1. Tell us a little about yourself?
I grew up on a farm in Iowa (USA). I read a lot as a youngster and was always thrilled at the opportunity to explore my local library. After a 39-year career in journalism, I returned to my first love -- fiction. I am enjoying the freedom to write what I want and love the time to catch up on my reading.
2. What made you want to become a writer?
I've been fascinated with science fiction after reading Vonnegut's Slaughter House Five, Frank Herbert's Dune and some works of Asimov, Clarke, Bradbury and Heinlein. Also the original Star Trek series aired when I was a teenager so the fire was stoked. Hopefully, I honed my abilities as a writer while working as a journalist and always wanted to try my hand at science fiction as well as other fiction genres -- historical and perhaps fantasy.
3. Could you tell us a bit about your most recent book? Return of the Earthers: Seers of Verde Book 2 two deals with the struggle between the descendants of two groups of Earth colonists who have have been separated and isolated from outside influences for centuries on a distant planet. The Seers, protectors of the "civilized" protected group, foster violence against the "lost ones" because the newcomers practice a different religion. The psychic women also fear the influx of people will draw the attention of the space marauders, who have attacked the lost ones ever since the first colonists landed.
4. What gives you inspiration for your book?
I think my idea got a jump start after reading the Dune prequels and sequels by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. I liked their writing style and felt I could do something similar. I am not comparing myself to them just that I have tried to emulate their style.
5. Of all the characters you have created, which is your favorite and why?
This is like picking your favorite child. One of my favorites is an an autistic young woman whose talent is being an extraordinary artist. She is immune to the influence of the psychic women, known as the Seers. The character just came to me during the writing flow.
6. Tell us a little about your plans for the future. Several people already have asked about either a prequel or a book to fill in some missing years in book one. I have not decided on this. Perhaps it may turn out to be a short story. You never know when a good dream will inspire a story. My next two projects will be quite a bit different. The first one will be an anthology of what journalists call columns (essays?) of my life growing up on an Iowa farm. The second one in the planning stages will be a historical piece with some fantasy elements about of my two great-grandfathers during the American Civil War era. I have ideas for several other projects but they may be more in the fantasy genre.
Where can we find you online?
EXCERPT FROM RETURN OF THE EARTHERS:
After years of arguing over a solution, the colonies unanimously voted to develop a new generation of warships — smaller, faster vessels rather than the behemoths used in defensive orbits — to go on the offensive. It was agreed to send this fleet into GEMS-controlled space in hopes of destroying as many Tanlian vessels as possible. The colonies hoped to force their enemy to finally sue for peace.
Shim Murra stood on the bridge and double checked the scans of this GEMS (Galaxy Exploration and Mining Syndicate) world. The CAIN admiral wanted to be positive it was safe for his fleet. The captain of the vessel stood close by awaiting his orders. The young officer’s intense dark eyes gazed at his superior officer, awaiting the order to push on to the planet.
Looking up at the taller man, Shim met the other officer’s gaze for a moment and nodded. “We’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time haven’t we, Captain Nandez? Order the first wave into orbit. Let’s see if this GEMS world is serious about being free of the Tanlians.”
“Yes, admiral,” Jorn Nandez saluted. He relayed the order for the other five vessels of wave one to follow his ship into orbit. Jorn had been the first CAIN officer to volunteer for this duty. For years he had heard stories of how his ancestor, Hector Nandez, had been ambushed and killed by Tanlians on a mission to colonize the far-off planet, XR-309.
Almost no one in CAIN officialdom remembered the planet’s christened name — Verde Grande. At that time his family had been heavily involved in the discovery, bioforming and attempted settling of the planet, only to have it plucked away from them and turned over to the syndicate.
When a CAIN ship intercepted that Kenyattan vessel a year and a half ago, the GEMS scientists on board the vessel could find no record of Verde Grande. Jorn wanted to know what had happened to the planet. Was it unsettled? If so, why? He hoped to get his answers very soon.
First contact with the GEMS vessel had been a surprising success. The Kenyattans, whose ancestors had fought so bitterly to break away from Earth control, were ecstatic at re-establishing contact. They had answered every question the CAIN officers asked and offered even more information. The Kenyattan officers had a surprising knowledge of the Tanlian flight routes, schedules when the plunderers visited the other GEMS worlds and what they carried away as cargo. It seemed the Tanlians had turned into mercenary commercial shippers in their dealings with the syndicate planets.
In a show of etiquette, Shim hailed a lone Kenyattan vessel, asking for permission to orbit their world. A woman’s voice quickly answered. “Greeting’s Admiral Murra, I am Sula Gallgos, captain of Kenyatta 27. I have permission of the Elder Council to welcome you to Kenyatta as honored guests.”