I think it comes from having an overactive imagination that needs an outlet. I also enjoy the end result of a long project and enjoy sharing my stories with other people.
2. What inspired you to write Seer of Mars?
I started out wanting to write a story about a character with psychic ability. Then I thought what if he was caught in a situation of being used by someone with power. What if he didn't realize at first, but when he did he was still forced to do things he knew were wrong? What would he do?
The idea of putting this all on Mars came about when I’d heard about companies building rocket-like planes capable of going into orbit around the Earth. I thought maybe one day it would be corporations that go to the moon or even Mars. I needed conflict, of course, so in my story the corporations were abandoned by Earth. In order to survive, they turn against each other.
3. Tell us a little about your main character
Ian Connors is a psychic who struggles with the visions he sees of the future. His heart is always in the right place even though he makes mistakes. Ian is stubborn, but for the right reasons. He will go against anyone who is trying to make him do the wrong thing, even though he’s only one person against a huge corporation.
4. What was unique about the setting of the book, and how did it enhance or take away from the story?
Mars is a fun and unique setting. There were limitations because every time a character has to go outside they must be in a spacesuit, but as I wrote the story the plot became connected to this situation. I realized this because there were times I thought about moving the story to another location, but whenever I tried to do that it messed up the plot. Some of the dangers the characters experience is the risk of being exposed to the harsh conditions on Mars, such as the sub-zero temperatures and lack of oxygen. What if there is a leak in a spacesuit? How do you treat a wounded character while in a spacesuit? I came up with some things for these problems.
I also found that as far as anyone knows there is little to no sound on Mars because of the lack of atmosphere. I like to include sound in my description, so I had to work around it whenever the characters were outside. I used “vibrations” instead.
5. What research did you have to perform to back up your story?
There was a good deal of research involved. I studied the book A Traveler’s Guide to Mars. This book has the best detailed description of the various areas of Mars that I could find. I also have a geologist/engineer critique partner that helped me with some of the technical aspects. I studied any map about Mars I could find. Google Mars is a good resource.
6. Why did you choose to write Seer of Mars in first person point-of-view as opposed to say, third person point-of-view?
I wrote some scenes with this story in third person, but I ended up going with first person because I liked the voice better. It sounded more personal. First person helps me get inside the mind of the character. This led to the story being written in a way that lets the reader discover surprises and other things through Ian’s eyes.
7. Which is your favorite scene from your book?
There is a scene where Ian finds out a secret about his boss (Sonny) at the elevator factory. I like it because it throws in a bit of a twist and adds to the characterization of Sonny. It also emphasizes more of the suffering caused by Marscorp.
8. Why Science Fiction?
I like stories that are about something different or unusual, so my writing leans toward that genre. Although, my stories aren't what I would call hard science fiction, they are more speculative and mainly about the characters and how they deal with the situations I get them into – the poor things. But don’t worry, I do cover the technology. I just don’t go overboard with too much info.
9. What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel?
Getting an idea that is unique and good enough. Plus bringing together all the conflict needed to go novel length. The hardest part of the story to write is the climax and ending. Everything has to come together. All the questions have to be answered. But oddly, I like writing the ending the most. Also I can't always write at the best time of day for me, which in the morning. I have two kids, so I have to write whenever I get the chance and with interruptions.