Auston Habershaw

Tell our readers a bit about yourself?

My name is Auston Habershaw, born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. I’m a scifi and fantasy author who’s published both long and short works (~16 stories and 4 novels, as of this writing). By day, I’m a college English professor at a small health sciences university in Boston. Basically, I teach future doctors, nurses, and pharmacists to write essays and analyze literature.

Briefly describe your writing day.

I do not write every day, and hang that tired old advice. I write during school breaks and (when I can) on weekends. When I am in writing mode, I basically drop the kids off at school/camp/etc. and then write from 9am until about noon. I take an hour lunch break, the I write for another 3 hours until about 4pm. During the summer, I do that five days a week, rain or shine. I produce about 2500-3000 words per day, and can reliably write a novel draft in about 2 months.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

When I’m choreographing a fight scene, I stand up and physically act it out, with me playing the part of all participants. It gets weird and complicated, and anybody watching me would assume I’m insane.

Do you have a secret talent readers would be surprised by?

Surprised by? No, all my talents are fairly predictable. Well, I used to ride a pedicab, so I’ve got crazy strong thighs, even though I’m 40. I guess that counts.

In your view, who are the best science fiction writers?

My personal favorites include Ursula K Le Guin, William Gibson, and Neal Stephenson. For Fantasy, I’d say Lois McMaster Bujold (The Chalion Series! WOW!), Patrick Rothfuss, and Seth Dickinson

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Owning my own version of Microsoft Word, not freaking renting it from them like some kind of serf. I want to own my own word processor—I don’t want Google or Microsoft or anybody else to suddenly decide to eat my work.

What was your hardest scene to write?

I don’t know if I can narrow it down to a single scene, but the third book of the Saga of the Redeemed (DEAD BUT ONCE) was crazy, crazy hard to write. I had so many characters to balance, so many plots in the air—there was something like three different love triangles, 5 POV characters…whew. Took me seven drafts. I’m alarmed I pulled it all off.

How do you see the future of science fiction literature? Will science fiction maintain its independence or intertwine with other literary genres?

To put on my Lit Professor hat for a minute, I think it is only a recent delusion that science fiction has ever actually been independent in any meaningful way from other literary genres. Basically, scifi as a distinct thing doesn’t become a trend until the 1930s/40s with the pulp magazines, and even then it was often rubbing shoulders and shelf space with a lot of other genres. It also was wholly influenced by the things going on in the rest of the literary world, whether it wanted to or not. So it’s already part of a broader tapestry and always has been.

Now, what you seem to be asking is whether or not science fiction will be accepted by more mainstream literary readers. I think the answer to that is also yes, and it also already has been. David Foster Wallace and Toni Morrison and lots of other so-called “literary” authors have been writing genre fiction that was, essentially, mislabeled as something else by bookstores to make sales. Likewise, I can’t see how one could read Le Guin or Atwood and pretend not to see the literary merit of their work.

Is writing your full-time job?

I wish! But no—teaching pays the bills, not writing. Writing buys me dinner every once in a while. Honestly, most authors I know—even so-called “successful” ones—have day jobs of some kind. Either that, or spouses that can pay the bills for them.

How long have you been writing?

Well, I’ve always written stories. I’ve written consistently since 2000 (when I wrote my first novel—unpublished, of course) and I’ve been writing what I call “seriously” (submitting, trying to up my craft, getting published) since 2005. My first published story was somewhere around 2009.

When can the readers expect your next book?

The book just came out this past March 5th! THE FAR FAR BETTER THING is the fourth and final book in my fantasy series, The Saga of the Redeemed. You can buy it in e-book now anywhere, or in paperback starting March 19th.

Tell us about your latest release?

THE FAR FAR BETTER THING is the culmination of the 4-book Saga of the Redeemed where ex-smuggler and villain extraordinaire, Tyvian Reldamar finally faces his destiny and is tested as a newly minted person of conscience and justice. The book has rebellion, war, sorcerous cataclysm, and some pretty cool sword fights.

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Twitter: @AustonHab

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