Interview with Hayden Trenholm

20 Jan

A great bundle of science fiction books is currently being offered at, consisting of six titles from Bundoran Press and six by some great writers who have befriended the press over the years. As an added bonus, we will be running a series of interviews with the authors (and today, the curator of the bundle and editor of Bundoran Press) about their contribution to the Bundle.

Next up: Hayden Trenholm

When did you first know you wanted to be a science fiction editor and why?

Like many things that I wind up doing, becoming an editor was simply a matter of saying yes when the opportunity arose. It is more or less how I wound up being a policy analyst, a political advisor, a playwright, an actor, an arts administration, a novelist and living in Toronto, Iqaluit, Yellowknife, Calgary and Ottawa. As a friend of mine likes to say, don’t ask why, ask why not.

I had been writing novels for Bundoran Press when the publisher Virginia O’Dine asked me to edit an anthology of short fiction, which wound up being the Aurora Award-winning book, Blood & Water. When, about a year later, she asked me if I wanted to buy the press, I said yes to that and in the subsequent six years, I’ve edited and published four more anthologies (two with Mike Rimar) and fourteen novels. I’m currently working on five more.

What inspired you to select the Bundoran books included in this book bundle?

One of my goals in running the press is to introduce readers to writers or series they might not have encountered before. While Edward Willett and Alison Sinclair are quite well known, the series they wrote for us are probably less so and the first book in each will hopefully lead people to pick up the second. Similarly, Al Onia’s Transient City is the first of two books set in a diesel-punk future, while Stars Like Cold Fire by Brent Nichols brings readers into the world of Jeff Yi and its many conflicts.  While Jennifer Rahn’s The Cyanide Process is a stand alone novel, her next book (coming out later in 2019) takes place in the same universe. As for Matthew Johnson’s Fall From Earth, it was published at the same time as my own first novel and I’ve always wanted to see it get more attention.

What themes appear most strongly in Bundoran books? What makes you particularly care about those ideas?

Obviously, every writer brings his own ideas and concerns to their work but, as an editor, I’m most attracted to books where characters struggle to do the right thing both in their own lives and in the societies they live it. Most of our anthologies and the novels we publish have a definite political bent—though not a singular one. I’m more interested in the questions they ask than in the answers they find.

Do you have a special routine when you are editing? Time of day? Inspiring music or images? Particular clothing or food/drink?

I’m not an early riser so I do my best editing work from about 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., usually eating a light lunch at my desk. I’ll often get in an hour or so between four and five-thirty but editing requires focus and concentration. Hemingway’s old adage about writing drunk and editing sober are wise words indeed. As for clothing, I work mostly in my sweats unless I have to meet people or run some errands.

Do need privacy to do your editing or do you prefer the social ambiance of a coffee shop or  retreat? How do you balance your editing with the rest of your life?

I can pretty much work anywhere—though the hard thinking about substantive edits usually require me to pace around and mutter to myself, so while I might be fine, others tend to find that aspect disturbing so I do it private. But once I get into the focused work of making comments or suggestions or doing copy-editing or even proofing, I can do it anywhere I can find a flat surface to put my laptop on.

Finding balance has never been hard for me. I’ve never been work obsessed so making time for my own writing, the necessities of maintaining a house, the joys of having a relationship and the sheer pleasure of food, music, wine and travel is mostly a matter of habit meeting desire.

If you could give one piece of advice to a budding writer, what would it be?

First of all, read. Read widely. Read fiction and non-fiction. Think about what you read—both its content but, more importantly, how it gets what it does done. Write regularly, not necessarily everyday, but several times a week at least. Learn to trust your instincts while being open to good (but not all advice.

And, when the time is right, get an editor.


To learn more about this great bundle of books, visit

To connect with Bundoran Press, visit our web-site, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @BundoranPress

To learn more about Hayden and his writing and editing, visit:


One Response to “Interview with Hayden Trenholm”


  1. Advice to Writers (from the Bundle) | bundoransf - January 21, 2019

    […] And, when the time is right, get an editor. (Hayden Trenholm) […]

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