Posted on 05/01/2018 at 12:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
Stan C. Smith has a knack for delivering the unexpected.
For instance, he spent three decades as a mild-mannered educator, teaching life science to middle-schoolers and technology to teachers ... yet at the same time, he’s been exploring the tropics and using them as inspiration for sci-fi/adventure novels.
And when you go to the bio page on his website, you see not the typical “about me” but rather an interrogation of him by one of his characters, a special agent in charge.
As he prepares to launch his new Bridgers series — about elite fighters and survival experts responsible for protecting "tourists" bridging to alternate versions of Earth — he took a look back with us at how he got here.
SADYE: What prompted you to give writing a try?
STAN: I have been a science fiction fan all my life, particularly of those books that involved wilderness settings, such as Edgar Rice Burroughs' Pellucidar and his John Carter of Mars books.
By the time I was a teenager, I dreamed of writing my own novels. And eventually, I decided I'd better get started.
I have now published five novels and have no intentions of slowing down.
SADYE: What has been your proudest/most rewarding moment?
STAN: When my first novel, Diffusion, was finally published.
I had been working on it for over ten years, trying to juggle the writing with a full-time teaching job. But when I retired, everything quickly came together.
There is nothing like getting that first proof copy of the print version of your first book!
SADYE: What is the toughest thing for you as an indie author, and how do you overcome it?
STAN: Trying to schedule time for all the marketing efforts.
Every hour spent on marketing is an hour I could spend writing, so it is a constant scheduling issue. I have to schedule some time each day for nonwriting tasks.
The key is to do the writing during your most creative time of day (early morning for me) and do your marketing tasks during your less-creative hours.
Fortunately, my wife is very supportive, and she has agreed to take on some of the marketing tasks.
SADYE: You feature an “awesome animal” in your newsletters — if you can possibly pick a favorite, which one is it?
STAN: I would have to say that my favorite featured animal so far has been the tree kangaroo.
Why? Because tree kangaroos play an important role in my Diffusion series (a science fiction series in which the tree kangaroos turn out to be much more than they appear to be).
Not only that, but tree kangaroos are so dang cute!
SADYE: Do you think you’ve ever seen an alien or supernatural being?
STAN: Nope. My background in science has provided me with a certain level of skepticism regarding such things (particularly the supernatural).
But I must admit that I have always fantasized about being the first person to come into contact with aliens. Who knows, maybe someday.
SADYE: What motivates you to use a wilderness setting in most of your books?
STAN: For as long as I can remember, I've been fascinated with strange creatures and with wilderness areas. This was what drove me to become a biology teacher.
And as I transitioned from teaching to writing, it was an obvious choice for me to write about wilderness settings.
My wife and I like to travel to tropical countries and hike in the rainforests, and these experiences help me to describe wilderness settings in realistic ways.
You might be wondering, what kind of science fiction books take place in wilderness settings? Well, my Diffusion series involves the discovery of an astounding entity hidden deep in the remote rainforest of Indonesian Papua.
It starts out as a wilderness survival story and evolves into pure science fiction adventure.
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Know an author you'd like to see featured? Email sadye (at) thefussylibrarian.com with a recommendation!
Categories: Author Interview