I interviewed John Dreese, the author of Red Hope and Blue Hope, about his books, his inspiration and his writing process. If you haven’t had a chance to read these Mars sci-fi adventure thrillers I highly recommend them.
Fans of Red Hope seemed to be all over the Internet. How much pressure did you feel while writing Blue Hope?
Believe it or not, Red Hope was initially a standalone story. I’m a fan of subtle cliffhangers, with the end of the movie Inceptionbeing my favorite. That was the type of ending I was shooting for with Red Hope. But when I was done, I realized there could be so much more to the story beyond Red Hope. Between finishing Red Hope and starting Blue Hope, I read a lot of books about the mechanics of storytelling. Those showed me how to take what was good with Red Hope and make it even better. The key goal for Blue Hope was to write a really fun adventure story that takes the reader all around the planet and beyond.
Would you want to personally go to space?
Absolutely not. Although I like to fly on airplanes, I have no desire to go into space. I’m a huge fan of Earth. Compared to anything else we’ve found in the solar system, Earth won the lottery on beauty, climate, living conditions, etc… If we did get a large society growing on Mars, they’d probably consider Earth a resort destination. However, I wouldlike to experience zero g’s for a little while.
Neal Stephenson or Andy Weir?
It’s hard to believe, but I’ve not read any of their books (yet). If there was a genre for my books, they’d be either traditional scifi or adventure – that’s also what I tend toward when reading. For example, I’m a big fan of Michael Crichton. However, I will say that the opening line to Stephenson’s Seveneves book is possibly the greatest opener in all of current fiction.
Your books are a little bit of techno-thriller and a lot of science fiction. Which authors most inspired you?
Don’t forget adventure, too! I’d say that Crichton was definitely an inspiration. I know this may sound strange, but John Steinbeck may be my biggest inspiration, mainly because his character development was incredible. If you’ve read my books, especially Blue Hope, I hope you get the impression that the characters are very important to me and their adventures are the real story in my novels.
Now that Blue Hope has hit the shelves, what are you on to next?
I have a few books outlined and I’m still deciding which one to tackle next. I have a regular dayjob that I really enjoy, so I only work on my novels at night. That’s why it takes 2+ years to finish each one. As with Red Hope and Blue Hope, all of my potential future novels are modern-day stories. One involves airplanes. One involves a guy working in an office. Many readers have asked me to continue the Hope series, but I haven’t decided on that yet – I really like the finality of the ending to Blue Hope. I will say this – writing novels is a fun and rewarding hobby. Onward and upward!
|JOHN DREESE enjoys stories about adventure, technology and people. RED HOPE was his first novel.