Beth Goder worked as an archivist before becoming a full-time writer and parent. You can find her online at www.bethgoder.com or on Twitter at Beth_Goder.
Q: What happens when you hit writer’s block head on?
A: If I hit writer’s block, it’s usually a sign that there is some problem with scene, plot, characters, or all of the above. My immediate response, which I try to ignore, is to go and mess around on the internet. This is rarely helpful. To solve the problem rather than avoiding it, some level of thinking is required, worse luck. I sometimes sit down with marker pens (I have Copics, which are a tremendous indulgence but I do love them) and a colouring book and try to let my brain freewheel. Going climbing is good, too. Both colouring and climbing work well for occupying my monkey brain (the bit that just wants to hit refresh on Twitter) and letting the slower-thinking creative parts ruminate for a while. If I had a different sort of dog, walking the dog might work. Unfortunately if I stop paying attention to my dog, she considers this to be a reason to ignore me in turn, takes off after the nearest squirrel, and refuses to return. This experience does not generate anything useful at all brainwise, though all the running backwards and forwards is probably good cardio.
Lying down and staring at the ceiling can be surprisingly helpful, although sometimes it leads to napping. But then, napping isn’t always bad — once in a while I dream a solution to a story problem, which is exceptionally satisfying when it happens.
And, most importantly, all of the above work better when I add both chocolate and tea, in large quantities.
Ian Rennie is a librarian and writer in Cambridge, England. As well as writing, he is one of the Cambridge organizers of National Novel Writing Month. He was once retweeted by Neil Gaiman, not that he’s bragging or anything.
Q: Do you prefer your SFF as books or movies?
A: While I love movies, I’m both a writer and an editor, so I pretty much have to say that I prefer books. And I really do! For a bunch of reasons. For one thing, they’re much more cost-effective! Just compare how much time you spend enjoying a book versus a movie, and these days you can usually get a book for less than a movie ticket. Plus, I love how books let you get deeper into the characters, into the backstory, just deeper into the whole world. There are lots of great SFF movies out there, but it’s the rare one that can compare to the book.
Q: What’s the piece you’ve made that no one else thinks is as good as you do?
A: My favourite piece is a dragon I painted a few years ago. Non-artists seem to like it, but none of my peers do. I think its maybe not as technically proficient as it could be, but I loved painting it and it reflects those darker parts of my nature that most people don’t get to see, so it’s quite personal in that way. And well, I love dragons, so I don’t really care what my peers think, lol.
Candra Hope‘s image “Scraps” is the cover art for our April 2017 stories.
Juliet Kemp lives in London, UK with her partners, kid, and dog. She is fortunate enough to be able to see the Thames out of her window when writing, which is either inspiring, distracting, or both. When she’s not writing or running round the house trying to keep up with the kid, she reads a lot, drinks too much tea, makes things out of yarn and fabric, and goes climbing a bit less often than she would like. She blogs intermittently at http://julietkemp.com and tweets at @julietk.