Cary, NC – Cary is home to a number of creative and artistic individuals. And one more is adding his name to the list, as Gray Rinehart releases his first novel – a science fiction story set in space – later this month.
The Dangers and Adventures in Space
Rinehart’s novel, Walking on the Sea of Clouds, comes out this month from WordFire Press. His inspiration comes from two places; one is a lifetime love of science fiction, starting with TV and movies such as Star Trek and Star Wars. But it also has roots in Rinehart’s time in the Air Force, working as a bio-environmental engineer at Edwards Air Force Base.
“I learned a lot about rockets, safety and health and it made me think about the difficulty of maintaining livable environments in places that fought against that,” Rinehart said.
In Sea of Clouds, Rinehart’s protagonists work to establish a livable colony on the Moon, including all the struggles and sacrifices that come with building a place to live in the vacuum of space.
Rinehart has written extensively, with science fiction short stories appearing in Analog, Asimov’s, Intergalactic Medicine Show, Galactic Games and Clockwork Phoenix 5. He has also written non-fiction books about the education system and has worked as a speechwriter.
With this full-length novel, Rinehart said he learned more about the fiction-writing process and tried to incorporate new elements into his story.
“I tried harder to interweave the storylines of different people,” Rinehart said. “And I tried to get into one character’s head so the reader could see what they were going through.”
Saying Something New
Writing has been a part of Rinehart’s life for a very long time and said positive feedback early on pushed him to keep at it.
Now, what Rinehart said drives his writing is finding new ways to say things and avoiding clichés to communicate with his readers.
“I like putting down words and have it make sense while stretching out creatively,” he said.
Part of this goes back to Rinehart’s time in the Air Force, when he said he had one commander with a unique vocabulary.
“He was a master at unusual metaphors,” he said. “Observing him, I wanted my writing to present things that were true to each character instead of a cliché I had in my head.”
And this same challenge is what Rinehart said made speechwriting so enjoyable.
“I enjoy the challenge of conveying someone’s message to a specific audience,” he said. “With a novel, you can write for a wide audience but a speech goes to a certain group frozen in time.”
Story by Michael Papich. Photos courtesy of Gray Rinehart and Eternal Rose Photography.