RSS

MoA&A Interview #31: Zoraida Córdova

So here we are…the very last day of July’s Month of Artist & Author interviews! It’s been another super-fun ride. I’ve been honored to host such amazing creators. As always, I encourage you to check them out.  If you missed any, don’t worry, you can still find them all on the Interviews Tab.

I was *this* close to letting Elaine Isaak close out this month yesterday with just an overview today…but I can’t skimp on you guys. YOU DESERVE THE WHOLE MONTH!

So when my YouTube digest came in with the newest Vlog from my gorgeous new author friend from NYC Zoraida Córdova, I knew I had to drop her a line. Zoraida was one of the women who performed with me at the May Lady Jane’s Salon reading, and I later joined her at her own launch party for her novel The Vicious Deep. If you’re a fan of mermaids (like I am), you need to be into this book. The sequel, The Savage Blue, releases in January of 2013.

Zoraida, darling, much love to you and your incredibly supportive family. Thank you so much for being my finale!

****************

Author or Artist?
Artist!

Who are your professional role models?
My MOM. Also, Libba Bray, Holly Black, and Ryan Lochte because he is a professional merman.

What’s your favorite writing/sketching weather?
Thunder with a chance of rain.

Set your current playlist/musical device to “shuffle all” and hit PLAY. What’s the first song that comes up?
18 & Life – Skid Row (don’t judge me.)

If you could win any award, which would it be?
The best hair award

Would you rather have magical powers, or a spaceship?
Magical powers.

What was your favorite book as a child?
The Little Leftover Witch

What thing do you wish you could go back in time and tell your 10-year-old self?
Don’t wear the pink lycra.

What’s your favorite constellation?
I don’t really know any. I just like looking up at the stars.

What’s your favorite fairy tale?
Errrr….. “The Little Mermaid.”  [LOL Raise your hand if you’re surprised! ~Alethea]

What thing are you most proud of?
My family. We all left everything to come to America in pursuit of better things.

The Colin Harvey Memorial Question: Name 3 things on your List of Things to Do Before You Die.
1. Travel — Greece, Italy, England, Denmark, Egypt, Ireland, Scotland, Australia.
2. Write the best novel I possibly can.
3. Be loved.

****************

Zoraida Córdova was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where she learned to speak English by watching Disney’s The Little Mermaid and Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker on repeat. Her favorite things are sparkly like merdudes, Christmas, and New York City at night. You can find Zoraida online at http://www.zoraidawrites.com. Watch her vlog on her ZoraidaLand YouTube Channel.

No Comments | Tags: , , , , , ,

MoA&A Interview #30: Elaine Isaak

Hello, everyone! Welcome to July, and the Month of Artist and Author Interviews here on the website.

Now that we’re nearing the end of the month, I’m going to let a couple of friends sneak through who were interviewed here last year: Rick Novy and Elaine Isaak.

It’s always nice to be able to see how life is progressing with authors you’ve become familiar with, and how they might answer these new questions for 2012. Did they manage to scratch any items off their “Things to do Before They Die” list?

Without further ado…here’s the lovely Elaine!

****************

Author or Artist?
Author

Who are your professional role models?
Jane Yolen—who is a delight in person as well as on the page. J. R. R. Tolkein a best-seller with eternal presence in the minds of millions.

What’s your favorite writing/sketching weather?
A heavy snowfall, not so wet that it snaps trees, but the kind that seems to hush the whole world.

Set your current playlist/musical device to “shuffle all” and hit PLAY. What’s the first song that comes up?
“Mary Weep for Me No More” by the Battlefield Band. yes, bagpipes!!

If you could win any award, which would it be?
The MacArthur Genius Grant. Except, I think I’d have to be a genius first. Maybe I can get a coach for that?

Would you rather have magical powers, or a spaceship?
I have to choose? Maybe I can fly the spaceship out to meet an advanced alien race which will bequeath me the magical powers.

What was your favorite book as a child?
The Thirteen Clocks, by James Thurber

What thing do you wish you could go back in time and tell your 10-year-old self?
It’s okay to be a girl—someday, you’re going to really like it.

What’s your favorite constellation?
I’d have to say Orion. A friend and I used to pretend that we were children of Orion, destined for greatness.

What’s your favorite fairy tale?
“Vasilisa the Brave”

What thing are you most proud of?
Lately? Taking lifeguard training—that was really hard!

The Colin Harvey Memorial Question: Name 3 things on your List of Things to Do Before You Die.
Hike Colorado’s 14’ers
dive a sunken ship
hit the New York Times Bestseller list

****************

Elaine Isaak wrote The Singer’s Crown and two sequels. Her latest sale is to Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader. A mother of two, Elaine works as a part-time rock climbing instructor. Hobbies include weaving and taiko drumming. Visit www.ElaineIsaak.com to find out why you still do not want to be her hero.

No Comments | Tags: , , , ,

MoA&A Interview #29: Rick Novy

Hello, everyone! Welcome to July, and the Month of Artist and Author Interviews here on the website.

Now that we’re nearing the end of the month, I’m going to let a couple of friends sneak through who were interviewed here last year: Rick Novy and Elaine Isaak.

It’s always nice to be able to see how life is progressing with authors you’ve become familiar with, and how they might answer these new questions for 2012. Did they manage to scratch any items off their “Things to do Before They Die” list?

Let’s find out what Rick has to say…

****************

Author or Artist?
Author

Who are your professional role models?
This changes all the time. I keep an eye on what people are doing, and I model myself after things other people do that I think might work for me. David Gerrold has been something of a mentor for many years, though we don’t talk as much as either of us would like. Recently, I’ve take some inspiration from Matt Forbeck and his 12 for 12 campaign (12 novels in 2012).

What’s your favorite writing/sketching weather?
I suppose that because I live in Arizona I should say I enjoy writing in dust storms. In all honesty, I write indoors, so weather doesn’t really make that much difference to me.

Set your current playlist/musical device to “shuffle all” and hit PLAY. What’s the first song that comes up?
Rush – La Villa Strangiato

If you could win any award, which would it be?
Any award would be flattering, but I don’t write with awards as the objective.

Would you rather have magical powers, or a spaceship?
I’ll take the _Arthur_C._Clarke_ with technology so advanced it seems like magic.

What was your favorite book as a child?
As a young child, I loved Where the Wild Things Are.

What thing do you wish you could go back in time and tell your 10-year-old self?
Get focused.

What’s your favorite constellation?
Orion, because so many interesting things are going on in that part of space.

What’s your favorite fairy tale?
The Boy Who Cried Wolf. But that’s Aesop, and Aesop wrote fables. [That’s okay, we’ll accept this one! ~Alethea]

What thing are you most proud of?
Three things, my son and two daughters.

The Colin Harvey Memorial Question: Name 3 things on your List of Things to Do Before You Die.
Still want to help recover an extinct in the wild species using fish I have bred. Other than that, to write things that people enjoy reading, and live a productive life.

****************

Rick Novy is an author, anthologist, engineer, aquarist, mathematician, and cruciverbalist. You can connect with him on Twitter @ricknovy, or at his website: www.ricknovy.com

No Comments | Tags: , , ,

MoA&A Interview #28: Benjamin P. Fisher

Hello, everyone! Welcome to July, and the Month of Artist and Author Interviews here on the website.

It’s only fitting after posting Emily Whitten’s big announcement about her project with Benjamin P. Fisher that I spotlight an interview WITH BENJAMIN P. FISHER, right? And so the universe remains at peace.

Emily turned me on to Ben’s Splitsville with her review on ComicMix — a book about a superhero who is also his own villain? Just about the awesomest case of schizophrenia ever. If you live in Comic Book Land. And you’re not that guy.

Ben’s a pretty awesome guys too…of course, after we met at HeroesCon and I picked up Splitsville, I completely forgot to get a picture of us, for which I’m still kicking myself. But that’s okay. There will be other conventions. And more great projects.

Take it away, Ben!

****************

Author or Artist?
Author. I’m genuinely the worst artist in the world. My most painstakingly crafted drawings are indistinguishable from hamster droppings.

Who are your professional role models?
Brian Bendis, Warren Ellis, and Peter David are why I started writing comics in the first place. Obviously Gaiman was (and is) brilliant, and anything Hickman writes is automatically added to my pull list.

What’s your favorite writing/sketching weather?
It depends on the book, I suppose. When I’m writing something dark, rain certainly helps set the mood.

Set your current playlist/musical device to “shuffle all” and hit PLAY. What’s the first song that comes up?
“Forever Your Girl” by Paula Abd— I mean, “Stinkfist” by Tool. Yes. Yes, that’s what I meant.

If you could win any award, which would it be?
Is there an award for having the most awesome collection of Masters of the Universe Hot Wheels?

Would you rather have magical powers, or a spaceship?
Spaceship. In my head, everything I say is in the voice of Captain Mal Reynolds anyway.

What was your favorite book as a child?
There was an beautifully illustrated book I adored as a child called The Rainbow Goblins by Ul De Rico. If you haven’t seen it, you really, really, really should.

What thing do you wish you could go back in time and tell your 10-year-old self?
That the statement “Why is Apple making an mp3 player? That’s the worst idea I’ve ever heard.” will come back to haunt you.

What’s your favorite constellation?
Orion. Three stars for the belt, and everything else is up to the imagination. Now THAT I can draw.

What’s your favorite fairy tale?
Red Riding Hood. The sexual tension of that particular story is pretty spectacular.

What thing are you most proud of?
I already mentioned my He-Man Hot Wheels, right? In all seriousness, I’m very, very proud of how Splitsville came out – it was my first attempt to do both a superhero-type story and also a graphic novel-sized comedy book. I’m thrilled with the results. I’m also working on a (top secret!) joint project with another author, Emily Whitten, and the world-building we’ve accomplished thus far has been exponentially more detailed and epic than anything I’ve ever worked on previously. I’m incredibly excited about it.

The Colin Harvey Memorial Question: Name 3 things on your List of Things to Do Before You Die.
Arm wrestle Felicia Day.
See Stephen King’s Dark Tower as an HBO series
Write Deadpool, Moon Knight or the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

****************

Ben Fisher is the author of several comics and graphic novels, including “Hexen Hammers” and the Eagle-nominated “Smuggling Spirits.”  The first issue of his three-part series “Splitsville” – following a superhero whose arch-nemesis is his own split-personality — is set to be released in hard cover this fall.

You can find Ben online at: http://www.ben-fisher.com/

No Comments | Tags: , , , , , , ,

MoA&A Interview #27: Emily Whitten

Hello, everyone! Welcome to July, and the Month of Artist and Author Interviews here on the website.

Today’s interview features he gorgeous and glittery Emily Whitten. (And no, if you read yesterday’s interview with Jeremy Whitley, I am NOT going in Alphabetical order. It just seems that way.)

I met Emily at Nebula Weekend last year, after she accepted the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult SF on behalf of Terry Pratchett. There was this beautiful blonde girl, walking up on stage, and I thought, “Man, it’s a shame I don’t know her. I really probably should.”

Fast forward to a large circular table at a post-Nebula Italian lunch, with a bunch of friends…and I’m suddenly sitting right next to the pretty blonde girl. I think it was awkward for about 3.5 seconds, before we realized we both loved comics and fantasy and Neil Gaiman and music and…and…and I started taking notes.

Emily writes a column for ComicMix and a comic called Ask Deadpool— if you’re into comics at all, you should read her!

But first, read this.

****************

Author or Artist?
Author; although I do also like to dabble in tiny sculpture, which might count as Art? [Yes! ~A]

Who are your professional role models?
There are a lot of pros I admire in the creative fields, and if I were to list all of them we’d be here all day; but it probably won’t surprise anyone who knows me to know that Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman are high on the list of living authors I admire. Both have an incredible ability to not only write amazing things, but to constantly keep on writing new and different amazing things, all while juggling the demands of being a super-successful writer. I admire Terry’s sharp wit and uncanny knack for seeing into the heart of humanity and conveying his insights to us through his characters. And I’m jealous of the way he looks so amazingly right in the black hat, because I look silly in hats. I admire Neil’s flexibility in producing consistently quality work in numerous creative mediums. And I’m jealous of The Hair, which truly deserves its own capitals. If it ever met Dylan Moran’s hair, I suspect there’d be a hair fight, and I’d pay to see it.

Another author I admire is Gail Simone. She writes great quirkily funny dialogue and interesting stories, and created some awesome comics characters. And as a woman, I certainly admire her for paving the way with the success of her website, columns, and comics writing for other women looking to be successful in comics. For whatever reasons, comics creating is still heavily skewed towards the male demographic, and some people seem to think that women aren’t as good at creating comics. I’d definitely hold Gail Simone and her work up as an example of why that’s just silly. Also I love her red hair.

What’s your favorite writing/sketching weather?
I really like stormy weather if I’m inside. I live 9 stories up with big plate glass windows and a view, and I kind of enjoy being inside writing away while nature’s going crazy just outside. Also the lightning looks amazing from up there.

But I like sunny days too, so I guess I’m not super-particular.

Set your current playlist/musical device to “shuffle all” and hit PLAY. What’s the first song that comes up?
Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s – A Light on a Hill

Hey! Bonus points because most of the band is from Indiana and one of them went to my alma mater.

If you could win any award, which would it be?
One with a giant money prize attached. Hah! Honestly, I’d be thrilled to win anything. Yay, awards!

Would you rather have magical powers, or a spaceship?
Magical powers, for sure. Humanity can and has built spaceships, but as far as I know, you can’t build magical powers. Plus, then I could be cool like Doctor Strange.

What was your favorite book as a child?
OH SO MANY. You are talking to a woman who can walk while texting today because in school, I used to walk the halls with my nose in a book (and I never ran into anyone!). But I’d have to go with Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. It works on several levels, which is something I’m always drawn to. The satire and humor is great, and it also got me interested in King Arthur legends, which led me to other Arthur books by T.H. White, Mary Stewart, Stephen R. Lawhead, Marion Zimmer Bradley, and more. I never get tired of that book.

What thing do you wish you could go back in time and tell your 10-year-old self?
I have to pick one thing?? Huh. I’d probably tell Me about the economy crash, so I could have been better prepared.

Wow, what a downer I am.

What’s your favorite constellation?
I like the Big Dipper because it’s so easy to find, and I can always look up and see it wherever I am. Also you can find Regulus and Arcturus through it (and of course Polaris) and I like those names. I mostly like stars and constellations because of their names. I like Orion because I like the name (and Betelgeuse and Bellatrix, both stars which are part of the constellation). Also it points to Castor & Pollux, which I love from the use of those names in The Once and Future King. And in nerdy things, I also like Orion because of how it was used in the TV show Chuck (Spoiler? Has anyone not seen Chuck? Don’t read this bit.) Orion was the code name Chuck’s dad chose as he tried to help his son and find out what had happened to his wife. It was appropriate because he was technically hunting his wife (but not in a bad way). And also I love Scott Bakula, who played Chuck’s dad, so that makes me even more fond of the name.

What’s your favorite fairy tale?
You ask me all the hard questions. Do I really have to choose?? Fine. The Ugly Duckling.

What thing are you most proud of?
I’m pretty happy that I helped make two Discworld conventions happen in the U.S. I’m sure there’s some other stuff, too.

The Colin Harvey Memorial Question: Name 3 things on your List of Things to Do Before You Die.
1.) Finish drafting the first few issues of the super-fun comics series I’m working on with Ben Fisher, and start getting that published. We’ve already come up with an epically massive and comprehensive backstory, a great cast of adorably awesome characters, and several complex story arcs, and plan to launch a Kickstarter soon so that we can publish without losing the rights to a fantastically fun story. [I, personally, can’t wait for this! ~Alethea]
2.) Have a family. With at least one kiddie, because I love kids; and also a great big Great Pyrenees sheepdog.
3.) Go traveling overseas again, possibly to Italy.

****************

Emily S. Whitten has written articles and webcomics for MTV Splash Page, Reelzchannel.com, the Tonner Doll Company blog, and other publications. You can read many of her comics here: http://askdeadpool.wordpress.com/comics/ By day, she is an attorney and a freelance writer. By night, she amuses herself by writing and tweeting (unofficially) as Deadpool. She is a member of The National Press Club, and a co-founder and organizer of The North American Discworld Convention for bestselling author Sir Terry Pratchett. She also has a tiny hamster named Izzy (a.k.a. Ysabell Sto Hamsterlet) who is secretly a superheroine.

She is currently working with fellow comics writer Ben Fisher (author of Splitsville, Hexen Hammers, and Smuggling Spirits), on an epically complex new comics series that pairs post-apocalyptic problems and furry cuteness, and hopes to be able to say more about it some day very soon.

Stay tuned for Ben’s interview…here, tomorrow!

No Comments | Tags: , , , , , ,

MoA&A Interview #26: Jeremy Whitley

Hello, everyone! Welcome to July, and the Month of Artist and Author Interviews here on the website.

Today’s interview features fabulous comic book writer Jeremy Whitley.

Once upon a time, my Amazing Webmaster Phillip sent me an email telling me I would *love* this comic called Princeless. Now, Phillip has known me for years, and as he’s designed my website he knows a bit about my tastes, so I trust his recommendations. But I don’t always have time to follow up on those…so the email sat in my inbox and gathered dust.

When I got to HeroesCon, I decided to hunt down all of Phillip’s recommendations (by then there were a few) and just buy them straight from the creators, sight unseen. And so I met Jeremy Whitley. And you know what? Phillip was right. Princeless is awesome.  Jeremy just so happens to write Order of the Dagonet as well, which is illustrated by our beloved Jason Strutz (Interview #21). Such a small world!

Know what else? Jeremy’s a pretty darn cool guy, too.  See below.

****************

Author or Artist?
Author

Who are your professional role models?
Joss Whedon, Brian K. Vaughan, Stephen King

What’s your favorite writing/sketching weather?
Rainy and cool

Set your current playlist/musical device to “shuffle all” and hit PLAY. What’s the first song that comes up?
Leslie Anne Levine – The Decemberists

If you could win any award, which would it be?
The Teen Choice Award.  Because they don’t give those out for comics and that’s a tragedy.

Would you rather have magical powers, or a spaceship?
Magical Powers, without doubt.  I’ve been pretending I had them since I was five.

What was your favorite book as a child?
The Hobbit

What thing do you wish you could go back in time and tell your 10-year-old self?
Listen kid, middle school is gonna suck, but it gets better.  Keep writing and keep thinking.

What’s your favorite constellation?
The North Star is my favorite.  Strange answer, right?  But it reminds me that even in the most complex and unknowable systems, there is constancy.  When it feels like you’ve lost your way, you can always look north.

What’s your favorite fairy tale?
Red Riding Hood.

What thing are you most proud of?
Being a good father and husband.

The Colin Harvey Memorial Question: Name 3 things on your List of Things to Do Before You Die.
1.) Visit London
2.) Write somebody’s favorite story
3.) See my daughter do something she’s really passionate about (you know, in an adult way, not in a “I’m one year old and I finally figured out how to climb onto the fireplace mantle” kind of way)

****************

Jeremy is the Glyph winning and Eisner nominated writer of comic books such as Princeless and The Order of Dagonet.  He is a partner and Director of Marketing for Action Lab Entertainment and co-founder of Firetower Studios.  He is also a lucky husband and enthusiastic father.  You can find his work on www.firetowerstudios.com and www.actionlabcomics.com.  You can also follow him on twitter @jrome58 and tumblr at princelesscomic.tumblr.com.

No Comments | Tags: , , , , , ,

MoA&A Interview #25: Alma Katsu

Hello, everyone! Welcome to July, and the Month of Artist and Author Interviews here on the website.

Today’s interview is with my new BFF and friendly neighborhood local writer (whom I have yet to invite for coffee…Alma, we just need to pick a date!) Alma Katsu. I had heard about Alma’s fabulous novel The Taker and its sequel The Reckoning from her publisher…and didn’t realize when I showed up at Nora Roberts’ Mega Signing this spring that she would be sitting RIGHT NEXT TO ME. Alma is awesome. (Seriously–if you don’t believe me, go read the last line of her bio.) We were peas in a pod.

Needless to say, after several hours in the Nora Roberts signing trenches, Alma and I emerged friends for life.

The kind of friends for life that never seem to have time to meet for coffee. (We call those “author friends.”)

****************

Author or Artist?
Author! I worked hard for that title

Who are your professional role models?
I don’t rightly know that I have any. When I was younger I loved Byron and Shelley, and George Sand.

What’s your favorite writing/sketching weather?
Gloomy rainy day. It gives me an excuse to stay inside and write.

Set your current playlist/musical device to “shuffle all” and hit PLAY. What’s the first song that comes up?
Right now, it’s something off Muse’s “Absolution” album

If you could win any award, which would it be?
NYT Bestselling Author. I will go for the filthy lucre. From what I’ve seen in my short time as a published author, awards seem to be mostly popularity contests and don’t have much to do with actual artistic merit.

Would you rather have magical powers, or a spaceship?
Magical powers. Spaceships require a lot of upkeep, and it’s hard to find good spaceship mechanics.

What was your favorite book as a child?
The Golden Deluxe Book of Fairytales

What thing do you wish you could go back in time and tell your 10-year-old self?
Try harder at math and science. And don’t be so serious all the time.

What’s your favorite constellation?
I’m supposed to have a favorite?

What’s your favorite fairy tale?
Beauty and the Beast.

What thing are you most proud of?
As much as I love my books, I’d have to say I’m most proud of the things I was able to accomplish in my other career, most of which is classified and I can’t discuss. But I got to help write a national standard for encryption, I got to chase bad guys, I got to do things that led to the actual saving of lives. But mostly I got to be excited about things that I never thought interested me—math and science—and that changed my life.

The Colin Harvey Memorial Question: Name 3 things on your List of Things to Do Before You Die.
I would like to travel more—Mongolia, Morocco, eastern Turkey.
I don’t have a list. I am lucky enough to have had a pretty amazing life where I’ve done a bunch of things I never thought I’d do, all through serendipity, so I’m happy to let serendipity continue to call the shots.

****************

Alma Katsu lives outside of Washington, DC with her husband, musician Bruce Katsu. Her debut, The Taker, a Gothic novel of suspense, has been compared to the early work of Anne Rice and Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian. The novel was named a Top Ten Debut Novel of 2011 by the American Library Association and has developed an international following. The Reckoning, the second book in the trilogy, was published in June 2012. The Taker Trilogy is published by Gallery Books/Simon and Schuster.

Ms. Katsu is a graduate of the Master’s writing program at the Johns Hopkins University and received her bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University, where she studied with John Irving. She also attended the Squaw Valley Community of Writers.

Prior to publication of her first novel, Ms. Katsu had a long career as a senior intelligence analyst for several US agencies.

No Comments | Tags: , , , , , ,

MoA&A Interview #24: Matthew Kressel

Hello, everyone! Welcome to July, and the Month of Artist and Author Interviews here on the website.

Today’s interview features fellow SF author Matthew Kressel. Matthew is a brilliant website designer who is currently at work on his first novel, based on the Jewish myth of the Lamed Vav. In 2011 Matthew was nominated for World Fantasy Award in the category of Special Award, Non-Professional for his work with Sybil’s Garage and Senses Five Press.

Please enjoy the interview!

****************

Author or Artist?
Author

Who are your professional role models?
Quite a few, but I’d say Ellen Datlow for her work ethic.  Jeffrey Ford for his effortless storytelling chops and general affability. And if we’re allowed to consider dead people, I’d say Isaac Bashevis Singer for his ability to weave the fantastic so seamlessly into the mundane.

What’s your favorite writing/sketching weather?
I once wrote with two friends during a blizzard in New York City, and there was lightning and snow drifts seven feet high.  We all went on to sell our work from that day, so I’d say a blizzard.

Set your current playlist/musical device to “shuffle all” and hit PLAY. What’s the first song that comes up?
Fade to Grey by Visage

If you could win any award, which would it be?
Most Disciplined Person.  Every attempt to arrange my life into neat little chunks of time usually ends in catastrophic failure.

Would you rather have magical powers, or a spaceship?
A spaceship of course.  Unless my magical powers allowed me to create a spaceship.

What was your favorite book as a child?
The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath by H.P. Lovecraft.  I must have read it a half-dozen times. I think I was in love with the idea that there was an entire universe Randolph Carter could escape to inside his head.  During my teenage years that concept was more than a little enticing.

What thing do you wish you could go back in time and tell your 10-year-old self?
Run.  Run for your life.

What’s your favorite constellation?
Orion, just because I have vivid memories of walking my childhood dog on winter nights and looking up at it.

What’s your favorite fairy tale?
Perhaps not explicitly a fairy tale, I love the story of Shamir, the stone-cutting worm.  King Solomon used his magic ring to trick Asmodeus, the king of demons, to tell him how to steal the tiny worm from a woodcock. Solomon used the worm to cut the blocks of the ancient Jerusalem temple because God forbade them from using weapons of war to craft it.

What thing are you most proud of?
About a decade ago I realized the corporate life wasn’t for me, and I started my own business with the intent that the flexible hours would allow me more time to write.  I had no idea if it would work, nor how hard it would be, but I’m very proud of myself for having the courage to step away and follow my instincts.

The Colin Harvey Memorial Question: Name 3 things on your List of Things to Do Before You Die.
1. Publish a novel with a major publishing house
2. Live in a foreign country and become fluent in its language
3. Walk on another Earth-like planet*
* I realize the chances of this happening are close to nil, however, a dude can dream.

****************

Matthew Kressel is a World Fantasy Award-nominated writer, publisher and editor. His stories have received multiple honorable mentions in various Year’s Best anthologies.

His short stories have or will appear in such publications as Clarkesworld Magazine, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Interzone, Electric Velocipede, Apex Magazine, and the anthologies Naked City, After,The People of the Book, and The Mammoth Book of Steampunk, as well as other markets.

You can find out more about Matthew at http://www.matthewkressel.net

No Comments | Tags: , , ,

MoA&A Interview #23: E.C. Ambrose

Hello, everyone! Welcome to July, and the Month of Artist and Author Interviews here on the website.

Today’s interview features my friend, fellow SF author E.C. Ambrose. I’m really looking forward to The Dark Apostle series next year. Three cheers for historical fantasy!

Please enjoy the interview!

****************

Author or Artist?
Author

Who are your professional role models?
For the range of his successes, Orson Scott Card. For the impact of an individual work, Mary Doria Russell.

What’s your favorite writing/sketching weather?
Slightly rainy—good excuse to stay inside, yet I don’t have to worry about losing power to my computer!

Set your current playlist/musical device to “shuffle all” and hit PLAY. What’s the first song that comes up?
“Second Nature” by Clannad (which sounds a little too Pop for my taste, really)

If you could win any award, which would it be?
Definitely the World Fantasy Award. The ugliest award ever. I want this hideous thing to adorn my mantel!

Would you rather have magical powers, or a spaceship?
Spaceship. I’m probably supposed to say magic, but really the answer is definitely spaceship.

What was your favorite book as a child?
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

What thing do you wish you could go back in time and tell your 10-year-old self?
“take Latin!” Also, go for the scholarship—then maybe you’ll stay in college.

What’s your favorite constellation?
Cygnus, the swan, unfurling those great wings across the sky.

What’s your favorite fairy tale?
The one where the head of the girl’s horse still talks to her after it’s been cut off.. Maybe it’s a good thing I can’t remember the title.

What thing are you most proud of?
Elisha Barber, first book in my series. Sometimes, I fear I’ll never write another book that good.

The Colin Harvey Memorial Question: Name 3 things on your List of Things to Do Before You Die.
Go caving, with a lantern on my head in the kind of place you’re not sure you’ll come out of.
Receive a fan letter from a writer I’ve always admired
Walk the Camino de Santiago

****************

E. C. Ambrose is the author of The Dark Apostle historical fantasy series about a medieval barber surgeon to start in July 2013 with DAW books.  E. C. blogs about history, fantasy and writing at www.wordpress.com/ecambrose and can also be found at www.ecambrose.com or on twitter @ecambrose.  E. C. spends too much time in a tiny office in New England with a mournful black lab lurking under the desk.

No Comments | Tags: , , ,

MoA&A Interview #22: Mike Underwood

Hello, everyone! Welcome to July, and the Month of Artist and Author Interviews here on the website!

Today’s interview features fellow SF author Mike Underwood. Mike’s new urban fantasy novel, Geekomancy, just hit the virtual streets this July 10th. You should definitely check it out.

Congrats, Mike, and welcome to the blog!

****************

Author or Artist?
Author. I never made it past tube figures in graphic art.

Who are your professional role models?
China Mieville – for brazen inventiveness and a dedication to incorporating critical theory into writing. Ursula K. LeGuin, who weaves anthropological detail along with beautiful language and sociological speculation into marvelous tales.

What’s your favorite writing/sketching weather?
Assuming I’ve already achieved my writing locale and nested, I love a good sustained thunderstorm or rainstorm. I find the constant rain really relaxing, but then the thunder and lightning keep the energy from getting too mello.

Set your current playlist/musical device to “shuffle all” and hit PLAY. What’s the first song that comes up?
“Taverns” from the Baldur’s Gate II Soundtrack (by Michael Hoenig)

If you could win any award, which would it be?
I’d like to win the James. T. Tiptree Jr. Award. I believe very deeply in the social advocacy aspects of speculative fiction, and think that SF/F lit has a good record and greater potential to challenge assumptions about our own cultural norms and biases.

Would you rather have magical powers, or a spaceship?
I’m about as likely to kill myself with either until I figure them out, but I think with magical powers, I could do more good for the world – assuming a useful set of magical powers. Then again, almost anything can be useful in the right context, magic or spaceship included.

What was your favorite book as a child?
The Hobbit. I listened to The Hobbit on tape about a bajillion times, often as my bedtime story. The beats of that story are inscribed on the insides of my eyelids.

What thing do you wish you could go back in time and tell your 10-year-old self?
Don’t forget that exercise is fun and that it gives you more energy to do things you like.

What’s your favorite constellation?
Orion. Largely because it was one of the first I learned to identify, and then I liked it even more when I learned to associate it with the mythological figure.

What’s your favorite fairy tale?
Momotaro the Peach Boy.  Mostly, I love Momotaro because we read it in my Japanese class, and the story included my favorite Japanese verb, Yatsukeru – to subdue. As in ‘Momotaro subdued the demons with the help of his friends dog, monkey, and pheasant.’

What thing are you most proud of?
My first novel sale being a novel that I wrote entirely because it was fun, not because I was expecting to sell it.

The Colin Harvey Memorial Question: Name 3 things on your List of Things to Do Before You Die.
1) Travel to Europe
2) Attend San Diego Comic Con
3) Make the perfect pizza pie

****************
Michael R. Underwood is the author of Geekomancy, a comedic urban fantasy coming July 10th from Pocket Star. Michael grew up devouring stories in all forms: movies, comics, TV, video games, and novels. He holds a B.A. in Creative Mythology and East Asian Studies from Indiana University and an M.A. in Folklore Studies from the University of Oregon, which have been great preparation for writing speculative fiction. Michael went straight from his M.A. to the Clarion West Writers Workshop and then landed in Bloomington, Indiana, where he remains. When not writing or selling books across the Midwest as an independent book representative, Michael dances Argentine Tango and studies renaissance martial arts.

You can find Michael at his website http://michaelrunderwood.com and on Twitter @MikeRUnderwood

No Comments | Tags: , , , ,