I’m honored to welcome Lindsay Edmunds, one of my favorite science fiction authors and a previous guest on Later Bloomer.I wrote a science fiction novel about love in the age of artificial intelligence called Cel & Anna. It now has a literary sibling, a dystopian fairy tale called Warning: Something Else Is Happening.
My choice of genre is odd because I don’t read science fiction. So why do I write it?
The obvious answer is that science fiction reflects two longstanding interests of mine: fantasy and the relationships people have with machines.
I remember that mid-1990s hinge in history when personal computers were about to change everyone’s life forever and everybody knew it. I was an early adopter of the technology; my first computer was a Mac Plus, circa 1988. And by the mid-1990s, I had been using social media for two or three years.
The deeper answer is tied into my being late bloomer.
I did once read fantasy and science fiction. My 20-something self stopped when she became a “responsible adult.” When I began to write, I met her again.
It is no coincidence that the main characters in Warning and Cel & Anna are in their twenties. The next one in the series features an even younger heroine—a teenager.
Yet I could not have written Warning and Cel & Anna in my twenties.
These novels are very much a product of time and experience.
The writer wants to get out there. When I neglect her, she sulks and makes it hard for me to get on with other things. Only yesterday I was busy with several other tasks that went increasingly badly as the day went on.
Finally, because I wrote on a To Do list, “Look at Angel” (the working title of my next novella), I opened up the draft file. I thought that I would give it a two-second look, close the file, and cross the item off the list.
Instead, I instantly began writing. I fixed up the opening, I made notes on the next episode.
It felt as if I had broken out of jail, both mentally and physically.
If I had not done this work, I would have wakened around four this morning with my mind racing with ideas. I would not be able to sleep again until I wrote them down.
It isn’t wise to try to buy off the inner writer with toys and tricks. I did enough of that and it is amazing she let me live.
Cel & Anna started as a NaNoWriMo entry. Of that raw, ragged 50,000-word first draft, 117 words survived. Warning came faster. The next one will come faster yet; in fact, the next one was well under way when Warning came out.
Last Christmas someone gave me a copy of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. I thought it was one of those feel-good books that you read once and put on a shelf, but it is not. It is a sixteen-week course in recovering creativity.
One result of doing the course was a six-week bout of cleaning and decluttering—hard, intense work that reminded me of the work I did with the NaNoWriMo draft of Cel & Anna.
Everything needed fixing, but I knew what I had to do. I did not turn back.
The Artist’s Way course so impressed me that I blogged about it. Post titles were Reading Deprivation Week, Fasten Your Seat Belts, Everything Is Connected, Do Fury Honor, Becalmed, and Annie on the Couch.
It is amazing to meet a lost part of oneself and find it whole, intact, and willing to be used. This is a gift I want to share.
Warning: Something Else is Happening is Lindsay Edmunds’s second science fiction novel. It is populated with Networld e-beasts who feel about humans the way natives feel about foreign invaders. Its regular price is $3.99, but it’s on sale for $1.99 through January 19, 2014, at Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.
Lindsay blogs about machine intelligence, books and independent publishing, movies and TV, and life in southwestern Pennsylvania at Writer’s Rest. She is on Facebook, on Twitter, and newly on Tumblr, looking for people to draw her e-beasts.