Welcome Leighgenaires to the very first edition of 10 Questions With…
Today, our guest is:
Patricia Gilliam is 31 years old and a lifelong sci-fi story geek—books, television, and movies. She started out writing free short stories and articles online around 2007. Over time, she made encouraging friendships with other writers ahead of herself and later decided to plunge into novels. Things didn’t work the first time…or the second…or the twentieth. Patricia loved the learning process, though, and eventually some things started to click. Out of the Gray was finished in 2009, and she is currently working on Book 6 in The Hannaria Series.
Patricia and her husband, Cory, celebrated their tenth anniversary this year. They have a miniature dachshund army (J.D., Turk, and Diggle), an adopted greyhound named Mal (racing name was Lucius Malfoy), and a deceptively cute cat named Butterscotch.
Now for the moment you have been waiting for:
10 Questions With Patricia Gilliam
1.) What is something that many people might not know about you?
I’ve operated a television camera in some capacity for almost twelve years, beginning my junior year of college. It’s been a fun way to meet people, and it’s often one of the best views a person can have at an event.
2.) What inspired you to write your first book?
The Hannaria Series as a whole came as an idea of doing an episode-style story in novel format. I had been doing short stories with the main characters for a couple of years, but transitioning formats took multiple attempts. (I would reach about 12,000 words and then get stuck.) I had encouraging friends who pulled me to keep trying, and I’m very thankful for that.
What eventually worked was taking a few months to focus on just character and setting development—giving myself more material than I ever hoped to use and that most readers would never see. Out of the Gray came out of that, and the sequels had an easier process.
3.) Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have multiple favorites. In my late teens and early 20’s, I read a lot of Stephen King, John Grisham, Jim Butcher, and David Baldacci. Hugh Howey got me hooked into sci-fi again with WOOL, and that led me other great independent authors including Michael Bunker, Peter Cawdron, Susan Kaye Quinn, Kevin G. Summers, Ann Christy, Patrice Fitzgerald, Samuel Peralta, Kim Wells, Will Swardstrom—I basically want to list every author involved in The Future Chronicles and Apocalypse Weird projects, lol.
4.) If you could have dinner with any author, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Beverly Cleary was my favorite author when I was a kid, and I think it would be fun to meet her. From history, I’d be interested in Mark Twain’s commentary on current events.
5.) What book are you reading now?
Just started on Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (paperback)
6.) Are there any new authors that have captured your interest?
Michael David Anderson (author of Teddy and Wake) is a fellow Knoxville novelist who I think will take off in psychological thrillers and horror within the next few years.
7.) If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in any of your books?
I would have started a little earlier in the overall timeline, but there is still the opportunity to do that in short stories and website extras.
8.) Can you share a little of your current work with us?
The last project I completed was a short story called “The Backup,” which will be in The Immortality Chronicles (Part of The Future Chronicles). Since it hasn’t been published yet, I know I can share a portion of Thaw. This was my first Kindle Worlds project (set in Hugh Howey’s Silo Saga), and I’m planning to release a sequel before the end of the year. Thaw parallels SHIFT (Book 2), so I recommend reading it and WOOL first. This chapter preview is spoiler-free.
RYT Medical Center * Boston * December 17th, 2025
“Good afternoon, and welcome to RYT.” Doctor Carlton Ryan clapped his hands together and scanned the auditorium. Out of two hundred students, seven bothered to glance up from their phones. “I’m here to speak about our current projects. First off, I’d like to introduce you to our friend Charlie.”
He ran backstage then reappeared holding a blue-tinged rat encased in dry ice.
“Charlie is a two-year-old white rat that we—”
In the rush, Carlton stumbled. The rat slipped from his gloves and shattered into fragments across the stage. Several people gasped and screamed, and the first few rows got to their feet. Carlton regained his balance and took a deep breath.
“As I said, I’d like to start by introducing you to our friend Dave,” he said with the same level of enthusiasm. “Sit tight. It might be a minute.”
He dashed behind the red curtains again then slowed to a stop. Confused murmuring and laughter began to build, and he grinned.
“Takes a lot to gain their attention these days, doesn’t it?” a man asked. Startled, Carlton turned to face him. “Rubber mouse?”
“Yeah,” Carlton replied, deciding based on the man’s suit not to correct him on a fake animal. “Are you with the university? You look familiar.”
The gray-haired man shook his head and held out his hand. His grip hurt, even through Carlton’s gloves. “Paul Thurman.”
“As in the Thurmans who put the ‘T’ in RYT,” Carlton replied in an uneasy tone. Thurman resembled his grandfather, whose photo was displayed in the main lobby along with a dozen other co-founders. “Am I fired?”
“Not today, son.” Thurman laughed and slapped Carlton’s back. “What are your plans after this? There’s a project I’d like to discuss with you.”
Carlton hesitated and looked at his phone. It was almost one-thirty.
“I need to pick up my kids from daycare,” he explained then gestured toward the exit. “My wife and her team will finish around six. She works in the bionanotech division across the street. If this isn’t extremely urgent, I can clear my whole schedule tomorrow. We can—”
“I understand,” Thurman interrupted and held up one hand. “My wife and I have a ten-year-old daughter, and I know things are hectic when they’re young. Do you have anyone who can watch them tonight? I’d like to take you and your wife out to dinner. It would make things easier than you having to repeat the details.”
“I guess that could work.” At that point, Carlton’s lab assistant James was gesturing to the stage. Carlton had lost track on how long he’d been gone. “Give me twenty minutes to finish this, and I’ll make some calls.”
In trying to buy time, James had already wheeled a cart with Dave’s cryopod onto the stage. The pod’s outer shell was made of stainless steel and roughly the size of a watermelon. Carlton unlatched its hinges, and the inner seal opened with a hiss.
“Just so there’s no confusion, Dave is real,” Carlton said, and he was gentle in moving the rat to a modified incubator. The room went quiet, and a handheld camera operator approached and zoomed in for the stage monitors. Within minutes, the rat began to shiver and twitch. Carlton removed his gloves and placed his bare hand into the clear container. With its eyes still shut, the rat gripped two of his fingers and tried to curl into his palm. A few people let out an aww, and Carlton smiled. “My wife and I met while developing this experiment. For several rounds, her experimental groups had the best survival rates despite all other factors. We figured out it was because she did this. Now these guys never wake up alone.”
“But what happens once your little experiment is over?” a brunette woman asked in a sharp tone. “Are they euthanized?”
“No,” he replied, but she still glared at him. “We’re also studying the long-term impacts of cryopreservation, so most of our subjects live out full lives of about one to three years after they’re revived. They’re not pets, but I’d like to think we go above the minimum standards for lab animal treatment. Any other questions?”
“How long before you’re able to do this with humans?” a young man shouted from the back. James ran to him with a microphone. “My father is being held in a cryonics facility in Alaska. I’m just curious on how a human clinical trial would work with this—who to contact to get on a waiting list.”
This question came up several times a year, and it was never easy to answer.
“We’re partnered with thirty-two cryonics companies around the world, but I can’t give you a time frame,” Carlton replied. “With rats, we have full control over the process. We take multiple scans of their bodies in a healthy state, something to give the nanobots a reference. We’re also allowed to place them into stasis alive, which is decades away for humans from a legal standpoint. Once they’re revived, the cellular damage is minimal. The NBs repair what’s needed then deactivate.”
This reminded Carlton to pull his hand out of the container before Dave released his bladder. The charcoal-colored streams and puddles could be washed out of clothing, but hospital protocols had meant incinerating several of his favorite shirts.
“So you’re saying that because my father was put into stasis after he was pronounced dead, this process could never work?” The young man was too far away for Carlton to see his face, but the pain in his voice was heart-wrenching. “I know it was what he wanted, and I don’t want to give up. It’s just…I don’t know what to do from here.”
“All I’m saying is that we have a long way to go.” Carlton walked away from the incubator and sat down at the base of the stage. “When I was a kid, people died waiting for organ transplants. Now nearly every hospital in the world is within a hundred miles of a preservation bank. What we take for granted today would still be impossible if no one ever pursued it, and there’s always hope when people are passionate about solving a problem. I hope that helps. Anyone else?” Someone clapped, and it spread. “If you want to apply to our cryobiology or nanobiology internship programs, visit our site. Feel free to contact me or my wife Doctor Catherine Ryan through our profiles if you have any questions. Thanks.”
When Carlton returned backstage, Thurman had left. James handed him a business card.
“He said to meet him at Poseidon Oyster at eight and bring Catherine. He wouldn’t tell me anything else—other than we definitely want to be on this project.”
“Everyone says that,” Carlton replied, but he looked at the card. Representative Paul Thurman of Georgia was contacting a cryobiology team from Boston instead of Atlanta. Even with the thin family connection to the hospital, this seemed strange. “I’ll let you know what I find out.”
9.) If you were to get rid of one state in the US, which would it be and why?
Would state of confusion count? 🙂
10.) A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?
*bumps repeatedly into wall* “Can I have a little help, please?”
He’s swam and waddled a long way (the sombrero is a souvenir) to visit relatives, but his GPS service is horrible.
Go ahead, pimp whatever book you want:
If you’d like to try The Hannaria Series, I’m offering Books 1-5 for free for the first time on Amazon from July 14-16th. I also plan to make large portions of Book 6 available on my website as I write it, and this will give people a chance to catch up.
GIVEAWAY: Patricia Gilliam is giving away an autographed copy of The Hannaria Series: Out of the Gray (Book 1). All you need to do is answer the following question in the comments below:
What is your favorite sci-fi series and why? It can be a movie, a book, or television show.
Due to shipping cost, the signed copy is only available to people who live in the United States. If you live outside of the United States she will email you a set of ebooks. I will take answers until Sunday, 7/26/15 at 8:00 pm (EST) and I will announce the winners shortly after. I will announce the winners here and also on The Leighgendarium Facebook Page.
I would like to thank Patricia Gilliam for participating in 10 Questions With… If you would like to learn more about Patricia Gilliam and her books please visit her website. Below are the links to the first five books in the Hannaria Series. Please go get the books between July 14-16, what have you got to lose?