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INTERVIEW 1 Tom Howard
ER: When did you first discover speculative fiction and how did it affect you?
TH: I read all 14 Oz books when I was 10, but the first real speculative fiction I recall is "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeline L'Engle when I was a little older. It made me feel anything was possible.
ER: What are your three favorite books and/or authors and why?
TH: Dune by Frank Herbert - Total media immersion and incredible mythos.
Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien - Classic fantasy and basis for many fantasies written today.
The Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling - Great characters in a well-conceived world.
ER: What is the hardest part of writing speculative fiction? How do you cope with that?
TH: Coming up with something original. I play a game of "what if" in my mind to try and develop new ideas.
ER: What are you working on now?
TH: Editing my next novel, "Aurora Ascending," about a starship crew fighting Reptilian invaders. Space opera with some colorful characters.
ER: Every speculative fiction writer specializes in something – universes, creatures, languages, technology, magic, etc. What are your specialties?
TH: I am definitely Old School when it comes to Speculative Fiction. I enjoy writing about spaceships and little green men.
ER: What are some of the values you want your fans to take away from your novels?
TH: Family isn't always blood, a man and a woman can be friends, underdogs can win.
ER: What are your professional and/or personal goals for the next decade?
TH: I'd love to sell a couple novels and keep up my short story sales. I'm aiming for a sale to the Big Three (Asimov, Analog, or Fantasy and Science Fiction).
ER: Since Speculative Fiction is often interwoven with spirituality (myths, legends, science, etc), please describe your personal spiritual path and how it is reflected in your writing.
TH: I'm an atheist without any religious leanings, but I'm convinced the universe is trying to speak to us.
ER: Conventions – do you attend? Yes.
ER: Do you have a motto?
TH: No, but Anubis is my totem.
ER: What advice and/or warnings do you have for burgeoning writers?
TH: Listen to critiques, go to every workshop, take every class, don't give up.
ER: You can’t tell a book by its cover; however, you must SELL a book by its cover. Tell us about your book covers and how they came about.
TH: I don't want a buyer to have to ask "what is this book about?" I want them to be able to look at a cover and tell it's science fiction or fantasy.
ER: Do you follow specific blogs, tweets, or other column-type formats? Which ones and why?
ER: How do you feel about movie conversions of books and novelizations of movies?
TH: Love them now that the technology has reached the point of giving us believable special effects.
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