Blog Tour and Interview: Robison Wells

Robinson Wells, author of the YA science-fiction thrillers VARIANT and FEEDBACK, is our stop for the blog tour this week. On June 16, Robison will be teaching about Characterization in the Monday Mini Workshop.
Here’s the link for the blog tour:
We’re glad he joined us for this interview.
Q:  Of the characters you’ve created, who is your favorite and why?
A: One of my very favorites to write Isaiah from VARIANT. He gives a very different perspective on survival and (if I’ve done my job right) his motivations appear reasonable. Not perfect, but reasonable. He doesn’t trust emotion, only logic. He’s a good foil for Becky, who trusts emotion over logic nearly every time. They’re both in the same gang, but for completely different reasons. Isaiah is there to enforce the strict rules; Becky is there trying to stop people from breaking the rules in the first place.
Q:  What advice do you give to aspiring writers?
A:  I was a history major in college and my brother, Dan Wells, was at different school about an hour or so away, working on an English/Editing degree. I came across a fascinating story, so I called Dan up and said “This is a good idea–you should write it.” He let me down easy. He told me to write a couple chapters and go to his writing group. And then he gave me the one piece of evidence that has served me best over the 11 years I’ve been writing: He said “Everybody has an idea for a story. Everybody says that one day they’re going to sit down and write the Great American Novel. But the difference between writers and everybody else is that writers actually do it. They write. Even when the muse is gone, even when they’re feeling sick, even when they have writers block, or tendonitis, or anything else, they write.”
Q:  Do you have a writing ritual – a particular location, a certain time of day, etc?
A:  I have a small office that I rent. I bring my dog, Annie, to work with me. She’s a therapy dog (because I’m a mess of mental illness–I only need one more for BINGO!–I usually get to work by seven and work until seven in the evening. My desk is usually very clean, other than a can of Diet Coke. I have a very nice lamp from the Arts-and-Crafts movement that my wife got me for my birthday. I also have a model locomotive, because I’m obsessed with trains. This one was a gift, but I dropped it and it doesn’t work anymore. But it really looks pretty–it’s a BNSF (Burlington Northern and Santa Fe) orange and dark green.
Q:  What do you do when you aren’t writing?
A:  Well, I play with my model trains, and I build models generally: tanks and trucks and spaceship and monsters and old sailing ships in the Spanish Armada. I like cooking–I love watching the Food Network, and my goal one day is to be famous enough to be a judge on Iron Chef America. But for now, my cooking skills mainly come out at Christmas and Thanksgiving.