Astronomy has been a love of mine since childhood—long before writing. The memory of my grandfather standing in his driveway, with his neck crooked back and his hands in his pockets, is clear enough that I can see the stars of the big dipper over his head. Just as clear, is the memory of the red Tasco telescope on a picnic table in my in my backyard—Venus, Jupiter, and Mars in conjunction.
Each year I grew and my interests changed—including my preteen interest in writing. However, my fascination with the sky did not waver. The same constellations would cycle through every year. The same planets. The same annual meteor showers. Yet the sky maintained its luster and always drew my young eyes up with each step outside my door.
New people. New schools, jobs, and towns. The stars followed me into adulthood. They were a constant in a crazy life that seemed to change with every blink of the eye. That passion for the stars pulsed through my veins and unintentionally permeated into my writing, when I decided to give writing a chance again.
While not all of my writing has astronomy as a main facet of the story, like my short horror story, The Astronomer’s Mistress, a description of the sky almost always makes it’s way in.
My upcoming novel, Fair Haven, may be a sci-fi/horror novel about a viral outbreak, but the main character has an interest in astronomy. Say Something had a scene about watching a meteor shower. Luna’s Lure featured (guess what?) the moon. Even in my earliest story (written when I was twelve years old) a meteor crashed to Earth carrying an alien lifeform, in The Creature from Over the Hill.
Not all of my stories are oozing with detailed prose about the sky, but the sky is always there—a constant—waiting for me or a character to glance upward. As soon as my character steps foot outdoors, he or she—much like myself—cannot help but look up, whether it be a creamsicle-colored sunset, a black dome pierced with blinding pinpoints of light, or just a nickel-gray shroud of overcast.
What a wonderful way to combine two passions—writing and astronomy. Even when I can’t physically step outdoors because I’m trapped in the glare of a computer screen, through my characters, I can keep my eyes on the sky, always.