Interview with an Author: J.D. Sanderson

Updated: Mar 12, 2019

I want to welcome to the Wet Ink Project, J.D. Sanderson. A superb and fresh new take on a science fiction author, his most recent work, A Footstep Echo can be found at on Amazon for Kindle and Kindle Unlimited.

First, I want to say welcome to the Wet Ink Project! I’ve had a chance to dive into  A Footstep Echo and gotta say I’m a fan. The fast-paced opening is what pulled me into the story and the time travel kept me going. How did you decide to start off with an action sequence?

Thanks so much, I appreciate that! The opening chapter was actually the last one I added. I received a few suggestions that it might be beneficial to the story to start it off with a bang. It also helped to drop the reader into the future, rather than the present. I'm glad it worked out.

There are a plethora of engaging characters in A Footstep Echo. Bernard Abbey, for example, strikes me as a man who is deep and enriched, but still someone who the reader can relate to. Where did he come from?

We meet Bernard at 70-years-old. His wife is dead, his dog ran away, his job was lost to the internet and automation, and he's been alone for a decade. He's alone and in a rut. The one thing keeping him at afloat is that he's a dreamer.

This is a man who grew up with the space race. It's in his DNA to look at the stars. He reads books from futurists. Just because someone is old doesn't mean they stop dreaming.

Bernard’s experiences strike me as something you or I might go through. Is there a little bit of J.D. Sanderson in your character creation process?

There's a little bit of me in him, yes. I'd like to think there's a little bit of me in all of the characters in this book.

A time travel story is a familiar trope, but A Footstep Echo takes a fresh approach. I know I look for inspiration in the books I read, shows I watch or even the games I play. Where did you find your inspiration to write your take on time travel?

I guess you could say I tried to ignore everything I've seen. I'm a fan of classics like Star Trek and Doctor Who, and I was inspired to write this book by new favorites like The OA, but I didn't want to even accidentally emulate something I loved.

I had tried to write a book for years - 19 to be exact. It failed every time. After about 50 pages, I would realize it was too much like something else.

This time around, I kept the phrase "What haven't I seen before?" at the forefront of my mind. If I hadn't seen it before, I went with it.

It seems lately that science fiction manages to paint technology has a curse rather than that just part of the evolution of our world. In A Footstep Echo, you hearkened back to the earlier days of science fiction. Is A Footstep Echo a reminder of your favorite science fiction stories?

I loved the optimism of Star Trek. I love the sci-fi books I grew up with that showed us making it as a species. With dystopian being so huge, I wanted to look in another direction.

Turning away from the book for the moment, what are some of the challenges of being an author that also wears that father and husband hats?

Time is the biggest one. Our daughter is not even a year old, and it's important that I spend time with her. I also don't want to miss out on time with my awesome wife or our family dog.

My wife also is a fantastic editor. I really have come to rely on her eye to catch little things.

I don't mind writing in big bursts, so I have been writing at night on weekends when I have time. The good news is that I have plenty of time.

What are you working on right now and are their plans for more from the Footsteps universe?

I'm almost done with a sequel to A Footstep Echo. The new book is titled The Clock's Knell, and it picks up after the events in the first book. Whereas the first book was told in three parts, this one is a five-part story. It's a darker story this time, but I'm pleased with it. I'm hoping to publish it this summer.

I’m going to toss a few questions your way now that aren’t related to A Footstep Echo, ready?

Let's do it!!

Favorite Science Fiction Novel?

The Ganymede Club, by Charles Sheffield.

Are you a fan of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?

Oh yeah. I've probably read it ten times.

What are you currently reading?

Right now I'm rereading Physics of the Impossible by Dr. Michio Kaku.

Teleportation or Time Travel?

Time travel!

Better Dakota, North or South?

Gotta go with South Dakota for that one.

Thank you so much for your time J.D. Is there anything you wanted to add?

Just wanted to say I'm grateful for all of the new followers and readers. This is something be I've wanted to do all my life. Having even one person read it and say they loved it is amazing.

You can find J.D. on social media at the links below and check out A Footstep Echo from Solstice Publishing!

Twitter: @ascifiwriter



Amazon buy link:


J.D. Sanderson lives in Central South Dakota with his wife, daughter, and miniature poodle. With the release of A Footstep Echo, J.D. takes his first foray into the world of serialized science fiction storytelling. With a little luck, he hopes to continue developing the characters and universe that he began this three part sci-fi mystery novel.

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