As part of our Beyond the Bio series, we invited the science-fiction/fantasy author of the Unreachable Skies Trilogy, Karen McCreedy, to tell us a bit about herself. Here’s what she had to say:
I love reading (especially history fact and fiction, biographies and crime novels as well as science-fiction), and watching films (preferably at the local cinema, when it’s not in Covid lockdown!). In normal times, I like to spend time with friends and family – at local WI activities perhaps, or learning and socialising with the local U3A branch (the ‘university of the third age’ which has the wonderful motto “learn, laugh, live”). I’m a South Downs National Park Volunteer Ranger, which involves working on the beautiful South Downs about once a month, helping the landscape and its wildlife to thrive. Since retiring I’ve started to travel more, and love soaking up history and culture in the UK as well as abroad.
Obviously a lot of my regular activities have been curtailed during the Covid lockdown, so in recent months I’ve dusted off my guitar and learned to play some well-known tunes.
What’s your writing process like?
I’m a ‘plot-driven’ rather than ‘character-driven’ writer. I like to work through ideas in my head, to work out how a story might begin and end. If I don’t know where it’s heading, I can’t start writing! Once I have made a start, I usually write as I’d read, with each scene following on from the last, though occasionally if I’m stuck I’ll jump ahead to tackle a different scene. As I write, the characters grow and develop, and that’s where all the redrafts and re-writes come in.
Tell us about your books.
The ‘Unreachable Skies’ trilogy is set on a world where it’s normal to fly – but a terrible plague has left many dead and their offspring without wings. It’s a story of prejudice, suspicion, and ambition, of friendship, acceptance and ultimately of triumph over terrible odds. Why ‘speculative fiction’? It’s a genre I’ve always loved, right back to when I watched Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and Star Trek on the television as a child. You can read – or watch – the stories as straightforward adventures in imagination, or take away clever commentaries on contemporary problems. The possibilities are endless.
What do you have going on right now in your writing life? Anything new we should be looking out for?
I’m working on a new science-fiction novel, this one set on a military space ship in the middle of a war. It’s a way from being finished, but I hope to have it ready to send to agents/publishers for consideration some time next year. I’m also looking at the possibility of issuing a collection of my published short stories.