I recently read Dan Harris’s Ascension Point with great relish—to the point that I couldn’t help myself from dropping Dan a line or two by e-mail. Our conversations quickly revealed an author who had clearly done his homework in many respects—not just about the writing process, but also in terms of what to do with a book once it has been written. Dan was kind enough to accept my request to interview him, and we ended up having a wide-ranging discussion that covered everything from writing in a foreign country to writing about the distant future. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Thank you very much for having me, and I’m delighted that you enjoyed the book.
Interesting first question! I honestly hadn’t considered it before. The slightly dull answer is that for me personally, there are no real advantages or challenges. I can well imagine that for an ‘ex-pat’ who was more firmly embedded in the culture of his new country, who lived and worked every day in a foreign language, the disconnect between that day-to-day, and an ongoing project in his native tongue, could be difficult.
But I’m in a slightly odd situation in that my day job is conducted entirely in English, from my home office, working for the same company I was with while my wife and I were in London. As a result there was a very smooth transition, and I’ve never needed to immerse myself in Brazilian culture to the point where I’d struggle to come back to my ‘English writer mentality’.
Whether I should have immersed myself more is another question, but like most writers I generally prefer to be at home at my desk writing!
Exciting times indeed, and I can’t wait to experience it all for myself! For right now, though, I’m afraid we’ll have to wrap things up. I want to thank you for agreeing to be interviewed on The Indiscriminate Critic. I’ve had a wonderful time chatting with you, and I wish you much well-deserved success with your Ascension Point sequence.
It’s been an absolute pleasure – thanks for having me.