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The "Standard of Ur" from ancient Mesopotamia

The "Standard of Ur" from ancient Mesopotamia

14 February 2012

Interview with aspiring sf writer Robin Walton

When I moved to California four years ago, I joined a sf/f critique group associated with the Orange County Science Fiction Club and hosted by Robin Walton, today’s guest. I have had the pleasure of watching his stories improve over the years and of celebrating his first story sale in 2011.

If you are planning to nominate for the Nebula or Hugo Awards, that story, “Unlimited Delta,” is eligible in the short story category. It was published in January 2011 in 10Flash Quarterly, and you can read it for free at

It is particularly fitting that this interview debuts on Valentine’s Day, because although Robin’s story is Christmas-themed, the message of love and sacrifice fits perfectly with the sentiment of today’s holiday.

Thank you, Robin, for visiting my blog today, and welcome!

Why do you think "Unlimited Delta" was your first short story to sell?

It’s the first story I ever submitted. I guess it was the right theme for the anthology.

How has your long interest in astronauts and space travel influenced your writing?

When I was twelve and the astronauts landed on the moon, I decided I wanted to be an astronaut. But alas, my (very) poor vision meant it was very unlikely. Fast forward two score years, and I am living astronautness through my characters.

What was your favorite part of writing Unlimited Delta?

The two little girl characters were based upon my friend’s daughter and her friend. The Santa Claus theme was based upon actual conversations the girls had. The rest was easy!

What genres do you read most?  Who are your favorite authors?

I read everything except romance, but mostly science fiction and YA. David Gerrold was such an inspiration that another one of my stories that got published in 2011 was dedicated to him! I also like Orson Scott Card, the Kollin brothers, and Robert Sawyer.

What writers have had the greatest influence on you?

Robert Heinlein (which is pretty obvious from my writing), Ben Bova, John Scalzi, Larry Niven, and Isaac Asimov.

How important have your writing friends been in your development as a writer?

100%. I would have never sold any short stories without the help, support, and critiques of my writer’s group, particularly Jude-Marie “Kelly” Green, my main muse.

Are there certain themes or topics you’re drawn to in your writing?

Robin Walton's self-published YA novel
I like mostly happy endings. I wrote the kind of stories I like to read.

What is your writing regimen? Would you recommend it to aspiring authors?

I have poor habits and don’t recommend them to anyone.

Do you have any other advice for my readers who are working on their first novels?

Read, write, repeat.

What promotion method has been the most successful for you?

I have an extensive email database form my many years traveling the world courtesy of Hewlett-Packard. These people have been very supportive of my published works.

Thanks, Robin, for your time, and good luck with your writing.

Robin Walton, who also writes as Robin Graves, lives in southern California with his dog, Ragnar.  Robin is an avid tri-athlete, bridge player, patent holder, and reader. 


Jude-Marie Green said...

Excellent interview, Shauna! And a great subject for it :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Read, write, repeat! Indeed!