Can you give a brief arc of your career as a writer/author?
I write science fiction novels, and occasionally write short stories and essays. I’ve also written technical articles and had a very long 9-to-5 career as a manager of technical editors, which I enjoyed nearly as much as writing fiction.
How did your technical writing career influence your fiction writing, if at all?
Since I worked in high-tech industries where two-thirds of the employees I worked with had higher level science degrees, I was able to see science and technology as it developed and of course to observe and interact with scientists daily. On the whole scientists are wonderful people (and great resources for technical questions, even dumb questions!) and I have a better understanding of “the bad guy” who is rarely pathologically evil but who can create mayhem or do harm in pursuing an agenda that no one else wants or perhaps doesn’t understand. Because we had a fairly flat management structure and were relatively small (300 of us as a division in a corporation that was 7th largest in the world) I had good views into higher level management’s struggles as well as technical staff’s, white collars staff’s, and blue collars workers’. The corporate struggles and the people who wrestle with them continue to find their way into my work.
What is The Story of Cynthia? Is it a novel? A short story? A poem? A limerick?
It started as a novel but grew into many novels that are loosely set in Cynthia’s Sphere, family, work, writing, dog-owning, mountain climbing, teaching, horse riding to mention recent segments. It seems ever expanding, more interesting as time goes on.
When did you know that you wanted to be a writer? How did you know?
I was in high school when I was certain I wanted to be a writer. I knew because I was so happy when I had a pen in my hand and because those pages and pages I wrote made me feel so satisfied. Teachers were not quite as enthusiastic about my writing; I was prone to taking liberties with assignments. I didn’t realize that teachers wanted to know that I could follow instructions as well as entertain them. Something about that teenage brain that requires the lesson be repeated umpteen times before it sinks in. I was a classic smart loner, marginalized by the mainstream yet drawn in, too. Despite my youthful limitations, writing was already becoming my preferred tool for communication. I was actively discouraged by my mother from pursuing a writing career. But her disapproval didn’t stop me; it just put the writing underground while I still lived at home.
What are some of the things that inspire you?
I think that I do not write from inspiration, certainly not with a muse. I write to explore ideas, personalities, and even exotic places, just because that which is new to me generally pleases me. That’s not to say that I’m not influenced by life’s experiences in choosing what to write, but I need nothing more than to awaken in the morning to begin to write today. I wait for no muse.
What about the writing process most appeals to you?
Re-writing and editing are my favorite tasks in the writing process; there’s nothing quite so satisfying as penciled editing tracks all over my own manuscript, now ready for final input. Research is very high on the list of good writing jobs. Heck, I’ll dig in to any topic, even those that don’t seem all that interesting at first. It’s all for the best if it’s a topic that I can’t research well on the internet, for then I have to go out and find people who can help. It’s always useful to get out of the writing dungeon or tower and smell the roses! Shopping for pencils and pads of paper is fun, too. Office supply stores make me feel like being in the candy stores of my childhood!
What can readers expect to see from you in the near future? What are you working on?
I’m working on a voyage through time in a place that is not Earth. The novel has, for me, a large cast of characters. Perhaps it will be a series in which I can explore character interactions that I can’t do justice to in confinements of this novel. We’ll see.