Les: Hi Andrew, welcome. Please introduce yourself, how long have you been writing, and what kind of books have you written?
Andrew: Hi Les. Thanks for having me. I was born in Leicester, England. My parents are from Liverpool. I have lived in the US since the late 1960’s – mostly in the East – New York State, Maryland, West Virginia – but also two years in New Brunswick, Canada. I am a semi-retired urgent care physician, and now divide my time between Montana and Florida. My wife, Olivia, is a veterinarian, which makes for an interesting life – and also inspired one of my science fiction books, “The DeathCats of Asa’ican and Other Tales of a Space-Vet.”
I have always enjoyed writing – I was one of those types who preferred writing essays in college. But otherwise, I began writing back in 1990. My first non-fiction article was published in 1992, first short story in 1993, and first novel in 1995. I have written historical fiction (3), science fiction (6), supernatural fiction (3), and some non—fiction, mostly articles, but one book. I like to combine genres, and so my science fiction may have historical fiction elements, and vice-versa. Ditto the supernatural fiction, etc. I also write short stories which have appeared in a variety of magazines and anthologies. My most recent publications are the science fiction novel “Farhope” and the short story collection “Bonds of Affection”.
Les: How do you find time to write?
Andrew: There are two phases to the process. First is the generation of ideas. Most often this occurs when I am out for a run, walking my dog, Rex, or hiking in the mountains. That’s when plots or scenes or scraps of dialogue come to me. Sometimes things come to me in the night – the subconscious in action. Then there’s the actual process of sitting down at the computer and turning those mental images into print. That’s when it gets tricky, and I catch time whenever I can. Nowadays I am semi-retired and only work per diem – covering for vacations or illness or when the urgent care department that employs me is short-staffed. So mostly I write on days when I am off and my wife is working. We spend about half of the year in Florida taking care of our parents, so then my time is more flexible.
Les: Where do you write?
Andrew: In Montana in the living room, looking out over town, with the fire going in the winter and some classical music playing. In Florida either in my office or sitting in the pool cage.
Les: Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?
Andrew: Write what you love, what you care about, what you have a passion for. That brings authenticity to a work. Be patient. Try and try again. Revise and revise again. Seek advice from others. My wife is a great sounding board, and I have two author friends who critique my work (and I, theirs). One is male, the other female ( as a man, it is very helpful for me to have the other perspective). As Winston Churchill said, “Never give up”. (I forget how many “nevers” he used).
Les: What is your passion?
Andrew: I love ancient history, probably because we are not so different from those ancient societies and peoples. It fascinates me how people lived in the past… and the more ancient and mysterious the better. I was born in England, so the Neolithic, Celtic, Roman and Anglo-Saxons are in my DNA. I am also a dog lover – particularly German Shepherds, hence my other recent book “Bonds of Affection: Short Stories and Memories of German Shepherds” the proceeds from which go to benefit German Shepherd rescues and K-9 support organizations. I am also quite concerned about wildlife preservation and animal abuse.
Les: Do you have any other interests?
Andrew: At the age of 46, my wife introduced me to marathon running and I have now run 41 marathons and 3 ultras. My German Shepherd Rex is a 3 time marathon finisher (at age 9, he is now retired from distance running). We enjoy obedience training our dogs (Rex has 7 AKC obedience titles). I play classical piano. We like to travel, both around the US and to England and Europe.
Les: What is your latest book?
Andrew: My two latest – as they just came out nearly simultaneously – are “Farhope” and “Bonds of Affection”.
Les: Does it fit into a specif genre?
Andrew: “Farhope” is pure science fiction, I suppose most closely of the “space opera” variety. It is a prequel to my other novel “Wreaths of Empire”. It features Lt. Cdr. Jade Lafrey, a Naval Intelligence analyst, and undercover peace activist in the war between the Terran Hegemony and alien Gara’nesh Suzerainty. With the threat of alien attack looming, she strives to protect the inhabitants of a rediscovered colony planet from destruction at the hands of the Hegemony.
“Bonds of Affection” contains memories of my four German Shepherds, and also 11 short stories in various genres about German Shepherds – contemporary, science fiction and supernatural fiction.
Les: Who will enjoy your book?
Andrew: “Farhope” I hope will appeal to general science fiction readers, particularly those who enjoy space opera and like a strong female character. It would be suitable for teenagers on up.
“Bonds of Affection” is more for dog lovers, particularly German Shepherd owners, but also I hope for those who care for the dogs who serve in our military and police forces.
Les: What sets your book apart?
Andrew: One thing, I think, is that in “Farhope” and “Wreaths of Empire” although set in time of war, (as one reviewer wrote) “the quest is not for victory but for peace”. The Terran Hegemony is dystopian, and so Jade Lafrey is faced on the one hand with not wanting the aliens to overwhelm humanity, but on the other of not wanting to perpetuate a totalitarian system. Jade is a normal person in a very difficult situation.
As far as “Bonds of Affection” goes, I have not come across another collection of short stories devoted entirely to German Shepherds.
Les: Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Andrew: My stories are written from a Christian worldview, but I don’t believe in preaching in works of fiction. Stories are stories, not sermons. I would rather raise questions and depict ordinary people wrestling with the difficulties of life. I try to write stories that anyone can read and enjoy, whether they are Christian or not.
Les: How can readers find you?
Andrew: My books (except for a couple that are out of print) are all on Amazon. My Author’s Guild website is http://www.andrewmseddon.com/ . My own imprint is Far Wanderings and I hope to have a new website for that soon. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org