Ask the Author: Joseph Rhea

“Ask me a question.” Joseph Rhea

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Joseph Rhea Although I would love to visit Arrakis from Frank Herbert's "Dune" series (just to visit, not to ever attempt to live there) the one place I've always wanted to visit is the Ring World from Larry Niven's "Ringworld" series. Even though I know now that such a structure probably isn't technically possible (not enough mass in any known solar system to build it at 1 AU radius from sun) it was, nevertheless, something that made me dream of visiting it for years after reading the first book as a kid.
Joseph Rhea To be honest, by nature I'm a very persistent sleuth, in that I never given up on solving every "mystery" I've ever experienced. To me, a mystery is just something that is not yet known, and so I just keep at it until I discover the answer. I was like this with magic tricks as a child, where I was able to figure out how to copy every trick I saw performed in TV. Looking back, I guess it was this attitude that led me into a career in science.
Joseph Rhea My favorite fictional couple was Wash and Zoe from the TV series Firefly. They were my favorite couple because they were one of the first married couples in televised science fiction, and being a multiracial couple as well sends a positive message that in the future, the color of your skin won't matter to anyone.
Joseph Rhea I'm an oceanographer and have always imagined the undersea universe as equivalent to outer space. Novum is a combination of those interests, in that it is a space-styled adventure that takes place under the ocean of a distant water planet (a planet covered almost entirely by water). I also look at it as a sort of ocean version of Frank Herbert's classic, “Dune” in that my characters have spent their lives under water and have created technology to help them adapt to that life. It has been a challenge to create that advanced technology in my head and apply it to the story, but also make it "well used" and not important to the characters themselves. I really want to write stories about people, not gadgets.
Joseph Rhea I think you have to enjoy writing for yourself. It's a lot of work, often with little, if any, payoff. Love it, or do something else.
Joseph Rhea I have always had a need to create, whether it be a new oceanographic sensor, computer game, or science fiction story. I feel a bit worthless when I'm not creating.
Joseph Rhea I just finished the 3rd book in my 5-book science fiction series called Novum, and am just about to start writing the 4th book. I am also working on a graphic novel with my brother which will be based on a character from the first book we did together, Cyberdrome.
Joseph Rhea I love having total control over my creations. No producers, no agents, no focus groups, no one telling me what to do, or what direction my story should go, but me. I love that novels are created by a person, not a committee.
Joseph Rhea Fortunately for me, I always want to write and have more stories in my head than I will ever be able to get down on paper. What is unfortunate, at least for my readers, is that I'm a "hobby" writer (I work full time in science), and therefore I can't "crank out" books as quickly as many would like. Hopefully, those of you following my Novum series will be patient enough to wait for me to finish the final two books in the series. My goal is to finish both books by next summer (2016) and then release a combined edition of all five books for those who prefer to read the series all at once.

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