TW: How did you get started writing? Any specific influences?
MS: I can't remember how I started. I always did it. I used to write essays in school which were too long for the teacher. When I wrote my first novel I was heavily influenced by Kurt Vonnegut.
TW: What are some of the best perks of being a science fiction writer?
MS: Hahaha. Thanks for the comedy question.
TW: Do you have any favourites among your characters?
MS: I like Makri best in the Thraxas books. I also wrote about two fairies, Heather and Morag, who I liked a lot.
TW: What was the first SF story you ever read?
MS: I think it was I, Robot. My older brother started buying science fiction and I used to read his books. Before that I'd been reading Biggles , not that there is anything wrong with Biggles .
TW: Who are some of your favorite non-SF authors?
MS: Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Kurt Vonnegut, Aristophanes, Cicero.
TW: Who would you like to see play your series hero in a movie?
MS: For Makri, Angelina Jolie . For Thraxas, I'm not sure. He has to be overweight, a mighty drinker, a good fighter, and capable of sustained violence. I'm not certain which actor would be best for that.
TW: What invention or scientific leap in understanding would you most like to see made in your lifetime?
MS: A cure for all cancers.
TW: If you could go back to one incident in all of history to watch as a spectator what would it be?
MS: I'd like to see one of Aristophanes's comedies performed in Athens, about 420 BC. Or possibly watch Buffy slay her first vampire. It's a tough choice.
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