ARK Watson: I think if we imagine a future, that's the way we would like it to be, that can give us a goal to set for. Jayne: Welcome to Tales with the Sales, where we discuss stories that matter because you are a living one. I'm your host, Jane de Sales. I'm a writer, poet and storyteller. It is my pleasure to introduce you to authors as we explore how fiction impacts our lives and culture. My guest today is science fiction author ARK Watson. She started writing with both arms and braces as a broke college student. Her love of the Church and the written word drove her to start Catholicreads.com, a website aimed at popularizing quality Catholic books. She is an American living abroad in South Korea, a world traveler and an absolute and unrepentant nerd. Her debut publication, The Dunes, won an honorary mention in the Writers of the Future contest, which in the past has discovered such sci-fi and fantasy greats as Orson Scott Card and Brandon Sanderson. Her sci-fi murder mystery, The Vines of Mars, earned her a place in Yale's Summer Creative Writing workshop. Here's a brief summary of The Vines of Mars for you. At a colony on Mars in the future, Tomas misses his sister. Maria is presumed dead after going missing on a windswept planet over a decade ago. But a stranger appears and makes him question everything he knows, from the man eating vines in the forest to his sister's disappearance. He will put everything on the line, including his marriage and family, in order to learn the truth. There is a murderer within their tight knit community, and he aims to expose them. Jayne: I'd like to give you an opportunity to just share with us a piece of literature that really has changed things for you. ARK Watson: So a piece of literature that changed me, I think was The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. It was the first science fiction book that I ever read, remains one of my favorites and started a far deeper obsession than anyone ever expected. There's this quote by Ray Bradbury from Zen in the Art of Writing, which is also a great book for artists in general, not just writers. “I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room.” Jayne: I love it. And you know who I think of immediately when you read that? Wash. Yeah, it just immediately takes me to Serenity and packing up your dinosaurs, and that just warms my little nerdy heart. So tell me a little bit about this quote, because there's a little bit to unpack there. I mean, it's comedic, but at the same time, it's showing that he kind of seemed to know what his strengths were. Where were you in your life when you encountered this? ARK Watson: I think I was in high school and it was just one of the quotes that I heard by him, and it didn't really strike me at the time. But then as I've moved into adulthood and been trying to find my own voice in my writing and trying to find just like a job and my place in the world, it's come back to me again and again that you aren't in charge of other people's opinions about you. You're in charge of your opinion about yourself, and that might be based on some things that other people find absurd or even offensive, but it's about what you can do in your life that makes you respect yourself, that makes you happy. But not like hedonistically happy. But yeah, content with yourself and following your artistic passions is part of that, but also just having integrity in all levels of your life. Continue reading...
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