Another question for R.W.W. Greene

Q: What do you think is the single most important quality for a good writer to possess?

A: A small, hard ego. Nothing big and puffed up. Nothing easily punctured. But a tiny kernel of confidence that can weather rejections and distractions and failure and keep them in the chair day after day pounding on the page.


R.W.W. Greene’s story “They Build ‘Em Tough on Magna Mater
in Metaphorosis Friday, 10 July 2020.
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A question for Ashley R. Carlson

Q: If you could talk to your novice-writer self, what bit of advice would you give?

A: I would have a hard time whittling down my response to this (there were so many things I was naive about, and still am), but ultimately I would say these things:

1. Don’t expect any sort of success or recognition from the first or tenth or twentieth thing you write or publish. This is a marathon, and a really, really slow one. Write because you love it and have a hunger to do it, and for no other reason than this.

2. Don’t write typical stuff with typical characters—tropes; gender-conforming; predominantly white; a host of other problems that don’t promote diversity. You’re going to fall into this trap, and you’re going to learn and grow and move away from it, but just be informed and a better promoter of diversity in fiction from the very beginning.


Ashley R. Carlson’s story “The Friendly Ghost
in Metaphorosis Friday, 3 July 2020.
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A question for Michael Tenebrae

Q: What’s easier for you – imagining a happier world, or a darker one?

A: It’s easier for me to imagine a happier world.


Michael Tenebrae‘s image “Shards” is the cover art for our July 2020 stories.Metaphorosis

A question for Joseph Halden

Q: What is the most recent book that you lost sleep reading/thinking about?

A: I adored Among Others by Jo Walton, and couldn’t stop reading. The depiction of magic in such an unfathomable yet human way was mesmerizing. The protagonist’s journey held so many beautifully-articulated moments of humanity that really worked for me, and I loved re-experiencing some sci-fi classics through her lens.


Joseph Halden’s story “Time and Grace
in Metaphorosis Friday, 26 June 2020.
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An additional question for Kathryn Yelinek

Q: If your writing style were a bird, what type of bird would it be and why?

A: Good grief, you realize you’re asking this question of a total bird nerd, right? I mean, some of my writing friends say that a story isn’t one of my mine unless it has a bird in it. I share my house with parakeets, I feed the outside birds, and I have been a lifelong birdwatcher. So birds means a lot to me.

Let me think carefully about this. I write slowly, so my writing style would not be a fast hummingbird or falcon. It also wouldn’t be something like a bluebird, which can have multiple broods per year. I also don’t think I have a terribly flashy style, so it wouldn’t be a peacock or bird of paradise. I also don’t write well in crowds or coffee shops or anything like that. I’m definitely a loner writer. So my writing style wouldn’t be anything that congregates in huge flocks—no flamingos or starlings or budgerigars. I also write best at home, in familiar settings, so no birds that fly long distances like terns or albatrosses.

After all of this, I think my writing style is a kakapo. What is a kakapo, you ask? A rare flightless parrot from New Zealand. They breed very slowly, with the parrots taking several years to reach maturity, and some years they don’t breed at all. They have muted green feathers and aren’t flashy, but have a fluffy cuteness that I find absolutely endearing. They are also loners and don’t congregate in flocks like many other parrots. Because they don’t fly, they stick close to home. All of these things resonate for my writing style. In addition, because they are so rare, they have a dedicated team of extraordinary scientists and volunteers who do tremendous conservation work to save the species. While I don’t need conservationists for my writing, I am lucky enough to have family and writing friends who support my work, and I am very grateful to them. [On a side note, if you are so moved to learn more about kakapos, visit the Kakapo Conservation page: https://www.doc.govt.nz/our-work/kakapo-recovery/.]


Kathryn Yelinek’s story “The Woman Who Brought Love to Death
in Metaphorosis Friday, 19 June 2020.
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A question for Jennifer Shelby

Q: Do you live near where you were born? Have you traveled much?

A: I was born in Nova Scotia, a province in Eastern Canada, and currently live in New Brunswick. Looking out my window I can see Nova Scotia across the Bay of Fundy. New Brunswick is where I grew up and the smell of the Bay, dramatic shoreline, and deep forests are home. I moved to Central and Western Canada for my education but always gravitated back to New Brunswick again.

As a child I travelled through most of the United States in the back of my parents’ Volkswagen. I gawked at New York City and the Grand Canyon in between Battleship games with my brother and a handful of Nancy Drew novels.

In my early twenties I spent three months in rural Costa Rica as part of a conservation volunteer group. I treasure the experiences I had in the rainforests there and the beautiful communities that welcomed us into their lives. There were blankets of fireflies along the edges of one forest that will forever haunt my dreams.


Jennifer Shelby’s story “Zsezzyn, Who Is Not a God
in Metaphorosis Friday, 12 June 2020.
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