Becoming a mother cannot help but change things. An author's life is reflected in their writing, whether they want it to be or not, and parenthood is one of the biggest life changes there is.
Then, I realized that there is an indigenous presence in the Solar System. It's us. So, then, I got to wondering what would happen if a more technologically advanced society moved next door to us, the way we moved next door to the American Indians.
Now, of course, the great thing about the solar system as a frontier is that there are no Indians, so you can have all the glory of the myth of the American westward expansion without any of the guilt.
When I'm not at the keyboard, I'm generally reading, practicing tai chi or middle eastern dance, or cooking.
All of this got me thinking about the history of the westward expansion, and got me to wondering how the exploration of the Solar System would be changed if there were an indigenous presence out there.
Fantasy is, of course, booming, and I think it's beginning to stretch its range as well.
I have to do more close research and fact checking for the science fiction. This is not however to say that writing good fantasy does not involve doing good research.
My joking answer to this question is that I leave a bowl of milk out on the back porch every night for the Idea Fairy. In the morning, the milk is gone and there's a brand-new shiny idea by the bowl.
I have a better internal and intuitive understanding of folklore and myth than science and technology, so in that way fantasy is easier.
Now, Venus is an extremely hostile environment, and as such presents a lot of challenges for a science fiction author who wants to create life there. However, as I began to research it more thoroughly, I found myself intrigued by the possibilities the world offers.
Fortunately, many people also enjoy a stand-alone as a sample of something new, like trying the special at a favourite restaurant one night instead of going for the usual.
So, one of the things I was doing with the aliens in The Quiet Invasion was creating that advanced society which had ideas about morality and proper use of natural resources that were radically different from ours, as the Europeans were from the American Indians.
I graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in Communications and left formal education behind.
I did not want to write a story about the invasion of Earth, so I had to create a race capable of living nearby, which meant to either on the Moon, on Mars, or on Venus. I picked Venus.
If I get blocked, it is generally because I don't know enough about some aspect of the story or the characters. The answer for this is generally more research, or making more background notes, so the place and person can be more fully realized inside my own mind.
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