First Place, June 1972, Glenbrook Exposition. Paper on exobiology presented to an amateur astronomy convention.
Interview with Brian Dana Akers
Q. What led you to writing?
Let me think. Its been a while since I started. Ultimately, why does anyone
do anything? Often the root causes of ones life remain a mystery.
One thing that led me to writing was that I loved to readespecially science
fiction when I was in high school. The idea of actually doing it myself
slowly grew on me in my 20s when I was working full-time for the man. I didn't
like it. The idea of staying cozied up at home with a computer and spinning
tales seemed so much more appealing.
Is it a calling for me? Thats harder to say. If one is living an aware life,
a life of growth and development, one can have many callings. Think of the
people who take a vacation to Africa and then drop everything to devote
themselves to protecting wildlife. Writing can be a calling in itself, or a powerful
tool in the service of other callings.
Q. What was the first book you had published and when?
My first story, a novelette about a Hindu priest in Calcutta circa 2070,
appeared in an anthology in 1997. (My web site has a complete bibliography.)
It was tremendously exciting to receive that first book in the mail! It
came after years of work and seventy-seven rejection slips. I couldn't believe
I had finally done it. I left it on the coffee table in the living room
and picked it up first thing every morning for about three weeks till it
Q. Some successful authors say write what you know. Others say use your imagination. What do you say?
You combine the two. One of the best things about writing is that you get to
learn new things. All kinds of things in all kinds of wayssearching the
Internet, leafing through reference works, handling a weapon yourself, taking a
canoe or a balloon ride, smelling a flower youve never smelt before. Its a
great occupation for autodidacts.
Q. Who are some of your favorite authors?
The giants of SF: Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, Bradbury. As one grows up, then
people like Aldiss and Zelazny. My favorite novel may be
The Financial Expert by R. K. Narayan. Unfortunately, these days my reading consists almost wholly of email, web sites, and a few magazines!
Q. What is your most recent work and what can we expect from you next?
My most recent work is quite different from my creative writing. Its a
translation of a medieval Yoga text from Sanskrit into English. It took me a year
to write about eight hundred sentences. It was very painstaking.
Whats next? Depends on the muse! Ive often written first drafts of short
stories in a single sitting, so it doesnt have to take long.
Q. Any advice or words you want to leave with our community of writers?
Hmmm. Thats an impossible question. Every writer has many different needs
and questions and requires different input and advice at different times in
I will say that every writer needs patience, practice, and persistence. And
the ability to learn continuously and teach oneself. And a thick skin, while
simultaneously retaining sensitivity.
And if you think its easy, youre dreaming.
My thanks to AJ and Loverites for inviting me to share my thoughts with you.
It was fun!
Brian Dana Akers
THE FORUMS |