This interview is part of SciFi Month, hosted by Rinn Reads and Oh, The Books. Today I'm thrilled to interview Will McIntosh, who is best known for his Love Minus Eighty book. I'm so excited to get my hands on this ALA winner. Library hurry up!!
Tell us about yourself!
I was a psychology professor before resigning to become a full-time writer. I still teach one large (300 student) section of Introductory Psychology each semester at William and Mary. My wife, our twins and I moved to Williamsburg, Virginia from southeast Georgia a few years ago. I’m originally from suburban New York.
To date I've published four novels. I tend to write near-future SF. On SF Book Reviews, Nate Hawthorne characterized my work by saying I write “love stories with high body counts”, and I kind of like that. I won a Hugo Award for my short story “Bridesicle”, which is the basis for the novel, Love Minus Eighty.
How did you get started writing?
It was basically just on a lark. I was in my mid-thirties, and I had a cool SF dream and thought, that would make a good story! So I wrote it. It was terrible, because I had absolutely no experience writing fiction, but I had such a blast writing it that immediately began another, and pretty much haven’t stopped since then.
Why Science Fiction?
I’m of the mind that loving SF is linked to some specific chromosome. I’ve loved monsters, robots, and elves for as long as I can remember.
Who or what are your influences as a writer?
The SF/F masters, like Ray Bradbury, Robert Silverberg, Harlan Ellison. Classic SF films, like Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Planet of the Apes. And periodicals like The New York Times, and The Atlantic Magazine, which provide fodder for ideas, by describing recent scientific breakthroughs in words I can understand.
You write a lot of (great) short stories. Do you prefer short or full length?
Thanks! At this point I think I prefer novels, because I get to spend plenty of time with a cast of characters and can develop them more fully. Short stories provide a nice break between novels, and for me they very often serve as tryouts for ideas I might want to pursue at novel length.
Your third novel, Love Minus Eighty, was named the best sci fi novel of the year by ALA, how does that feel? :)
Awesome. To have librarians single out my work is very, very cool.
I always love seeing the behind-the-scenes of authors and bloggers, so tell us: What does your writing space look like?
I write in a recliner, believe it or not. I had serious back issues that have mostly subsided, but by now it feels strange to sit at a desk. I prop my laptop on a little lap desk, with the recliner facing a bank of windows looking into our back yard. It’s a pretty view, with a weeping willow, bird feeders, and beyond that a county-maintained hiking trail through the woods, so I catch glimpses of people walking and jogging by all day.
Can you tell us about what you have coming up next?
My first young adult novel, Burning , is coming out via Delacorte Press (Penguin Random House) in early 2016. It’s based on “ Blue”, a short story published in Asimov’s. I should have news very soon regarding my next adult novel, titled Faller.
What 5 sci fi novels would you recommend to the readers?
Hyperion, Dan Simmons
Brittle Innings, Michael Bishop
Replay, Ken Grimwood
A Fire Upon the Deep, Vernor Vinge
Doomsday Book, Connie Willis
Tell us your favorite sci fi movie/TV recommendations!
Well I know my reading list just greatly expanded! Thanks Will for stopping by and sharing about your work and passion!!