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When I was in college, I spent a summer working in London. I'd enjoyed tea before that, but then I got actual, really good tea there and never looked back.
Then, I realized that there is an indigenous presence in the Solar System. It's us. So, then, I got to wondering what would happen if a more technologically advanced society moved next door to us, the way we moved next door to the American Indians.
The Lord of the Rings movie set an entirely new standard for fantasy in the movies.
So, one of the things I was doing with the aliens in The Quiet Invasion was creating that advanced society which had ideas about morality and proper use of natural resources that were radically different from ours, as the Europeans were from the American Indians.
Octavia Butler, of course, is brilliant and disturbing.
Now, Venus is an extremely hostile environment, and as such presents a lot of challenges for a science fiction author who wants to create life there. However, as I began to research it more thoroughly, I found myself intrigued by the possibilities the world offers.
Now, of course, the great thing about the solar system as a frontier is that there are no Indians, so you can have all the glory of the myth of the American westward expansion without any of the guilt.
My joking answer to this question is that I leave a bowl of milk out on the back porch every night for the Idea Fairy. In the morning, the milk is gone and there's a brand-new shiny idea by the bowl.
If I get blocked, it is generally because I don't know enough about some aspect of the story or the characters. The answer for this is generally more research, or making more background notes, so the place and person can be more fully realized inside my own mind.
I'm mostly a novelist these days, but I have written short stories in Fantasy, Science Fiction and horror.
I think people enjoy a series. When you like a story, many readers want more of the same, which is dandy, if the author and the characters have more to say.
I suppose if I was to have to pick a few, Ursula LeGuin would have to top the list. It was while reading her work that I decided I wanted to be an author.
I myself was born in Sacramento, California in 1966.
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