’s complicated, but not too complicated for young readers. I hope!
Q6. Who is your biggest supporter and what would you like to say to them?
A girl who is presently on the other side of the world, who reads more than most people breathe and thinks of me as the next Charles Dickens, or more suitably, Voltaire. Her support is constant, brimming and genuine.
Q7. If you could give other authors one piece of advice, be it about writing, editing, promoting or increasing their audience, what would it be?
This one is simple. Tell stories that have purpose and meaning. Warnings to mankind are also a nice addition. Oh, and read a lot. It truly is the only way to improve your skills.
Q8. Thank you for giving me this interview! Before we part, tell us: where can people connect with you online?
I maintain three blogs/websites and several social media accounts:
- Main website (plot devices for Sci-Fi/Fantasy readers and writers)
- Second website (book/film reviews)
- Third website (Urban scratch/pop culture)
- Google +