Genre Chick Interview: Elaine Isaak

May’s Month of Writers Blog Festival brings you an interview with a wonderful and talented woman today: SF author Elaine Isaak.

Elaine and I have been friends and fellow writing-group buddies for many years now. Rumor has it, you would not want to be her hero. And no, I’m *not* going to tell you her pseudonym.

Not today, anyway.


Mac or PC?

Coffee or Tea?

Travel the World or Travel Outer Space?
The world currently has more that I would be excited to see and capable of enjoying without a cumbersome suit.

Fantasy or Science Fiction?
I have to choose?  SF is my first love, Fantasy, my main squeeze.

Music or Silence (while you write)?
Music. (mostly Celtic.  Loving Pandora on-line radio)

What weird food do you like?
Ethiopian raw-meat.

What is one of your most irrational fears?
staircases that have open spaces beneath the runners.

Will you be watching the Royal Wedding? Why or why not?
Watched it by accident at a hotel–and was very glad.  Good research for my British-set historical.

How many novels/short stories/screenplays/poems/etc have you published?
3 novels/10 stories/no screenplays/ dozens of poems!

How much do you write every day?
3 hours Tues/Wed/Thurs when my son is in school, plus 1 hr or so when he’s not.

How much do you WISH you could write every day?
4 or 5 would be good and not excessive.

What are you working on now?
an amazing historical fantasy series under a pseudonym

If you could write like one author, who would it be?
I wish I could be as inventive as Tim Powers, as generous with ideas and images as Cat Valente, as devastating as Mary Doria Russell.

If you could be one superhero, or have one superpower, who/what would it be?
To say the right words at the right time.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done?
Took a falconry workshop that ended with a hawk landing on my fist.

What’s the coolest thing you’re about to do?
take a sail on a pirate ship.

Name three things on your List of Things to Do Before You Die.
Mostly when I think of one, I just try to do it.  But here are some I haven’t done yet:
Visit Haida Gwaii
Climb the Colorado 14-er’s
create a bronze sculpture


Elaine Isaak dropped out of art school to found Curious Characters, designing original stuffed animals and small-scale sculptures, and to follow her bliss:  writing.  She is the author of The Singer’s Crown (Eos, 2005), and sequels The Eunuch’s Heir  (Eos, 2006), and The Bastard Queen (Swimming Kangaroo, 2010).  Her new dark historical fantasy series will be starting in 2011 with DAW books under a pseudonym (shhh!) A mother of two, Elaine also enjoys rock climbing, taiko (Japanese drumming), weaving and exotic cooking—when she can scrape the time together.  Visit to read sample chapters and find out why you do not want to be her hero.