Interview with Rachel Aukes, Author of Secondhand Spaceman

13 Feb 2024

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Secondhand Spaceman?

Three pieces all came together that inspired this book. First, I love reading novellas and there aren’t nearly enough of those out there. Second, I’ve always wanted to write something more lighthearted (even campy). Third, I had a title I really wanted to use, and so Secondhand Spaceman was born!

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Secondhand Spaceman, what would they be?

Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show reflects Frank’s journey through the stars with all sorts of stops along the way.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I’d say speculative fiction which is really a group of genres, because I love any “what if” stories, whether they be science fiction, fantasy, horror, or even romance. That’s probably why I write in so many genres, too.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

Firefly: Big Damn Hero by James Lovegrove, The Olympian Affair by Jim Butcher, and System Collapse by Martha Wells.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

I loved writing the scene where Frank has to sign the contract to be a space repo agent. It’s an utterly mundane activity that’s made quirky in a completely alien environment.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

I have ONE playlist that contains songs from a ton of game soundtracks from Halo, Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty, Mass Effect, Deus Ex, Titanfall, and more. It gets my head into writing mode and the songs work for every sort of scene.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch, or TANSTFL, popularized by Heinlein. It reminds me that if I want to (write, do, achieve, insert favorite verb here) more, then I need to get off my butt and do it… or in the case of writing, sit on my butt and do it.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

There’s nothing wrong with reading a book purely for fun. We often forget that as we grow older and more constrained on time.


Rachel Aukes is the author of the new book Secondhand Spaceman

Connect with Rachel Aukes

Author Site



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