Science-fiction author Alan Seeger was born in 1959 in San Francisco, but after a few years in Denver, was raised in Oklahoma. A writer for as long as he can remember, Seeger spent much of his childhood filling spiral notebooks with his stories. In his teens, he began making music, which became his focus for the next thirty years or so. But writing was never far from Seeger’s heart, and in 2013, he published a collection of short stories entitled Lucid Dreaming and his debut novel, Pinball, this first book in his Gatespace trilogy. In December of 2013, he released the second book in the Gatespace series, Replay.
Seeger currently resides on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Readers can learn more about him and his works at www.alanseeger.net.
It’s a godlike thing. I get to literally make up worlds, create people and have them do my bidding; act out scenarios that come from within my mind. It’s a lot of fun.
Who are your creative inspirations?
My family provides the impetus for a lot of my characters. The Denver family who are featured in Pinball are modeled after us, and as anyone who reads the book will see, they represent both a best and worst case scenario, kind of a “what if this happened to us; what if that happened?”
Where did the story for Pinball originate, and what challenges did you face in bringing the story to life?
Pinball actually started life as my project for NaNoWriMo 2009. If you’re not familiar with that, NaNoWriMo is the National Novel Writing Month held every November, where the object is to attempt to write a novel of at least 50,000 words during the 30 days of November. I succeeded, but wasn’t all that happy with the results at the time. Then in 2012, I decided to take another look at it; I was pleasantly surprised, because it seemed a lot better than I remembered. I went back and reworked it and released it in January 2013, and it’s gotten some really great reviews.
What’s the last great book you read?
Oh, gosh. I’m constantly reading, not only because I love to read but because I believe that you can’t become a great writer without reading a lot of other people’s work, and I find that there are a lot of great books out there by writers that hardly anyone has ever heard of. People like Terry Schott, who wrote a science fiction series called The Game Is Life; Shawn Inmon, whose new book Rock and Roll Heaven is really good; and I read Stephen King’s new one, Doctor Sleep, a while back, which is the sequel to The Shining. That was really good as well.
What’s the best piece of advice — writing or otherwise — that you’ve ever received?
As far as writing, I like what Ernest Hemingway once said: “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
Otherwise, it would probably have be what my father used to tell me about people, which is that we all share the same blood and no one is any better or worse than anyone else.
How did your childhood shape who you are today?
Heh. I was a geek before there were computer geeks, and I was a nerd before it was cool to be a nerd. I was the kid who had a chemistry set, who learned the names of the constellations, who could tell you the names of, like, 16 different kinds of dinosaurs when I was seven. If we’d had computers when I was a kid it would have been heavenly.
What is the most unique aspect of living on an Indian reservation?
It’s been an interesting experience. I’ve been here about six years, having moved here shortly after my wife and I were married in 2007. I’d have to say that the most interesting thing about it is knowing what it’s like to feel like a minority. I am 1/8 Seminole, but that means that 7/8 of me is white, and none of me is Lakota, which is the people among whom I live; the county in which the reservation is located is about 86% Native and 13% white. The radio stations play a lot of powwow music, when you go to events, prayers are offered up in Lakota… I’ve had one semester of Lakota Language, but I’ve got a long way to go before I will ever be fluent.
What are your most memorable experiences with the world of Second Life?
My business partner at the time and I ran the biggest newspaper covering events in Second Life from 2005-2009, the Metaverse Messenger. Oh, and I met my wife in Second Life as well. She might consider that kind of important.
What’s the best meal you’ve ever eaten?
I’d say it was a meal that I had one time at a restaurant in Valentine, Nebraska, called the Peppermill. Filet mignon, baked potato, sauteed mushrooms, and fresh bread. It was the best steak I’ve ever had. They’ve changed hands now, so I don’t know if they’re still as good.
But I should mention that my wife is an incredible cook. She’s Lakota, but she cooks Chinese, Italian, Mexican, as well as just regular meals as if she’s been to culinary school. She’s amazing.
What’s the best concert you’ve attended?
I remember seeing Kansas, the original band with Steve Walsh and Kerry Livgren, back in probably 1978. Steve Walsh wore a track uniform from the University of Kansas and he was the most hyperkinetic guy I have ever seen onstage — and I’ve seen Ted Nugent and Van Halen with David Lee Roth — twice! He was literally running back and forth from far stage left to far stage right, and managing to sing at the same time, all those great songs like “Carry On Wayward Son.” They were amazing.
What would you like to do that you simply haven’t found the time for yet?
At this stage of my life, it’s not so much that I haven’t had time; apart from writing, I have lots of time on my hands. It’s more that the things that remain that I haven’t done are things that I can’t afford to do… at least, not yet.
What are you working on next?
I am currently working on two projects; the first is a short story anthology called Summer Dreams, 15 stories by a group of ten authors, including myself. They are all over the place from romance to sci-fi to war stories to mysteries, but what ties them together is they all take place in the summertime. The Kindle edition should be out on June 8th and the paperback within a couple of weeks after that.
Then I am continuing to work on Tilt, which is the third and final book of the Gatespace trilogy, after Pinball and Replay. I’m shooting to have that out in September.
Finally, we’ll be doing a second volume of my Halloween horror anthology, 13 Bites, Volume II, which will be out in mid-October. That’ll be 13 stories that will send a shiver up your spine. The first 13 Bites came out in October 2013 and was very popular. I’m planning to do a new 13 Bites edition every year.
I should mention that all the proceeds from these short story anthologies go to support children’s literacy charities.