Interview / Jeanice Deering

When I have an idea I love I can’t stop writing, it’s almost as important as breathing.

– Jeanice Deering

Jeanice

Tell us about you ?

My name is Jeanice Deering. I have been married for 38 years, still amazed. We have three grown children, 2 boys and a girl. I am presently mourning the loss of my American Bulldog… I have a feral kitty who visits daily, named Kitimiss, and one more Am. Bulldog, Yuna. We live in the North Valleys of Reno, NV on a large plot, in the beautiful mountains, and raise organic chickens, turkeys and a huge garden.

How did you start writing?

When I was six I started writing little stories. I haven’t stopped.

It is pretty rare to see women writers in Sci-Fi, what brought you to it?

I started writing Sci-Fi because of my great admiration for Dr. Carl Sagan. I first became interested in Sci-fi as a child. My 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Risley, taught us a little astronomy and even had our class go at night to look through a telescope and also to identify the constellations. That was fun and my dad came with me. My favorite programs were ‘Lost In Space’ and ‘Star Trek.’

I have always been interested in science. I have read science books and encyclopedias as long as I could read. Some of my favorite books as a child were a botany book for children and a dinosaur book.

I wanted to write something about a farm on another planet in the future. It has always seemed to me that people will always still be flesh and blood, have the same needs and desires, grow our own foods, have friends and laugh. I wanted to write about the future and show that people will still be ‘people.’

How is your work perceived by your peers?

My peers are fascinated and those who have read my work want more. (I actually have a second book, out in the slush pile of publishers.) Some of them have written great reviews of my work. I have friends I met through Author Nation who have said it should be a movie. It has been said by more than one at different times and so I am certain they meant it.

By public? The public is harder to convince. The people who have read my book love it and say they have read it more than once. Science Fiction is scary, I think, because it is the unknown. But going to other planets isn’t any more unusual than when the Asians and Europeans first braved the uncharted oceans to travel the world.

Do you have to do anything more to be heard and seen than your male colleagues?

Maybe that I describe practical things, the friendships are strong and that other species, aliens, might be friendly, even loveable. I also want to make better eating and exercise more appealing, especially for girls, who should be active for a lifetime.

3470 CE

3470 CE

Your book Has quite an unusual title ..I must say it is appealing: “3470 CE “….What is it about? What is CE?

I wanted my book to be far enough in the future to be past all the ignorance and wars on Earth. There is so much strife at present and we need to have a common purpose to bring people together. I hope that by 3470 C.E. (C.E. is Common Era, this year is 2014 C.E.) people will be more interested in humanity than ‘who has the most.’

3470 C.E. is about a group of people who colonize a planet 27.3 light years away from Earth in the star system of Chara. They build super farms and grow the best possible products. The story is told through the eyes of Athena Sparrowhawk, one of the first people born on the planet, Hypatia (Hy-PAY-sha.) Being farmers the residents of Hypatia don’t realize at first, that they might have to defend their home from hostile species, and their children, when they go away to school at the Intergalactic Education Center, on another planet.

Athena

Athena Sparrowhawk

Azure City, location of the Intergalactic Education Center

Azure City, location of the Intergalactic Education Center

What are the difficulties you encounter in the entire process from writing to selling?

The writing was so much fun, as was the research. I didn’t mind rewriting things seven or eight times, or throwing things out if they didn’t work for the story. I threw out an entire chapter because I thought it didn’t work.

My biggest difficulty is marketing. I don’t know much about it and I am an introverted person, so going out asking people to stock my book is like pulling teeth. I did manage to get it on the shelves at the local indie book store, Sundance Books and Music. But other marketing ideas have eluded me. I sent my actual book out to different newspapers and people who I thought might be interested, but it seems they don’t read indie books unless you have an agent. That was an expensive experiment. I have a Facebook page and a website on weebly, a blog at WordPress.com, Google+ and LinkedIn accounts and a Goodreads page.

Did you ever feel like giving up and do something else? Why?

I have never given up. My only problem is as I said, marketing. I believe my book is something people will like and I will not give up on it.

What/who makes you hang on and persevere?

My belief that my book is of value because it is part of me and I have put so much into it. You know, as Ernest Hemmingway said, “writing is easy, you just open your veins and bleed on the page.” Also, my friends from Author Nation cheer me on, as well as the people who have read 3470 C.E. I actually love my characters and think everyone would like to meet them.

What is the starting point of a book, how do you start?

If I get an idea, I write it down. When I have an idea I love I can’t stop writing, it’s almost as important as breathing. My mind wanders back to my manuscript and I get annoyed at interruptions.

What are you looking for while writing a book?

Believable characters that people would actually want to meet in person. I wanted to build a world people really want to go to.

What in your work are you happy with?

I love the world I have created. I want a water droid and a housekeeping android. I love the greenhouses and all the people there. I would live on Hypatia if I could.

The Green Houses, track and Sparrowhawk's dogs

The Green Houses, track and Sparrowhawk’s dogs

What do you have difficulties with?

I have to make sure my time line is correct. I often write down a time table for myself.

Who are your favorite author? why?

Favorite authors: Anya Seton, for her meticulous historical research and beautiful work. Dr. Carl Sagan for his content and the huge kindness that comes through in his writing. John Neihardt because I love Black Elk Speaks as well as his other books. J.R.R. Tolkien, I love his books, they are timeless.

Is there any other female writers in the genre ?

I haven’t read Sci-fi from another woman, yet. I have two friends, Jena Mars and Catharina Storm who do write Sci-Fi. I plan to get a hold of their books soon.

Why is the genre not so popular among female writers?

Maybe it’s just that women haven’t noticed they could write sci-fi.

Do you know what is the % of female readers for your books?

I believe it’s pretty even, 50/50.

Are you working on something else?

I have completed the prequel to 3470 C.E. called The Borgan. It is about the Intergalactic Policeman who has drawn so much interest in 3470 C.E., Rakasta.

Also, I have been illustrating a fairy cookbook in between writing my other books.

What does YOUR future look like?

I plan to continue to write. And I am planning a big garden this summer.

Anything else you want to tell us?

I chose the star, Chara, for my star system because I wanted a planet like Earth only younger, that could be groomed and molded to produce the best possible land for super farms. At first I heard of a planet called Gliese 581 e, which is supposed to be a super Earth. I read about it and found that the star, Gliese 581, is a red dwarf, which means that the planet would be tidally locked, like our moon is tidally locked and one side is always in the dark. I wanted a planet just like Earth, so I chose a class G star, with a habitable zone like our star, Sol, that could support a living planet. I researched my planets and stars for a year while writing the book. I also had a prominent college professor of Astronomy’s help in making sure my distances were correct. He has requested that he only be mentioned as ‘Jim.’

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Visit Jeanice’s blog for more information! 

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Presented by International Foundation for Women Artists

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5 thoughts on “Interview / Jeanice Deering

  1. I love this book and the characters, how they enjoy life, the way they live, the philosophy.. I read the book 4 times already, I changed a few things in my life after the first reading, what I eat and trying to exercice more! I hope we will have more stories from Jeanice Deering to read the next decades, I’m addicted!

  2. I get so much difficulty when trying to find decent blogs, it seems most people run them for a financial reason
    Added to Reddit, it will be useful to people over there!

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