Hello my fellow bookworms and Page turners, and welcome back to Steampunk week! Today I am interviewing one of the most highly award winning short fiction authors all time Mike Resnick!, and if he isn’t I think with his awards for short fiction which currently are 5 Hugos (+ a record of 37 nominations), a Nebula, and other major awards in the USA, France, Japan, Spain, Catalonia, Croatia, and Poland brings him pretty close to the mark. He is an author of 75 novels, over 275 stories, and 3 screenplays, and the editor of 42 anthologies. His work has been translated into 27 languages, and is currently the editor of Stellar Guild books and Galaxy’s Edge magazine.
Now you are all up to speed! with no further ado lets get on with those quizzie questions!
Please introduce yourself to our readers, and tell us you tell us a little about your early writing experiences?
I’m Mike Resnick, I’ve been a full-time professional writer/editor for more than half a century (I’m 73 years old), I’ve written 75 sf and mystery novels and over 275 stories, I’ve had 27 collections of my stories, I’ve edited 42 anthologies, and I’ve sold three screenplays. I was the Toastmaster at the 1988 Worldcon, and the Guest of Honor at the 2012 Worldcon. And I’ve been a fan even longer than I’ve been a writer.
I’ve been married to Carol for 53 years and counting, and our daughter, Laura, is a Campbell winner, one of DAW’s star writers, and probably outsells me these days.
You are indeed a prolific Author, so much so that I quickly ran out of fingers and toes when I attempted to count the number of novels and novella’s you have written over your career. How on earth do you stay so productive without burning out? do you have a little army of book sprites that scrawl it all down as you dictate to them? what is your secret?
It’s not much of a secret, since I share it with most prolific authors. A vast majority of writers love to say that they hate writing but love having written. Me, I love writing. At this late date I no longer get a kick out of seeing my name on a book, but if at the end of the day the writing turns out pretty much the way I hoped it would when I sat down to work, I’m on Cloud 9. Beyond that, I don’t take days off; I write on Christmas, New Year’s Day, 4th of July, birthdays, whatever…because to me it’s not a chore; it’s a pleasure, and why should I stop just because the government declares a holiday for people who’d rather be doing anything other than working at their jobs?
Could you tell us what was your first experience with Steampunk and what made you want to write it?
In truth, I never even thought of writing it until Lou Anders of Pyr called me up and told me what he’d like my next series to be, and what he asked for all-but-demanded steampunk. (His very words: “Give me a Weird Western series.” My reply: “What the hell’s a Weird Western?” His answer: “Look it up in Wikipedia” – and damned if it wasn’t there. Anyway, the plot I came up with demanded some of steampunk.
As a reader of Fantasy I love immersing myself in a new world that is different to our own. Obviously as a storyteller this takes a great deal of time, effort and not to mention research. what is your approach to world building? and do you keep a journal or sketchbook, as part of this process?
Only when it’s so complex I might forget some vital detail. Then I make a note or two. But usually, since I’m writing a few hours every day, it remains pretty fresh in my mind.
As you are both a Novelist, and a writer of short fiction, which comeseasier to you? and which do you prefer? do you believe a story should be long and savoured? or is your opinion the same as Edgar Allan Poe – “a story is a thing that can be read in one sitting”?
I started off by thinking that short stories could be cute or scary or funny or inventive, but that if you wanted to say something Important (note the capital I), you needed a novel to say it. In fact, from 1976 through 1988 I wrote 9 short stories, while I was writing 19 novels and a couple of non-fiction books. Then I wrote “Kirinyaga”, which won me my first Hugo and has been resold 31 times, and I decided that maybe I’d been a little hasty in my conclusion. Since then, I’ve written close to 300 stories, my 5 Hugo winners and 25 Hugo losers have all been for short fiction, and I suspect I’m better known for my short fiction than my (75) novels. So yes, I’m a convert, but I prefer writing short stories.
Do you think that the illustrated cover plays an important part in the book buying process?
Absolutely. Ask any writer, editor, or publisher, and if he’s being honest (and not all of them are) he’ll tell you that the quality of the cover has a lot more to do with sales than the quality of the manuscript.
*Within The Buntline Special, there are a few prominent names from American history. Did you find it challenging writing about characters? And did you have any issues keeping them true to life while tailoring them to your alternative timeline/situation?*
No problem at all. All my life I had wanted to write a novel about Doc Holliday and Johnny Ringo, who were the only two college-educated shootists in the West. I’d accumulated quite a library about them and the era and surroundings in which they lived, but I’ve been so busy writing science fiction (and a few mystery novels) that I thought I’d never get that book written. Then Lou Anders asked for a Weird Western, and I finally got to write about them. True, this isn’t the book/series I’d had in mind, but at my age I wasn’t going to argue or wait.
Could you give us, a little taste of what to expect from what you are currently working on/towards?
Well, I have the second book in the Dead Enders series, titled A PRISON IN ANTARES, coming out at the end of the year. I’ll be doing a third Dead Enders novel, and a couple of others that I probably shouldn’t name until we finish negotiating the contracts. I’ve got about a dozen short stories in press at various publications, and these days I’m also editing the bi-monthly magazine, Galaxy’s Edge, and the Stellar Guild line of books. In my spare time, I sleep.
And Finally, what genres do you like to read and what are you reading at the moment?
I read so much for business, that unless it’s by a friend or highly recommended by one, or I’m asked for a cover quote, I tend not to read too much science fiction any more, except by my favorite practitioners. I read a lot of books about my other lifelong interests – horse racing (I wrote a weekly column on it for over a decade, but I never bet); Africa (we’ve been there half a dozen times, and I’ve found many ways of turning it into science fiction stories and novels); purebred collies (my wife and I bred 23 champions, most of them named after science fiction characters and titles, and I did a monthly column on collies for 11 years); and any mainstream novel that catches my attention. (The best in the past 20 years is The 100-Year-Old Man Who Walked Out the Window and Disappeared, by Jonas Jonasson; it’s sold 8 million copies in Europe, and is just starting to get noticed here.)
If you wish to find out more about Mike, you can follow his on Twitter, and have a look at his Official Website, all of which are listed below.
Website : Official Website
Until next time, read more books..