Monday, July 4, 2016

Author Interview w/ Jim Cronin

1. Where did the idea for your novel come from?
    I have always been a fan of science fiction, especially when it deals with current social issues. The struggle between science and religion and government is something I dealt with as a science teacher, as well as my current work at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, so it was a natural topic for Hegira.

2. How did you start writing?
    My brother was writing a novel inspired by his experiences in the Peace Corp in the South Pacific. As we talked about his novel, the conversation turned to what I might write if I were to try my hand at being an author. One thing led to another and I came up with the idea for Hegira.
3. What does your writing process look like?
    I generally start with a rough outline of the characters and story line, but once I sit down to write it always seems to go best when I let the characters themselves write their own story. I am frequently surprised by sudden shifts in the direction I believed things should go, but then the character takes over and shows me what they would actually do in those circumstances. If I try to argue with these voices in my head the writing bogs down and becomes more of a chore than fun, so I prefer to listen to the voices. So far, they’ve stuck to my writing and not anything beyond.
4. Where is your book set?
   Hegira is set in a distant and imaginary galaxy, on two worlds. The Brin live on the planet Dyan’ta, but not for long. Their sun is about to go supernova and destroy their world. The only hope is to find a new planet out among the stars to relocate their population.
5. Are your characters based on real people?
   Not really. While the situations are not far removed from controversies we face in our world, and the actions of the characters may feel familiar, they are a complete and total work of my imagination.

6. Did you always want to write?
   No. In fact, this was probably one of the things furthest from my mind. The English language has always been a mysterious and bizarre land of seemingly incoherent rules with infinite exceptions. I was a science geek. However, it is possible some of my teaching partners may have corrupted me enough to make me believe writing might be something worth trying. It did take me forever to learn how to write well, and I am still early in that process, but hopefully getting better. I have been receiving many positive reviews so maybe I am learning.
7. Which character is your favorite and why?

   I actually like Maripa the best. She is a powerful female with many skills and, possible spoiler alert, one of the most influential characters as the story progresses into the future of the sequel. I have been surrounded by strong women most of my life (four sisters and many incredible women as teaching partners) so I guess Maripa was inevitable in my writing.

8. What authors do you enjoy reading? Why?
    I love authors from a wide range of genres. Of course Arthur C. Clark and Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Orson Scott Card, Larry Niven, and others among the science fiction world are some of those I read most. J.R.R. Tolkien, David McCullough, Steven Ambrose, Stephen King, and Jeff Shaara are also high on my list of favorites.
9. What are you reading right now?

   Currently I have three books I’m reading. Blood Star by Nicholas Guild, Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream by Doris Kearns Goodwin, and, on audiobook, The Dragon Reborn, book three of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series.

10. Dog or Cats?
   Dogs… unless the cat is a Bengal Tiger. Tigers are pretty awesome, for a cat.

11. What’s next for you?
   I am in the final editing process for Hegira’s sequel, Recusant. This picks up a few hundred years after Hegira’s conclusion and sends one of Maripa and Jontar Rocker’s descendants on a wild adventure which overturns everything the Brin believed. At the same time, I have begun writing the third and final book of this series which I now call The Brin Archives.

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I worked for thirty-five years as a middle school science teacher, but am now semi-retired, working part-time as an educator/performer at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. I have been married for thirty-seven years to the love of my life, Diane. Together, we raised two incredible sons, and now have a beautiful granddaughter to spoil rotten, with one more grandchild on the way.
I was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived in Arlington, Virginia before moving to Denver where I attended High School and eventually college at Colorado State University, graduating with a degree in Zoology and a teacher certification. I currently live near Denver in the small town of Parker.

Author Links:

Twitter:  @authorjimcronin

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