Question 1 – You are a prolific writer in many different genres. Is it very hard to switch back and forth from historic romance, to fantasy, and then to science fiction?
It’s very, very difficult. I think I’d get bored if I did only one thing, but I could stand to kick back a little. Actually I haven’t done historic romance — not really. I did a novelization of the lives of Henry VIII queens, but I think in Romance you should lose your head in a different way . I do historical mystery as Sarah D’Almeida and I’m re-releasing my Musketeer mysteries, and will continue the series if indie sales warrant it. So, oh, yeah, kicking back not happening soon.
Question 2- You seem to write several blogs daily (I can barely keep up with reading them and I really enjoy your blogs) and you produce a massive amount of written work for novels, short stories etc besides. How do you keep the words flowing? Do you ever get writer’s block and if so how do you combat it?
Sometimes I face a black abyss. Weirdly, this happens most often in nonfiction. I’m trying very hard to do all my blogging — I owe Bill Quick blogs. And also Classical Values — on weekends, which leaves my mind in fiction-mode for the week. Hopefully. We’ll see how it works.
Question 3- Who are the writers that most influenced your work?
Robert A. Heinlein, Agatha Christie, Clifford Simak, Terry Pratchett, F. Paul Wilson — and for a different set Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Dumas. And for yet a different set Bradbury, Borges… I’m leaving so many out.
Question 4- You are originally from Portugal and you speak several languages, but from what I can tell you write mainly in English. Do you write anything for the Portuguese market? Is there a market for science fiction and fantasy in Portugal?
I write only in English. Even an extended period of reading in other languages will affect my English … fluency. Or at least the word choice and syntax. I can’t sell to the Portuguese market for love or money. It’s my dream to have my father read one of my Musketeer mysteries, but he doesn’t speak English and I’ve been unable to sell translation rights. In fact, the only translation rights I’ve sold are to Darkship Thieves, in Japanese.
Question 5- The last question we ask at the Freehold is always one about politics. These questions always get mixed reactions. Some writers refuse to answer so they will not disappoint fans who don’t agree with their views others are very open about them. You seem to be in the very open camp. Do you follow any one political philosophy and if not can you give us a short overview of what you believe politically?
I think it would be very hard to have any fans who know of my science fiction unaware of where I stand politically and look, frankly? I read people who are progressives (Rex Stout and Heinlein at a time) and soft left (Pratchett) and I think if the left can’t pull up its big boy/girl pants and face it that there isn’t one “right” way to think and anyone who doesn’t think that way is a villain or stupid, we’re going to have to fight this out on the streets. Which I hope we aren’t. In fact, I know I have several leftist fans who roll their eyes at my politics. It’s good for them. I raise their blood pressure and thereby get them the benefit of exercise without the trouble. As for my politics, I’m a minarchist. I don’t believe in utopias. I don’t believe we can get by with NO government — not yet and not for a good long time — but humans being humans and not angels, government is a terrible power to entrust to any of them or any group of them. And so, I suggest we have a government and make it as powerless as possible. My beliefs track pretty closely with those enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and — with minor quibbles — in the constitution. For our present trouble, I think devolving a lot more power to the states and to the individuals would be salutary. Oops. Sorry. That’s not brief.
Thank you for the interview and I look forward to seeing you again next year at Liberty Con in Chattanooga.