Elizabeth Moon — American Author born on March 07, 1945,

Elizabeth Moon is an American science fiction and fantasy writer. Her novel The Speed of Dark won the 2003 Nebula Award... (wikipedia)

I regarded drugs as somewhat like rattlesnakes - it's possible to pick one up without getting bit, but why bother?
In a novel, I could submerge my ego in a character's and let his perceptions take over.
My personal feeling about science fiction is that it's always in some way connected to the real world, to our everyday world.
So when I got out of the military, I went back to school in biology, and earned a biology degree at the University of Texas, and then did some graduate work in it.
Other people, including me, have written books with main characters who were old and rich. Or old and brilliant. Old sages, old wizards, old rich people.