Henry Melton is a sci-fi author, and his newest book, Pixie Dust, will be available in April. His other novels are:
- Emperor Dad
- Extreme Makeover
- Lighter Than Air
- Falling Backward
- Golden Girl
And without further ado... the interview:
Why should people read your books?
I would hope for entertainment. I've certainly been well rewarded in writing them. Interesting places and characters worth knowing bring me back to read my own books frequently enough, and I can always hope to share the experience. But it would be presumptuous for me to say someone should read them. The best I can hope for is other people to say that.
What do you think is most unique about your writing?
I write science fiction, and even when I venture into fantasy territory, it's still sf at heart. But in the last decade, I've really wanted 'accessible science fiction'. The people are of this day, and the landscape, at least at the beginning, is familiar. So many people I've met say they don't like science fiction because of all the 'space ships and aliens and stuff'. Well, I certainly have those tropes, but only after the reader has connected with familiar faces. I want people to feel the wonder intruding into their home-like environment, rather than be put off by tinsel and glitter.
What in your life has most inspired you to become a writer?
I've been a story-teller since grade school, inspired perhaps by early NASA adventures on the screen, but writing became part of me in the early teen years, after I was exposed to all that Norton and Heinlein had to offer on the library shelves. One day in biology class, Mr. Branch made the loose homework assignment, "Write the story of a tree." I pushed the boundaries, telling the coming of age story of an intelligent water drop, born in rain and educated by an elder that was on his way to expire via transpiration though the stomata of a leaf. The response was better than I could have imagined. Mr. Branch read it aloud in class and gave me an 'A'. I then took the same paper and turned it in as an English paper and got a second 'A' for the same work. I was hooked for life.
Tell us about your very favorite character you have ever created (or one of them).
People ask me what is my favorite book, and I always say it's the one I've looked at most recently, and it's true. Once I walk into a particular world, that's the one that's most vivid and real to me. And that's also the character that I love the most. So, since you ask me as I'm in the final days prior to the publication of Pixie Dust, I'd have to say my favorite character is Jenny Quinn AKA Tinkerbell. She's in her mid-twenties, four foot ten, and a serious brain. Doing her postgrad work in physics, and secretly in love with her professor, she's swept up in strangeness when a project in vacuum decay goes wrong and she's contaminated with dark matter. Now, her inspirations are Marie Curie, pre-Oracle Batgirl, and a whole parade of silver-age comic book heroes, and it takes everything she had has, and more, to prove herself worthy to that legacy, and to rescue herself from a very strange death. Cute and brainy. I love her.
What do you do in your spare time?
I love to travel, and that certainly shows up in my writing as well. When my wife and I were first married, we decided to travel now, even when we couldn't afford it, because you never can tell when it will be too late. Thus far, we've been to all the states, Europe, and Africa, and almost all the provinces of Canada. There have been years when I've been on the road more days than I've been home, and it's still not enough. This past summer we did a 14,000 mile road trip, from Texas across Canada and back. My wife Mary Ann is a nature photographer and I have to keep buying multi-terrabyte hard drives to hold all of her pictures. I've also found a lovely little town in Labrador that is the setting of my next work in progress. It works for us.
To find out more about Henry Melton, Pixie Dust, and his other novels, visit his site, http://www.henrymelton.com/.