Why I Write Science Fiction
When I got serious about writing a novel, my first decision revolved around genre. The only possible genre for me was science fiction. No surprise. After all, we write what we love to read. Whenever I pick up a book promising a speculative angle— aliens and UFOs (my favorite!), time travel, genetic engineering, telepathy or telekinesis—I’m hooked! In elementary school, I devoured Escape to Witch Mountain and The Forgotten Door by Alexander Key. Later, I was captivated by Strangers and Watchers by Dean Koontz, When the Wind Blows and The Lake House along with the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson, and the Roswell series by Melinda Metz. Even Stephen King, who more often than not creeps me out, has some great titles like 11/22/63 and The Stand. These authors offer strange beings and new worlds right here on planet Earth. This is my happy place.
As I contemplated my first book, I needed to make a second major decision: Who was my audience? My target market would be young adults. The answer to this question surprised me, since writing for young people had never occurred to me. And yet, I imagined stories that appealed to fresh, curious humans, those unjaded by years of stark reality and life’s disappointments. I sought readers who could easily suspend disbelief and relished doing so for the sheer joy of it. These were my people.
As an aside, I noticed something odd while surveying loads of published books: there are oodles of stories on vampires, werewolves, demons, and elves—paranormal and fantasy dominate the shelves. But where are the aliens? There just aren’t many people writing about contemporary, earth-based aliens. It’s been said if you can’t find the book you want to read, write it yourself. Thus, I can only hope my stories will help fill the void.