Interview with L.E. Modesitt, Jr.
We are very pleased to kick-off this new season of programming on KWOD Radio on February 12th, with one of the seasoned authors of original Sci-Fi and Fantasy, L. E. Modesitt Jr.
Mr. Modesitt will be the Author Guest of Honor at CopperCon Revolution this August. Find more information on how you can meet this terrific author at:
L. E. Modesitt, Jr., is the New York Times best-selling author of more than 60 novels - primarily science-fiction and fantasy, a number of short stories, and numerous technical and economic articles. His novels have sold millions of copies in the U.S. and world-wide. Shortly after his tours as a Navy amphibious officer and then as a pilot, he returned to Denver as a market research analyst and economist, which experiences generated the idea for his first published story - "The Great American Economy" - printed in ANALOG in 1973. His latest book is Imager's Battalion, the sixth book of The Imager Portfolio, with the seventh book - Antiagon Fire - coming in May... and a stand-alone SF novel - The One-Eyed Man - coming in October.
When did you get started writing? When was your first story published? How did that come to be?
Lee: I never set out to write science-fiction/fantasy, I was going to be a poet. I actually wrote and published in small literary magazines for almost ten years before I ever wrote a science-fiction story. It became very clear I was not going to be the next William Butler Yeats or T.S. Elliott, and I was in my late twenties, and somebody said, you have been reading science-fiction your whole life, why don't you write some. And I thought, why not, the poetry wasn't going any place, so I wrote a short story, and I sent it off to Ben Bova who had just taken over as editor of Analog, and it was presumptuous of me. I got a rejection letter, but it wasn't too bad, it basically said this isn't a bad story except for something on page 13, and if you fix it, he wanted to see it again. So, I fixed it, and Ben bought it, and I thought I was a writer. It doesn't quite work that way. I kept track and I wrote something like twenty-six stories before I sold a second story. This went along for six or seven years, while I was working full-time in Washington, D.C. Then one day, Ben wrote me another letter, and in essence, said I won't buy any more short stories, you are a novelist, and until you write a novel, I won't look at another short story. (Modesitt laughs) He was right - and unlike my short stories, I sold every novel I have ever written.
My first novel came out in 1982 from Simon & Schuster.
Do you think any of your work in political positions transpired in any of your works?
Throughout my works; all of my works, even Polidas of Fantasy has political overtones in it, also economic overtones, because I was originally trained as an economist. Did spend a year or so as an industrial economist. Want to talk about a dull job, I was a market research analyst for an industrial menatics firm trying to forecast the sales of filters, regulators and lubricators for heavy industry.
I thought it was somewhat interesting, though most people would not. Unfortunately, I was not well suited for it. I was young and naive as many people who are bright and experienced are, and I forgot that politics played a bigger part of jobs even when the job is in economics.
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