Author Interview of J. R. Creaden
Here’s another self published author also writing science fiction. It’s good to see that they are out there. Also, it’s good to see someone with similar reasons for wanting to write science fiction. I’ll let you read on.
When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?
J. R. I get a strong grasp of characters before I begin. They develop from that point as I write, but I already know their background, personality, goals, dislikes, quirks, and even secrets by then. Characters continue to surprise me as I write though, and I often find that what I thought I knew about the characters was merely the surface, that their truth lies much deeper within the narrative.
Where do you see publishing going in the future?
J. R. I’m on hold about this. In my lifetime, I’ve seen books enter the digital age while traditional bookstores go out of business. This is very sad to me, even though I love the availability of stories on every platform. Not all readers have that kind of access, though. I hope we don’t trend too far away from physical publishing. Paper books survive much longer than app companies or cell phone batteries.
What drew you to write in this genre?
J. R. I blame my children. No, really. I never intended to write for young audiences, but my children’s heartache over not finding stories at their levels that “matched” their interests drove me to creating a series built around their interests.
Since science fiction is the genre I prefer to read, it seemed natural that I would write in it eventually. I love how science fiction can help shape the real world, and I hope to be part of the science popularization movement, drawing readers to think outside of what “is” to what “could be” if they try.
Kids these days are smarter than they get credit for, in my opinion, and I see young readers fighting against the tide of anti-intellectualism sweeping the West. I don’t want to give them easy scifi, I want to give them something they can sink into, that can carry them away but still be “real” enough that it drives them to ask questions about our own planet, our own histories, about entropy and evolution, and that can grow with them as they mature.
Do you read outside your genre?
J. R. I read in all genres. I’ve taken a ten-year hiatus from historical fiction so my favorite authors in that genre can push out more works, but I know I’ll return. I don’t read much romance, but it falls in my lap sometimes along with paranormal fantasy, science fiction, high and low fantasy, women’s lit, mystery, crime, horror, memoirs, biographies. I read YA, MG, and children’s lit aloud with my children, but I read on my own even more.
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
J. R. Covers have never mattered to me—the first thing I do with a purchased hardcover is toss that paper sleeve in the trash. I’m certain it factors into other readers’ choices, though. I like a cover to be recognizable and bold, otherwise I’m not particular.
Traditional scifi covers are some of my favorite art, however, and I think the role covers play within the genre is unique. For a space story, I definitely want to see an image of space on the book.
About J. R.
JR began her writing career as a child disgruntled with song lyrics. After some early success with poetry and essays, she spent decades distracted by songwriting and academia until her story dreams became too interesting to keep to myself. Her current YA space opera series Contact Files will soon be ready for public consumption or vivisection. Her goal is to share stories that inspire readers to embrace cultural diversity, the promise of science, and the value of humor and imagination to build a future that’s more Star Trek and less 1984. When she’s not writing, JR enjoys exchanging “your mama” jokes with her children, floating in lakes, and slaying virtual dragons.