Lance graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with an aerospace engineering degree. He worked for over 30 years with NASA contractors in Houston, Texas performing engineering work on the Space Shuttle and its payloads. Now retired, he writes science fiction.
1. How long have you been writing and what got you started?
I wrote a bit in college and during my first two jobs. My career then took over and I didn’t start writing again until 2008. I started again at that time because I like to create.
2. What is the best piece of advice you have for new writers?
I believe the classic advice is the best. Reading a lot is one of most important things an aspiring writer can do. I’d also recommend that anyone starting out ignore current writing fads and write what he/she likes.
3. Are there any writing resources, such as books or websites, you’d like to recommend?
Stephen King’s book “On Writing” is very helpful. I’ve also obtained excellent advice on practical writing from the posts of Harvey Stanbrough (http://www.HarveyStanbrough.com).
4. What is your favorite type of fiction and who are your favorite authors?
My favorite type of fiction is science (speculative) fiction although I do read other genres. Just some of the science fiction writers I enjoy are Poul Anderson, Arthur C. Clarke, Harlan Ellison, Joe Haldeman, and Robert Heinlein.
5. What tips do you have for finding time to write?
I have no useful tips on this question. I had to retire before I found the time to write regularly.
6. Do you prefer to outline a story in advance or write on the fly? Why?
I generally have at least a brief outline for a story, although for what I intend to be a shorter story I don’t always write it down. Then I write scenes I’d like to use in the story and piece it all together. I always spend a lot of time editing and reorganizing before I’m happy with a story. However, I don’t hold up my approach to others as the way to do it. Any method a writer uses that is good for her/him is good.
7. How do you deal with rejections?
Rejections are part of the game although they can hurt, particularly when the editor has something harsh to say. I always try to remember the world would be a sad place if we all liked the same things. So, even if someone hates a story, someone else may love it.
8. What are your writing goals for the next twelve months?
I plan to continue writing science fiction short stories. I still have a number of ideas I’d like to put onto paper.
9. For the next five years?
As for so many writers, I would like to complete my first novel. I have one, but it requires more work.
10. Is there anything you’d like to plug? Feel free to share a link.
I’d like to thank and plug my good friends Antha Adkins (http://www.acubedsf.com), Donna Baier Stein
(http://www.donnabaierstein.com), and Joseph Wiltz. They are instrumental in helping me improve and edit my stories.