In talking with my co-workers the other day, I rediscovered something about myself.
I’m a complete nerd.
We were all dreamily reminiscing of the days of childhood, when we ran carefree through parks, rejoiced in staying up until 10 pm to play nightgames, relished summers spent creating science experiments…oh wait. That last one was just me. Both of my office mates stared at me when I brought up the hours I spent hovering over my microscope, creating light-reflecting prisms, and consulting star charts so I could find Mars with my telescope. The looks on their faces asked, and at ten years old, you found this FUN?
Why yes, yes I did. I gave them an awkward smile, and the conversation turned back to sleepovers and swimming pools– the things normal kids did during their childhood. Of course, I did those too. I recall one sleepover where I read my friend a story about a girl being abducted by aliens…hm. Maybe that explains why we didn’t stay friends.
For the longest time growing up, I wanted to be a scientist. An astronaut, a marine biologist, a geneticist. It wasn’t until I was in college as a microbiology major that I realized as much as I loved science, I loved the things I could write about science more. I loved learning fascinating facts– but I loved extrapolating those facts into “what if” scenarios more.
I also learned that I love the fascinating and bizarre things in science, but more than that, I love figuring out how they affect us. What does the discovery of an animal that has assimilated plant DNA mean for society? For an individual person? For that specific person that might become my main character? It might mean nothing, or it might mean a lot. That’s what I really love getting at. And so, I’m a sci fi writer– it’s just in my blood.
What about you? What attracts you to the genre you write in? What is it that makes you passionate about what you write?