eSpec Books welcomes back Brenda Cooper, author of POST, currently funding on Kickstarter: http://tiny.cc/Novels2016. The first half of Brenda’s interview can be found at AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT – BRENDA COOPER
eSB: You do a lot of things besides write. How do you balance the different aspects of your life?
BC: See above. Some days, I do okay. Other days I wake up at 4:00 AM with lists of undone things dancing in my head. Right now I have one-too-many things I’ve agreed to do, but I can see a light – a faint one – starting early next year. I just have to live to then, and keep all of the important balls in the air.
eSB: You describe yourself as a futurist. Can you explain a bit of what that means?
BC: Well, I’m so busy I’ve done less futuring than I like for the last few years. My futurist hat is sitting on the shelf and I take it out from time to time and brush it up. For context, I decided to go get an MFA (so I can teach, and to learn spanky new writing techniques) and that has pushed aside both futuring and bicycling. When I’m wearing my futurist hat properly, I’m writing about the future, doing some public speaking, attending world future conferences, etc. I am a generalist – I study everything – and I think conversations about the future are critical. From Ai to robotics to climate change we are in the midst of huge shifts that interact with each other, and that keep rolling over our understanding of the world (look at the fear of self-driving cars or drones, for example. Both will be as normal as microwaves within a decade or two). This is, of course, quite complimentary to my work as a technology professional and a science fiction writer. I still bike from time to time, and I’m really looking forward to being done with my Master’s next year so I can return to writing about the future and riding my bike a lot. J
eSB: You have worked with both traditional and independent publishers, how does your experience differ between the two? Are there benefits to choosing one over the other?
BC: Well, I can’t comment on eSpecBooks yet other than as anthology publishers, but you’ve been great so far. I love the Defending the Future series. This is, of course, a grand joint experiment. I have worked with big New York houses, with medium sized New York Houses, with independent presses (Fairwood Press), and I’ve self-published. I think that’s the thing to do right now – diversify. The only other option seems to be sell hundreds of thousands of books through a big house, in which case you don’t have to worry about diversification as much. Most of us are not that lucky/brilliant, even if we are driven and interesting. Watch my website for a longer post on this topic in the next week or so.
eSB: Could you tell us about one of your most amusing experiences promoting your books?
BC: I don’t think marketing is amusing. I am trying very hard to like it. An amusing experience would help. If you have one, please share. J
eSB: What are some of your other works readers can look for?
BC: My 2015/2016 duology Edge of Dark and Spear of Light (from Pyr) are getting pretty nice attention. Edge of Dark was a finalist for the P.K. Dick award last year and is a finalist for the Endeavour Award which will be given out in November. I’m pretty excited about that. I think the books are good, and a few book bloggers have suggested everyone should read them. That would be grand! Then maybe I could have my eight-hour work day and my naps. J Seriously, I’m really proud of that duology, and I’m happy they seem to be doing well.
eSB: What other projects do you have coming up?
BC: I’m doing my first editing project with a team at ASU – for a really exciting series of stories around climate and the future with award-winning authors. This has been a huge lift to plan (even with much help from the ASU people) and I think it will be wonderful. We’re putting authors and scientists together and seeing what happens. This is associated with my MFA.
I’m working on a new duology for Pyr. I’m about 80% through the first draft and freaked out about being late, and really fascinated by the book, which is set in the near-future.
Wordfire press is re-issuing my first series, and giving me a chance to write a fourth book and wrap up the series. This might be the best thing to happen – the fourth book in the Silver Ship series has needed to come out for some time. I’m really excited about working with Wordfire.
Oh – and I’m doing a research paper comparing what scientists are saying about climate change and what science fiction writers are saying about climate change. The research reading has been great – Elizabeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction, E.O. Wilson’s Half Earth, John Joseph Adam’s anthology Loosed Upon the World, Johnathon Strahan’s anthology Drowned Worlds, and more….
eSB: How can readers find out more about you?
BC: Drop by my website or follow me on social media.
Brenda Cooper writes science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories, and sometimes, poetry. Her most recent novel is Edge of Dark, from Pyr and her most recent story collection is Cracking the Sky from Fairwood Press. Spear of Light is forthcoming from Pyr in June of 2016 and POST will be out from espec books in late fall 2016. Brenda is a technology professional and a futurist, and publishes non-fiction on the environment and the future. Her non-fiction has appeared on Slate and Crosscut and her short fiction has appeared in Nature Magazine, among other venues.
See her website at www.brenda-cooper.com.
Brenda lives in the Pacific Northwest in a household with two people, two dogs, far more than three computers, and only one TV in it.
SOCIAL MEDIA USER IDs
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BrendaJCooper
Twitter – @brendacooper
Amazon Author Page – http://amazon.com/author/brendacooper