Writing Wins and Woes: Interviews

Here are some more interviews for Twice Upon a Time. I am a proud contributor to this fairy tale retelling book. It is full of great stories. If you don’t have a copy, you should buy one, especially if you have Nook or KIndle. It is now offered on both.

!–Start Copy–>

CONTRARY to the title of this anthology, working with such a talented cast of writers is an opportunity that usually comes once in a lifetime. From best-selling to greenhorn, independent or traditionally-published, the authors in this anthology span all ranges in addition to spanning the globe—from England to Australia and all over the United States. I’ve had the privilege of getting to know each and every one of them, and they have become a part of my extended family. I’ve even caught a glimpse of a secret side of them that only another writer…editor…is privy to witness through their words.

Through this series of posts, I plan on introducing you to my new family through a mini-interview of each. You may not get a chance to see their secret side, but you’ll get a sneak-peek into their minds, their passions and inspirations, and what made them the writers they are today.

..The Mini Interview..

1. At what age did you start writing?

Ten. By thirteen I was writing short stories, plotting out novels that were far too unwieldy for my skills. I also wrote Star Trek fanfiction (although I don’t think it had an official name yet. It was 1969).

2. Which book introduced you to Speculative Fiction?

Beauty, by Sheri S. Tepper. I’m pretty sure I’d read speculative fiction prior but Beauty was the first one that I said, “oh, this is that thing which isn’t exactly science fiction but also isn’t remotely mainstream. I’m going to write this.”

3. Do you have an all-time favorite book? What about it makes it your favorite?

That is a horrible question to ask a writer, you know. Currently, my all time favorite book would be Fingersmith by Sarah Waters. The way the clues to the twist have been layered in from the first page and you only realize it at the same time as the narrator, when it’s too late and you’re hit with the same crushing betrayal and rage and desperate fear. As a writer, it’s kind of awe-inspiring. I’m so glad I knew nothing about it when I began the read.

4. Which author and/or book inspired you to start writing?

To really really start writing? Margaret Atwood and The Handmaid’s Tale. She boldly claimed she didn’t write science fiction, damn it, she wrote fiction. All fiction speculates. It’s all fiction. Plus, that’s a brilliant little book.

5. What would you say is the most important lesson all writers should learn?

Most important, trite but true, write because you love it, because you want to, because it challenges you and also gives you joy. Odds are you will not become rich from writing, you may never make enough from it to live on. There was a great cartoon in The New Yorker once, showing a guy on the street selling pencils and the caption was, “Sold my first story and foolishly quit my day job.” Don’t do that.

6. Of the entire publishing process, which would you say is the most difficult aspect to endure?

Well, your work is going to be rejected so you have to get over that. The toughest I think for most writers (as most of us are introverts) is having to self-promote. It’s easier now because of the internet, but not that long ago when print publishing was starting to slow, publishers required new work to be all lined up with blurbs and glowing reviews before they signed a contract with you. Which worked fine, I suppose, if you’d gone through Clarion or another prestigious workshop. If not you were forced to beg for a person who didn’t know you to “please, please, please read my book and write a little blurb!”

7. From where did the inspiration for your submission arise?

I was thinking about women as exploitable commodities now and throughout history. So my story was going to deal with that in some way. I have always been interested in the cultural clashes and co-mingling of the early interactions between white traders and Native Americans. So I began with the idea of a Shoshone man who offers his daughter to a mountain man in exchange for saving his life. The similarities of mythical figures from varied cultures is one of the most consistent connecting threads of our humanity. There is always a beast somewhere that can be tamed, tricked, or rescued by a woman.

8. If applicable, did you have a favorite character (to write) from your story? If so, what sets them apart from the others?

My favorite character is, of course, Dove, the narrator. I liked her from the moment she started talking. I think every narrator is my favorite character when I’m writing them though.

9. On what projects are you currently working?

I am working on three novels and must soon decide which one I’m going to spend the next six months working on until the end. One is a time-travel, YA thingy called The Moontree Women. The other is the second novel in my Erasing Sherlock series. And the third is an expansion of a short story called Project Thunderbird, which is due out in March 2015 in the anthology Liberating Earth, edited by Kate Orman.

Read Kelly’s story, Blood Medicine, in your very own copy of Twice Upon A Time today!

..About the Author..

KELLY HALE lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where the streets are paved with espresso beans and the garbage recycles itself. She is the author of a bunch of short stories in a bunch of anthologies, and a couple of novels (including the award-winning Erasing Sherlock). She has loved science fiction and fantasy for so long that the characters from the original Star Trek represent archetypes in her dreams.

..Connect with the Author..

CONTRARY to the title of this anthology, working with such a talented cast of writers is an opportunity that usually comes once in a lifetime. From best-selling to greenhorn, independent or traditionally-published, the authors in this anthology span all ranges in addition to spanning the globe—from England to Australia and all over the United States. I’ve had the privilege of getting to know each and every one of them, and they have become a part of my extended family. I’ve even caught a glimpse of a secret side of them that only another writer…editor…is privy to witness through their words.

Through this series of posts, I plan on introducing you to my new family through a mini-interview of each. You may not get a chance to see their secret side, but you’ll get a sneak-peek into their minds, their passions and inspirations, and what made them the writers they are today.

..The Mini Interview..

1. At what age did you start writing?

I used to use my grandmother’s typewriter when I was around 6 or 7, and finished my first story on it. But when I was 19, I tried National Novel Writing Month. I ‘won’ this, completing a 50,000 word draft in 30 days, and that gave me the boost to try writing on a regular and more dedicated basis.

2. Which book introduced you to Speculative Fiction?

I grew up reading about animals who talked and curses/prophecies. The most influential for me was The Sight by David-Clement Davies. Mixing a strange-to-me landscape, wolf gods, sentient animals, and prophecies was my window into fantasy and supernatural books.

3. Do you have an all-time favorite book? What about it makes it your favorite?

My favourite book is probably still The Moon Riders by Theresa Tomlinson. It introduced me to strong female characters, spoke of living in harmony with the seasons, and held divination and dance as sacred powers. In terms of writing, it’s the book I remember when I need to create more tension because the main character survives and manages so many devastating events.

4. Which author and/or book inspired you to start writing?

I began writing more seriously due to a friend asking me to do National Novel Writing Month with her. When I’m stuck or struggling to write how I want to, I re-read Dianne Sylvan’s first Shadow World book, Queen of Shadows. I personally find her writing style works for me, and I own nearly every book she’s written, so she’s definitely a positive influence.

5. What would you say is the most important lesson all writers should learn?

Perseverance. And because picking just one is tricky, I’d also say to expect your first drafts and early planning to have gaps, holes, issues or be plain rubbish. Writing isn’t a race. I believe even well-known, prolific writers have rubbish chapters in their first drafts and sit staring at a scene wondering how on earth they can fix it. Therefore, my two-sided advice is to not rush the process—to give the writing time to breathe and yourself time to recharge when writing. However, don’t give up. Don’t let your writing sit in a drawer for too long. Keep moving forward, step by step.

6. Of the entire publishing process, which would you say is the most difficult aspect to endure?

It’s difficult to pinpoint something specifically in publishing, but while people at the publishing end are getting things sorted, the author can be left waiting without much communication (as they’re busy getting things rolling) at times.

7. From where did the inspiration for your submission arise?

I studied the story of Taliesin as a module on Celtic mythology, so I felt familiar with the symbols and messages often found within it.

8. If applicable, did you have a favorite character (to write) from your story? If so, what sets them apart from the others?

When I studied the tale, it rarely gave Morfran’s view of this magic to be bestowed upon him; that led me to tell his side of the story—with his secret power and the balance of wanting his own life versus pleasing those around him.

9. On what projects are you currently working?

I’m currently editing a young adult novel draft which focuses on a young falconer and her hawk discovering the secrets of a city during rebellion.

Read K.R. Green’s story, The Night of Awen, in your very own copy of Twice Upon A Time today!

..About the Author..

KRGREEN writes about dragons, falconry, mythology, and sorcery. She attends a local writing group, and outside of writing enjoys herbal teas, reading, and gazing up at the stars. When she isn’t painting pictures with words, she works in the Mental Health sector in London and for Children’s Services in Sussex.

..Connect with the Author..

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