Sunday, April 1, 2012

Interview with T. M. Crone

T. M. Crone received her PhD in Molecular Biology before the turn of the century and a B.S. in Horticulture sometime before that. That's why you'll find plants and other scientific dogma piled not so deeply throughout her stories. She lives in central PA with her family where she teaches Biology, Physiology, and whatever else the local colleges throw her way. A nature freak by design, she loves all things natural, with the exception of spiders. You can find her at,

SPECULATIVE JOURNEYS: An Anthology of Scifi, Fantasy and other Strange Tales, is a culmination of her previously published short stories whose themes vary as much as the characters. It is available in
print and Kindle format at

Explore the strange and endless possibilities of the future. How desperate will humans become? Where will exploration, science and politics lead us? What will be the warning signs of the end? Regardless of where you go to seek answers--a distant moon, the back streets of a dystopian society, a grave--the stories within these pages will keep you wandering.

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing T. M. Crone.

GRA: At what point in your life did you realize you were a writer?

T.M. Crone: I always knew I wanted to be a writer, but life takes you down paths unexpectedly. I made a lot of detours, but quite frankly I didn't know HOW to be a writer back then. I was an avid reader of science fiction at a very young age, and I always thought "I can write a better story than that." I would write little stories on sheets of paper and bury them in my backyard, thinking that some day when humans were extinct and alien from another planet would unearth it and read it. Eventually I focused on what was important to me, and that was writing.

GRA:When an idea strikes for a story do you outline or write by the seat of your pants?

T.M. Crone: I don't believe in formal outlines. I think they are stilted verse and a waste of time. I used to write by the seat of my pants, but that proved to be difficult, and sometimes after I've written 10s of thousands of words I sat back and said, "what was I thinking?" Now I think through things and write down a few pages of simple sentences "outlining" the progression of my story. Although the story plot takes twists and turns I hadn't anticipated, the words flow much faster and I don't find myself stuck at a dead-end.

GRA:What other genre that you haven’t written would you like to try?

T.M. Crone:
Writing speculative fiction seemed a no-brainer to me, since scifi/fantasy had been such a huge part of my early years in every way, so I haven't given it too much thought. However, there is a story or two bouncing in my head dealing more with medical supernatural themes, and someday I'll write them down. I like dark literary works, like Janet Fitch's novel, Paint it Black.

GRA:What other authors do you read?

T.M. Crone: I have so many favorite authors. My all time favorite current writer is China Mieville. He's brilliant, what more can I say. Brent Weeks, Karen Miller and Neil Gaiman are way up there on the list. Octavia Bulter is another, but sadly, she has left us too soon. I love Janet Fitch, and although my taste leans toward speculative fiction, I would read anything she wrote. I've also read some great works by local writers such as Susan Gourley, Cate Masters, Mike Silvestri, Jon Sprunk, Dennis Royer and Eric Glick. And I here there's a great novel by George Appelt, Shepard's Fall, coming out soon! Can't wait for that one.

GRA:What is your writing schedule like?

T.M. Crone: It's almost impossible for me to have a writing schedule. Between my teaching obligations and my children, sometimes there is little time. I write when ever I can, during the day when my kids are in school or late at night when everyone is asleep.

GRA:Where is your favorite place to write?

T.M. Crone: I have a great writing room with a fireplace and green walls. I am surrounded by reference books and novels written by my favorite writers. 

GRA: Do you ever tie your short stories together?

T.M. Crone: That I've never done. However, I have taken a secondary character from one of my short stories and given him a role in a novel. I love developing quirky, secondary characters. I think they are just as important as the main protagonist.

GRA: Who influences your work?

T.M. Crone: Hmmm... I don't know if there is a specific "who" but there certainly is a "what." I have been inspired by many female novelist, including Octavia Bulter and Karen Miller. They make strong, resilient, sometimes evil female protagonists that I love. In a genre that had been dominated for so many years by the works of male writers, it is refreshing to read scifi/fantasy whose female protagonists are not sex slaves or subservient bystanders. Old time scifi writers just couldn't get the female right, but that has changed.

As for the "what," I think every time I witness an event that doesn't sit right in my conscious, I come up with a story. The initial spark may not appear in the finished work, but sometimes it does.

GRA: What has been the most bizarre experience in your writing career?

T.M. Crone: I wish something bizarre WOULD happen. It would make things more interesting. There has been a few unexpected events. I once wrote a humorous fantasy short story centered around my father who had Alzheimer's disease at the time. The story itself would not give away that point, but when it was published I received an email from a friend asking for permission for her friend to use it in a class on Aging and Dementia she had been teaching. So, somewhere in North Carolina there are students reading my story.

GRA: What’s next?

T.M. Crone: I am in the midst of a few writing projects, including polishing a dystopian fantasy novel that I hope to query soon. I am 20,000 words into the writing of my third novel, a scifi story taking place between worlds.

Thanks to T.M. Crone.

To read more from this talented author you can follow her at:

And don't forget to pick up a copy of SPECULATIVE JOURNEYS at at


  1. Thanks for the interview, George!

  2. Such a great idea to collect your published stories into an anthology, Tina. Looking forward to reading this one!

  3. Thanks for the mention, Tina. I don't know how you get so much writing done with your schedule.

  4. Great interview. It's a privilege to be part of our critique group with both of you.