Author Interview: Renascence by Leigh Goodison
Today I’m doing interview with Leigh Goodison, author of science-fiction novel Renascence and many other fiction books.
You can read my review on Renascence ⇒ HERE ⇐
First of all thanks to author for agreeing to this interview.
Know more about book and author in this interview.
I was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and immigrated to the United States (Oregon) in 1992. My father was originally from Yorkshire, England so I was brought up with English customs and literature. I’ve been a published writer for more than thirty years, starting out with short stories and articles then publishing my first nonfiction book in 2012.
Q & A:
Q. When and why did you begin writing?
I enjoyed writing assignments in high school and college, but for many years was more interested in painting and illustrating. It wasn’t until I became a stay at home mom after my son was born that I began to write, mostly out of loneliness, as my husband was a doctor just beginning his practice, and I was alone a lot of the time.
Q. Tell readers more about your book.
Renascence is a cautionary tale: In 2072, earth is a desolate wasteland. Now governed by a new world order, six young scientists, led by a former US Marine, are sent to colonize a habitable planet. When one of the scientists disappears, the team believes their commander is responsible, taking him prisoner until they can return to earth.
But as they prepare for departure they encounter the alien species that captured their teammate, and find themselves in the presence of the Lost Cosmonauts of the Soviet Space Program: a space exploration mystery that has persisted for over a century. Will the team be able to return to earth in time to save the remaining population? Or will they be stranded for eternity with the three immortals who won the space race of the 1950s?
Q. How did you come up with the idea for your book?
Like any written work it evolved over time. The idea of six scientists sent out to colonize a new planet just came to me one evening. The initial premise, as I mention in the Author’s Note at the beginning of the book, was a reverse Big Bang scenario, i.e. instead of life forms evolving after a cataclysmic event, they deteriorate rapidly. Of course, while doing research, I discovered that life on earth is already deteriorating at an alarming rate, so writing of a cataclysmic event such as an asteroid colliding with earth, wasn’t necessary. In recent weeks, the famous theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has warned us of the impending demise of the planet.
Q. What sort of research did you do to write this book?
With my initial premise, I had a scenario that involved a great deal of research and a lot of scientific background knowledge that I didn’t possess. I spoke to an astrophysicist about my plot and he said it wasn’t possible. Not that many science fiction novels, or even mine, may ever be possible, but the science does have to be believable to a point, or the more science-minded readers will find it laughable.
Coming up with a believable scientific premise was one of the reasons it sat on the backburner for six years. In my spare time I began researching what element would be most essential to maintaining life on earth, and that’s when I discovered the phosphorous challenge, which is that without phosphorous we cannot produce food. And without food, everything dies.
Q. What book(s) have most influenced your life?
The books I most enjoy reading are ones in which I learn something, so I don’t often just read for entertainment value. Anya Seton, Ruth Rendell, P.D. James, Daphne du Maurier, Anna Sewell, and Marguerite Henry have influenced both my life and my writing. I have read everything they ever wrote, multiple times.
Q. What have you written? (Books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest.)
My published books are:
Renascence, science fiction;
Limboland and The Jigsaw Man, the first two medical thrillers in the St. Augustus Chronicles;
Wild Ones, a coming of age/young adult novel,
Goodies From the Great White North, a cooking memoir; and
The Horse Trailer Owner’s Manual, a reference book.
I used to write a lot of short stories and poetry, but it’s been quite a while since I did that. I often write articles on horse and horse trailer care for magazines just to get my byline out there.
Q. Where can readers buy/see them?
Any of my books (in paperback or ebook form) can be purchased at Amazon or Barnes&Noble as well as other online outlets, no matter what country you live in (just search for my name or one of the above titles, and they’ll all come up).
Q. What draws you to this genre? Do you think your writing will stay in a specific genre?
I have always read fiction that is speculative in nature, so writing mysteries, thrillers, and suspense comes naturally. You write what you like to read. It’s no surprise that readers have commented that although Renascence is science fiction, it reads like a thriller. I’ve already done a rough outline of a sequel to Renascence, but will also continue to write novels in the St. Augustus medical thriller series.
Q. What was your favorite chapter (or part) of writing this book and why?
My favorite part to write was the scene where Zeta meets the Lost Cosmonauts for the first time. I also enjoyed writing the part in the beginning where the team meets the Order of World Leaders (OWL). If I shared anything else it would contain spoilers.
Q. What was the hardest part of writing the book? Was there anything that you deleted or altered?
The hardest part was trying to get the scientific aspect as accurate as possible. In order to restructure the back story I removed probably 20 pages, and rewrote/reconfigured a lot of it. Creating a believable world that doesn’t yet exist is also a difficult aspect to writing science fiction.
I’ve always been impressed by writers like Arthur C. Clark, Kurt Vonnegut, and Michael Crichton, who were modern-day soothsayers in their predictions. My biggest regret about taking so long to get my previous novels out is that there are things I speculated on that actually have come to fruition. With The Jigsaw Man (written nearly 30 years ago), it was face transplants.
Q. Is there a message in your book that you hope readers will grasp?
As reviewers have noted, there are several social and political themes explored in Renascence. But overall, the message is to awaken people to the fragile state of our planet, and that if we continue to use it up at the rate we are with pollution, wars, and lack of conservation, it will die. We need to immediately change our habits, not just with vague long-term goals. It might already be too late.
In addition to the alternate history thread, I have a few secrets buried in Renascence, and it would take a discerning reader to uncover them. This is true of all my novels, actually. I challenge my readers to let me know if they think they’ve found something (in any of my novels). If they get it right I’ll post their answers and send them an autographed copy of my next book.
Q. Do you read book reviews? How do you deal with good or bad ones?
Yes, I read all my reviews. I like to know how what I’ve written affects my readers and if they understand the message I tried to convey. When I see a low rating, or extreme criticism, I realize that the reader has gotten stuck on minutiae and hasn’t grasped the message of the book. This is extremely disappointing, but I don’t take bad reviews personally.
While a bad one may keep me down for a couple of days, a good review can make my entire week. I give them a ‘thumbs up’ in whatever venue they’ve been published as a thank you. My favorite reviews are the ones in which the reader says, ‘I thought about this book for a long time afterwards.’ That’s what I aim for when I write a book.
Q. What are your future project(s)? What’s it about? (*if relevant)
Readers are already asking for a sequel to Renascence, but I won’t get to that for a while. Nearly completed is The Manipulators, the third volume in my medical thriller series the St. Augustus Chronicles. And finally, I have begun an historical novel set in 1939 pre WWII Germany.
Q. If your novel was made into movie, which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead characters?
When I was creating the protagonist Zeta, I immediately envisioned Saoirse Ronan in that role. It would be interesting to see Samuel L. Jackson or Ed Harris in the role of Captain Reynard.
Q. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Never stop writing and listen only to criticism that helps further your work.
Q. What is your favorite motivational phrase?
“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” Richard Bach, the author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull.
Q. Currently reading
The Gem Connection by my good friend, Michael R. Lane, the first book in the C.J. Cavanaugh P.I. series.
Q. Favorite foods / Colors/ Music/ TV show/ Film
Whenever I think of my favorite foods I think of the Canadian foods I can’t get in the USA, which includes Shreddies and crumpets.
My favorite colors are peach and periwinkle.
I enjoy an eclectic range of music, everything from opera (Carmen is my favorite) to Def Leppard and the Scorpions. Classic rock from the 1960s-1990s is probably my go-to choice.
There have been so many terrific TV shows lately that I’ve binge-watched: Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, The Untold History of the United States (nonfiction), too many to mention.
My favorite movies are usually classics like The Great Gatsy, A Clockwork Orange, and Casablanca, and pretty much anything directed by Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained, Inglourious Basterds).
Q. To whom will you recommend your book?
I think that anyone who enjoys a mystery, whether it’s conveyed through thrillers, suspense novels, or science fiction, would enjoy Renascence. Readers who don’t normally pick up science fiction novels have made this comment about Renascence.
Q. Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
If any of your readers are interested in becoming a writer, or have questions about my books, I respond to all emails. I think it’s important for writers to be willing to share what worked for them or didn’t in the writing and publishing process.
Q. How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter @leighgoodison
Book Links: (Amazon):
Goodies From the Great White North
The Horse Trailer Owner’s Manual
This interview, allowing me to share more information and inspiration about my writing, was a lot of fun. I hope the readers of your excellent blog enjoy learning a bit more about me and my books. Thank you so much!
— Leigh Goodison
Many thanks to author for time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.
What do you think about the interview? Do you have any question foryauthor you would like to ask? Share your thoughts in comment-box below.
Happy Reading! 🙂