Q&A With Lance Robinson

New Information about Upcoming Book Related News

Q&A With Lance Robinson 

Another author Mickey Mikkelson matched me up with is author Lance Robinson. Lance has written short stories & he and his fellow writer Michael Kortes won the L. Ron Hubbard Writers Of The Future Contest, the prize was winning a trip to Hollywood, a week long masterclass workshop and of course their stories being published in Ron Hubbard Writers Of The Future Volume 40. 

Q: So Lance, where do the ideas for your stories come from?

A:  Part of the equation for me is that I’m always trying to stay up to date with what’s happening in the world of politics, with trends in culture, with scientific discoveries, and so on. That feeds into ideas for stories.

But really, there’s no single way I find story ideas.  If there’s a common element, I suppose it’s taking some idea, or hope, or metaphor, or political, cultural or technological trend in the world today, and following it forward.  Sometimes, in fact, I don’t just follow it; I push it.  Push it forward, or push it backward, or push it to extreme.

For example, one of my stories came at a time when I was feeling a bit sorry for myself, lamenting my bad timing in life. I asked myself, “What if good timing or bad timing is a scientific and measurable quality that everyone has? And what if we could learn to manipulate that quality?”

Often, the kernel comes from combining two or three of these kinds of elements. For “Five Days Until Sunset”, my story that’s going to be published in volume 40 of Writers of the Future, one of the elements was the metaphor you may have come across that compares the moral and spiritual cycles human culture, and civilizations seem to go through to the coming and going of the sun each day. The other element came from some of the recent discoveries about weird and fascinating planets around other star systems, including planets whose sun doesn’t come and go each day because the planet doesn’t rotate. Combine those two elements, make the metaphor literal, and there’s my seed of a story idea. But it’s just the seed. To get from the seed to an impactful story, you’ve got to plant the seed into the soil of human characters.  (So, there’s another metaphor for you!)

Q: Are you writing more short stories or a novel this time? Can you reveal any details?

A: I’ve been focusing on short stories until recently.  As an art form, I find the short story very rewarding. But I felt the urge to immerse myself in a book-length project. So, now I’m writing a spinoff of “Five Days Until Sunset”—a prequel to that story, actually. I think the worldbuilding I did for “Five Days Until Sunset” is going to be fertile ground.  What I mean is, I think there are a few other interconnected stories sitting in that world I created, waiting for me to find them.  The working title for the prequel novel is Five Nights Until Morning.

I also have a short story collection coming out this summer.  It’s called Chasing New Suns.

Q: If you weren’t writing sci-fi, which other genres would you explore?

A: Maybe satire.  Political satire, religious satire, cultural satire—you name it.  But in fact, I think I would probably dabble. Some of the most interesting fiction is fiction that spans genres, or resists being classified. I feel at home writing hard science fiction with political and environmental themes, but if I wasn’t writing that, I would probably write a fantasy satire, then a horror western, and then a political thriller cookbook.

Q: Does Hollywood have the rights to your work? What was it like winning a trip to Hollywood and getting a masterclass writing workshop? 

A: No offers from Hollywood yet.  Honestly, I think that it’s a bit of a lottery.  Even multi-bestselling authors don’t always get any movie or TV deals.  But the Writers of the Future workshop takes place in Hollywood, so who knows? Maybe I’ll run into an acquisition’s executive from one of the big studios. 

Seriously though, I’m itching with anticipation over the Writers of the Future workshop.  It really is a generous contest, with mentoring offered by some of the best writers in fantasy and science fiction. And if you look back at the lists of winners and finalists from previous years, you can see that Writers of the Future has been a springboard, or at least an early milestone, for a lot of fantasy and science fiction writers who’ve gone on to successful careers.

So I’ll be furiously taking notes while I’m there and preparing myself to spring from that board as high as I can.