TW: How did you get started writing? Any specific influences?
RES: I started writing at the age of 6; a story about a caterpillar becoming a moth. The fact that I was then (in first grade) praised extravagantly for the story and even sent to read the story to the THIRD graders pretty much set my course forever. In terms of more modern influences... Doc Smith, Robert Heinlein, James Schmitz, Akira Toriyama, J.R.R. Tolkien, Baum's Oz and related stories, Zelazny's Amber, and a host of others.
TW: What are some of the best perks of being a science fiction writer?
RES: Seeing the "neat stuff" you always wanted to share now being shared with LOTS of people, and (hopefully) getting to hear how other people think it is, in fact, "neat stuff". I've had some taste of that already, and it's very gratifying. Getting paid to have fun doesn't hurt, either.
TW: Do you have any favorites among your characters?
RES: Among those published, I have a pretty limited selection; Jason Wood is a nice guy. Ones I hope to have published at some point... Hannibal Bellerophon Gunn.
TW: What was the first sf story you ever read?
RES: The first fantasy story I read was The Wizard of Oz (followed by the rest of the series). The first science-fiction story I remember reading was "Runaway Robot" by, IIRC, Lester Del Rey.
TW: Who are some of your favorite non-sf authors?
RES: There are non-sf authors? Hard call. I don't read a huge amount of nongenre material -- not only isn't it my preference, but time constrains my reading severely. Jane Austen, possibly.
TW: What invention or scientific leap in understanding would you most like to see made in your lifetime?
RES: FTL travel.
TW: If you could go back to one incident in all of history to watch as a spectator what would it be?
RES: The explosion of Thera (Santorin). I'm a volcano buff.