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Welcome to It's Raining Books! If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?
This is a tough question. I try to live my life now without any regrets, knowing I’ve been saved by grace. But still, if I could change some things I did, I would. I’d apologize to my mother for being too young and selfish to even remotely understand the sacrifices she made to raise me and my siblings on her own. I don’t feel I was particularly nasty at all, but I was selfish and I know how much that hurt.
If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?
Well, a unicorn or a dragon would be too big. Tempting, but... no. A centaur is another mythical creature I find really fascinating but again, too big. So with that in mind, I’m leaning towards a kitsune fox, the mythical nine-tailed creature.
How do you keep your writing different from all the others that write in this particular genre?
I feel my style of writing is probably closest to that of Robert J. Sawyer or even Ted Dekker (though Dekker is clearly not a science fiction writer). So I’m not like a Neal Asher or Heinlein or Asimov. I don’t pattern my work after them. My stories, while speculative in science, focus more on the human condition and relationships and our collective search for truth in an ever-changing universe. Perhaps because of that, my stories appeal as much to women as they do to men.
What are the best and worst pieces of writing advice you ever received?
It’s hard to judge best and worst because different things work for different writers, but the best piece of advice that consistently works for me is two-fold. First, know where you’re going with your story. For me, this means plotting it out before I ever start writing. Sure, the story will morph as it goes along, but at least I have a road map to follow and won’t run into the problem of writing myself into a corner. Second, just write. Write it down. Stop fussing over whether I have the best word or not. Just write. Once the story is down, no matter how bad it is, at least I have something to revise.
The worst advice I ever got was to write for whatever genre or type of story is trending (if you want to get published). What nonsense. And savvy readers know right away when you’re writing outside your genre. They spot cynicism in this kind of writing all the time. No, don’t do that. Write what you love to read. That’s it.
Are the experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I suppose everything I write is somewhat based on things I’ve done or experienced, or people I know. But for The Crying of Ross 128, I made no conscious effort to bring in my own experiences. My lead character, Jim Atteberry, is a composite of many people I’ve met. There’s a bit of me in him, for sure, but he is not me. And the story about chasing an alien signal is not something I’ve experienced.
That said, as a ham radio operator, I’ve spent many nights listening to the radio bands, hearing signals from around the world, weak and strong, in Morse code and voice. There is something magical about pulling a weak radio signal out of the mud and trying to make contact with it. In that sense, Jim Atteberry’s discovery of a weak signal from space is very similar.
Read an Excerpt:
Atteberry understood immediately what this meant. “So everything I’ve been doing on the radio, monitoring the stars, finding the Ross signal, it’s all being seen by someone else?”
“That’s my guess. I thought the glitch could be a nasty sleeper virus, so I looked into that but, no, it’s definitely a tracer.”
Atteberry felt his heart race and his fingers shook a bit when he lifted his coffee mug and drank.
“I’ll tell you what I think, Jim.” Her notes flashed in front of the screen. “You remember that late night creeper fellow you scared away?”
“Perhaps Creeper Boy came back when you were gone, broke into your house, and planted the code on your system.”
“No way, I’ve got security cameras and motion detectors everywhere. I would’ve seen something.”
“Jim,” she said calmly, “I could easily bypass your security if I wanted to. Those things are designed to dissuade teenagers and Neanderthals from arbitrarily breaking in, not those of us who know what we’re doing.”
“Listen, I’ll come over in a while once I’m dressed and bring my sniffer gear to clean up your radio and computers. In the meantime, you’d better check your equipment again for anything missing.”
Atteberry shook his head. A wave of anger, humiliation and fear washed over him. He kept putting Mary’s safety at risk, and Kate’s as well, and for what? Chasing an unknown signal across the sky? Time to drop this crazy business. His gut told him, however, that Marshall Whitt was behind it all, and he needed to find out why.
“Thanks, Kate, talk soon.”
He cut the link and held his face in his palms. The ripples of this event kept pushing outward into the dark corners, and there was nothing he could do to stop it’s spread.
About the Author:
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hard cover: https://www.amazon.com/Crying-Ross-David-Allan-Hamilton/dp/1773705679/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1529416343&sr=1-1
paper back: https://www.amazon.com/Crying-Ross-David-Allan-Hamilton/dp/1773705660/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1529416343&sr=1-1
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