Another question for Gerald Warfield

Q: What’s a typical writing day like for you?

A: I work late, very late. Somehow, my life gets going in the course of the day, and I don’t usually start writing until the afternoon. It may be something to do with being old. A day is like a reflection of my life. I seem to be most productive at the end.


Gerald Warfield’s story The Number of the Tribe” was published on Friday, 10 November 2017.
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A question for Patrick Doerksen

Q: What made you start writing?

A: One of the first fictions I wrote was on the back of a church bulletin when I was around ten, because it was more fun that listening to the sermon. So: boredom, first of all.

But though it’s true enough, I’m not content with that answer. Looking back, I can see a motive just as important, if less obvious: the urge to communicate what I felt could not, for whatever reason, be contained in face-to-face conversations.

When you look at fiction in the context of human communication in general—gestures, speech, image-making, writing—you can see right away that it gives you something none of the others give. In conversation, you get an idea of the opinions of another person. With fiction, you get an idea of what it is like to be another person. Fiction communicates experience directly through the process of character-reader identification.

Why should we want this? I don’t know. When we have an interesting idea, we want to share it. When it’s experience, or the qualia of an experience, or the way a bunch of experiences are strung together, why shouldn’t we want to share that too? And all the more sense it makes to crave sharing what it is like to be ourselves—what it’s like for me to be me, or for you to be you.

So I guess I started writing because I wanted that, and fiction was the most practical way of going about it. I suspect that a lot of writers are people who are dissatisfied with their ability to communicate and so turn to a medium that allows revision, demands sustained attention, and can be ignored but not interrupted. I think a person senses all that when they begin writing, and it’s exciting. No one is telling you the rules. It’s just you and the words, and you can take as much time as you need to figure out how to say what you want to say.


Patrick Doerksen’s story “Notes Towards a New Fairytale” was published on Friday, 3 November 2017.
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A question for Benjamin Cort

Q: What work of art has been the most inspiring for you?

A: Eragon by Christopher Paolini springs to mind. I read it when I was little and fell in love, and am still so incredibly impressed by the fact that he wrote it as a teen fresh out of high school. Part of the inspiration is good old jealousy. I joke a lot to my friends about how far behind him I slip with each passing year of age. But more than that, I think the book goes to show that you can never be too young, too new, or too inexperienced to make something great if you’re willing to work hard at it.


Benjamin Cort’s story “Bluebird” was published on Friday, 27 October 2017.
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Another question for Phil Berry

Q: Can beautiful things be funny?

A: Rarely. Marilyn Monroe was both; Cameron Diaz, and Sandra Bullock have had their moments. Rowan Atkinson is not, by most standards, beautiful, but the laughter and joy he induces in me when I listen to old Not The Nine O’clock News tapes is… beautiful.


Phil Berry’s story “Lock Rise” was published on Friday, 20 October 2017.
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A question for Rob Francis

Q: What hero (of any gender) would you name your child after, if we lived in a society with names like that?

A: When I was younger I was determined to name my son Raistlin, after the conflicted character from the Dragonlance books by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. Luckily, I haven’t, and both my kids have pretty normal names. In another reality, things might well have been different! ‘Elric’ also has a nice ring to it…


Rob Francis’s story “Beneath the Sea of Glass” was published on Friday, 13 October 2017.
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A question for David Hammond

Q: Do you ever feel bad for what you put your characters through?

A: No, I don’t feel bad. The main reason is that I don’t generally put my characters through anything that horrible. The worst experiences in my stories tend to be things that I have experienced myself: alienation, intense embarrassment, unrequited love. To pity my characters would be to pity myself, and I’m not about to do that. Instead I always try to leaven things with humor, which is my own best coping mechanism.


David Hammond’s story “Making the List” was published on Friday, 6 October 2017.
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