Funny isn't it? The power of story. It's why I picked up a pen. I slay monsters, too.
Novel writing, like so many things in life, is an iterative process. You come at it again and again, working at it like you would a piece of pottery or a stone sculpture, chipping away the parts that don't make sense, smoothing over the rough edges.
As for the best '80s action movie, I'm going to be predictable here and say 'Die Hard.' I watch that movie at least twice a year. Perfect script.
Storytelling is a universal: every culture does it. There's a reason our religious books aren't simply a list of shall-and-shall-nots. Morals and teachings are contained in stories, which are studied, dissected, and passed down; we remember stories in a way we don't remember lists of facts.
What history taught me is that societies are not static and that the straight line of progressive ideals - this thinking we have that a society will just magically become more egalitarian over time - is patently false.
As both an essayist and science fiction and fantasy novelist, I write about and for the future. I talk about the past to remind us that what we believe has always been true - that men and women are somehow static categories, or that men in power has always been the default, or that same-sex love affairs were always taboo - has not always been thus.
I've always been interested in the politics of war. War is one of those things that, the longer I studied it, the more illogical it seemed.
We don't fall in love with perfect people. We fall in love with complex ones.
Science fiction writers create all sorts of futures - that comes with the job. But it's not the type that matters - hopeful or dark - it's the variety we see as readers. It's nurturing the imaginations of those who will go on to create the world around us.
As an introverted kid who lived in the middle of nowhere, my stories made up the whole of my social life. That meant that while other kids cultivated hobbies like skateboarding or playing the piano, I sat at home scribbling in notebooks.
I can't change the preconceived notions a reader brings to a work, but I can do my best to be aware of, address, and subvert tropes and expectations that readers may have as best I can and hope I don't screw it up too much.
'The Stars are Legion' is part space opera, part thriller, about two warring families battling it out for control over a legion of organic starships.