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It’s no secret I have a little crush on Daniel Smith.  I’ve been in a few projects with him, and every time I read something he writes, I’m always astounded by his talent and the breadth of work he’s able to create.  Plus he’s funny and smart and the eminent gentleman. I’m proud to have him as a friend and thrilled to have the chance to spotlight him on my blog today for all of you to enjoy.  Get to know my buddy Daniel below and then check out his website where you can sign up for his newsletter and get a FREE copy of the best-selling Sarfers: http://www.danielarthursmith.com/

PKT: You have a very big collection of novels and short stories for readers to choose from. If someone was interested in reading a new science fiction author, and found you, what 3 books or short stories would you hope they pick up first?

DAS: I adore all of my stories. I suppose the three I’d suggest would be Hugh Howey Lives, Agroland, and my short story, From the Inside.

 

PKT: There’s a lot of buzz in the science fiction world about female versus male authors, in what used to be a very male dominated genre. What are your thoughts on this?

DAS: I grew up in the middle of a cornfield and did not have any insight into publishing industry politics. From my sheltered perspective, women were equal in all things and had a prominent place in speculative fiction. I was weaned on Mary Shelley, P.D. James, Ursula K. Le Guin, C.J. Cherryh, Anne Rice, Anne McCaffrey, Margaret Atwood, and of course, Shirley Jackson. I had no idea that these brilliant minds were discriminated against. I did not know that publishers took the lion’s share of all author earnings. To me these authors, as well as their male counterparts were great minds to be respected. Gender discrimination is something I did not learn about until my late teens.

 

PKT: It’s really great to hear you had so many women authors as influences in your childhood. Now that we’ve heard about your past, could you tell us who your two favorite female authors are today?

DAS: It’s hard to pick only two, but I’ll list a contemporary and classic. Susan Kaye Quinn and Shirley Jackson.

Quinn’s ability to boil down complex philosophical and scientific ideas makes her speculative fiction accessible to a wide range of readers, spanning age groups and educational levels. Her characters are relatable, her stories, and science plausible. I’m also impressed with her efforts to further the craft, not only by experimenting with series, and the complexity of her own writing, but also by supporting the community.

Shirley Jackson is a literary master. I have re-read her stories countless times to study her technique. Her thrift and poignancy have been a direct influence on my writing.

 

PKT: Those are great answers, I’m a big fan of Susan Kaye Quinn myself.

The Cathari Treasure is Kindle’s, Number 1 Men’s Adventure and Pulp Thriller Best Seller. First, Congratulations! Now, for the tough question: do you think women readers might enjoy this title too? If we didn’t concern ourselves with gender, what type of person might The Cathari Treasure book appeal to? Do they need to be a fan of technology, geek culture, or something else entirely?

DAS: Though the protagonist is male, a core theme to The Cathari Treasure adventure thriller is the strength of women. Other themes are spiritually and our connection to god. The book is written plain and simple and has no technology or geek culture requirement, and should be a great fit for anyone who enjoys adventures, thrillers and science fiction.

 

PKT: What are your thoughts on whether a male writer can write believable female characters, and how do you try to make your female characters seem realistic as a male author?

DAS: If I ever pull off a believable female character I’ll let you know. Having strong women in my life leads me to write strong female characters and I strive to add dimension.

My first novel, The Potter’s Daughter, is told from different perspectives—The father, the daughter, a lover. I’ve received feedback that my father and lover are outstanding, yet they overshadow my female protagonist.

In Hugh Howey Lives I again focused on female characters. I made great progress over my first novel, yet I feel the work is not yet complete.

 

PKT: Thanks so much for joining us as part of the Men in Sci-Fi series on this blog, and being willing to discuss the gendered nature of science fiction writing!

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About Daniel Arthur Smith

Daniel Arthur Smith is the author of the international bestsellers HUGH HOWEY LIVES, THE CATHARI TREASURE, THE SOMALI DECEPTION, and a few other novels and short stories. He has also curated the best-selling CLONES anthology and the popular short story magazine series Tales from the Canyons of the Damned.

He was raised in Michigan and graduated from Western Michigan University where he studied philosophy, with focus on cognitive science, metaphysics, and comparative religion. He began his career as a bartender, barista, poetry house proprietor, teacher, and then became a technologist and futurist for the Fortune 100 across the Americas and Europe.

Daniel has traveled to over 300 cities in 22 countries, residing in Los Angeles, Kalamazoo, Prague, Crete, and now writes in Manhattan where he lives with his wife and young sons.

Check out his website where you can sign up for his newsletter and get a FREE copy of the best-selling Sarfers: http://www.danielarthursmith.com/

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