So, sit back, and you'll get a chance to learn something of how I write...
What am I working on?
After spending a lot of time working on novels, I'm taking a bit of a break and going back to writing short stories. This is where I cut my teeth as a writer, and as much fun as I think novels are to write, I enjoy short stories even more. I think trying to condense a great deal of detail into a very small number of words is every bit as challenging as writing a novel, but in a very different way.
I've also been spending a great deal of time writing supplements for the Ephemeris RPG, which is a very different kind of writing, but just as challenging and just as fun.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
While you can definitely see the influence of writers like Asimov and Heinlein on my work, I think my work tends to focus a lot more on the individual as opposed to the "big" idea. Much of my work centers around the idea of the individual oppressed by society, or technology. Although I often try to paint an optimistic picture of the future, much of my work is pessimistic. I also think I focus a lot more on dystopias than many other writers.
Why do I write what I do?
I think the answer that "I have to" is a pretty good reason. I've been fascinated by science fiction since I was a very young boy. I first saw Star Wars when I was seven, and yesterday was probably the 50th time that I've watched it (or maybe it's more), and I've loved everything SF ever since. Science Fiction also gives me the opportunity to express some of my concerns about society in a way that isn't necessarily preachy. Authors have been using SF to talk about the ills of society for decades, and I'm just following their lead.
How does your writing process work?
Much of my writing is done in my head before I even sit down in front of a keyboard. Since I have three kids, ages 3-13, actual writing time can be difficult to come by, so I more or less have to write whenever I have time..
If I'm working on a hard SF piece, I will also spend a great deal of time researching the science I'm going to use because I want to make sure I get it right.
Once I start writing, I'm not the revise as you go type. I tend to plow through a story until I get to the end. Once I'm done, I let it sit for a bit and then go back and do massive revisions. A lot of times my rough drafts are deficient in description, so I go back and add that in the second draft. Once that's done, I let it sit again for a while before I do a third draft. After that, I hope the story is done, and I move onto the next story I want to write.
On Monday, March 31st, please visit the following blogs to learn about these wonderful authors:
Ian Brazee-Cannon - Ian Brazee-Cannon is a writer, film maker, game designer, podcaster as well as a husband and father. His short stories have been published in The Fifth Di..., Wondrous Web Worlds, Forgotten Worlds, Tales of the Talisman and May-December Publications' anthology 'Say Goodnight to the Bad Guy'. Ian has been working with Nomadic Delirium Press on supplements for the Ephemeris RPG. He is one of the founders and regular co-hosts on the Amateur Skeptics podcast. Ian has also involved with Dangling Carrot Films, Running Riot Productions and Ijin Productions as a writer and director on their projects.
Michael Merriam -
Michael Merriam is a science fiction and fantasy author living in Hopkins, MN with his wife and an overly energetic Maine Coon. Like most writers, Michael has done a variety of odd jobs over the years including: actor, late night disc jockey, short order cook, bassist, and booking agent for a puppet troupe. Michael is legally blind due to retinitis pigmentosa. He has published three novels, two short story collections, three single-title novellas, and over 80 pieces of short fiction. Michael is also an active blogger and spoken-word performer who enjoys burgers, single-malt scotch, and attending SF conventions. Visit his website at www.michaelmerriam.net