Transcript: SFFWRTCHT 4/02/15 With Jack Campbell (John G. Hemry)

Transcripts-flatsffwrtcht: Welcome to Science Fiction Fantasy Writer’s Chat. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:00:12 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: Our goal is to talk w/ writers, editors, & others abt the craft of writing, specifically related to writing speculative fiction. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:00:28 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: Our format is round table interview. Please restrict ?s to writing craft, business of writing & the specific works of the guest. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:00:36 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: Please wait until your question gets answered to ask another & use the hashtag #sffwrtcht for all questions and comments. (Thu Apr 02 01:00:53 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: We may hold questions at times to allow our guest to answer and catch up. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:01:15 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: Tonight’s guest @JohnGHemry aka Jack Campbell is a retired naval officer and Annapolis Academy grad #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:01:23 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: He is the NYT bestselling author of six books in the original Lost Fleet Series as well as the Stark’s War a&JAG in Space series #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:01:44 +0000 2015)
KateElliottSFF: RT @sffwrtcht: Tonight’s guest @JohnGHemry aka Jack Campbell is a retired naval officer and Annapolis Academy grad #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:01:48 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: Now he has The Lost Stars and Beyond The Frontier, two Lost Fleet spinoff series all from @AceRocBooks #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:01:56 +0000 2015)
ITregillis: @sffwrtcht Seriously! At the local grocery co-op just a couple blocks from our humble house, of all places. (Thu Apr 02 01:02:05 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: A frequent contributor to the specific zines, his works have frequently appeared in Analog, amongst other places. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:02:16 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: @sffwrtcht @JohnGHemry Yup (Thu Apr 02 01:02:16 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: He currently lives with his indomitable wife and three kids in Maryland. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:02:41 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: He can be found online at, Facebook and Twitter. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:02:52 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: Welcome to #sffwrtcht @JohnGHemry. Where’d your interest in Science Fiction and Fantasy come from, your highness? #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:03:03 +0000 2015)

sffwrtcht: LOL Your highness. Sorry that was from last time. Forgot that was there. #sffwrtcht @johnghemry (Thu Apr 02 01:03:33 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: @sffwrtcht @JohnGHemry I always loved history, and realized that SF/Fantasy was other forms of history. @sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:04:03 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: <—reads his questions in advance really #sffwrtcht #oops (Thu Apr 02 01:04:06 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: .@johnghemry1 Indeed Who were some of your favorite authors and inspirations? #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:04:31 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: Heinlein, Andre Norton, CJ Cherryh, H. Beam Piper, Leigh Brackett, James Schmitz @sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:05:30 +0000 2015)
jasonsanford: RT @sffwrtcht: Tonight’s guest @JohnGHemry aka Jack Campbell is a retired naval officer and Annapolis Academy grad #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:05:52 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: .@johnghemry1 Great choices. When did you decide to pursue writing? did you study formally in school, learn as you went, etc.? #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:05:53 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: Thanks. I just try to tell a good story. @sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:05:59 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: I started writing seriously in 1995. No formal courses, just picked it up by reading and writing. @sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:06:24 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: @johnghemry1 I’ve always enjoyed your short fiction. Just getting into Lost Fleet now. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:06:40 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: Please use # instead of @ in front of #sffwrtcht @johnghemry1 makes it easier to follow (Thu Apr 02 01:07:11 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: .@johnghemry1 How long did you write before making your first sale? Did you start with shorts or novels? #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:07:18 +0000 2015)
kyliu99: RT @BryanThomasS: Forthcoming Guests 4/15 @hunterfaith 4/29 @PeterOrullian 5/13 @JoshVogt 5/27 Ken Liu @kyliu99 More every 2 weeks #sffwrt… (Thu Apr 02 01:07:46 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: About three years. Started with both, and learned different things from each. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:08:29 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: .@johnghemry1 Where’d the idea for The Lost Fleet Series come from? #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:08:41 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: Trying to do a Xenophon-style long retreat in space combined with legend of the sleeping hero. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:09:29 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: Interestng hw they inform each othr @johnghemry1 It’s military space opera, military sf, space opera? How do you describe it? #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:10:07 +0000 2015)
jasonsanford: RT @johnghemry1: Trying to do a Xenophon-style long retreat in space combined with legend of the sleeping hero. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:10:28 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: All of the above. I figure military SF is just one type of space opera. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:10:58 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: .@johnghemry1 All things for all readers? Give us a quick series pitch please. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:11:08 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: The Alliance is about to lose its century long war, unless one man can live up to his legend. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:11:54 +0000 2015)
jasonsanford: @johnghemry1 You pulled it off perfectly. I’m a big fan of the Lost Fleet series. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:12:09 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: .@johnghemry1 Did you write while you were in the service or discover that interest later? #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:12:28 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: There ya go. A fellow Analog writer fanboying. You’ve made it! @johnghemry1 @jasonsanford #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:13:07 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: .@johnghemry1 Tell us about John “Black Jack” Geary? #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:13:34 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: I wrote a little before. No time during my time in! Started again after retiring. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:13:35 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: The Mafia has to look out for each other! #sffwrtcht @jasonsanford (Thu Apr 02 01:14:06 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: He doesn’t consider himself special, but he has to be the hero others need in order to save what he believes in. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:14:42 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: .@johnghemry1 And what is the Alliance? #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:15:03 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: An association of free worlds that work together to defend and support each other.#sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:15:56 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: .@johnghemry Tell us about the solar system where these stories take place? #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:16:07 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: Many different star systems as Geary leads the long retreat back to home space. This is space opera! #sffwrtcht @JohnGHemry (Thu Apr 02 01:17:13 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: .@johnghemry1 Who are some of the other key characters? #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:17:27 +0000 2015)
jasonsanford: RT @johnghemry1: He doesn’t consider himself special, but he has to be the hero others need in order to save what he believes in. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:18:43 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: Captain Tanya Desjani, Captain Roberto Duellos, Captain Tulev, Commander Cresida, Colonel Carabali (Marines), Victoria Rione #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:19:13 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: .@johnghemry You’ve done six books. Is that all or will we see more Lost Fleet original series books? #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:19:45 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: The Lost Fleet is continued in the Beyond the Frontier books. Also a comic series this year from Titan. #sffwrtcht @JohnGHemry (Thu Apr 02 01:21:15 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: .@johnghemry1 Are the books standalones or is there a throughline and must be read in order? #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:21:41 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: There is a story through the series, but many readers “start” in the middle and go back to the start. Each book stands alone. @sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:22:55 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: .@johnghemry1 You’ve also got another related series. What is the Lost Stars series? how do they connect? #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:23:04 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: Lost Stars has intertwined plots with Beyond the Frontier. It tells about a formerly enemy star system that has rebelled. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:24:07 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: .@johnghemry1 So who are the main characters of that series? #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:24:31 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: President Gwen Iceni and General Artur Drakon (both former Syndicate CEOs). They want to survive and create something better. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:26:29 +0000 2015)
BryanThomasS: .@jasonsanford What do you like about the Lost Stars series? #sffwrtcht #helpusout (Thu Apr 02 01:26:39 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: .@johnghemry1 What are the core elements of good space opera? #sffwrtcht(Thu Apr 02 01:26:56 +0000 2015)
pbrayauthor: RT @sffwrtcht: Tonight’s guest @JohnGHemry aka Jack Campbell is a retired naval officer and Annapolis Academy grad #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:27:43 +0000 2015)
PeterOrullian: RT @sffwrtcht: Forthcoming Guests 4/15 @hunterfaith 4/29 @PeterOrullian 5/13 @JoshVogt 5/27 Ken Liu @kyliu99 More every 2 weeks #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:27:57 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: Good characters, good story, good setting. Same as any good story. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:28:02 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: Fair enough. Let’s talk about craft .@johnghemry1 When you write, do you outline or pants it? #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:28:34 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: Mostly I pants it. I use a rouigh outline (starts here, ends there) and let the characters find their way between those points. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:29:52 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: Yay. Many of my regulars are pantsers to, as am I! @johnghemry1 Which comes first: character, setting, or plot? #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:30:41 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: For me, all of the above. They’re intertwined, each influencing the others. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:31:52 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: .@johnghemry1 You are known for fast-paced stories with lots of action. How do you approach writing action scenes? #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:31:59 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: Thanks! I write what shows in my head, like describing a movie I can see playing out. Short words, short sentences, usually. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:33:23 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: .@johnghemry1 What’s the trick to keeping a series interesting for readers and yourself? #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:33:41 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: Keep doing new things, let the characters grow, take some risks. Lost Stars let me play with different POVs than Lost Fleet. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:34:56 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: .@johnghemry1 Do you use Scrivener or other “writing software tools”? Write to music? Any rituals? #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:36:07 +0000 2015)
der_musiker: @sffwrtcht I like to compose music scores on Flat:! Do you know it? (Thu Apr 02 01:36:08 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: ,@johnghemry1 What’s your writing time look like–specific block? Write til you reach word count? Grab it when you can? #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:36:50 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: Just MS Word (2003). No real rituals. I sits and I writes. Sometimes I just sits. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:37:31 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: Grab it when I can, and when the words come. I can’t force it and try to make some specific word count each day. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:38:17 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: .@johnghemry1 What’s the best and worst writing advice you’ve ever gotten? #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:38:52 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: .@johnghemry1 Well do a lot of sits and sits in this business. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:39:33 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: Best – keep writing and reading. Worst – give detailed technical descriptions of equipment. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:40:07 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: The Muse is fickle and easily distracted. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:40:51 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: .@johnghemry1 How do you get through writer’s block? #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:41:45 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: Try to work on another part of the story, or work on another story, or read/watch something unrelated and let subconscious work. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:42:56 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: .@johnghemry1 How do you approach research? #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:43:11 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: (1) Read a lot about a lot, because you never know, (2) look it up when I need it, (3) live it if I can and use that. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:44:24 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: .@johnghemry1 What are some of your worldbuilding and character inspirations? #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:44:49 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: Tolkien is the master. Always liked Andre Norton’s worlds, Heinlein’s characters, CJ Cherryh’s aliens, Brackett’s sensawonder #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:46:26 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: Cherryh’s worldbulding is astounding! @johnghemry1 What future projects are you working on that we can look forward to? #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:47:39 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: Please `Like� our Facebook group: #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:47:58 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: In 2 weeks on 4/15, join us as @acerocbooks NYT Bestseller @HunterFaith joins us to share about Jane Yellowrock at 9 pm ET live. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:48:27 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: Forthcoming Guests 4/15 @hunterfaith 4/29 @PeterOrullian 5/13 @JoshVogt 5/27 Ken Liu @kyliu99 More every 2 weeks #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:48:54 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: Find @JohnGHemry online at, Facebook and Twitter. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:49:18 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: Pillars of Reality series (steampunk + high fantasy) . Starting with The Dragons of Dorcastle. Lost Fleet comics and prequel. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:49:24 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: .@johnghemry1 One last question, does your approach to writing novels differ from short stories? How? #sffwrtcht #talekyn (Thu Apr 02 01:50:12 +0000 2015)
LelaEBuis: RT @sffwrtcht: Please `Like� our Facebook group: (Thu Apr 02 01:51:28 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: Short stories means doing everything fast, no room for anything not important. Novels let you expand on everything. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:51:29 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: .@johnghemry1 Thanks for making time to chat. Kinda flew by fast. Any final words, advice, etc.? #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:52:07 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: The Lost Fleet, Lost Stars and Beyond The Frontiers books are available from @acerocbooks everywhere! #sffwrtcht #scifi #militarysf (Thu Apr 02 01:53:35 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: Thanks to everyone. Keep reading. Keep writing. Reach for the stars. We’ll get there someday. #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:53:35 +0000 2015)
sffwrtcht: A transcript for this chat will be up at the website soon. Thanks for joining us! #sffwrtcht (Thu Apr 02 01:53:43 +0000 2015)
johnghemry1: Everywhere on Earth or near-orbit, anyway. #sffwrtcht @AceRocBooks (Thu Apr 02 01:54:34 +0000 2015)
Wyld_Dandelyon: .@johnghemry1 Thanks for joining #sffwrtcht (got to remember that hashtag!) (Thu Apr 02 01:55:14 +0000 2015)



~ by Bryan Thomas on May 17, 2015.

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