Simon I want to thank you, for taking the time to talk with me today.
Oh, I'm happy to speak with you, Evelyn. I love talking and listening about writing, and secondly, I enjoy talking with you, because we have such fun doing it!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I'm actually a Swamp Thing. No, really, I was born in a little town in the middle of the Atchafalaya Swamp, and we moved to New Orleans when I was a year old. I consider New Orleans my home. My mother was a movie fan, and Daddy's work made him have to travel, so after supper every night, Mother and I would go a block and a half to the movie theater—it was called "The Grenada" and watch the double feature, sometimes the same shows two or three nights in a row. So I absorbed film structure from a very young age. As far as poetry and prose, my parents read to me from infancy, and the conversation in our home, even when the family grew to six of us, was always lively, intelligent, funny and electric, in the sense that we most often anticipated each others' line of thought and addressed it at a great rate, and then someone else picked it the line and ran with it. No one ever actually had to finish a sentence. It was exhilarating, wonderful and tremendously contributive to the creative process, no matter by which expression we chose to express it. Initially, my brothers chose music and writing; my sister was a journalist; I write and paint.
What is your favorite quality about yourself?
What made you want to be a writer?
I've always been an omnivorous reader, and have also always been a storyteller. For me it was not only a joy, it was a necessity. Let me explain: In a traditional Italian/Sicilian family, such as the one I come from, they value a certain kind of beauty: blonde hair (even if it's an inch long and all over the body) and blue eyes (it doesn't matter how many there are, so long as they're blue) but as it happened, I was very small for my age, dark, skinny, handicapped, and intelligent. All no-no's for girls in the traditional S/I family. So I told stories to make people like me (and because I absolutely LOVED telling stories! When I married and no longer had the built-in "audience," it was natural to start writing the stories down, and it grew from there.
How long have you been writing?
I told my first cohesive story when I was three years old (I told a really terrific story before that, but my parents didn't understand it), and I've been telling them in prose, poetry and screenplays ever since, nonstop.
How did you come up with your book titles?
Okay, I'll just talk about the science-fiction books right now: "All the Gods of Eisernon" is part of the protagonist's medical oath; "The Elluvon Gift" was a logical extension of the name of the extra-galactic alien mother, an 'Elluvon;' "The Trumpets of Tagan" refers to the sea creatures, called 'Trumpets,' who inhabit the Single Sea; "Timeslide" is, as stated, a slide backward down Time; "Hopeship" is (again, not surprisingly!)-about the concept of the decommissioned hospital ship, the good ship Hope, as superimposed on the idea of interplanetary travel. My "good ship Hope" goes from backwater world to backwater world and back again, serving the poor and needy of all species. At one time, Gene Roddenberry and I had agreed to make it into a series spinoff of Star Trek, but once Desi and Lucy divorced, all bets were off.
What do you do when you are not writing?
I'm always writing. But when I'm not at the computer, I love cooking and entertaining friends and family; doing heirloom embroidery; drawing and painting; and I love prayer. I pray a lot, just because I enjoy it.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
My current work is the next novel in "the Einai Series," called "Recovery.” My protagonist, Dao Marik, has been through some pretty tough times (including having a prejudiced Earthling politico destroy what he thinks is the last copy of Marik's medical certification and military record), and has had to be patched up so he could go back out and have more adventures. In "Recovery," he hears that the scuttled hulk of the hospital ship "USS Pacific is going to be nudged into a nearby sun, and that's where the real last copies of his records are. So he decides to go recover them. Hence the title, "Recovery." However, he forgets what lives in shipwrecks, which makes for a fun book.
My books are available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, White Bird Publications and from my website, at http://www.authorsimonlang.com/ or you can order them from any bookstore. Buy millions, they make great Christmas/C'hannukah/Diwali/Kwanzaa presents, and just think: you'll be helping a nice little Sicilian/Italian grandmother get to be a best-seller! A note here: I use the dreaded "N word" in my work, because I'm frankly trying to de-mythologize it. As Al and I have a huge (20 children) multi-racial family (everything but green), I may be crazy, stupid, or whatever, but prejudiced I'm not.