The following brief interview with Robert Reed was printed in the April 22, 2007 "Sunday World-Herald" issue of the Omaha World-Herald newspaper. The interview was written by staff writer John Keenan, with accompanying photo by Carrie Knapp.

Writer Reed honored by nominations

by John Keenan
World-Herald Staff Writer

     Lincoln author Robert Reed, winner of the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Award and the Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire, among other honors, has just collected his sixth and seventh Hugo award nominations, science-fiction writing's premiere honor.

     Reed is nominated for the short story "Eight Episodes" and the novella "A Billion Eves," which can be read by going to www.robertreedwriter.com and clicking on links.

     His latest novel, "The Well of Stars," is out in paperback in the United States from Tor Books. He has another short story, "Roxie," due out in the July issue of Asimov's Science Fiction, the magazine that published his nominated stories.

     "Essentially, it's autobiographical," he said of the short story. "Except for the end-of-the-world part."

     The Hugo Award winners will be announced Sept. 1 at the 65th World Science Fiction Convention in Yokohama, Japan.

     Reed, who has a biology degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University, spoke about the nominations and short-story writing.

     Q. People don't write to win awards, obvious, but is it a kick to be nominated?

     A. Oh, sure...I was gratified particularly for getting two of them in one year, which has never happened before for me.

     Q. What do you enjoy about short-form fiction compared to novel writing?

     A. There is the freedom, the sense that I can have unlikable characters and still find markets for those people. I don't have to live with a single tale for months on end. Sometimes it's a week, sometimes it's a month, but it's never an obsession lasting a couple of seasons or so. Downsides include it just doesn't pay that well, and there aren't that many markets, really.

     Q. Do you have a writing routine?

     A. Oh, sure. I mean, I try to do some pages every day except Saturday and Sunday.
     And with the world of computers, I don't even know how to count it anymore. My second and third drafts tend to be through the computer, just revising as I go. I've gotten good enough when I do initial drafts that if it isn't working at all I stop...and go back to it later, start over again. But once I get what I feel is a functional draft...I just revise on the screen. I can do 20 pages a day in those cases.

     Q. Are you able to work on two or three writing projects at the same time?

     A. A novel is pretty consuming. There might be a story here and there...but basically novels demand monogamy. But I'm not doing a novel now, and I've got essentially nine stories on my playlist...of which I have partial drafts on file.



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This page last updated: April 24, 2007