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#IndieApril Interview with J.D. Sanderson


Today’s interview is with science fiction writer J.D. Sanderson, whose favorite character to write was a 70-year-old time traveler.


LQ: Tell me a little bit about yourself. 


JS: I live in Central South Dakota with my wife, daughter, and mini poodle. We’ve lived here for almost three years.


I’ve been a science fiction fan my entire life. One of my earliest memories is watching episodes of Star Trek with my dad when I was three years old. I’ve been interested in original stories ever since.


I enjoy letting my fingers dance on the keyboard. Characters, once you breathe some life into them, can surprise you in some amazing ways.

J.D. Sanderson




LQ: What does your writing process look like?


JS: I think about one or two things I want to include at some point in the story. Then I wing the rest. I enjoy letting my fingers dance on the keyboard. Characters, once you breathe some life into them, can surprise you in some amazing ways. Because I wing my plots, I never know how long something is going to be.


The only other thing I try to do is avoid writing anything that I’ve read, seen, or heard before. I like to be original.


LQ: What was your favorite book to write so far?


JS: The Clock’s Knell, which is the second book in my two-part science fiction series. I wanted to continue the story without falling into any of the usual tropes or repeating anything in the first book. I switched focus on some characters and experimented with a five-act structure. It was lots of fun to see where it went. So far I haven’t had any complaints!



LQ: Who is your favorite character to write about? 


JS: It’s a tie. The first would be Bernie, the main character of my first book, A Footstep Echo. I cannot ever remember a man in his seventies being the lead in a time travel story. I enjoyed writing him because if he went back a few decades, he already knew everything. If he went into the far future, he was wise enough to take it in stride. I imagined him being a dreamer who grew up watching the Apollo program as it happened. Seeing the future is like a dream come true.


That other would be the character of Tal. She was a secondary character in my first book, A Footstep Echo. People who read the book liked her so much that I decided to make her a main character in the second book. She’s painfully shy, very intelligent, and her daring surprised me.


I looked at my wife after we finished season one (of The OA) and said, “That. I want to do that in book form.”

J.D. Sanderson


LQ: Who are your favorite authors? Have any of them influenced your work?


JS: Charles Sheffield, Isaac Asimov, Clifford D. Simak, and Richard Adam come to mind. While I love their stories, they didn’t influence me as much as more modern forms of storytelling did.


I few years ago I saw a show called The OA on Netflix, which was created by Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij. I had never seen a show like it – a character-driven sci-fi story that was propelled by dialogue and an original premise rather than the same old same old. I looked at my wife after we finished season one and said, “That. I want to do that in book form.” That’s why I nowadays go out of my way to avoid writing anything I’ve seen before. I want to try and break new ground like my new heroes did.


I also grew up listening to fifties radio plays. I have a huge collection. I love how the stories forced you to use your imagination.


LQ: How are you doing during the current pandemic? 


JS: I’m pretty lucky. I get to work from home and be close to my wife, daughter, and dog. I feel terrible for those who are sick, or know someone who is. Those individuals who’ve been put out of work, too. It’s an awful thing we’re all going through. The fact that it’s a random act of nature almost makes it worse.


LQ: What are you currently working on?


JS: Right now I am waiting for edits on my upcoming short story collection, Around the Dark Dial. A dozen short stories influenced by my love of radio plays. It’s currently scheduled to be released in December though Kyanite Publishing.

The collection is a huge departure from my previous work, and I can’t wait to see if people like it.


LQ: Anything else you would like to share? 


JS: One of my short stories was selected to be in Remnants, a new shared-world anthology also from Kyanite Publishing. It was my first time trying my hand at sci-fi horror, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out.


Anyone who wants to follow me can do so @asciwriter on Twitter!

Source: http://loversquarrelreviews.com/2020/04/14/indieapril-interview-with-j-d-sanderson