PODCAST SHOW NOTES

Episode 56

Activate the artificial gravity, fire up the anti-gravity propulsion systems and join hosts Veronica and Darren for a star glazing episode 56! Discussions include the intracacies of spitting the dummy, how differently we might appreciate reality if it only lasted for another ten seconds, how it is that space travel becomes such an intimate reflection on who we are, and the three difficult levels of chucking a sickie...

But best of all, we have an astronomical interview with best selling science fiction author Callan J. Mulligan! So strap in, ignite your imagination, and join us for an intestellar audio adventure...

AUTHOR Q&A

What Country do you write on?


As an Australian artist, I am proud to represent our diverse culture. I thank and respect the traditional owners of our land, our first nations people, and the Bundjalung whom are the custodians of the region from where I write my stories. In my novel, Astraeus, I write about a colony on route to the centre of the Milky Way. The book is based in space, where no borders or conflicts exist. The characters represent a commonwealth. Although minimal to the plot, some themes in the work include the personification of “the other” and might be difficult for some people to read. I have framed this subject matter in a way that I hope can break barriers and paint a future of inclusion and equality.


When did you first admit that you were a writer?


My mother always said, “You were born with a pen in your hand!” And to some extent this is true, I’ve been writing my entire life. Short stories, poems, comic books, homemade movies - I just love the process. When did I first admit it though? Probably around the age of 19, when I started on my first novel. It wasn’t until I was 28 that I really got serious about publication or a career as a writer.


Are there any secrets hidden in your writing?


I love leaving small clues, or symbolic messages in my work. In my first novella, you could add up the numbers of one particular hotel room in which the story was based, and it equals “13”. That was an homage to Stephen King. In my latest work there are much grander symbols, including anagrammatic character names.


Why do you think listeners should read your book?


I believe strongly in a cosmic perspective and questioning the fabric of our reality. All of my books, whether science fiction or thriller, contain existential themes and spiritual ideas. This expanded view of the universe is helpful in my own life, and I hope it’s helpful to others. That, and I write one hell of a thrilling story!


How much research is involved in your writing?


A lot of research goes into science fiction. I did study astronomy and physics when I was younger, but those studies didn’t help as much as you think they would. I knew all the basic ideas behind space travel, but when writing I spent a lot of time on google and with my nose deep inside cosmology books.


Who would you most like to read your book as an audiobook?


I mean, doesn’t everyone want Morgan Freeman to narrate everything?


What words of advice would you give an aspiring author?


I never had a mentor, but I spent many years studying other authors. The best advice is: Stop procrastinating. It takes hundreds of hours to improve your craft, but we all must start somewhere. Don’t wake up in your fifties having regretted not trying. Just jot down that first sentence and see where it goes. And if you already have a manuscript, get ready for a lot of rejection. Be prepared for a lot of hard work. You must fight for your story and put it in front of as many eyes as possible. There’s no secret recipe for success, you alone are in control of how well it does.

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