Sci-Festival interview 1 with John Thornton

Today, now we’re all suitably recovered from Christmas and New Years, sees the beginning of Sci-Festival, a conglomeration of author interviews, all focused on the Sci-Fi and Fantasy genres! I’ll also be hosting a number of giveaways, which will begin this weekend. All authors answer the same questions, so we can see the awesome variety these genres have to offer.

If you’d like to take part in Sci-Festival, please send me an email at  or head over to the Sci-Festival page of my website, where you can get more information.

Without further ado, we have interview number one, with John Thornton!


How did you get into writing Sci-Fi/Fantasy?
I have been reading Sci-Fi and Fantasy my whole life.  I started “writing” back in the 1970s with RPG board games as a game’s master.  I planned ship designs, stories, adventures, and characters.  They all sort of combined together in 2012-2013 when I put them into novel form.

Which is the first aspect of a story you usually plan? The plot, the setting, or the characters?
The setting came first for me.  A huge old and failing colony ship which mixed sci-fi elements and natural biological habitats.  In a way, the Colony Ship Eschaton is the main character of the series.

If you had to say that your stories were Sci-Fi/Fantasy crossed with something, what would it be?
Sci-Fi crossed with wilderness adventure.  I find both types exciting and fun to read. 

What, or who, would you say is your greatest influence in your writing?
My daughter asked me, “Are you going to finish this one?”  She influenced me the most to keep writing.

How did you come up with the idea for the book you’ve listed here?
Back when I played board RPGs I would often mix various elements from different games.  Then I needed a setting where I could use high tech and wilderness places together.  I never really found the right place, until I wrote my own.  I have read numerous books about generational star ships, like Heinlein’s “Orphans of the Sky” or Knight’s “The World and Thorinn” and enjoyed them.  I wanted to design my own adventures in what I sometimes think of as an “interstellar haunted house of the future.”  I also have been drawn to stories where people try to unravel what has happened in the past from the remains and ruins they encounter.  All these and lost more issues melted together to give me the ideas for my books. 

What was your proudest moment in the creation of this book?
The moment I read the first reader review was my proudest moment regarding this book.

Have there been any points that had you doubting yourself? How did you get past them?
Many times I have wondered if anyone else would want to share in the world I invented.  I had doubts about the plot, characters, and interactions.  But I enjoyed the writing process so much, it became a part of my lifestyle so I overcame those doubts.  Even if no one ever reads about word I write, I will still write because of what writing does for me.

What is your favourite aspect of the Sci-Fi and Fantasy genres?
Sci-Fi and Fantasy has boundless potential and limitless possibilities.  Good stories and telling of those stories makes the Sci-Fi genre fun.

What is the element you like the least about the Sci-Fi and Fantasy genres?
Honestly?  Tacky special effects in low budget Sci-Fi movies are what I like least about the Sci-Fi genre.  Also, the misogynistic aspects found in some science fiction and fantasy really turn me off.   

Discounting ‘because I’d have made a lot of money’ (if that is the case,) which Sci-Fi or Fantasy book/tv series/film do you wish you’d written, and why?
Great question!  I wish I had written the screenplay for the movie Silent Running.  That movie is just very well put together.  Another movie screen play which I wish I had written is Moon with Sam Rockwell.  Both those movies have great plots and excellent stories to tell. 


John Thornton has been reading sci fi for years. Married with four grown up daughters, his background includes being an ICU RN, a radio talk show host, guest speaker, a pastor, and a host of other jobs.  He is a perpetual student and reads all kinds of books from any genre.  He also has chronic and significant arthritis.  His body has been rebuilt with many mechanical parts giving him an appreciation for cyborgs.

See more about John

Book 8 covers

“Recovery of a Colony Ship” is book one in the ten novel series, “The Colony Ship Eschaton.”  Set in circa 2170 the Earth is nearly dead.  The last people live in Dome 17, but it is failing.  They attempt a dangerous mission to find one of the hundred-year old colony ships which are already on their way to another solar system.  When those colony ships departed they had functioning biological habitats stocked with flora and fauna and people.  Those colonists knew they would spend generations waiting to get to the other worlds.  But what has happened since launch?  What will be found ‘living’ in the giant colony ship’s various biological habitats?  Will the refugees from Earth be welcomed, or hated?  What happens when technology partially fails?  Adventure abounds in this novel and continues until book ten of the series.     

Buy Recovery of a Colony Ship on Amazon


About chelecooke

Self-Published author of the Out of Orbit series and the Teeth series. UCL Residence Assistant, obsessive cross stitcher, avid reader and TV show watcher.
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1 Response to Sci-Festival interview 1 with John Thornton

  1. Pingback: Sci Fi Festival – New Authors, Lots of Prizes! | Eliza Green Books

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