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See also Isaac Asimov's Foundation and Robots series page reading order and synopsis; 160x480

Tom Trumpinski

answers the Usual Questions

Tom Trumpinski became a techno-hippie while at the University of Illinois College of Engineering, which he remains to this day.

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

Of course it has. I write to tell stories - ones that are desperately trying to get from my head onto either real or virtual paper. They do no one any good if they're not read. By talking to fans at conventions or on social media, I get feedback that enables me to frame those stories in ways that will result in the stories being purchased and enjoyed.

Photograph, Tom Trumpinski, photograph courtesy the author; 220x258

Tom Trumpinski

In addition, conventions give me an opportunity to pay forward the kindness and support I have received from pros who have preceded me-people like Gene Wolfe, Christopher Stasheff, and Jody Lynn Nye come immediately to mind. If there is an opportunity to encourage a new writer, I go out of my way to spend some time with them.

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?

I had the opportunity to talk before the seventh-grade writing classes at my daughter's middle school. The kids there asked one intelligent question after another about my art, science-fiction and fantasy as genres, and the ways in which a person can become a writer. I finished those days encouraged and optimistic about the future of our kind of literature.

Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?

The two authors who have taught me the most have been Stephen King and Elmore Leonard.

King is the master of internal dialogue - the stuff going on in characters' heads. He also authored what I consider to be the best book ever written on the craft of writing - On Writing. There's a section in there in which he takes the first few typewritten pages of one of his short stories, 1408, and showed his mark-up corrections with footnotes on why he did each of them.

Elmore Leonard demonstrates how to write dialogue well. Many of his books are three-quarters dialogue, yet a reader never is unsure as the person speaking. In addition, he eschews adverbs, instead using body language and nuance to demonstrate the mood and actions of his characters.

As far as my reading preferences, I will buy the following authors in hardback to display in my library:

Stephen King - because he's just that good

Neil Gaiman - he has created entire new mythologies for the modern world three or four times

Charlie Stross - both his SF post-singularity novels and Lovecraftian spy stories are frighteningly plausible

Jim Butcher - I love me some Harry Dresden

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

Michael Z. Williamson or Beth Patterson - it would take a millennium for either of them to run out of dirty jokes.

Who is the person you would most DISlike to be trapped in a lift with? Or a spaceship?

Anyone who insists on using logical fallacies in political arguments - I have to put up with enough of that on the Net. Being forced to listen to that would be hell.

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

My Kindle, first of all, since I have about two dozen books on there that I still need to get to. In addition, my desktop, so that I can get my minimum daily writing done.

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?

Why, money, you silly people. This isn't a hobby for me, but a job.

That obvious being said, I'm a member of the Human Wave movement - a group of writers who believe that the problems facing humanity can be solved in ways that increase freedom, wealth, and dignity for the race. I'd like to convince my readers that this is achievable.

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

Sharing people and places that previously only existed in my mind-writing, done successfully, is the closest thing to telepathy that humanity has devised.

Tom Trumpinski; 220x148

submitted by Tom Trumpinski

1 Jul 2014

For other answers to The Usual Questions Click here

Just the facts:
...a poor young country boy
Mother Nature's Son...
In the US Midwest at a time when the world was different - an isolated, segregated America where there were few, if any, police and custom, rather than law, ruled. We were often hungry. I like the future we live in quite a bit, even though it's not perfect, by any means.
Resides: Champaign, Illinois, USA
My short story, Strays, appears in LatchKey Tales-Volume 1, Number 1
The Christmas Dragon is in Allusions of Innocence and The Closing-Time Girl in Fae Fatales, both published by Solarwyrm and available on Amazon and Kindle.
My 2008 collection of short works, Riding the Hell-Bound Train, is available at the Barnes and Noble Nook store.

Web site:
Come see me on Facebook at Thomas Trumpinski. We'll have adventures together.


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