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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Someday Stars: Meet Eileen Rhoadarmer


 
What’s your name, and where are you from?

My name is Eileen Rhoadarmer. I was born on the east coast, but have lived in Colorado since my memories began.

How long have you been writing?

According to my mother, I was writing so many stories using unintelligible, invented spelling when I was four years old; she thought it prudent to teach me to spell the words "once upon a time." Writing has been with me, off and on, ever since, although there were many other career paths I considered, including actress, astronomer, and volcanologist. I decided to focus on writing in 2005, but it wasn't until two years ago that I really got serious about it.

What genre(s) do you write?

My primary emphasis is on sociological science fiction, though I've dabbled in mainstream, mystery, and even horror. I may also be delving into picture books in the near future.

What’s your current WIP? Can you tell us about it?

I'm juggling a few projects at the moment. The big one is my first novel, of which I'm mired deep in the editing process. It takes place in the near future, where low orbit has turned into another Vegas. My protagonist is one of the few real astronauts left, but she gets framed for the destruction of her own ship. As she struggles to clear her name, she uncovers a conspiracy with Earth-shattering consequences.

I'm also trying to produce—and submit—more stories this year, so I'm presently writing a short about a young woman who moves in with her infirm grandfather only to discover that he's messing about with time travel, and I'm editing a story about a little girl who uncovers the real truth about Santa Claus.

What’s your current day job? How does it help or hinder your writing?

I used to work at the box office for the largest performing arts complex in the country, and that job had so many sporadic periods of down time that it really helped my writing (or my homework, as the case often was.) I wish I'd been taking my writing more seriously back then, because I could have gotten so much more done.

These days, I am a stay-at-home mom to two wonderful boys, ages 9 months and 3 years. While they sometimes give me inspiration and encouragement, they definitely hinder my hands-on writing time. Often they just have to come first. Those (daily) instances can range from the amusing—when my son wanted help putting toilet paper tubes on his hands so he could run gleefully through the house; to the mildly annoying, such as allowing my son to climb onto my lap while I tried to steal a few extra minutes of writing time, only to discover that his pants were soaked because his pull-up leaked; to the traumatic—when my son woke up wheezing from a nap after an earlier choking episode, and the necessary trip to the ER revealed that he'd aspirated a piece of carrot during lunch. If I hadn't already written on that particular day, my streak of daily writing would have been over.

Who is your favorite author?

I really admire Connie Willis. I love the style of her books, and the content, and the humor. She writes a lot like the way I try to write. Mercedes Lackey played a big part in my youth, but I feel that I've outgrown her.

Favorite book?

Sheesh, pick one? By Connie Willis, I would probably say Light Raid. I really enjoyed the romance and adventure in that one. It's been a long time, but 1984 by George Orwell really struck a chord in my youth, and it still impacts me from time to time. Other books I've read over and over throughout the years are The Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams, the Harry Potter books (particularly the first four, I read them every few months back in college,) and it may sound silly, but the Tom Corbett series by Carey Rockwell. Those last are very corny science fiction from the 1950s, given to me by my dad when my interest in science fiction was just beginning to blossom. I knew how silly (and sexist) they were right from the start, but they were just so much fun! Even now, if I'm looking for something simple and amusing to read, I'll pull one of them off the shelf. They're like candy for my brain—easy to digest and so much fun, not to mention bringing back comfortable feelings of childhood.

What other hobbies or activities do you do outside of writing?

I've found a love for gardening in the last few years, and though it's been more difficult with littles running around, I still enjoy planting, maintaining, and eating food from my own backyard. I enjoy scrapbooking, though I haven't had time to do much since my oldest was born. I also enjoy counted cross stitch, though ditto the scrapbooking—it took me 14 months to make my oldest son's Christmas stocking, and I'm still working on my younger son's—and have been for more than two years. Acting, juggling, and fencing are other things I've enjoyed at one time or another.

What is something unique about yourself?

I once fenced a bout against an Olympic fencer, and actually scored two points on him (he scored 15 on me.) Fencing is one of the many things I wish I had time (and money) for these days, and is something I hope to return to, one day.

Do you have a blog, Twitter, and/or Web site we can link to?

My blog is http://sciencefictionmommy.blogspot.com. You can like me on facebook from there as well. I try to blog in (somewhat) equal parts about writing and being a parent/life in general.



Want people to know who you are? Email me at CNHolmberg (at) gmail.com for a Someday Stars interview!

4 comments:

  1. Nice to meet you, Eileen. Woot, scoring two points is way better than none at all! And popping over to your blog to follow you! :D

    Charlie, thanks for the introduction...so inspiring finding other authors or similar backgrounds!

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  2. Thanks for commenting, Jack! Yeah, everybody counted their progress in points scored against that guy. My coach's coach only made it to like 9 or so. Nice to meet you, too.

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  3. Danny Chipman (formerly known as Nicholes)April 5, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    Great to hear about you, Eileen! I'm in your boat, but with girls wanting me to change their princess costumes every five minutes or serenading me with nonsensical lyrics at the tops of their lungs. The party gets even more fun when the neighborhood kids all come over. Which is every day. For HOURS.

    It's also nice to get acquainted with someone who's not focused on fantasy. Horror, huh? Hopefully not in the kids' picture books! Lol, I can see it now: "The 4-Year-Old's Guide to Steven King". Good luck, and keep striving for that elusive balance!

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