Rooster, In Memoriam.
These questions were posed to me by my long time friend and webmaster, E.A. Zefram:
Q: In the early stages of writing what is now The Longevity Thesis at what point did you know that it wasn't like other creative writing you have done? You must have realised "this is a novel" vs. a short story for example.
A: Actually, I've always been most interested in character development, and it's a major motivation for me to write. It's hard to get much of that done in the short story genre. I never really intended for The Longevity Thesis to be a short story for that reason.
Q: Have you felt sadness when a character has been killed or does the writing process where you revisit a scene many times over for revision minimize the intensity of your reaction to the death?
A: It's very strategic, when a character gets killed, and it's planned way in advance. I don't actually have any reaction at all, until I've finished the manuscript and come back to it much later. Then I think, "Was I actually so harsh?"
Q: After a session of writing, what do you feel is the most satisfying?
A: Finishing an entire chapter in one sitting!
Q: Now that The Longevity Thesis will be available soon, what kind of responses do you hope to receive from new readers? Do you think they'll enjoy it on purely a fantasy level or are there some deeper messages you hope they take to heart?
A: I sincerely hope that it isn't taken too seriously at all. No deeper messages, just pure escapism. I do hope people enjoy it, and feel like justice has been done by the end of it.
Q: Out of all the critiques and edits your book has gone through with various people over the years, what was the most surprising suggestion you received?
A: That would have been to merge the two characters of Ranull and Opalena into one. Ranull was a sweet, gentle girl, and Opalena was a waspish villain. The resulting character was much more interesting and useful to the plot.
Q: How different is Jennifer Rahn the scientist from Jennifer Rahn the writer?
A: Not much. I get pretty intense when engaging in either discipline, and I like to think I use creativity in both. Perhaps I'm more daring as a writer, because I can just make stuff up, and there are no consequences. (Certainly can't do that in science!)
Q: Do you have any current writing projects underway now that The Longevity Thesis is complete?
A: I'm about 2/3 done the prequel to The Longevity Thesis, which is tentatively titled Wicked Initiations, and I've sketched out what I currently intend to be a scifi whodunit called Trisomy.
Q: Have you ever experienced writers block and if so, how did you get back into writing?
A: This usually happens when I'm overtired, or when I'm too content with life. All I need to do to get writing again is to get worked up about something, and then the wordy venom just comes out. I think I write my best stuff when I'm mad about something. Doesn't matter what it is, could be an election gone in a way I didn't like, dropping my ice cream, just something that kicks up my emotions a bit.
Q: What writing tip would you like to have given yourself the writer of 10 years ago?
A: Join a critiquing group, and do it now.