Interview & Giveaway: Stan Morris

Last day with Stan Morris! I hope everyone enjoyed this week! Don't forget to enter the giveaway and come back next week for the new Indie Revolution author!
If you missed any of the posts this week, here they are!

and now for the interview with Stan Morris!

What inspired you to write Sarah's Spaceship Adventure?
In the late 1960’s, during the time of the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement, science fiction began moving away from themes with a positive message and toward dystopian futures.  One of the most prominent writers was Harlan Ellison who collected a number of stories in an anthology titled Dangerous Visions.  Although we had managed to make our way to the moon, there was a sense of, “What do we do now?  We have all these problems on Earth that have not been addressed.”
As I see it, the mood of science fiction darkened and with a few exceptions has stayed fairly dark.  In addition, the focus of science fiction began to shift from the exploration of our solar system to a wider view of humankind traveling the universe.  Now that’s fine, I don’t mind the Rama stories and other visions of interstellar civilizations; even Heinlein wrote many stories about interstellar civilizations.  But I longed for the stories about humankind’s efforts to create a space faring civilization within this solar system; stories by Robert Heinlein like The Rolling Stones, and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, in which the characters are just as important as the technology.
Sarah’s Spaceship Adventure is my reaction to that longing.  What I am attempting to create is a solar system that has one habitable planet, Marl, one giant gas planet, Junior, and an enormous asteroid belt where humans dwell on many asteroids.  The cultures on these asteroids are gradually evolving away from each other, much like what happened in the evolution of the animals on and around the Galapagos Islands.
My vision is of a fractured planetary society that uses chemical rockets to reach Low Marl Orbit and plasma engines, such as those that are being developed by Dr. Franklin Chang-Diaz at Ad Astra Rocket Company, to travel to and within the asteroid belt, which in my book is called the ‘Hoop.’  
This is the world of Mackenzie’s Rock and Sarah’s Spaceship Adventure is just one of those books that are set in that world. Chronologically, SSA is not the first book.  The first three chronological books will contain the stories of the girls from Mackenzie’s Rock, Julee Mackenzie, Jara Mackenzie and Wendra (Wendy) Mackenzie.  I am presently working on Julee Mackenzie and the First Officer.
But I am writing books in which the technology is secondary to the interaction of the characters.  I’m writing about adventure, fun, happiness, love, family, and commitment.  People often debate the morality in my stories, and I consider that a feature and not a bug.  I try to be honest with my readers, and to make them think.  In my mind, there is no greater success than to have a reader say that they are pondering what I’ve written days after reading the story.
Do you have a dream cast for your characters?
Does this question refer to a possible movie?  The main characters are ‘Sarah’ and ‘Pall.’  The people in this world are all brown skinned from light to dark, and there is a reason for that, although I won’t go in to it now.  So I would probably be looking for Latino/Latina actors/actresses, or perhaps Asian-Americans.  I do like the idea of Jackie Chan in a short role as ‘Jak.’ With makeup, Nathan Fillion could play ‘Pai.’  Elle Fanning is a little too fair to play ‘Sarah,’ but I loved her in “Super 8.”  I think it would be interesting to have a young Bollywood actor play the part of ‘Pall.’
Did you do any type of research for your book?
I did some, but I found it difficult to find understandable information about the physics of the story.  For example, what mass would an asteroid need to have so that its gravity would be strong enough to prevent humans from jumping off?  At what point would an asteroid be hollowed enough so that its spin would be sufficient to offset gravity and require a person standing inside the asteroid to have his/her head pointing toward the center of the asteroid?  I hope I was able to fudge this to most people’s satisfaction.  The business aspects of the story were not hard, because I ran my own computer assembly business for about fifteen years.
If you had to give your book a theme song, what would it be?
I guess my answer is, I don’t know.  “Magic Carpet Ride,” by John Kay and Rushton Moreve and performed by Steppenwolf comes to mind, but that’s kind of dated.  Then there is, “I’m With You,” by Avril Lavigne, or maybe “Sailing the Wind,” by Loggins and Messina, or perhaps something by Joe Satriani from his album “Surfing With The Alien.”  I would say, “Truckin’ Blues” by Stan Morris, but then I would have to rewrite the lyrics so they would be about a space freighter.
What is your favorite place to write?
I like to write at my desk using my MSI laptop with my external drives and my external keyboard.  I plan to purchase an external LCD monitor/TV sometime this year.  In the morning, on weekdays, I usually have the TV muted on CNBC, and at night I might be listening to old rock and roll like Country Joe and the Fish or It’s a Beautiful Day.  I know I’m really in to a book when I start writing before 7:00am, or when I’ve been writing for several hours, and I look at the clock and it’s after 1:00am.

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