Tell us a bit about your chosen genre. Do you feel your strength as a writer is within one specific genre or do you dabble in a number of different genres?
My current two series, Earths in Space and RIP, are science fiction and paranormal fantasy, respectively. Most of what I write will involve at least one of those genres. I enjoy incorporating story elements that can’t possibly happen in today’s world, whether it’s advanced space travel or punching out ghosts. That makes everything more fun. However, I like to ground those elements in an otherwise normal, if still stylized, world. I don’t often get into Lord of the Rings type of fantasy because it would feel too detached from the real world. In shorter works, like one-act plays or short stories, I sometimes go just for straight comedy without any sci-fi or fantasy. Whatever genre I do, I have to have some humor in there.
Physical books or ebook? Everyone has a preference...what's yours?
I prefer to read a physical book in my hands and to turn physical pages, but e-books can be very economical in terms of costs and storage needs. I’m perfectly happy with both existing. And I have found e-readers to provide a much more pleasant reading experience than I ever would have thought possible.
If one of your books was to be made into a movie or television series, who would you cast--if given the choice--to play your main characters?
For Earths in Space, I can see Community’s Gillian Jacobs as Amena, the whimsical archer who wants everything to be amazing as she leads a team of interstellar explorers. Her work on that wonderful sitcom tells me she could balance the character’s playful and more sincere, heroic sides quite well. I’m stumped on a lot of the others, and I don’t do hypothetical casting as I write because I’m trying to create entirely new people. Plus, a lot of casting is getting actors who have great chemistry with each other. So I’d start with Jacobs and take it from there. But I’d probably also like the idea of Kristen Bell as the genius Sela.
How has your life experience as a whole helped—or hindered—your voice as a writer?
Life experience is essential to being able to write anything, even if it does often interfere with finding the time to read and write as much I might like. But the bottom line is you can’t just lock yourself in a basement and produce a masterpiece (not unless you had a bunch of amazing experiences right before you lock yourself in there).
What can you tell us about your preferred writing environment? Music, no music? At home, locked in your office, or out in the world in a coffee shop?
Music is essential, especially instrumental movie soundtracks—and a variety of them. It’s like a creative lubricant. I usually write at home and edit or brainstorm at a Barnes & Noble café. I didn't really plan it this way, but I suppose having a couple of different work environments helps me look at the stories in new lights and better enables me to find solutions and catch mistakes.
A simple question: why do you write?
I don’t understand why I wouldn't.
Daniel Sherrier is a writer based in central Virginia. This is the guy who writes the Earths in Space and RIP series, which you've doubtless heard much about. Occasionally, a play he's written gets performed somewhere. He graduated from the College of William & Mary in 2005, where he earned a degree in the ever-lucrative fields of English and Theatre. Recently, he achieved his black belt in Thai kickboxing. And there was that one time he jumped out of an airplane, which was memorable.