About the Author
He was raised by a roaming aerospace engineer, growing up in various parts of the United States and Europe, as well as traveling through Asia. He took to stories as his anchor, including the works of Asimov, Bradbury, and Heinlein, and has been writing since age eleven.
Growing up, he was inspired by his father’s engineering work on cutting-edge aerospace projects to look to the future.
In an ideal world, Lance would find time loops where he could step out for a week at a time to read and write. Then he would return to the moment he left, without life getting in the way. Of course, since everyone would have the same ability, he suspects life would still sneak in.
Lance is also the author of short stories and novelettes.
1. How did you get started as an author?
My initial inspiration as a writer came when I was eleven. I’d just read a fun adventure story (sorry, don’t remember title or author) and thought I could write as well. Boy was I wrong, but I learned a lot about what I didn’t know and needed to learn. It took a while to get up the courage to try again, but I had the bug.
What or who inspired you?
Writers such as H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, Isaac Asimov, and Robert Heinlein inspired me as I was growing up. After my initial attempt at emulating other writers, I felt quite intimidated and inspired by the science fiction writers I came across. More recent inspirations have been David Brin and Elizabeth Moon. She inspired me to cross gender in my writing after reading her The Speed of Dark.
2. What writing projects are you currently working on? What can you tell us about these projects?
I am working with storylines involving time travel into the past, first contact with aliens, genetically modified humans, and more in the YA science fiction genre. At the forefront is a story about a scientist explorer who has to come to terms with an alien race with evil intent. It falls uniquely upon her to figure out a way to save humanity by identifying the alien opposition before it’s too late.
3. What does your writing process look like?
For some stories, I do extensive outlining and brainstorming before I write the first word. I’ve also had stories that seemed to narrate themselves because I’d gotten to know the characters so well in their situation. Often I wake in the middle of the night with scenes or solutions to story problems and then have to make notes in the dark. When I am ready, I focus on a first draft to get the story out and breathe life into it. I liken this to putting modeling clay on the wheel. Then I edit and mold the story until I’m happy with how it feels and works.
4. Where is your favorite place to write?
I wrote my first novel longhand. When I finished, I realized it needed a lot of rewriting. I got discouraged and wondered how writers could have done this in the days before word processors. From then on, I write at my laptop so that after I’m finished I can edit and polish the clay into a finished work. I’m usually writing in a small office where most of the time I can avoid distractions.
5. What authors would you recommend?
I’ve enjoyed the thought provoking stories of David Brin and Isaac Asimov. I think Neil Gaiman’s American Gods is a recent classic. I like Greg Bear and Veronica Roth. I thought Elizabeth Moon did an amazing job with The Speed of Dark.
6. What period of history interests you the most?
The Roman Republic interests me the most. I see so many parallels to the American republic. So much has been written about the empire period and its comparisons to Britain (Gibbon), but to me the more interesting questions pertain to why the Roman Republic fell after a brief few centuries.
7. What inspired the idea for the Regina Shen Series?
The series began in my mind with this “resilient” young woman, challenged at every step and yet rising up to each challenge. She fills with doubts, yet never gives up. I imagined her in a hurricane. That evolved into what caused her circumstances to be so dire. With little hope, she was born as an outcast in a world after abrupt climate change led to a collapse of society and a World Federation that didn’t want her—and then they did, for her DNA. She lives in swamps on the seaward side of walls meant to keep her out. When this storm blows through, she has to fight for her life and avoid capture by Federation agents who won’t treat her well.
8. What other hobbies do you enjoy when you are not writing?
I enjoy travel, movies, history, lots of history, and reading. And I’d love to invent a time machine that would give me an extra twelve hours a day. It still wouldn’t be enough, but it might help—until I filled those up.
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