10 Questions With Peter Cawdron

Welcome Leighgendaries to the eighth edition of 10 Questions With…

Today, our guest is:


Peter Cawdron 

Peter Cawdron is an author who likes to ensure there’s real science in science fiction, speculating on the nature of such concepts as first contact with an extraterrestrial being and time travel. His debut novel Anomaly has sold over 70,000 copies worldwide and continues to gain rave reviews from readers and critics alike.

It’s time for:

10 Questions With Peter Cawdron

1.) What is something that many people might not know about you?

I was born and raised in New Zealand but spent my late teens and early twenties living in the USA, attending college in Emporia, Kansas, before traveling to the UK and eventually settling in Australia. The vast majority of my novels are set in the US because I loved living there. One day, I’d like to take my family to the U.S. to visit the Smithsonian and the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

2.) What inspired you to write your first book?

Anomaly was inspired by Carl Sagan’s novel Contact, and yet it is anything but fan fiction. Anomaly takes a serious look at just how vastly different an alien species could be. We’re so heavily dependent on senses such as sight, hearing, touch and smell that we don’t realize how limited they are. We can only see 1-2% of the electromagnetic spectrum that surrounds us. Hollywood assumes ET will be roughly the same as us but with tentacles, the reality is, the alien equivalent of our five or so primary senses could operate in a vastly different manner and make communication nigh on impossible. Anomaly explores this concept, speculating on how contact could be achieved.

3.) Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

It’s difficult to settle on just one author, but the authors I admire are those that immerse me in their stories to the point where I feel like I’m reading a biography. So for me, it’s authors like Alistair Reynolds, Jason Gurley and Hugh Howey.

4.) If you could have dinner with any author, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Without a doubt, H.G. Wells. War of the Worlds and The Time Machine are classics that have endured for a century and will continue to fascinate readers for hundreds of years. I’d love to sit and talk with him about the possibilities of extraterrestrial intelligence and speculate on the types of first contact that could occur.

5.) What book are you reading now?

I’m reading Alt History 101, an anthology by independent authors looking at how different history could have been if key events had unfolded in a slightly different manner. The writing is enthralling, with authors shying away from the obvious “Hitler won the war” concepts to explore some interesting possibilities that are all too plausible. Sure, I might be biased as I have a short story in this collection, but I think the writing is at an extremely high level.

6.) Are there any new authors that have captured your interest?

Without singling out anyone in particular, I’d say the authors contributing to the Future Chronicles anthologies. I’ve been in four of the anthologies and I’ve found the quality of writing has grown with each release. It’s wonderful to see authors dedicating so much time, heart and effort into what some would see as throwaway stories. Some of the short stories I’ve read in these anthologies are up there with those by authors such as Arthur C. Clarke and Philip K. Dick. The advent of indie writers is ushering in a new golden era, and I’m excited to be a part of it. For me, the Future Chronicles are a wonderful challenge as they push me to experiment with concepts I’d otherwise have never attempted as a writer. I would have never written a story about telepathy or alternative histories or steampunk pirates if it hadn’t been for the Chronicles. And I suspect many of the authors involved in this series feel the same way, they’re better for accepting the challenge.

7.) If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in any of your books?

What do you mean by “if?” I’ve rewritten several books. That’s the joy of being independently published and having books in an electronic medium. Nothing is etched in stone. Without giving too much away, one book has had three entirely different endings. Several others have been uplifted from third-person past tense to present tense. Others have been tweaked as I’ve learned new things. I don’t advocate constantly tinkering with novels, but there’s certainly no reason books should be static. From my perspective, I want readers to have the very best reading experience possible, so I want nothing but the best out there on sale. I’m not afraid to splash another daub of color on the canvas.

8.) Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I’m working on a novel called The Colony, which is set on Mars and addresses a commonly held misconception that getting men and women to Mars is easy and we should have done it already. In reality, it is astonishingly difficult. If you lived in Queens, New York, and we considered your home as the planet Earth, the International Space Station would be in orbit by the gutter on the road outside. The Moon would be in Jersey. Mars would be in Los Angeles by comparison. Mars is a loooooong way off. The reality is, any colony we establish on Mars is going to be highly depended on Earth for critical supplies. They’ll be able to use 3D printing for most things, but refining raw materials to print from won’t be easy, and components such as computer parts or medicine will have to come from Earth. The Colony explores what happens on Mars when a nuclear war breaks out on Earth and the resupply suddenly stops. I’m about 20,000 words into the story and loving it.

You can read the first two chapters on Write On.

9.) If you were to get rid of one state in the US, which would it be and why?


Seriously, the thing I love about the US is how varied the states are. Even similar states right next door to each other, like Ohio and Indiana, have their own quirks. And your weather is so varied it’s scary. I remember being in -39 degrees in Indiana during winter. You’ll notice I didn’t bother with designations such as Fahrenheit or Celsius, as down near that temperature, they’re both the same and it’s cold enough to freeze the tail off a brass monkey. All I know is there were icicles on the inside of the door. And then summer comes along and it’s as sweltering and hot as an Australian desert. Six months later, you’re freezing your ass off again. I don’t know how you do it.

10.) A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?

“What? You never seen a Mexican penguin before? Don’t you know we love burrrrrrrrrrrrrrrritos!”

Go ahead, pimp whatever book you want:

If you like zombie stories, check out What We Left Behind.

If you hate zombie stories, check out What We Left Behind.

Seriously, read the reviews and you’ll see it’s a cracking good story loved by dozens of readers regardless of zombies 🙂

Thanks for having me on your blog.


GIVEAWAY:  Peter wants to thank you for reading the interview, and hopefully checking out his story What We Left Behind.  As a thank you, Peter would like to give you a free ebook copy of Revolution.  All he asks is that you leave an honest review once you read it.  To get the free copy you can comment below with your email address in email {at} service {dot} com format or you can go to The Leighgendarium Facebook Page and send me a message with your email address.  But hurry, this giveaway is only good for 48 hours.  We will close the giveaway at 8:00 pm (est) on Thursday July 30, 2015.

How do you hide state secrets when teenage hacktivists have as much quantum computing power as the government? Alexander Hopkins is about to find out on what should have been an uneventful red-eye flight from Russia. Nothing is what it seems in this heart pounding short-story from international best selling author Peter Cawdron.

I would like to thank Peter Cawdron for taking the time to do 10 Questions With…  I hope that you enjoyed it as much as I did.  To find out more about Peter Cawdron’s books, and to buy them, visit his Amazon Page.


9 thoughts on “10 Questions With Peter Cawdron

  1. areniak2007 (at) gmail (dot) com

    I just picked up WWLB and am enjoying it so far! Thanks for the interview, I can see how moving around has influenced your ability to describe many places rather well:)


  2. After having recently reread Trixie and Me I pretty sure I need to read more of your work. Thanks for the interview.


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