By the time I started reading science fiction, Jules Verne had been dead nearly fifty years. Not only had language evolved since his time, but culture as well. Combine that strangeness with the fascinating ideas Verne proposed in his stories and I was forever hooked on science fiction. No surprise, then, that I would choose that genre when I began writing.
I worked in the aerospace industry during the height of our space program. Drawing on that experience, I wrote my first science fiction story, Beyond Hercules. I didn’t know the first thing about writing marketable fiction at that time. I just had a story in me that needed to be told. Once the story was completed, I began thinking about sharing it. Only then did I discover how very little I knew about writing. I had made all the mistakes every beginning writer makes. I was extremely fortunate to find a group of aspiring writers in much the same predicament as I–have story, can’t write. Together, we learned about writing, critiqued each others’ work, and provided one another with the support and encouragement needed to become published authors. Stinger Stars resulted from that fraternity and was published October, 2013. Its modest success motivated me to re-write Beyond Hercules, applying my newly-acquired writing skills. I hope you enjoy reading my stories as much as I enjoy writing them.
You can find me on Facebook, LinkedIn, Goodreads, and my website: http://www.pabwriter.com. I welcome your comments, questions, and feedback.
What inspires you to write?
I write for myself first, then if I think my story will interest others, I make the changes that are required for marketable fiction. The main goal in all my stories is to make people THINK. Whether you agree with my ideas or not, if I have inspired you to think, then I have accomplished my goal.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer. I don’t do well working from an outline. I always know where my stories will begin and have a few events I want to happen somewhere in the middle, but I seldom know how the story will end until I’m three-quarters of the way done writing the first draft. Sub-plots usually develop out of the events I want to happen–the events require backstory that I can weave into the main plot. I tend to let my characters tell the story (bad, because writers are admonished to “show, don’t tell”), but once the story is written, I go back and re-write portions to convert dialogue into scenes that show more and tell less.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Many writers will tell you that their characters dictate where the story goes. I will agree that they can, and to a certain extent, I allow it, but no one enjoys reading a plot that meanders. If one of my characters says “go that way”, I’ll consider it, but only if “that way” makes the story better.
What advice would you give other writers?
The Number One piece of advice to other writers is to persevere. Writing is hard work. So is editing and publishing and marketing and …. At every step of the way, there will be enough road blocks to discourage the timid. Giving up can NOT be an option!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I wrote my first two stories before self-publishing was an option, so my mindset was that I would follow the traditional publishing process. By the time I began trying to publish my stories, self-publishing had become a viable alternative. I read a few self-published books and was NOT impressed. They were so full of flaws I could not enjoy the story. Yes, the author could have hired an editor to eliminate the flaws, but didn’t. I decided I would stick with the traditional method.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think e-books will continue to replace p-books until some sort of dynamic equilibrium is reached. Dynamic, because as the population of p-only readers dies off, the percentage of e-books will increase asymptotically toward 100%, without ever actually reaching it. I predict that with the disappearance of p-books and the ever shortening attention span of e-device users, that reading itself will decline and literacy will go with it. Punctuation, grammar, and word usage have already taken a serious hit. We may be headed back to the days when only scribes and scholars could read and write.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
hard science fiction, first contact, anti-gravity, genetic engineering, women’s science fiction, poetry
What formats are your books in?
Print, Both eBook and Print