Amanda Palmer interviews author Tammy Salyer from the International Space Station
September 20, 2012
When I asked authors nominated as Top Five Finalists in Kindle Book Review’s Best Indie Books of 2012 Awards to let their hair down and send me some dream interviews they wish they had given, I thought the sky was the limit.
It wasn’t. Tammy Salyer, whose book Contract of Defiance is nominated in the SCI-Fi genre actually set her interview in outer space. Why should this surprise me?
Read and enjoy.
From the perspective of a camera user, a hand can be seen tuning in a satellite frequency dial below a large, high-resolution monitor. There is a bit of static and fuzz, then the author’s face comes into view. A moment later, a smaller window appears at the base of the monitor, and composer/singer Amanda Palmer’s face appears in it.
“Hi, Tammy. Can you hear me okay?”
“Loud and clear, Amanda.”
“Nice. How are things on the International Space Station? Is the weather good?”
“That’s awesome. Thanks, Tammy. The feeling is mutual. Can you tell us a little about how you ended up out there?”
“Sure. It was really quite a trip. Apparently the President is a big fan of my novels. Who knew? As good friends with NASA Administrator Bolden, I guess he was privy to certain leniencies they had in regards to who would be aboard the latest shuttle and was able to use his considerable influence to get me on. When the invitation came, I was floored. But there was no way I could resist.”
“Did you have any concerns about being in space?”
“You know, not really. I mean, I remember watching what happened to the Challenger when I was a kid, but how many people get this opportunity? I guess as a writer, we’re willing to take some chances for good writing fodder. I write a lot about space travel, so I just thought of coming up here as a great research opportunity. It’s much easier to write convincingly about something if you’ve actually experienced it. I guess that’s why there are so many romance novelists.”
*both chuckle again*
“What is your next book going to be about? Or can you say?”
“I think I’ll jump outside of the science fiction genre a little for the next one. I’m actually hoping your husband would be willing to collaborate on a paranormal novel with me. Maybe you could put in a good word for me?”
“I’d be happy too. I know that you are former military and self-identify as a feminist. Do you find that your military experiences and socio-political convictions feed into your writing much? If so, in what ways?”
“That goes without saying. I don’t know if there’s a writer in the world who can escape the drive to explore their own beliefs and convictions through their own writing, whether they set out with that intention or not. But at the same time, I try not to use my novels and stories as a vehicle for preaching about my beliefs. If anything, I like to throw the range of ideas on the table and let the reader parse through the subtext themselves. I think that’s what readers like to do as well. For non-interactive entertainment, people watch movies. But for cerebral and engaging entertainment that makes one think, people read books.”
“That’s fantastic, Tammy. I think our time is just about over. Thanks for talking to me today.”
“Thank YOU, Amanda. I can’t wait until we can exchange signed copies of our stuff, my books for your CDs.”