These interview topics were developed from Hendrickson’s own biography to get at some of the interesting stories that might not be shared otherwise. Hendrickson was asked to share stories about himself as they relate to the topics below. You can follow him by clicking here to go to his website or read my review of his book Rogue Hunter: Life Force.
Share a story about yourself that relates to Incompetent Authority Figures without using adverbs and a maximum of 5 adjectives.
I’m not a fan of the man. In fact, I’ve got a beef with society’s institutions. The church, the government, the military, the police, you name it. But the one thing that sticks in my craw is the public school system. I’ve seen its incompetence up close and it disturbs me how clueless educators are about how to teach children. Children can learn anything. But rather than nurture a child’s curiosity, they stifle it by making the learning process as unintuitive as possible. There’s a reason why children can memorize the words to a song on the radio, but struggle to write a sentence. The problem lies not with their ability to learn, but the way they are taught.
My teachers treated me with a contempt that they didn’t show to the children who were athletes or aced their exams. Creativity wasn’t something that was either fostered or celebrated during my time in school. The creative children were the ones who got left behind because they didn’t fit the mold teachers liked. I’ve seen what happens to children when they grow up without anyone to nurture their talents. They’re the ones who seem least able to function in society and have regrets. I was one of those children who might have given up on my dreams because of the lack of support from the adults and teachers in my lives. I’ve made it a point in my life to encourage the imagination and creativity of children whenever I can because it’s not something I trust they’ll get from their public school system.
“This is a new world; it doesn’t work the way the old world worked.” – George Lucas — Share a story that comes to mind in the form of a dialogue.
K: Progress is defined as moving toward something. Tell me, what do you think about Progress?
K: I think progress is a kind of Darwinism that’s not kind to those who don’t change with the times. By its very nature, progress is going to leave some people behind. That’s how I feel about the current book industry.
K: You seem to have strong opinions on it. Tell me more.
K: There are so many new writers who would never have had their voices heard had it not been for the advent of digital publishing. I spent years submitting my books to publishers and professional magazines, and in the process, collected my share of rejection letters. At first, I was okay with it because I knew it forced me to dig deep and focus on my craft. However, time was a factor in why I made my decision to publish my own work even before ebooks became popular.
K: The reason being?
K: I’ve always been a self-motivator. That’s largely in part because I want to control my own destiny. Technology has leveled the playing field for authors and I’m lucky to live in an age where I can get my stories directly to readers without having to jump through the hoops that I did during the early part of my writing career. There’s no telling if I would still be headed to the post office lugging around a box with a 500 page manuscript. There are readers out there who enjoy my work and I can use the vehicle of instant communication to provide them with several hours of enjoyment with just a touch of the keyboard. There’s never been a better time to be a writer than right now.
Share a story about how you decided to develop any character(s) in your book that relates to the word Unknown.
It’s no secret that writers usually put a little bit of themselves into their characters. With Zyra Zanr, the heroine of Rogue Hunter, there’s quite a bit of myself in her. We’re both moody, short-tempered, sometimes lacking good judgment, rebels without a cause, and prone to get ourselves into trouble. Yet, in spite of the traits we share, we’re headed in completely different directions. My outlook on life is decidedly more conservative as I get older, while Zyra is becoming more of a free spirit. Sometimes, I wonder if her behavior isn’t the result of a wish fulfillment because Zyra is so consumed with self-gratification (something she wasn’t when she was younger), while I’m more focused on long-term goals. It’s possible that some of my regrets in life come from not being more aggressive when aggression was called for. That’s a problem Zyra, as she ages, doesn’t have. I find it interesting to see that Zyra and I are so similar and yet different. But for certain, if there’s one thing we’re both going to be dealing with over the foreseeable future is coping with an inability to stay out of trouble.