Friday, June 13, 2014

Interview with John Steiner, author of the Flipspace Series

Hiya peeps! Melange Books took a chance on me about five years ago and opened the door to make my publishing dreams come true. They've given many authors that chance since then, so I wanted to give props to Melange this month by interviewing several of their authors. You'll find some great insights, tips, and new books to read along the way. Enjoy!

Interview with John Steiner

Where are you from and what do you do when you’re not writing?
John Steiner

Tutoring at the Salt Lake Community College and chasing scientific ideas for stories or just sheer entertainment.

How did you come up with the idea for this book/series?

I was jonesing for spaceflight, and decided to do something about it. I wanted a spaceflight series that had humor, military action, a realistic future society and accurate science with exo-planets we know today are there waiting to be explored.

Tell us about the writing process—what were your favorite and least favorite moments?

My favorite moments for Flipspace were the flights of the ship, ISS Mockingbird especially takeoff. It’s a space plane with four engines for atmospheric flight and one larger engine for space. I play certain songs, like “The Fire Within” by Audiomachine, when visualizing the takeoff and typing that into the story. There is this one pause before the choir starts, and that’s the moment of switching engines and trading blue sky for space.
Least favorite moment is the chopping block, especially when an editor tells me to cut a favorite phrasing of mine and they’re correct about that.

What’s your favorite cure for writer’s block?

I generally have a soundtrack laid out for a story, and I either just listen to that and let my imagination off the leash, or I find one of my PC games to play that numbs the mind allowing a fresher perspective when I come back to the story.

Cover for Flipspace 4
Can you please share an excerpt? 

“Mission! Aten-huh,” Anders ordered.
Then the man did a left face and saluted Colonel Ramachandra, who returned it as crisply as received. She then turned toward the gathered formation with Major Fitch e’er at her shoulder.
“Crew of the ISS Mockingbird,” Colonel Ramachandra began, a truncated speech thrown together in the last thirty seconds in her head. “Your first flight isn’t going to be celebrated with any fanfare. Your friends and family aren’t seeing you off to the flight line. No bottles of wine smashed against the nose in christening. It would dirty my ship, and I don’t like that.”
That got a couple chuckles and several more grins.
“We’re going up and away in the manner on which we drilled together for a year.” Ramachandra went on in more motivational tone. “Train like you fly, and you’ll fly like you trained. Let’s go show those civie and corporate astronauts how it’s done. What’s our registry number?”
“I S S Four Five Four,” the crew sounded off with perfect unison, and added. “Click–BANG.”
“Dismissed.” Ramachandra handed the crew off to the Chief.
“Mission. As-sume launch positions… Fallout,” Chief Anders ordered.
Each flight operation crew broke out toward the debarkation and loading bay in smart order, with the mission officers and the Chief following. Men and women pounded up the ramp to the back where an airlock waited in ‘Double Open’ status.

What’s your next/current writing project?

I’m working on a different series of short stories called Alter Idem [Latin for Second Self] about two Cincinnati police detectives in a non-specific age when a major portion of society has turned into vampires, angels, giants, werewolves and fae.

Here’s a totally random question for you:
 I’m on a silly haiku kick, so come up with your own silly haiku, but you must include the word “bunny”.

Swords flung in retreat
Beheaded in a flash
Indomitable is that bunny

Hilarious! I bet this was the bunny the Monty Python crew came across. Thanks so much for stopping by! 

John Steiner earned his Associate of Biology at Salt Lake Community College, where he is currently working as a tutor in math and chemistry. He exercises an avid interest in history, science, philosophy, mythology, martial arts as well as military tactics and technology.


  1. This sounds like a great new read. Unique and interesting. ;)

  2. A haiku with bunny in it, and all I heard in my head was, "Run away!"

    One of the challenges was to ensure that Colonel Ramachandra didn't come across like Captain Janeway in Star Trek: Voyager. I still daydream of whole missions and individual scenes for the ISS Mockingbird.


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