I guess the first thing to do would be to introduce myself. My name is Michael Dirubio and I am an author. I have always been interested in books, first obviously in reading them, and then much later in life, in writing them. I got my love of reading from my mother. I remember many trips to our local library in Westminster, Colorado where she would take me to get books. I spent the first few years with her in the children section and then there was that scary/joyous day when I branched out to the “adult” section. Two notes: one- yes kids, when I was young, there was no young adult book market. And two- “Adult” section now looks creepy when written.
Those early visits to the big room of the library were astounding to my fourth grade mind. And my mom steered me to the right place: The Heinlein juveniles. I can still recommend those books. The may be a little dated now but they served their purpose: to fire my imagination. Have Space Suit- Will Travel, Starman Jones, and Farmer in the Sky are all perfect gateways to what CAN be. From their it was easy to move into Asimov and Poul Anderson and many others. I will also never forget the day a teacher recommended Dune to me. As a sixth grader the mythology and scale were enormous. But I didn’t want to just read about Paul Arteides, I wanted to be Paul.
I did live my life after a fashion and did the things adults have to do. Marriage, fatherhood, divorce, and career. After twenty years in the Navy and remarried and settled, writing was not on my radar. Then, I happened upon an article from Nasa on line. The space agency announced that they expected to launch a manned Mars mission in the 2034 time frame. My god! I would be 72 years old by the time those idiots got to Mars! Dammit! The Jetsons promised us flying cars and I am holding someone responsible for that! I’m looking at you Elon Musk. So anyway, I got pissed. As usual NASA was thinking with their budgetary goggles and the my way or the highway attitude that has kept us from going back to the moon for forty years. Well, I’ve spent time with defense contractors! The shuttle control panel looks an awful lot like the ballast control panel on a submarine. (Except of that whole going into space thing). Crap, Nasa needs to think outside the box! We should break that flight up into sections. Have Russia, China and the European Space agencies involved. Not to mention the private concerns, Space X and Antares and others. Why reinvent the wheel? We have plenty of expertise. We have reusable rockets! Send up a new platform for the ISS, haul up supplies and pieces and build the thing in low earth orbit, stick on some thrusters and portable habitat pieces and boom. Good to go! As I say in the book- Easy, Peezy, Lemon Squeezy.
I realized that the doodles and concepts I’d written down were interesting: How would they build it? What would the training be like? Crew selection? What would the mission profile look like? That would make an interesting book. The thought flashed across my brain. Without any formal classes or real training, I started writing. And the thing poured out. Unity was written in four months. I took another three editing and shaping it. Poorly in case of the editing but that was okay. I just wanted to write it down. And I did. Four hundred sixty pages. With a protagonist, an antagonist and a plot. Real book writing. And the main thing was- I enjoyed it. I self published it because I wanted to share the story, not make sales. Which was prophetic because Amazon is not conducive to selling books. But that does not matter to me. I’ve now written five books and I’ve got ideas for about ten more in my head. I don’t get writers block. I don’t get caught up in book cover design or even web design. I just write stories. I’ll leave it to you to judge of they are good or not. I will admit to my numerous faults when it comes to writing. Spelling, punctuation and grammar are not my strong suits. As this bio may attest. However I think O can tell a tale and thats all I want to do. Fire an imagination. That is my goal.
All the best: Mike Dirubio