Continuing our Spring Author Interview series, please welcome Geoff Nelder, author of Suppose We. Full disclosure, I’m in the middle of reading this right now. It’s pretty awesome. Review to come soon. Please enjoy the interview.
SUPPOSE WE – the enigmatic title of a spaceship that became the title of the work-in-progess novella but the critique group said—as if they were one angry person—“Nelder, don’t you dare change the title. We thought it stupid at first but have fallen in love with it.”
- Tell us about your book.
SUPPOSE WE is a science fiction novella, the first in the Flying Crooked series. It might be the only science fiction book written by a vegan (for over 40 years. I’m no jump-on-a-bandwagon fashionista) with a vegan main character and set on a vegan planet. What? How can a planet be vegan you ask? The planet has no predators larger than insects. Yes, I’ve done the ecosystem schematics: I used to teach ecology and environmental science. Not all the characters are vegan, creating juicy debate.
The ship crashlands on a faraway planet. Sadly the natives are a million years ahead of Earth, so ignore the humans. How do they get the help they need, survive the strange planet and discover what is in the mission’s secret payload?
SUPPOSE WE was unleashed on the vegan and non-vegan public on May 20th 2019 as an ebook (B07RQW5LHR) and paperback (ISBN 978-0997554939)
Universal link for Amazon Kindle https://mybook.to/SupposeWe
- When did you realize that you were a writer?
In 1962 at the age of 15, I wrote skits for school performances. One of my gags was stolen by the Bishop of Gloucester and he repeated it on BBC radio years later. I didn’t get any credit except that gold epiphany: I knew I could write well enough for a bishop to plunder my work! If you want to see that joke send me an email. I could write it here but it takes half a page and I don’t want to be responsible for you choking and spluttering your cornflakes all over your screen.
- Do you have any books coming out this year?
Besides SUPPOSE WE – have you bought it yet? –its sequel FALLING UP will be published this year. It’s also a bit surreal – the title kind of says it all.
- How can readers connect with you?
Contact form on my website https://geoffnelder.com
- What are you working on right now?
FALLING UP and you’re stopping me. I have deadlines you know. Lines that are dead, or dying.
- What author inspires you the most?
Oh that’s hard. What time is it? Ah, before lunch if I need inspiration I read a page or two of anything by Tibor Fischer, especially The Thought Gang, or Collector Collector. Between lunch and tea, I turn to A.L Kennedy – she’s probably the best short story writer ever. After tea I read something by Idries Shah such as The Pleasantries of the Incredible. They’re kind of koans except they’re not Asian but Turkish-ish.
- Who is your current favourite author?
Claire North eg her The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August. She’s my fave because she writes like me, or I like her.
- What was your first favourite book as a child?
How to be a spy by Baden Powell.
- What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to when you first started writing?
The fashionable answer is to say give up, but not me. Join a critique group or two. I belong to the BSFA (British Science Fiction Association) critique group. Alternatively you should cough up the funds to employ a good editor before submitting anything to publishers or agents.
- What was the best thing you’ve ever done for your writing career?
Career? Haha. Anyway… 7 years ago I went to a writing retreat on Greece. Absolutely marvellous. Time and scenery to relax and write, write, write. Meet arty types and absorb the Mediterranean. I go every year for two weeks if my wife can’t find a good enough reason to stop me.
- What would you consider the most fulfilling moment you’ve experienced as a writer?
The day my first novel came out and a month later at my first book signing. Yes, every publication day is great, but nothing quite beats the first one. I say this even though that humorous thriller, Escaping Reality, was riddled with typos and OTT sex. It’s been cleaned up a bit since. A contender for best moment is when my grandkids realise that their Pop is a writer. They tell their infant teachers who then want me to read to the kids. Umm. Okay so now I’ve written a few kids stories so that the police aren’t called if I read my novels to a class of ten year olds!
- What book would you suggest to anyone who wants to write?
Many writers would say Stephen King’s inspirational On Writing, or David Lodge’s clever tome, The Art of Fiction. However, everyone should really read How to Win Short Story Competitions by… guess who? Yes, I co-wrote it with Dave Haslett. We’re both experienced competition judges. ISBN 978-1719861663 ASIN B07GS36Y1N