Jared Austin is a young adult science fiction author who lives in the Rocket City -- Huntsville, Alabama. In Space City and the books in the series to follow, he hopes to show and inspire his daughter and son, as well as all of his readers, that science and technology are not dull subjects, but gateways to a brighter, exciting future.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) What made you want to become a writer?
I first decided I wanted to become an author right after high school. I was getting ready to apply to college and wasn’t surewhat I wanted to study. I knew I loved to read. That led to the conclusion "Why not write?"
I was so naïve about what that really meant.
Along the way, taking creative writing courses in college, attending writing workshops, and tinkering away on various projects, I learned how much I really loved creating stories. I loved pushing myself to get better so I could create the stories people will enjoy.
2) Where do you get your story ideas?
Everywhere. Sometimes while reading a book or watching a movie or tv show, some little bit of it gives me an idea for a story or part of a story, usually taking the idea in a new direction that excites me. I also
like to read science and technology magazines such as Scientific American or non-fiction books in a variety of subjects that give me inspiration for my novels. Occasionally life just hits you with ideas.
I try to be open to inspiration everywhere.
3) Why do you write YA SciFi?
To entertain and inspire young teens. When I was growing up, I often found science to be rather dull in school. My classes largely required me to memorize facts that held little interest and I couldn’t understand the benefits. It was only as an adult that I learned all the really cool ways in which science and technology improves the world around us and enriches our lives.
One of my drivers in writing is to show how cool science can be within a story that is highly entertaining and fun.
4) What's special about Space City?
Space City is meant to be a space exploration story that is exciting. A cool city/ship in space designed to look like Earth for those living on it, but with aliens and so many other wonders. The books are filled with adventure and humor to keep you turning the page, all the while weaving in the latest advancements in science and technology to both bring the world to life, and provide tools for which Neil Ericson and his friends can overcome the many obstacles they face.
5) When does the next book come out?
Contact Not Found, the 4th book in the Space City series, is planned for release in the Fall 2022. Like Escape, Contact Not Found is a collection of short stories featuring some of the other characters found in the Space City novels.
6) What are you writing now?
Space City #5, title TBD, has a completed first draft. I have a lot of revisions to go for that to be ready for publication, but tentatively I’m hoping to release it in 2023. I will provide more information as I progress through it.
7) How many books will there be in the Space City series?
For the main novels, Neil’s and Riagan’s story, the plan is four books. Then for the collections of short stories, there will be at least two (Escape and Contact Not Found). I know there is at least one more short story or novella that I need to write before the concluding the series.
I read Everything
I jump around genres all the time. I read tons of fantasy as a teen, and still do here and there. I read a lot of SciFi, particularly in YA. But I also enjoy thrillers/suspense, crime fiction, horror, and non-fiction.
I Love Video Games
I have always been a big Nintendo fan. Zelda is my favorite video game franchise and Zelda BOTW is THE best game. I’ve played a ton of Mario and Donkey Kong games over the years. I also really enjoy Final Fantasy 7 (original is best, but first remake is pretty cool) and Final Fantasy 8, as well as Last of Us, Ratchet & Clank, and Tomb Raider.
My Favorite Foods
Spaghetti. I love pasta and I love to cook my own spaghetti. I also love to grill, make my own bread, and I’m the baker in our family. Learned the skill from my mother growing up. I find it very rewarding to prepare food with my own hands and see people’s enjoyment of it.
I'm an Avid Runner
It’s my favorite way to stay in shape. I’ve run around the neighborhood of each place I’ve lived for years. It’s fun to be outside, especially early in the morning not long after the sun has risen. Its peaceful. The longest I’ve run is a half marathon.
I'm a HUGE Football Fan, and Sports in General
I grew up watching and playing sports. Baseball was always
my favorite sport growing up and I was a pitcher. Now I watch a lot of
football. I’m a graduate of the University of Alabama, so I am a big Crimson Tide fan. I also like the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins.