Dave Creek and I follow each other on Twitter. He is a former television journalist who lives in Louisville, Kentucky with his wife Dana, Corgi/Jack Russell Terrier mix Ziggy Stardog, and polydactyl cat Hemmie.
How did you decide to become an author?
Like so many people who get into this, I began reading the science fiction magazines and thought, in some cases,” I could write something as good as this!” Turns out that, after a lot of rejections, that I actually could write something that editors would pay for. It’s all gone from there.
How does your professional background help with your writing?
I spent nearly forty years as a broadcast news producer. I retired from WDRB-TV in Louisville in 2013. That background helps me cope with deadlines, because in the TV news business, they don’t move. If you’re producing the 10 o’clock news, the show goes on at 10 whether you’re ready or not. Oddly enough, my experience writing SF helped me in my TV job, because I spent the last several years working on the station’s website, WDRB.com. When you write for the web, it’s a print medium, and a lot of TV people aren’t experienced in working for print rather than broadcast, so that helped me adapt, as well as mentor other producers and reporters who were adapting to this new (for them) medium.
My latest novel, Chanda’s Awakening, was designed to take my series character Chanda Kasmira and look more deeply into what makes her tick. I’d written a number of short stories about her and her efforts to save two intelligent but technologically primitive races on a planet called Splendor. It’s a planet which is under the threat of a gas nebula that will eventually sweep over the planet and scour it of all life. It’s also become a target for other alien races who have their own agendas for the planet. For Chanda’s Awakening, I take her off the familiar surroundings of Splendor as she works to convince those other races to leave the planet alone. That, in turn, stresses her relationships with her co-workers who are also her closest friends. So I hope all that conflict works for readers.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Read, read, and read some more. I see a lot of aspiring writers asking questions on Facebook pages and blogs devoted to writing that they could answer for themselves if they just read more. How long does a chapter have to be, for example? Read widely enough, as you’ll see that chapters can be dozens of pages or a single page or even a single paragraph. It all depends upon the story. Getting advice from other writers is valuable and can keep you from making rookie mistakes, but to discover an answer on your own really makes it sink in.
What are some upcoming publishing projects you are working on?
I’m currently working on a couple of collaborations. Jason Sanford and I are working on what you might call a “wide-screen” space opera. I won’t go into more detail, but it was Jason’s idea and I’m proud that he’s allowing me to help out. I’m also working with Rosemary Claire Smith on a series of short stories that take place on an orbital habitat where scientists have resurrected dinosaurs. Yes, the obvious pitch line is “Jurassic Park in space.” But it’s different because these dinosaurs, thanks to some unauthorized experimentation, have developed human intelligence. I got the basic idea, but I know very little about dinosaurs. Rosie is an expert, and I could never have considered writing these stories without her. We hope to have enough eventually to turn them into a novel.