AMA Q6: When did you know that you wanted to become an author and what drew you to the sci-fi genre?

(As a reminder, this is a question I received in my first blog-style Ask Me Anything.)

John Knight asks, “When did you know that you wanted to become an author and what drew you to the sci-fi genre?”

I’ve always loved science fiction and fantasy. My love for technology and futurism (not to mention futuristic movies, books, and games) is probably what drew me most strongly to sci-fi first. I still intend to explore both genres, but my focus right now is sci-fi thrillers.

I love exploring possible futures.

As for when I knew I wanted to become an author, I think I came to that realization later than most.

I didn’t even grow up knowing I wanted to be a writer. I thought I wanted to be a graphic designer, or a programmer, or just travel the world as a backpacker through my 20s. None of that went as planned. I could have gone any of those routes, and did explore each of them. But in college, when I switched out of computer science and into English Lit, I really decided to take writing seriously.

I was about 19 then.The travel and climbing bug distracted me a bit in my early 20s, but I never lost the writing focus. For the next 10 years I experimented with fiction and nonfiction, journalism, blogging, ghostwriting, copywriting for advertising. I wrote stories, but rarely finished them, and had no discipline with my craft. I was just trying everything, trying to make a living, and figure out what I liked.

I finally managed the “make a living” part. I’ve been a freelance writer/content strategist for two full years now, after several years of part-time freelance writing (while also doing project management for several years).

It wasn’t until 2014 that the thought of actually finishing a book went from distant imagination to active reality. I decided I wanted to try to make a living as a novelist sometime shortly after that.

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