SALT LAKE CITY, UT August 17, 2017
Ten years ago, when Karl Hanson envisioned a story about interstellar space travel, he knew it had to be plausible. As a structural engineer, science fiction carries a lot more science than fiction for Karl.
The logistics of populating a planet light years from our own was not the challenge for Karl; the real challenge was writing the story.
“The trouble is, I’m an engineer, not a writer,” Hanson explained. “I have done a lot of technical writing in my career, but the last time I did any creative writing was back in high school.”
For years he kept his stellar idea “in my back pocket” as it grew a life of its own. One day in 2015, he shared his story with his daughter, Paige, and she encouraged him to write the book.
“Without her,” Hanson said, “I would have never had the momentum to start this project.”
Hanson never liked the science fiction where the science ventured into fantasy. He only liked the “hard” science fi novels that use as much real science as possible to make the story believable.
To write this novel without any magic or fantasy required massive research on the history of technology. The author understood that if people rebuilt society on another planet, they would need to reinvent technology from scratch. In his book, Hanson wanted to elaborate just how much technology we have and even take for granted. He wanted to detail the challenges explorers on a distant planet would face as they tried recreating modern civilization.
Preserving the integrity of the science along with the intricate nature of those elements was very important to Hanson. After writing an unconventional story with many varied components, he began looking for a publisher who would give him creative control, instead of a whittled-down version.
“When I discovered WiDo’s imprint, E. L. Marker™, it fit exactly what I was looking for,” Hanson said. “A hybrid publisher, where I can act as an investor in the production of my book. The contract also frees me to publish in non-print mediums, such as audiobooks. It seems like a perfect match!”
“Karl’s writing is very good and even poetic at times. I appreciate how smoothly he has woven in accurate and clear science,” states WiDo’s managing editor, Karen Gowen. “He represents the exact reason behind the creation of our new imprint, E.L. Marker: to provide writers who desire more control over their work an opportunity to realize their dream of publication. Karl makes a powerful addition to the WiDo family of publishers.”
Karl Hanson, a structural engineer, earned degrees from Colorado State University and the University of Illinois. Since 1980, he has helped design buildings and bridges throughout the country. In Chicago, he is involved in everything from small projects to high profile projects such as Millennium Park and McCormick Place.
Despite the pressures and responsibilities of his job, Hanson is fascinated by the challenges. He has developed a suite of structural engineering software by the name of “DCALC” (DesignCalcs), used by structural engineers across the country.
His hobbies are piano playing, learning German, and riding bikes with his wife around the Chicago area. Last year they biked 1007 miles. Karl Hanson lives with his wife, Lisa, in Chicago. They have two daughters and are a family of avid readers.