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  • Writer's pictureMark Meier

My Turn

The authors blogging here have all been asked a list of thirty-five questions. I’m not going to “info-dump” the whole thing on you at once, but every time they blog I’ll give you some information about that author. What’s sauce for the goose, though, is sauce for the gander. It’s my turn to answer those questions, before I ask them of someone else.

In what genre do you write?

Primarily, I write science fiction. I’ve done some fantasy, Christian, even some poetry. To-date, the biggest project I’ve worked on is non-fiction – The Handy Wisconsin Answer Book, due out next year.

What is your favorite book?

Oh, that’s a tough one. My tastes have changed over the years, and the books I’ve read the most aren’t necessarily the ones I’ve enjoyed the most. For instance, Asimov’s Foundation series. Kind of dry, in my opinion, but I’m starting work on a rather large series that needs to hang together across a long period of time. Foundation is spread across thousands of years (if you count the Robots series).

The book I’ve enjoyed the most would have to be Mayflies, by Kevin O’Donnell Jr. It’s about a guy who gets decapitated in an earthquake on the first page, and after he’s declared brain dead “they” use his brain as the central computer on a generation-starship. Then “he” wakes up and has to fight the programming imposed on his brain. Nicely done, in my opinion.

How about your favorite to write?

I really enjoyed writing The Closet, part of the Ebony Sea: Origins set. The protagonist is a farm hick with access to a lot of knowledge. While he struggles with comprehending things, he does know an awful lot. A Marine lance corporal, he gets trapped in a panic room with civilians. He’s out of his depth, and has to hang on while waiting rescue. Having him react to situations was a bit of a challenge, but it was a lot of fun to write.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as an author?

Marketing. Writing itself doesn’t stretch my ability, though editing can be boring and repetitive. Getting noticed is another story entirely. Back in the day Facebook was touted as the cure-all to getting noticed, but there’s so much useless garbage there it’s hard to float to the top in that cesspool. Even after getting there, competing against the easy-to-notice vile hatred spewed.

Who has been most instrumental in your success as an author?

Another tough question to answer. The most meaningful advances I’ve made came from so many people it’s hard to nail down one individual, or even narrowing that down to a bite-sized group. I’d have to answer that with “critique partners” in general. There are dozens of them. I’m in three groups right now, and the most helpful of those members I call “Maxions.” They’re too important to be called “Minions.” Besides, they’re not yellow and don’t speak their own language. Unless you count “writer” as its own language. If I had to pick one specific person who has helped the most, I’d have to say my wife, Linda. That’s kind of a cliché answer, but it’s true. She’s kept me centered, and supported me in ways I couldn’t have fathomed even five years ago. She’s tops.

That’s enough for now. I’m already over 500 words, and don’t want to have these posts pushing too long.

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