Once upon a time, there lived a boy who dreamed of fighting dragons on a far away planet. He read every last book ever written about this planet and loved the heroines of the stories. Yes, there were also heroes, but it was the women heroes that inspired him.
I am John Sanders, and I write programs by day, to make big dangerous machines behave, and write science and speculative fiction by night to entertain. I pay tribute to one of the greatest female authors I have had the pleasure to have read during my young and new adult years, Anne McCaffrey. Her style of writing of character-driven stories has formed the basis for my own style of writing.
She is not the only author of course that has influenced me, to name only a few. There is; Robert Heinlein, Robert Saberhagen, Poul Anderson, Larry Niven, Isaac Asimov, Harry Harrison, Philip K Dick, and so many more. Each of these masters of fiction has their part in my own development of writing.
Twenty years ago, I attended the University of Oklahoma where I earned a double degree in Literature and Anthropology. During that time in school, I wrote much and submitted much for publication with a 100% rejection rate. My style was not contemporary with current fiction styles. My writer’s hand and muse went into hibernation. Then one day, two years ago this September, I was reading a science fiction saga, and I was put off by the author’s habit of diving off into tangent stories during his actual story. But I have to thank that author, my life changed after reading his work. I remember clearly during the reading of the third book, thinking, “I can write this story better than he can.” This was both an epiphany in my life and a new beginning.
When I was in college, I had written a 26000-word story about a man trying to save a small sample of the human race from extinction. His name was Dominic, and he built a supercomputer to build another supercomputer time machine. Digging this story out of a box that had been collecting dust for nearly 20 years, I reread this story. It was a good story, and the professor use critiqued it said as much and commented, there was a bigger story in it.
Now I mentioned before that Anne McCaffrey was one of my biggest influences. What I discovered in the story, I had written in college was a character that I knew and understood. Dominic, a man with a past of pain, great sorrow, and a story to tell about loss, love, death, friendship, and adventure.
Hardly before I understood what was happening, the new story of Dominic started flooding out of me. Like a swollen man-made lake. When the dam burst and the story came flooding out in a rush, I did not sleep, and when I did, the characters of my story were in my dreams. I understand how a good story should work, story arcs, plots, and all that stuff. But the story didn’t turn out the way that I had envisioned or planned. As my mind built the characters for this new time travel and AI emergence story, the characters began to write the story. The time travel and survival story became the modus to the real story, not the subject. The real story that my characters wrote was not just an emergence of artificial intelligence, but the very soul and the relationship between the creator and his creation.
This story is the Evolution series. It is three books. The first two are currently available on Amazon. They are L.A.I.R.A. 1st Evolution, Rising, and P.R.E.D.A.I. 2nd Evolution, Transference. The final book in the trilogy, Laira, 3rd Evolution, Quadary Dreams will be available later this fall on Amazon.
About John Sanders
I was born in Syracuse New York at the end of the year in 1963. My father was a United State Marine and as an adult, I became a Marine myself. But with a very different experience. When my father served, the Vietnam war was still happening. I was what is referred to as a peacetime soldier as I served in between wars and military actions. Though I did have many great adventures and some of those tales are in my stories. After the Marine Corp, I returned home to my home state and attended college. After word I got married to my current spouse and started a family.
Today I am the father of three wonderful boys, whom I read to most every night that I am home. I participate in Cub Scouts with my two younger boys. For the last two years I have written over 300,000 words. Early on, I took on the practice of “Write some thing every day.” Writing for me, is a passion and a love for sharing.
A Writer's Tale
Scarlett Van Dijk
Writer of young adult, fantasy series, the Sky Stone series, poetry and short stories.
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