Thursday, April 29, 2010

Author Interview: Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Several days ago I posted a review for Kristine Kathryn Rusch's incredible sci-fi novel Diving Into the Wreck. Not longer after that, I contacted Kristine to see if she would be willing to do an interview for the site. Luckily enough she has, so with that said...

What made you want to become an author?

I always wanted to be a writer, from my earliest memories. The amateur psychologist in me thinks that’s because I was raised by 5 adults who were always reading. One of my earliest memories is asking reading adults to play with me (I couldn’t read then) and they told me to go away because they were busy. But who knows, really? I’ve always loved stories, and I just learned that my mother’s side of the family was filled with writers, newspaper editors, and book publishers. So maybe it was Destiny.

How did you get your start in writing?

I always wrote. I started publishing in high school when I got to write the high school column for the local paper (and got paid!). I wasn’t an English major in college, but I took writing classes so that I would have an excuse to write. I mailed things out from an early age, and got fiction published when I was 21.

What appeals to you the most about writing; what makes it special?

I can sit in a room by myself, make things up, and then later, people I’ve never met talk to me about that story. I think that’s just nifty snifty. (Seriously.)

Who are some authors who have had the most influence on you?

I’m sure there are many I’m not even aware of, but I always cite F. Scott Fitzgerald and Daphne Du Maurier, mostly because I reread The Great Gatsby every year, whether I need to or not, and Rebecca every year as well. In sf, I think my biggest influences were Andre Norton and Ursula K. Le Guin.

You've written in several different genres. Do you have a particular favorite?

Honestly, no. I didn’t even know genres existed until college when my buddy Kevin J. Anderson told me what genres were. I just like books.

Diving Into the Wreck was originally written as a novella. How did you go about expanding it into the full length novel that it is now?

I write almost completely out of my subconscious. I don’t plan things, I don’t outline, I don’t really know what’s happening until it gets revealed on the page. So I started a second novella, called “The Room of Lost Souls,” and suddenly Boss appeared. I realized then that “Diving” and “Room” were parts of a novel, and so I wrote the rest of it. Then I started another story, and Boss showed up again (she won’t leave me alone!), so I realized that there was a lot more than one novel here. The “Spires of Denon” happened without Boss, but in the same universe, so now I have an even bigger group of stories to tell.

Undoubtedly you’ve created an amazing universe within the pages of Diving Into the Wreck, and some amazing characters, particularly Boss. Is there any chance that we might be seeing more of her in the future?

Oh, yes. The next book is called City of Ruins and it will come out in Spring 2011. There may or may not be a novella in Asimov’s before that, called “Becoming One With the Ghosts.” I’m not sure when Sheila has it planned. And of course, there are all the stories I mentioned above, and more that will happen as I finish up City. Readers can find out what all the related stories are either on my website,, or on a Diving-dedicated static website called

What kind of projects are you currently working on?

Right now, I’m finishing up my next Kristine Grayson paranormal called Wickedly Charming. These books are about as far from Diving as you can get. In this novel, Prince Charming falls for the Evil Stepmother—at a book fair.

You’ve written several media tie-in novels in the past, for such series as Star Trek, X-Men, Aliens, and Predator. What are some of the challenges to writing in already established universes?

You have to be true to the characters and the world. You also have to love those worlds, or it’s just not worth anyone’s time. Never do the work cynically. I’m just a big fangirl, so I have a lot of fun when I write tie-ins.

Technology is quickly catching up to the standards of science fiction. Do you think this is a good thing? What kind of an impact do you think new inventions like the iPad will have on the genre?

SF has never really been about tech. It’s about Now disguised as the future. So I don’t think tech changing is a problem.

I think the iPad and other inventions will only improve the genre, and help us find new ways to tell stories. (And new ways to deliver them.)

What’s your take on electronic books? Do you think that they have/will
hurt the publishing business?

Help. They’ll bring in new readers, new ways of writing, new ways of consuming stories. Already, I’m seeing a lot more folks reading—on their phones, listening to podcasts, talking about books. That’s a good thing.

As for the big publishers, New York publishers, they’re in the same position that the TV networks were in during the late 1980s, early 1990s, as everyone started to get cable. The overall numbers of viewers went up, but the numbers per program went down. I think some of the big bestsellers will see numbers go down, but the midlist writers will see their sales go up as the books become available through a wide variety of non-traditional and smaller markets.

When not writing, what are some of your hobbies?

I run. I go to movies, watch too much TV, and read of course. And travel when I get the chance.

What are some books that you’ve recently enjoyed reading?

I do a recommended reading list on my blog every month because I love sharing what I’ve read. It’s here:

Recently, I recommended Connie Willis’s Blackout, Deborah Blum’s The Poisoner’s Handbook, and Robert Crais’s The First Rule. There’s tons more on the lists, but those are memorable highlights.

Do you have a favorite quote?

I don’t have it in front of me, so this probably isn’t exact, but I heard it from Senator Edward Kennedy: “Never let the perfect get in the way of the good.” I tend toward perfectionism, so that really helps.

What’s one important thing that readers should know about you?

I write a lot, so if you like one kind of fiction, I’ve probably written it (under one name or another).

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I have a new book out from Golden Gryphon. It’s called Recovering Apollo 8 and Other Stories. It’s my latest collection of award-winning, award-nominated, and best-of short stories. The book has a lovely Bob Eggleton cover. I’m really pleased with it. It’s a lovely package.

Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule and stopping by. Hopefully we’ll see you again!

Thanks for asking!


  1. What a great interview. Ms. Rusch happens to be one of my favorite SciFi authors and she certainly is knowledgeable in the subject of SciFi. It's nice to hear/read her answers. Thank you!

  2. You're welcome! Make sure to stick around, I've got many, many more interviews lined up with some other great authors, and even some book giveaways coming up within the next month!