Featured Interview With Melinda B Hipple
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I was born and raised in Missouri, USA, but have lived in a number of mid-western states and on the west coast. I have settled back in eastern Kansas, but still travel extensively. As an older non-traditional student, I had the opportunity to live in England for a semester while studying abroad. Because I’m often not at home, it makes me sad that I haven’t been able to play host to a cat in a while.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I was both a reader and a writer from a very early age. My mother designed a library into the entrance hall of my childhood home. From Dr. Seuss to Ray Bradbury, I devoured everything I could get my hands on. At bedtime, I remember my father and younger brother coming to my room so that I could read to them.
When we were around nine and ten, my brother and I started a neighborhood newspaper – hand written, and sold for 10 cents a copy. I believe we had all of three regular subscribers. Beyond that endeavor, I’ve written poetry and short stories all my life. Twenty years ago, I began writing full-length manuscripts.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
My genre of choice for both reading and writing is science fiction. I grew up on Bradbury, Asimov, Heinlein and Clarke. I’m currently a huge fan of sci-fi writers like Mary Doria Russell, Andy Weir, and Cixin Liu. I prefer my sci-fi to be based in good science, but I’ll accept the improbabilities as long as the author builds a consistent world.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
In early 2021, “Raven” was released by Imperium Publishing. As the head of Odyssey Central bids farewell to five separate ships designed to colonize five new solar systems, the crew of one ship must reckon with an unsolved murder that has ramifications for all five colonies. Their decades-long journey poses challenges from the rigors of space that are multiplied by the connections made before the Day of Leaving. One crewmember’s pre-flight effort to improve the biorecycling systems mutates into a nightmare, while the murderer (driven by jealousy and revenge) corrupts the very heart of the artificial intelligence platform their lives depend on. Isolated in the harshest of environments, the Chang, the Hawking, the Einstein, the Newton, and the Kepler each find themselves in a deadly race against time.
This was the first full-length manuscript I had ever written. I knew the story was good, and after twenty years, I returned to school as a very non-traditional student and finished a creative writing degree at Baker University. With a better understanding of how to polish my work, I editing “Raven” from its original 150,000 words to the tighter book it is today. I’ve written books in other genres, but “Raven” still feels like my best work. And the first of three planned sequels is under way.
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