For our fourth (still just a little late) foray into the Blog World Tour, we’re featuring JR Creaden.
JR began her writing career as a child disgruntled with song lyrics. After some early success with poetry and essays, she spent decades distracted by songwriting and academia until her story dreams became too interesting to keep to herself. Her current YA space opera series Contact Files will soon be ready for public consumption or vivisection. Her goal is to share stories that inspire readers to embrace cultural diversity, the promise of science, and the value of humor and imagination to build a future that’s more Star Trek and less 1984.
When she’s not writing, JR enjoys exchanging “your mama” jokes with her children, floating in lakes, and slaying virtual dragons.
And now, the questions:
So JR, who do you imagine being your ultimate audience?
My ultimate audience are dreamers and nerds, young and old.
I write for my own children, whom I know will someday outgrow snuggly Sunday mornings but will always read. In them, I imagine every reader—eager to see themselves in the stories they read, wanting the excitement of space exploration, and the complexity of realistic characters. I think any fan of Star Trek, Dr. Who, Sherlock, or Stargate will enjoy my series—but even readers who grew up reading Harry Potter, Magic Tree House, Enders Game, or A Wrinkle in Time would be in familiar territory.
Classics. What do you think is the easiest thing about writing??
The easiest thing about writing for me is creating characters. My heart seems to be full of people just waiting for the page. I’ve always been a people watcher, an outsider, and getting a degree in cultural anthropology solidified that mentality for me. Understanding people comes naturally, even if fitting in doesn’t.
A good character can certainly make the story. Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
The main character in Re: Morse is 31st century Hugo Morse, the only human in the inaugural class of Singularity Academy. Unlike most of the other cadets, Hugo has no special ability—no telepathy, no innate “skill” of his own, but he does have his ministry training, his love for story, for people, for history. He’s soft-hearted, considerate, thoughtful, but he makes himself become stronger, harder.
What I find most admirable about Hugo is that despite his loneliness and self-doubt which wreck his communication skills, he never quits his personal mission or breaks his promises. It’s a slow-building kind of courage, an uphill battle, but he has a beautiful nobility about the way he treats people.
What motivated you to become an author?
As a young adult, I’d completely abandoned the idea of writing anything but nonfiction articles and college textbooks. Writing songs and poetry was “fun” but only for personal entertainment. Once I finished college, however, I left behind the doldrums of nonfiction—I literally could not make myself read another journal article for years—but I was disappointed by the books available. The authors I’d loved most weren’t publishing or even alive, for the most part, and the bestsellers lining the bookshelves weren’t speaking to me.
I began reading debut novels to find new authors to adore, and though I found several I enjoyed, I still felt hungry for something different, something deeper, something I couldn’t label in a keyword search. I’d sit with a new book, more in my head than the pages, and imagine what they could have done differently to craft the story I wanted to read. With my reading time split between what ifs and lamenting the characters or plot or prose, I finally realized it was on me to write the stories I hungered for.
A story that many of us can relate to, I think. Finally, what do you think makes a good story?
Clever characters and a creative plot. All other story elements pale against those two for me. By clever, I don’t necessarily mean that all the characters are geniuses, but that their outlook is cohesive and unique, blurring lines of expectation. A creative plot might be a “classic” plot, so long as it’s given in a fresh way, filtered by a new perspective.