One question interview

We ask the author a single question, drawn randomly from our database. We present them all here for your reading pleasure. Think of it as an interview of the magazine itself.

Have a question you wish we’d ask? Submit it in the comments, and if we like it, we’ll throw it in the mix.

Another question for Michael Gardner

Q: Do you write things other than speculative fiction?

A: No, not really. Whenever I start developing a story thinking it might not be speculative, at some point my imagination runs away with me and the finished product ends up including something supernatural, or strange, or weird.

It’s what I enjoy reading, and it’s what I enjoy writing. I love great characters, and reading about interesting people. But I think characters react in even more fascinating ways when you throw them into a speculative world, or you have them face some fantastic or horrifying scenario.

Michael Gardner’s story “This Side of the Wall” was
published on Friday, 19 January 2018.

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A question for Talisen Fray

Q: Why fantasy?

A: Ignoring the fact that Jewel/Gem is a sci-fi story (my first, possibly my last), I choose to write fantasy not just because it’s cool—like fezzes are cool—but because life, through the lens of fantasy, is a little richer. Through fantasy I can take a stab at the ‘why’ behind the ‘how’, and often neglect the ‘how’ entirely. In fantasy we can tackle tough topics with just enough distance to stay safe until the fatal moment that truth stabs us in the heart and we find that, like all good literature, this story has changed us somehow. We’re bigger. Deeper. Angrier.

Fantasy helps us live.

Talisen Fray’s story “Jewel/Gem Offering” will be
published on Friday, 12 January 2018.

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A question for Katherine Perdue

Q: Do you use music for inspiration? If so what do you listen to?

A: Yes. Sometimes this is straightforward. If I’m trying to write something sad, I don’t choose upbeat music. If it’s difficult to write, then I avoid distractingly catchy lyrics. But I also find that if I’ve written productively while listening to something before, especially if more than once, that piece of music gets imbued with the moment, becomes a kind of talisman. So that if I want to write that way again, with that kind of focus, I have but to listen to it. As for what kind? You name it: opera, bluegrass, rock, gamelan, all kinds.

Katherine Perdue’s story “The Seer at Sunset Hills Shopping Plaza” was
published on Friday, 5 January 2018.

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A question for Alexandra Grunberg

Q: Do you generally start with mood, title, character, concept, …?

A: I start my writing process with concept; a myth that fascinates me, a song or phrase that gets stuck in my head, or the discovery of a new mythological monster. However, once I introduce the characters, they take control of the concept. Sometimes they let me write the story I set out to write, and sometimes they take the story to unexpected conclusions. I usually don’t know what lesson I’m going to learn, if the story will be funny or scary, or whether the ending will be happy or sad, until my characters make those decisions for themselves. For example, I started “Emeralds or Amethysts” sure that my princess would not open her eyes, but Lucy ended up being much braver than me.

Alexandra Grunberg’s story “Emeralds or Amethysts” was published on Friday, 29 December 2017.
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A question for Lori J. Fitzgerald

Q: What tools do you write with?

A: My workspace is half of our basement, with my giant teacher’s desk where I used to write lesson plans and mark essays, and a long wall lined with bookshelves. I married a fellow English major and of course both our children are bookworms, so as you can imagine, our bookshelf runneth over. Usually our little black dog is either curled up next to me or trying to get on the desk because she needs to know what is more important than playing fetch with her. Once we are settled in, I conjure ideas from the imagination realm with my yew root wand. Then I capture them with a mechanical pencil and a beautiful notebook. Moleskine has the creamiest paper, but I have others with more decorative, inspiring covers too. There is a different magic in writing longhand, so the first draft is always in my own handwriting. I move onto my computer for revisions in Scrivener, which I love and highly recommend because you can easily have more than one document on the screen at once, and finally I export to Word. I am always amazed by the organic growth of a story from idea to the final manuscript, and it’s a wonderful (albeit frightening) feeling to send a story off from my old desk with the hope it will speak to a reader’s soul.

Lori J. Fitzgerald’s story “Wytchen Wood”  was published on Friday, 15 December 2017.
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