What do you like most about science fiction as a genre?
I love the permission writing (and reading) science fiction gives us to explore human behavior in fun and interesting ways. How many times do we catch ourselves looking around a crowded room and feeling like everyone else must be from another planet? Or vice versa, like we just landed on a strange world and cannot figure out its even stranger inhabitants? These experiences are universal (no pun intended), and in writing sci-fi, we get to make them visceral.
From where did you draw inspiration for your sci-fi novel?
From my own life, of course, but also from some of my favorite authors. The wacky humor of Douglas Adams in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, and the skewed alternative universe of Jasper Fforde in the Thursday Next series, both made me feel like writing a story like An Alien's Guide was possible. Readers might even like it. And believe it or not, this story owes a big debt to The Wizard of Oz. Probably, if we were honest, just about every tale of misfit friends on a journey owes a debt to L. Frank Baum's story.
If they were to make a movie of your book, who would you want to play the lead roles, and why?
I adore Alan Rickman. Can he play all the leads? Okay, we'll save him for the villain, Sergio, because we know how well he can play a black-eyed sneak. Laura Linney might be my favorite actress, so I'll wish for her to take on Louie, who understands dogs and cats but not her fellow humans. And Jack, Louie's partner in trying to save the world? Colin Firth is a bit older than Jack is written, but he's got the right hair and eyes. (Obviously I'm not going to make it big as a Hollywood casting director...)
Describe your sci-fi novel in 25 words or less.
When humanity's future is in the hands of the one person on the planet who questions whether they are worth saving, it's lucky her dog knows what to do.
THIS or THAT:
Star Wars or