Bookpleasures.com welcomes as our guest Joseph Hunter author of Back Door To Mars.
Norm: Good day Joseph and thanks for participating in our interview.
Please tell our readers a little bit about your personal and professional background.
Joseph: I grew up on a farm in Tennessee as the oldest of ten children, five boys and five girls. Through our teenage years we were dirt poor and all of us boys had to go without shoes or shirts during the summer months but we were mostly happy as a large family.
At the age of seventeen, I joined the Air Force and twenty years later I retired as a master electronic technician. During my military years, I was always interested in learning new things. For example, when I was assigned to a base in Florida, I enrolled at the University of Florida for courses that seemed like they would come in handy later.
When assigned to a base overseas, I pursued correspondence courses from the University of Maryland that were usually all that was readily available.
I enrolled at TCU when I was stationed in Texas and subsequently I acquired a two year degree in general studies from the local community college.
I also began to pursue a two year degree in computer science but half way through, I switched to a four year degree plan in Industrial Engineering at East Texas State University. It was about this time that I retired from the military and went to work for an aircraft manufacturing company. I was allowed to work the night shift to continue my education during the day.
Eventually, I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and was promoted to Spares Engineer, which was basically a trouble shooting position between the company and foreign governments where I became rather skillful in reverse engineering..
Norm: How long have you been writing, why do you write and are you a full-time or part-time writer?
Joseph: The fact of being in the military and working for a manufacturing company required a considerable amount of writing and I actually became quite fond of expressing myself through writing. Presently, I am mostly a part time writer.
Back to Mars was finished in 2011 but the year before I was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphatic Leukemia which just kept getting worse as time passed. I did not count on living much longer and I just gave up in 2013. However, I was miraculously healed and after waiting a few years and verifying that my illness would not likely return, I decided to rekindle my publishing efforts.
Norm: How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?
Joseph: Through my
environment and upbringing I have gleaned a huge imagination and, in
addition, my practical training has influenced my writing in the area
Norm: Do you write more
by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two? Please
summarize your writing process and in particular with your first novel,
Back Door To Mars.
Joseph: A combination of the two would be appropriate as I like to write from the standpoint of logic. Invariably, however, I will go back and change something just because it just doesn’t seem right.
As for my writing process, during the course of a day an idea, thought or a scene might appear in my mind and I would try to make a note of it on paper. When time permitted, I would go back to my notes, analyze and edit them. With my first book, that proved to be too much of a hassle, and therefore, I choose to use a small pocket recorder and at the appropriate time I would transcribe the tape into a file, which was much easier to keep track of and edit..
Norm: Why have you been drawn to science fiction? As a follow up, are there aesthetic advantages and disadvantages peculiar to science fiction and does it have a form? As a follow up, in your opinion, what makes a good science-fiction story?
Joseph: As an author it allows for the imaginative exploration of the fringes of what science could provide to the world but is not yet there. I suppose the beauty of seeing the fringes of reality before they are actually reality could possibly be an advantage. While a disadvantage could possibly be that modern science- fiction seems to have locked it into demons and dead people. I’m not sure if it has a form.
A good science fiction story is one that entertains with adventure, action and almost realistic science without being eaten by dead people.
Norm: What are some of the references that you use while researching this book?
Joseph: Other science fiction writers and the US Government.
Norm: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
Joseph: My goal was to provide entertainment by combining several different genres and I think that I have achieved that.
Norm: Are there vocabulary words or concepts in your book that may be new to readers? Define some of those.
Joseph: Yes, there are words, places and concepts that I just made up. For example, Cranesville University, the town of Cranesville, atomic powered vehicles and flying land rovers. There are concepts such as Lapprozonnite, a rare mineral that emits a yellowish glow when exposed to moisture. The concept that life on Mars does in fact exist, with technologies far beyond earth’s technologies including the concept that other worldly dimensions are present in close proximity to each other. As the Martian leaders are quick to point out this information is highly classified.
Norm: For those interested in exploring the subject or theme of your book, where should they start?
Joseph: First read Back Door To Mars, then follow the news more closely as there have been many stories regarding known aspects of the Planet Mars and there will be many more.
Norm: In your book, which character was the easiest to write? Most difficult?
Joseph: The main charter John Cayman was probably the easiest and his wife was the most difficult and if I were writing this book today, I would most likely cast her in a more dominant role.
Norm: Where can our readers find out more about you and Back Door To Mars?
Joseph: My Website or
Norm: What is next for Joseph Hunter?
Joseph: Possibility a sequel including a couple of teenagers.
Norm: As our interview comes to an end, what question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has?
Joseph: Where can I buy
your book? At the above web sites or AMAZON.COM
Norm: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. It's been an absolute pleasure to meet with you and read your work. Good luck with Back Door To Mars.\