Recently I read a rockin’ Sci-Fi novella titled Radio Sphere by Devin terSteeg and was awarded the chance to ask him a few questions about his life writing stories and the inspiration behind them.
If you’re reading this – our message has come too late. These creatures – such wonder. We never could have anticipated what we’d find…
Humanity had grown accustomed to 250-year life spans, ceaselessly changing technology, and endless media to consume when nuclear detonations cause an EMP chain-reaction in the atmosphere to destroy most technology, and with it the population severely reduces over a few generations.
In the year 20XX Earth has been changed. Electricity, water, and food have all become scarce. Stubbornly, Elizabeth and George live on.
Thanks for giving me the time to answer a few questions about your book, Radio Sphere, Devin. First off, can you tell me a little about yourself?
My name is Devin terSteeg and although I work a day job, legal support for Wells Fargo Bank, I am a writer. Luckily, my day job is so terrible and my whole department is so underappreciated that it keeps me writing when I get home. That’s something I try to impart on my writer and other creative friends, too, that even though it would be wonderful to create full time, the reason most of us create is because our jobs might kill us otherwise. Besides writing, I’m an avid reader, I do freelance editing and some advertising services and materials for other authors, and my amazing girlfriend is a painter so I’ve gotten into that a bit lately.
What inspired you to start writing in general?
I started writing stories and making up fictions since forever. I can’t help but make stories, so even as a kid I would write down some of the stories I acted out with my toys or would extend those stories from play to paper so I could add some of my favorite characters/toys that I didn’t have.
What inspired you to start writing this story specifically?
I began work on Radio Sphere in 2013, I think it was, primarily by free writing. If you remember the part in the book where Liz is on the couch? That’s what I came up with, and that’s what inspired the rest of Radio Sphere as I knew Liz needed more of my attention.
What are some of your favorite science fiction influences?
My biggest influences are Roadside Picnic and Fahrenheit 451. If you haven’t read either, do yourself a favor and pick them up – if not for the great story, for the cultural relevance. So, so, so many contemporary novels have direction connections to at least one of those two novellas.
How long did it take you to write this story?
Radio Sphere took about 2 years if I include beta readers and percolation time, and a sequel would take just as long.
Do you plan to write more in this universe or work on something else?
Radio Sphere may receive a sequel in the future, it is something I’ve been toying with and molding thoughts about, but I’m in the process of another novel right now that will take precedence and I’ll probably do something for nanowrimo as well. There are definitely places to go with the story, but it has to be worthwhile for the reader more than anything else.
Can you tell me a little more about the alien culture you created in this story? Perhaps something about their home planet or their culture before they migrated to Earth?
The Lebagir are a spacefaring alien species in Radio Sphere that have detected humanity’s radio and television transmission and while it’s enough to know that we’re out there it is not enough to know us by. Their whole planet goes nuts at the news, breaking into factions that support reaching out to humanity or who want to ignore us. A particularly bold faction repurposes ships to come and find us and when they do it isn’t good for anybody. Humanity, before the Lebagir arrival, may not have been in a utopia, but did have several advancements in technology from the present day – primarily life extension medicine. The medicine required regular doses to maintain its effect, thus once the tech was lost people go from living for hundreds of years back to our measly 70-80 year average that we have now in the U.S.
Everyone, say thank you to Devin for taking the time to answer some questions about his novella. Should you like to read more about Devin, his heroic exploits in the world of literature, or just follow his blogging antics, check out his website at rimegiant.com or you can find him on the twitter-sphere @DevinMichael. He has plenty more awesomeness to come. In My Opinion.