MoA&A Interview #8: Tina Connolly

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

Today’s interview features another fine Codexian and fellow performer, Tina Connolly! Her debut novel Ironskin releases this October.

(Click here to go ahead and preorder Ironskin on Amazon. You know, so you don’t forget.)


Author or Artist?

Who are your professional role models?
Diana Wynne Jones, because she wrote in any old subgenre she felt like and they were all amazing.  Robin McKinley, because you can pick up a McKinley book and recognize her voice instantly.

What’s your favorite writing/sketching weather?
Rain, so I don’t get distracted by wanting to be out in the sun. Fortunately there’s a lot of it in Portland.  <g>  Also, I face paint in the summer season, so that works out pretty well.  My spreadsheet shows lots of big word counts in Sept, Oct, and Nov — it starts raining, I stop face painting, and buckle down to writing.

Set your current playlist/musical device to “shuffle all” and hit PLAY. What’s the first song that comes up?
I actually don’t have an ipod/etc. The song currently cycling through my head for no good reason is ‘I know him so well’ from Chess.  (I’ve listened to/sung this song since high school and it only just occurred to me last week that the song is about how badly the two women know him. I have no defense for this.)

If you could win any award, which would it be?
My inner 8-year old would instantly say the Newbery or an Academy Award. I’d probably better write a MG or a screenplay to have a shot at those, though. <g> As far as what I’m currently writing, I love a lot of the books that have been selected for the Mythopoeic Award.

Would you rather have magical powers, or a spaceship?
Magical powers, definitely.  I’d start with teleportation.  Not only do I have friends and family all over the world, I hate driving.

What was your favorite book as a child?
OMG, SO many.  Luckily I also liked to obsess over what my favorites were, so here’s a few I remember deciding as my favorites from my favorite series.  From L Frank Baum’s Oz series – The Lost Princess of Oz.  From Ruth Plumly Thompson’s part of the Oz series – Speedy in Oz. The Prydain Chronicles – Taran Wanderer.  Narnia – The Dawn Treader. From John Bellairs’ books – The House with a Clock in its Walls.  LM Montgomery – Emily Climbs.  Noel Streatfeild – Theatre Shoes.  I’ll stop there.

What thing do you wish you could go back in time and tell your 10-year-old self?
Probably that a career in the arts is possible. Parents *said* that kind of thing, of course, but it seemed that the odds were impossibly stacked against you. I didn’t realize you could manipulate the odds by working hard until they were only somewhat stacked against you. I figured it out, but maybe I could have done it with a little less angst.  Also, not to go sledding down that one mountain in California at 12, because cracked tailbones hurt.

What’s your favorite constellation?
Orion, because it was one of the first I learned how to find.

What’s your favorite fairy tale?
Lots, but I’ll tell you the one I always hated was The Snow Queen. I’m not entirely sure why now, but I think it had to do with the sliver of glass in the eye.

What thing are you most proud of?
Writing-wise, it would be getting waitlisted–>rejected at Clarion West, and getting up and applying again the next year. I was kind of at a crossroads transitioning from hardcore pursuing theatre to
hardcore pursuing writing, and I used that year to buckle down and say yes, this really is what I want to do, and I’m willing to get rejected to get there.

The Colin Harvey Memorial Question: Name 3 things on your List of Things to Do Before You Die.
One was publish a novel — and when Ironskin comes out in October that one will be here! One is have a small part in a Hollywood movie — I have this fantasy that I’ll go out to Hollywood when I’m 80 and
audition for things.  Third…well, I’ve always thought it would be nice to spend half-a-year in England, or perhaps Amsterdam.  I spent a month in Paris during college but it’s been way too long since that.


Tina Connolly lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and young son, in a house that came with a dragon in the basement and blackberry vines in the attic.  Her stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, Fantasy, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and the anthology Unplugged: Year’s Best Online SF 2008.  Her debut fantasy novel IRONSKIN is forthcoming from Tor in October 2012, with a sequel in 2013.  She is a frequent reader for Podcastle, and is narrating a 2012 flash podcasting venture called Toasted Cake.  In the summer she works as a face painter, which means a glitter-filled house is an occupational hazard.  Her website is