Back in May, we came across a local author named Maurice Humphrey, who self-published his first novel, Orphan from Space as ML Humphrey. Recently, he had time to chat with us about his writing and books.
Geek Mountain State: How did you get interested in science fiction, and what made you keep reading it over the years?
M.L. Humphrey: Started reading SciFi when I was in high school. Bought two books through TAB (Teen Age Book club), Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne and The Stars are Ours by Andre Norton. My father worked at a local college and brought home many of the discarded books when the students left.
GMS: How did you get interested in writing in the first place?
MLH: I have actually been writing for quite some time, technical articles, reports, procedures and presentations.
GMS: What can you tell us about your novel, The Orphan from Space?
MLH: The Orphan from Space, was published last year by Virgo Publishing. That story started off as a “what if this kid finds a spaceship in the barn of his grandfather’s farm?” For some reason, after starting to write the story, I got sidetracked and started writing how it got there in the first place. The time and place, 1952 and southeastern Montana, were just random picks. Young Jasom (yes it is spelled with an ‘m’) is a 15 year old aboard a small family owned survey ship working in the asteroid belt. He finds an oddity hidden amongst the asteroids which turns out to a ship of the Predecessors, an alien race long vanished from the galaxy. Their plan is to go back home to enlist aid from the same council that sent them there. Due to circumstances (all explained in the book) he gets abandoned on Earth. He resides there for several years before his parents can come back for him. During those years he has many adventures and meets many memorable people.Any more than that would be giving away the story.
GMS: Where did this book come from? What influenced its creation?
MLH: I can’t say as there was any real inspiration to it, the idea was just one of those that mysteriously pop up.
GMS: What can you tell us about how you came to publish the book?
MLH: Well, I’d spent a lot of time after finishing my first book which was titled “For Lorne”. I did a lot of research on publishers and agents and decided I just wanted to see how this story would fly on its own without going into massive debt. Through a contact I made while doing the research I came across the smashwords.com website. It was quite simple to submit your word file and they did all the rest, at no charge up front. It was simply a great place to try your wings, so to speak.
GMS: What’s coming next from you?
MLH: By the time “Orphan” came out in paperback I had already written two sequels and was nearly done with the third. The first sequel was titled “The Crystal Crowns and has just been released. The second sequel was in the same series, but was only a related story using background characters from the previous story. The next one in the series is in final edit and will probably be published later this year. This one is titled “Return to Earth” and completes the trilogy started with the first book. I have started writing another book in that series but I’m running into problems so I’ve taken time off from that and started a farcical fantasy series of short stories about a young reporter for one of the local newspapers in a kingdom which I haven’t named as yet. The first installment is called “Interview with the Dungeon Master”.
GMS: Where can we keep up with your work?
MLH: I have both a facebook page and a blog where I try to keep an updated status on all of my stories. There are a few that don’t make it onto either and they are usually experiments that didn’t pan out or I haven’t figured out what to do with them.