Award-winning author, John Hegenberger has produced 13 books and counting, including several popular series: Stan Wade LAPI in 1959, Eliot Cross Columbus-based PI in 1988, and Ace Hart, western gambler in Arizona in 1877. Active member of SFWA, PWA, SinC and ITW. His novel SPYFALL won a 2016 award at Killer Nashville.

FB: Our readers and aspiring writers love knowing about that first spark – the moment in which an author fell in love with a genre. What drew you toward science-fiction?
JH: I was first drawn to science fiction, when I was in elementary school, by the basic concept of “What if ?” The sense of wonder that I acquired at an early age reading comic books like Strange Adventures and Mystery in Space. Yes I’m in that old. But these comics started me thinking about the future, other planets, and other dimensions. “Just imagine.”

FB: The Last Martian Chronicles include several books, touching on science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Tell us more about this series and the inspiration behind it.
JH: I grew up reading classic science fiction like Ray Bradbury and Philip K Dick. Lots of Isaac Asimov and Arthur C Clarke. So my book, “The Last Martian Chronicles” includes many stories inspired by the leaders of the field from the 50s and 60s. I guess you could say that my stories look back… to the future.

FB: You have written several detective books, set in the 50s. What attracted you to that decade?
JH: What attracted me most was the idea of a secret history surround us all. Strange Tales of the Unknown. Did UFOs land in the ‘50s? Was Kennedy assassinated by Oswald in the ‘60s? This type of imagining led me to picture all sorts of unusual and exciting events that took place in the past that we still don’t completely all about today. The Stan Wade series of alternate history mysteries lets me play with reality and give the reader an insight into
what might have been and what might yet be, if we keep watching. Some weird truths are out there.

FB: With NaNoWriMo only two months away, what advice do you have for the hundreds of souls who will embark on this feat of writing endurance?
JH: My best advice is that from Joseph Campbell to simply “Follow your bliss.” In addition, you should imagine “What if “, as I did. I quit writing three times and each time when I came back, the writing was better. So don’t give up and don’t wait for November. Rejection is an opportunity for improvement. I am currently going through a rough patch in my writing and this very question that I’m answering here right now helps inspire me to free up my thinking, go to infinity and beyond to the second star on the right and straight on till morning, where no one has gone before.

You can find out more about John Hegenberger, here.