Welcome, Dennis. Let’s learn more about you …
What is your genre? Why did you choose it?
My genre is a sub-genre of science fiction, which I’ve given several names as I’ve heard them used. The terms include “science thrillers,” “speculative fiction,” and “scientific fiction.” That is, I write novels based on real science, avoiding such physically improbable things as faster-than-light travel. I even go so far as to include a reference list for each novel on my web site [www.DennisMeredith.com] That’s not to say I don’t stretch the truth, but my objective is both to tell a riveting story and to interest people in real science.
Do you work on more than one manuscript at a time?
I’ll be writing one manuscript, but invariably an idea will hit me that pertains to a manuscript that’s in process, so I’ll go back and tweak that story.
Do you work with a writing/critique group?
No, I’m pretty insular. I wrote science for some four decades as a science communicator at universities like Caltech, MIT, Cornell, and Duke, so I’ve got lots of experience in writing and editing.
Do you nibble on snacks while writing? If so, what is your chosen treat?
I stay as far from the refrigerator as possible!
Tidy desk or a bombsite? Describe your writing area with us.
My writing area looks like a NASA mission control station. I have four large monitors arrayed in front of me, so I can have multiple documents and web pages open. And I write in a recliner, with my wireless keyboard in my lap.
Are you published in the traditional manner or self-published? Share your journey.
I’m both traditional and self-published. My nonfiction book Explaining Research was published by Oxford University Press, but for my novels, I became so frustrated with the process, I went with self-publishing. Actually, my wife Joni is the publisher and marketer, and I concentrate on writing. As a friend has said I make stuff up, and she makes stuff happen!
Who would you say have been the three most influential authors in your reading/writing life?
Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clark, and Ray Bradbury. I actually met Bradbury, and I have an autographed copy of The Martian Chronicles!
What advice would you like to share with other writers/authors with regard to preparing a manuscript?
Proofreed, prufread, profread! And go over the manuscript and galleys until your eyes bleed! There’s nothing that takes a reader out of your story, and reduces your credibility, like a typo.
If the movie rights to your novels are purchased, who would you like to play your main characters?
Somebody who really loved the book!
I was on my way to the supermarket, when … Do you have a tale to tell relating to an everyday, boring event?
I walked out on the porch one day during hummingbird season. We live in the mountains of North Carolina. Two hummingbirds were whacking against each other, zooming straight for my face at warp speed. I froze, because they were coming so fast I couldn’t duck. They headed right for my eyes! At the last instant, they parted, one zipping past each ear. I felt the breeze from their wings. I’ve never been so scared of birds in my life!