|Clockwork crossbow? Sure, why not?!|
Gilbert: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
R.A. McCandless: I’ve been a writer both professionally and creatively for over two decades. I was born under a wandering star that led to a degree in Communication and English with a focus on creative writing taught by none other than the Dean of Science Fiction, Jack Williamson. I’m the author of the urban fantasy, Tears of Heaven, winner of the 2014 Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Preditors & Editors Reader’s Poll and a 2015 EPIC eBook finalist, Hell Becomes Her, and the final installment, Company of the Damned, (available 2019). My shorts have appeared in In Shambles (with Kevin J. Anderson), Nine Heroes, and Gears, Gadgets and Steam.
I continue to research and write steampunk and genre fiction, battle sprinklers, and play with my three boys.
Gilbert: What got you interested in writing?
R.A. McCandless: Basically, boredom. I would sit in elementary school classes and want nothing more than to read my latest Terry Brooks or Joel Rosenberg fantasy novel. Instead, while pretending to take notes, I would write stories. At first, I would try to make the books I’d read “better”. It’s a dumb thought to have, but it is a place to start. Riffing on the masters is a good way to get your feet wet and see what does and doesn’t work.
Friends and teachers started noticing that I had the stamina for writing short stories and longer forms, and I started working on some really big ideas that I couldn’t quite pull off. I’m infinitely glad that most of that work has never seen the light of day. If there’s any justice, those pages have been pulped and recycled to make more Patrick Rothfuss novels.
But any world that could include a dragon, even if a dragon never showed up, that was the world for me. I wanted to live and explore in those worlds of possibility. The fantastic has always excited me, and while I’ve grown more and more “realistic” in my writing, I still reach out for what’s just beyond possible to try to create a world of potential. That’s where the real magic lives.
Do any of your family members or children share a hobby? Let me know in the comments below!