I’m here with Andrew Peery, my fellow Writers of the Future writer-winner from Durham, North Carolina. He very graciously volunteered to answer the following questions:
Tell me about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your background?
I live in Durham, North Carolina, with my wife and two boys. I’m a doctor, and I use those experiences in my writing. Having young kids (ages 3 and 5), my hobbies include stepping on legos and tracking down the small plastic parts of toys. On the plus side, I’m constantly surrounded by space ships and castles, which can be rather inspiring.
What kinds of stories do you write? Why?
I was watching the movie Arrival while I was flying out to LA. I had already seen it, and I had already read the Ted Chiang story the movie was based on, so I thought watching again wouldn’t be a big deal. I was so wrong. As I got deeper into the movie and (spoiler alert) Amy Adams’ character became more and more aware of the life of her daughter, I felt myself choking up. Fortunately, the two people sitting to either side of me had headphones on and didn’t even notice.
Anyway, THAT is the kind of fiction I aspire to write—good stories that have an emotional hook.
What authors have had the greatest influence on your writing? Why?
I grew up reading Bradbury, Heinlein, Niven, and Herbert, and the incredible depth of the worlds they created still inspires me. More recently, I’ve been a huge fan of Neal Stephenson, Lev Grossman, and Paolo Bacigalupi. I suspect my own work owes the most to writers like Ted Chiang and N.K. Jemisin along with the contemporary fiction writer George Saunders. I admire the way they use their writing to consider deep questions of contemporary life.
What’s your favorite book? Why?
At this exact moment, I’d have to go with Anathem by Neal Stephenson. (It’s a tough question, and if you could ask me again in an hour I might have a different opinion.) The protagonist studies math and science, but he lives in a monastic environment with limited access to the outside world. As someone who works at a university, I found Stephenson’s vision fascinating.
CLOWNS! No seriously, CLOWNS! Because, CLOWNS!
Did Tim Powers ask you to put this in? Did he say anything about stilts?
Complete the following sentence: In my cold country…
…we had no word for cold. There was no way to talk about the weather, so we all had to leave.
To read Andrew’s story, “Useless Magic”, please buy your copy today of Writers of the Future: Volume 33. If you already have a copy and have read it, please take a few moments to click this link and place your review: http://amzn.to/2kNE5eh If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, then still click this link, get your book, read it, and review it!