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Tag Archives: dystopia

Ideas, Ideas – The Temple of the Dreamers

When Orah and Nathaniel enter the Temple of the Dreamers, high up on the mountain, I didn’t want them to immediately barge into the chamber holding the cocoons, a sterile room dominated by technology. Beyond needing to build anticipation, I felt the haughty dreamers would have embellished the place where they strove for immortality by creating spectacular anterooms as the approach to where their science worked

Why do I write?

I recently did an interview where a book blogger asked the following question: “What’s the reason for your life? Have you figured out your reason for being here yet?” I’ve done a number of interviews before, both in my prior life as a technologist and in my current role as an author. Some questions are professional. What do you think of a certain technology trend? What's your

On genres and literary awards

Yesterday, I received word that two of my novels won bronze medals in the 2013 Readers’ Favorite awards. There Comes a Prophet won in the Young Adult – Coming of Age category, while Along the Watchtower won for Fiction – Drama. Of course, I was pleased. But what to make of it? I’d applied to several contests before. All are different, with various categories an author can specify. Most of the categories are genre specific—romance, mystery, paranormal,

Why I write speculative fiction

I’ve always been suspicious about reality. Is what we believe merely a reflection of how we’ve been raised and what we’ve been taught. Anyone who has traveled knows other cultures see the world differently. And anyone who has spent extended time in a hospital or war zone has learned the hard way that one’s sense of reality can be easily fragmented. We conveniently construct a world view that suits us—at least until something challenges it.

Why genres exist?

Did you ever stand in an art gallery, look at a painting and think,” it’s a girl squatting beside a bird’s nest.” Then the guy next to you says, “It’s a man walking a dog.” The two of you step closer to see who’s right, and the illusion dissolves into brushstrokes. Books are like that. Why should a bunch of letters crawling across a page evoke so much emotion? “I loved that

The plot thickens – how to start a story

Many writers have an image in their mind of how to begin a plot. First, you come up with one or more compelling characters who want something badly. Then you make it hard for them to get it. Over time, I’ve heard others talk about how they like to envision the situation that starts their story. One said he sends his characters up a tree and throws rocks at them until they

What’s so hot about dystopia?

The Telegraph in London recently wrote about dystopian fiction: “Wizards and vampires are out. The market in teen fiction is dominated now by societies in breakdown.” What’s so attractive about burned-out worlds and people scrabbling for food in hollow shells of cities? A closer look shows dystopia has been around a long time. Panic about the cold war and the atomic age produced such classics as George Orwell’s 1984 and William
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