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THE NOVELS OF JOHN E. STITH
INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR
What initially got you interested in writing?
Love of reading. Some of the books I read were so well written, I got a small adrenaline rush while reading the last few pages. Eventually I decided I wanted to try to do that for others.
How did you decide to make the move into becoming a published author?
Baby steps. I spent a decade thinking about being a writer. I started reading more critically. And looking for big blocks of time in which to write. Finally I decided that if I was going to be serious about writing, I would have to make it happen, to make it a habit. I started writing for fifteen minutes regularly every morning. Quickly that grew into more time. First came articles for the computer magazines and then short stores for the science-fiction magazines. After that I started my first novel. It took something like a dozen drafts before I finally found an agent willing to take it on, and then he found a publisher (Ace Books) willing to take it on. SCAPESCOPE was my version of 1984 with a humorous twist.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
Some new ideas. An emotional response. Maybe a little hopefulness. I try to appeal to all the senses, including the sense of humor and the sense of wonder.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
Finishing and feedback. Tempermentally I’m more suited to short stories than to novels, because a novel takes so much more time. It’s fun as a change of pace to write a short story or novelette that can be done in a couple of weeks or a couple of months. Taking the one to three years (for me) on a novel is much more of a long-haul effort, but the reward is correspondingly greater. I get an enormous sense of accomplishment on finishing a novel, and positive feedback from readers is even better.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
Getting started. It can be like positioning those first few pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. Over time, it gets easier to see the overall shape and understand where individual elements fit the best. One really bright spot is how the Internet has aided research. I used to have to find and buy a number of books for each novel, because I always seem to pick backgrounds that I need or want to know more about. Now, the Internet makes a significant portion of that task far easier.
What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?
Practice patience. Just because it’s easy to self-publish, don’t risk publishing before you’re really publishable and forever alienating readers who might love your stuff when you’ve learned the craft. When you’re ready, take whatever path works for you, whether that’s traditional or indie. One aid to knowing when you’re ready is a critique group that helps you see where the story in your head doesn’t match the story on the page. Another aid is practice, practice, practice. Read widely, at least in your field, and if you can, outside as well.
Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you? I grew up in Alamogordo, near White Sands and Trinity Site. My dad worked on projects like the rocket sled. And if you stay very still, hummingbirds will fly right near you.
What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?
My website at www.neverend.com and my Facebook pages, both professional and personal. My professional page always has writing news. My personal page includes writing news plus extras, like photography.
ABOUT THE BOOKS
Stith is a member of Science-Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), Mystery Writers of America (MWA), International Thriller Writers, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers (RMFW), Colorado Author’s League and is a former Mensa member. He currently lives in Colorado Springs.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Science fiction and mystery author John E. Stith writes
across many worlds. His books have been translated to
French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and
Russian and are even available in braille for the
sight-impaired. His stories have been categorized as
“Hard science fiction,” a label given to those stories
thoroughly researched to play fair with the rules of
science; something any die-hard SciFi fan can
It was during the summer Science-Math Institute for
High School Students at Cloud State College, John
served as editor for the school paper, but several more
years would pass before the urge to write, strengthened
by years of loving to read, was too compelling to ignore.
His stories vary, but his books are packed with
suspense, mystery, and humor.
Stith holds a B.A. in physics from the University of Minnesota , has served as an Air
Force Officer, where he worked at NORAD Cheyenne Mountain Complex. The passionfor science runs in his family, as his father George worked at the White Sands MissileRange on such projects like the rocket sled . He has appeared on a live nationwide PBS broadcast or Science-Fiction Science-Fact
Reckoning (SF2 ) and his work has also been sold to film and television. His novel
was chosen as one of Science Fiction Chronicle ’s Best Science Fiction Novels,
Transfer was picked as and received an honorable mention from the Hugo Awards and a nomination from the Seiun Award in Japan.
Stith is a member of Science-Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) , Mystery Writers of America (MWA) , Writers Guild of America (WGA) , International Thriller Writers , Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers (RMFW) , Colorado Author’s League, and Mensa. He currently lives in Colorado Springs.