Tuesday 25 January 2011

Interview with Author and Editor Rick Novy

Rick Novy lives in the Sonoran Desert city of Scottsdale, Arizona. His education is technical, holding degrees in physics, mathematics, and engineering.  Through his career, he has flown satellites, helped develop surgical implants, and worked with various integrated circuits and senors.  He has also taught in the mathematics department at the local community college.

His very first acceptance was to Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show. Since then his fiction has appeared nearly three dozen times in both online and print venues. Rick is the editor of 2020 Visions where sixteen writers look forward a mere decade and present stunning scenerios, reveal exciting possibilities, and warn against harrowing pitfalls that may lie just a few steps ahead of us.  What will life be like ten years from now? 

Rick's website contains a host of information about writing, fish and e-publishing -- do give it a read if you get a chance.

Rick, what do you love about writing and editing?
Writing is the act of creating.  I love the freedom it allows.  It's the only area in life where I get to play entirely by my own rules and can create the kind of stories I would like to read but aren't out there.

Editing is a different animal.  I enjoy editing, but not in large doses, and I certainly wouldn't want to do it all the time the way somebody like John Joseph Adams does.  But the act of reading and selecting other people's stories is enjoyable, even if sending rejections isn't so fun.  Finding that one really great story in the pile is worthwhile.

What's the best peice of writing advice you ever heard? Did you follow it?
Trying to pick out a single piece of writing advice that is the best is something like going to the beach and asking which wave is my favorite.  It's a fluid question and the best advice is always relative to what I happen to be doing at the moment, and what I'm struggling with at that time.  

I have had a lot of sage advice from some very good writers (Orson Scott Card, David Gerrold, Michael A. Stackpole to name three). All had excellent advice that I use, and all had some things that work for them but not for me. 

If I absolutely have to pick something, I'll say Heinlein's first rule--A writer must write.  And I don't always follow it, no, because I am also very influenced by Newton's first law (an object in motion stays in motion, an object at rest stays at rest).  So I am a streaky writer and I'm struggling to be more consistent.

How important is it for a writer to have a blog/website? 
For an established pro who was established before Al Gore invented the internet, not so much.  For anyone still ascending in their career, it's very important and becoming more important all the time. 

Connecting with a generation that lives and breathes with electronic devices is essential to building a lasting career in today's world.  If the information is out there, people will find it.  If you can drive traffic to your site, that's even better because it's about exposure.  With electronic publishing finally gaining significant marketshare, you have to be online, and at least some of your work must be available in electronic form.

I wrote a series of 8 essays on my blog discussing electronic publishing.  Here is a link to the 8th, it has embedded links to the other 7 essays.

Writing or editing, what's going to be in your future (maybe a bit of both)? 
Editing is something that I will occasionally do when I get an idea that's too good not to use for an anthology, but writing is where I plan to focus my literary efforts.  I have a lot of novels swimming around inside my head and they need to get into a form people can read.  I also have some non-fiction aspirations.

Thank you, Rick.
Thank you. 
Find Rick's work through the links below:
2020 Visions - M-Brane Press - 16 stories of the near future.
eBooks for the 21st-Century Author - Entropy-Central.net - free PDF book available from Rick's website.
Ergosphere - M-Brane Press - trade paperback version of M-Brane SF issue #12 which Rick guest-edited.
Winter - Sam's Dot Publishing - Novelette "Winter" paired with short story "The Adjoa Gambit."
(No direct link, you will have to search for Rick's name)


  1. Great interview, Deborah. I'm going to have to check out some of Mr. Novy's stuff!

  2. Hi Milo, I'f you ever fancy being interviewed just give me a shout. I'm thinking about doing a real fast-answers one next, to see what works best.