Author Report

Yesterday was my birthday, and my wife did the now customary surprise birthday guest for me at lunch. The guest was John Hemry aka Jack Campbell, author of the Lost Fleet series I post about from time to time. I had just read the last book a few days ago, so it was an apt time to chat. We had a wonderful conversation and I appreciated his graciousness in agreeing to the lunch. Lots of interesting things I could talk about, but I’ll just mention a couple that were fun to hear about:

  • John said he was more of a “muse” oriented writer, rather than a scheduled one. I’ve read so much recently from writers recently who insist they have to write each day, it was an interesting contrast.
  • He described some specific issues in his Lost Fleet series (which I will describe, attempting to avoid spoilers). In one case, he found a situation was going to be resolved too easily so he added in a complication. But it was such a good complication that it took him almost two months to solve the problem. That’s a real writing situation.
  • He talked about characters who take on more of a life of their own – in one case, as he described it, a character almost inserted herself into a story. I’ve heard that kind of thing described before but in first person was better.
  • I was interested to learn about the various languages the books were translated into. He said it had done especially well in Japan, perhaps in part because of the role of ancestors in the series. It makes some cultural sense.
  • We talked a bit about the role of religion in science fiction. That was kind of fun, including a discussion of a class I’d love to prepare some day.

I’m sure there is more, but that’s a few of the things I thought would of some interest, without revealing anything proprietary or secret. Again, my thanks for the fun conversation. I can see how much fun it would be to visit with authors regularly!

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