April - 04/01/2011 TO 04/30/2011
Week 1 - Authors tell us how the events in their lives encouraged them to be writers!
Week 2 - Authors answer some fun questions about their lives - geared toward different aspects of each month!
Week 3 - Authors answer questions about their writing and the process
Week 4 - Authors present a blurb and excerpt of whatever book(s) they are promoting that month!
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Featured Author Robert G. Pielke - Part 3
MLM: Why SF? What was the draw for you?
ROBERT: Why SF, you ask?? Well, no other genre has a veritable wealth of subtypes…so many in fact that the label itself is pretty much worthless. I write alternate history…is this SF? [I don’t know…or care, really] I combine that with time travel and first contact elements. So the SF genre allows me freedom to play.
MLM: All of us are influenced and impacted by TV, movies, books and/or authors at different times in our lives. Who, what and which TV, movies, books and/or authors influenced you? When in your life did you discover them and why were they so influential for you? (Don’t be afraid to give us more than one of each kind!)
ROBERT: I’ve gone to the movies since I was a kid…and those early SF films got to me [The Day the Earth Stood Still being number one for me]. But so did historical epics [Spartacus, Longest Day, Cherokee Trail] and even some silents like The Gold Rush.
Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land – my first SF book – was really influential, but others like Bukowski’s Tales of Ordinary Madness, Ambrose Bierce’s Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, Steinbeck’s Travels with Charlie, Keyes’s Flowers for Algernon, Winston Churchill’s The Gathering Storm and Arthur C. Clarke’s portrayals of aliens in almost anything he did [They were almost always unknown and unknowable].
I read a lot during high school and college – not so much studying – I managed good solid C’s throughout….oh yeah were a few B’s and F’s too. Sure I flunked classes – usually took them over again – but those F’s were well deserved.
MLM: Considering the TV, movies, books and/or authors mentioned, is there one TV, movie, book and/or author in particular that you try to emulate in your writing? Which one(s) and why? Please be as specific as you can! J
ROBERT: Nope – as far as I can tell, I don’t’ write like anybody else. In fact, I do not read anything when I’m writing – I found that I started to be “sullied” by the writer or I wanted to edit his/her’s writing to make it better. So – no reading.
MLM: If you could describe your writing with a word or phrase, what would it be? Please look beyond words like mysterious, suspenseful, creative, unique etc., and delve into the core of your writing to tell us what word or phrase you want readers to take with them when they've finished reading your story.
ROBERT: Well, I like what someone said, and I use it as a blurb: “a new kind of science fiction by a new writer with a new point of view.”
Or, “I don’t’ write like nobody” [sic – stolen from Elvis’s answer to the question “Who do you sound like?”]
MLM: In Part 2 we asked you about your ultimate Valentine’s Day gift. Have you ever used that as a gift in one of your stories? If so, which one and what was the situation?
ROBERT: Only to the extend I don’t think I’ve ever used the “V-word” in any of my writing.
MLM: Also in Part 2 we asked you about where you’d put the hot tub and why. Does this show through in your writing? If so, give some examples how, please!
ROBERT: Nope…but I do have a few steamy love/sex scenes in two of my novels: The Mission and Hitler the Cat Goes West.
MLM: Who decides what characters/creatures you write about, you or your muse? What kind of influence do you have over their actions and the plot, or is the muse always the one deciding who done it, where they done it and with what?
ROBERT: “The Story” decides – I let it tell itself to me, and I listen to it.
MLM: Of all the stories you’ve written please tell us:
a.)Which character/creature did you have the most fun creating and why? What about this character/creature makes it stand out above all the others?
ROBERT: I’ve had a lot of enjoyment placing actual historical personality into my alternate histories. I use Joseph Pierce in A New Birth of Freedom: The Visitor, for example, He was one of maybe three Chinese soldiers fighting for the Union at the Battle of Gettysburg – “bought” by a New England sea captain and given to his mother to raise in Connecticut.
b.)If you had the opportunity to meet just one of your characters/creatures in real life, who would it be and why?
ROBERT: Hmmm….This may sound odd, but if I were to meet them, it would destroy their reality! They’re fictional…that’s their reality. Nope, not a one of them…I want them to remain “alive” forever. To give them “life” would kill them.
c.)Which of your characters/creatures would you never want to meet under any circumstance and why?
ROBERT: See the above
d.)If you could choose to visit one setting/world you’ve created which one is it, where is it and why this destination over all the others? What makes it stand out over all the others?
ROBERT: Abraham Lincoln’s White House…it’s a key element in my SF trilogy . It’s always nice to place myself in the location I’m writing about. I went to Gettysburg many times before writing my trilogy, but Lincoln’s office obviously is not a possible option.
MLM: Thanks for joining us Robert and offering us a glimpse into your views as a writer! Don't forget to check out Part 4 for an excerpt!