Elise Forier Edie is a playwright and author. She lives in Southern California and writes mostly about monsters. She teaches writing and theater arts at West Los Angeles College. She is a proud graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop. You can visit her at her website:
Q: What’s an idea you’re dying to write but haven’t, and why?
A: I have a deep fascination with ancient history and the myths and stories which have been passed down in some cultures for hundreds and even thousands of years. I’ve always wanted to write a fantasy story set in ancient times and draw inspiration from these literary fossils. Maybe the Chimera laid an egg before she was slain by Bellerophon. Maybe the children of Anubis could shapeshift into dogs. I think the reason I’ve never fleshed out any of these ideas is that writing in a time period which happened so long ago feels much more difficult than writing in the one you are experiencing for yourself or in a world of your own creation where you get to make up the rules. It sounds like a fun challenge though!
Henry Szabranski was born in Birmingham, UK, and studied Astronomy & Astrophysics at Newcastle upon Tyne University, graduating with a degree in Theoretical Physics. He lives in Buckinghamshire with his wife and two young sons. He doesn’t believe in angels.
Q: How do pets/children/significant others help/hinder your process?
A: Almost all outside forces conspire against me. My son barges into my office, as nine-year-olds are wont to do, and tries to read my on-screen words. I’m a perfectionist by nature, so no one is allowed to see the first draft, but with him especially, I can’t shrink the screen quickly enough. I don’t want him to drink in the horrors of my writing and develop some sort of neurosis. As a parent, I feel I’m already doing unspoken psychological damage. I have to avoid anything blatantly scarring. This job is really hard.
At the same instant, my wife has been pestering me to continue a novella series I started for her amusement. I had bragged to her that I could craft a regency romance that would knock her socks off, providing I could give it my own unique twist. She doubted me, so of course I wrote it to prove how right I was. (This is standard husbandly behavior.) I’m not sure what genre the piece falls into. Picture a fusion of P.G. Wodehouse, Clive Barker, and Georgette Heyer. It’s charming in its lunacy. I could write five short stories in the place of a new novella, but just thinking about it now . . . perhaps I’ll build my daily wordcount and add another escapade.
I suppose the housecat is the only one who lets me work. He preferred my old boxy monitor, which made a toasty perch for him in the winter months, but he seems satisfied with the bench I’ve set up next to me. He has developed a habit of snoring, which I’ve never heard of afflicting a cat, but clearly it happens. It’s funny for ten minutes or so, until I find my breathing syncing with his own. That just feels weird to me, so I bump him to make him stop. Lord of the manor, and all that.
Julia Warner is an undergraduate student at the University of Virginia from Nashville, Tennessee. She loves running, writing, and playing guitar. She cannot live without books and spends more time in Westeros and Middle Earth than she does in this world.
Q: Are titles easy or hard for you? Do you start with the title or the story?
A: I hate writing titles, primarily because I am just terrible at it. It’s always the very last part of the process for me. I can’t even imagine the idea of starting with a title and writing a story, although I realize others do just this.