Mike Duran, author of The Resurrection, tagged me in a blog hop last week. I don’t do much marketing. I should, but I don’t. His tagging me helped me sell a couple of books, so for that I’m grateful. Thanks, Mike! (I hope he sold some books, too.)
1. What am I working on?
I’m working on three projects: a coffeehouse memoir with photographs; a collection of short stories; a science fiction novel. The first is a hobbyist project, so I’ll ignore that one for now.
This fall, I’ll be publishing a collection of short stories called The Jaybird’s Nest and Other Stories. Many of the stories have run on this blog, but most have been extensively edited for this collection. I’ve also added some new material. They range in tone from absurdist sci-fi shorts about Dr. Gillilander, pet psychologist and creator of chimera creatures, to a fantasy short about a woman who has a trepanation cure to open her “third eye”. Taken altogether, it will provide a glimpse into my weirdness.
My science fiction novel is slated to come out at the beginning of 2015. It’s about a maverick neuroscientist who’s on a mission to make money for the future and recompense for past wrongs [yes, that WAS a zeugma].
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: I’ve been indelibly AND incurably influenced by Jonathan Swift. I keep a copy of Gulliver’s Travels by my bed. I’m also happy to read Don Quixote whenever I need a fix of pure joy-light-energy. If you take into account the time I’ve spent reading magical realism past my hyper rational years, you will find that my writing is unwittingly tinged by stories such as La noche boca arriba.
I’m not sure if I’m answering this question appropriately by giving my influences. But what it comes down to is that I’m an absurdist at heart. I don’t take myself too seriously. When I combine all the disparate elements, not to mention all the years of dwelling inside my own head, I arrive at a delicate dry infusion of fruity tarts squared through the unending digitization of real numbers. And I really prefer to drink Chianti with medium-rare ribeyes.
3. Why do I write what I do?
Before I changed over to speculative fiction, I wrote detective stories. I like detectives because they’re logical. Or they can be. However, I don’t care for the detective fiction I’ve authored and I hope that it never sees the light of day. I mean that. For those of you out there who have copies, a good reminder is in order. Small acts can have serious consequences. I switched to spec fic because I like to play with ideas. In general, I write because the world is a frustrating place. When I get enough of it, I disappear and write the ideas in my head.
4. How does my writing process work?
Make coffee. Evacuate noise. Then sit down to write. Break for lunch. Exercise [use this opportunity to count squats, push-ups, kicks, etc]. Dinner. Wine. Lie awake at night working out scenes and ideas. Then panic because the plot isn’t doable and acknowledge lunacy. Relate all woes to husband, who won’t seem surprised or concerned. After enough days of this, disappear inside closet and bang head against floor in a kind of religious supplication. Husband will still not be surprised or concerned, and children will laugh delightedly as they navigate the prone figure on the floor like an object in a parkour cityscape. Finish book. Spend the next five years laboriously rewriting every word.
I’ve asked these three writers to take part in this blog hop next Monday the 18th:
Robynn Tolbert. Her debut fantasy, Star of Justice, is a fantastic read, and I really want to know what’s next.
Kat Heckenbach. She’s delivered 2 out of 3 of a trilogy; Finding Angel is the first. Well, will she finish the trilogy or publish something new and different?
Jay Dinitto. Years ago now, I first read his short story collection, Bored in the Breakroom. It’s classic, intelligent writing.