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Discovery, Possibility, Thrill: Hernandez on Writting

How did you first start doing what you’re doing?

When I was four years old my backyard had trees and bushes lining the back fence. To my imagination this was no mere collection of scraggly evergreens and magnolias, this was Direwood. A land of adventure, danger, excitement, monsters, magic… Every good and fascinating thing a little boy could dream up. That’s how I started writing. It isn’t a unique story; the telling of private tales; the writing of dialogues in which you play both hero and villain, confronting one another in the undiscovered wilderness of suburban America.

But I would like to think this rather traditional starting point has led to some rather unusual trails of thought and adventure. Breaking the Skies, my first novel, is certainly off the beaten path for a fantasy story. There are no knights, no elves, no magic… And yet there is a great deal that is beautiful and unique.

Why do you love it?

The thrill of discovery, I suppose. My writing surprises me. It takes me places, both “geographically” and emotionally that I would not have expected or explored otherwise. I find ideas and they find me. From one page to the next, necessity invites and demands new inventions.

I miss the days when imagining things flowed from my brain like water all the time. As a child in Direwood there was no delay, no need to rev up. Any stick, any flower, any box, any fence was cause enough to dive into an imaginative foray.

Those days are gone.

But, now when I do delve into my imagination I find so much more there. The experience is richer. It is also more costly, both in time and in emotional energy. I can’t express what I want to express about the world in my mind with the simple words “it’s not a pinecone, it’s a spaceship!” Not any more. Now, I have to imagine what kind of spaceship it is. How big is it? Where is it going? How many crew? Are there aliens as well as humans on it? Weapons? Payload? Cloaking capabilities? How fast can it go? Is it old and rusting inside, or new off the dock, ready for it’s maiden voyage?

So many choices, each one affecting every other. Each one is a discovery that informs me who the captain is, or the doctor, or the marines on the main battle deck. What are their names, hopes, dreams, fears, quirks…?

If you don’t find those discoveries, those endless possibilities, absolutely thrilling then what ever could thrill you at all?