HEIDI'S PICK SIX
1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
2. Tell me about your travels.
Until I turned 6 or 7 my parents took us (younger brother and myself) on holiday two or three times a year. We lived in the UK at the time and must have visited dozens of different countries, from Eastern Europe to North Africa and all points in between. When I turned 8 we moved to the south of Spain, where I attended local schools, and when I was 15 we moved to Australia. Once we got here that was just about it for the travel - it's 3 hours flight just to leave my home state. Next year is the 25th anniversary of our emigration to Australia, and it's been fantastic.
3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
4. What else can you do besides write?
Carpentry and home handyman stuff (that noise you can hear is my wife laughing. Ok, so I used to do a lot more before writing took over my life, but that goes for all my hobbies and interests.) I've spent the past fifteen years designing and writing financial and accounting software, which puts food on the table. My software website contains a bunch of free programs for writers - yWriter, for example. Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine is something I really enjoy being a part of. We've published a number of first-timers, and it's always special when you see someone go on to make a name for themselves. I'm fluent in Spanish, although 20+ years since I used it has probably left me quite rusty.
5. Who are you reading right now?
6. Pop culture or academia?
Pop culture, but not reality shows and celebrities and all that nonsense. It's just that despite having 2 degrees I honestly couldn't claim to be the academic type. 20 years in small business - from entry level worker to upper management - will boot the arty idealist out of anyone.
7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
Daily life, mostly. The events in my books are often based on annoyances I face from time to time, only I blow them up to extract the most out of them. For example, it's been fifteen years or more since EFTPOS was introduced to Australia, and they STILL tell you to enter your pin number and press okay when you check-out at a shop. I think I've got the idea, ok? So, at some stage that'll make it into one of my books, only writ large.
9. Food you could eat everyday.
10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
Laughs from the wife again. I enjoy bike riding, sometimes accompanying my eldest daughter to school. I enjoy archery but it's been five years since I got the bow out, and I'm worried it'll just snap in half if I try to actually use it. I also play golf, but I find I can put the time to much better use.
11. What kind of music speaks to you?
12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
I used to write wildly and keep the best bits once the smoke cleared. That stopped when I got published, because meeting regular deadlines requires careful planning. I treat the plot outline as a guide though - the wide angle view stays true to the original idea, but I do whatever I like with the close-ups. I used to think outlining stifled creativity, but now I find it's comforting to know I just have to hit the 1000-2000 words a day to remain on target.
13. Celebrity crush.
14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
15. Do you still watch cartoons?
Simon Haynes is the author of three Hal Spacejock novels, a number of articles on writing and publishing, and several short stories, one of which collected an Aurealis Award in 2001. He divides his time between writing fiction and computer software, with the occasional round of golf thrown in for a laugh.
Born in the UK and raised in the south of Spain, Simon emigrated to Australia with his family in 1983. He's a founding member of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, and lives in Perth with his wife and two children.
His goal is to write fifteen Hal Spacejock books before someone takes his keyboard away.
Hal Spacejock by Simon Haynes
Simon is on Live Journal as halspacejock.