At the end of last week Pam Stewart put me in the hot seat and asked me a few questions. This week I tied her down and set her in that very seat. Imagine us in a dark room, our shadows making all sorts of hideous creatures on the wall and a single light with moths fluttering into the bulb.
Deepest, darkest secrets revealed. And spoilers. Enter at your own risk.
Mary Shelley (founder of modern SF) and Charles Dickens (Founder of modern Fantasy) get into an MMA fight. Who do you root for?
From what I’ve read, Dickens personally was (how to put it delicately) a word similar to his name. But his enduring stories (A Christmas Carol/A Tale of Two Cities) and the volume of writing he has added to readable literature is pretty impressive. And then there is Mary Shelley. She wrote an incredibly imaginative, ground breaking story that has resonated with audiences for decades, during a time when it was difficult for a woman to publically write. I have to go with my girl, Mary. Take. Him. Down.
You’re on a quest and you have to pick your weapon. What do you choose and why?
No limits? No quid pro quo? I would choose a dragon. Fire breathing, flying, intelligent, I think I want one in blood red. He will be a companion as well as defender. I will name him Spot, like Data’s cat.
What aspect of writing do you work on the most (Dialog, descriptions, characters, plot, etc)? Which one do you want to be known for?
All of the things! I think having grand ideas is easy, the hard part is trying to coerce them into a real story. I also want to be known for all-of-the-things. I do dream big. I am working hard to balance my writing between dialogue, character, and plot. I think using as many elements as possible in each scene is key. Every word, every scene, every chapter has to earn the right to be in the book.
Boom, Dr. Who left his TARDIS unattended. Where do you go? (or who do you visit?)
Ok, if it’s 10 (David Tennant version) I would wait until he returned so we could go adventuring together. I really would like to visit Shakespeare; he had such a gift, such a way with words. I would love to have a conversation with him. I may also go to my younger self and tell her things to do, things to avoid. I’d tell her to keep writing and not to get side tracked. Yeah, it’d be a long conversation, and she wouldn’t listen to a word. Sigh. Oh, and ancient Egypt. That would be stellar, see the pyramids being built.
What is your secret recipe to stay motivated?
We are all motivated by either positive or negative stimuli. I use both carrot and stick. I go to book stores and search in the S section [for Stewart] in the Speculative Fiction and picture my book there, my name on a spine. And if that doesn’t do it, then I go negative, I think of two years, three years, twenty years down the line. How will my life look if I don’t continue? Another person who gave up on their dream. Another person who settled. Another person living a sad meaningless life, zoned out in front of the television. In the end, I’d rather fail at something I love than succeed at something I hate.
We all have at least one: tell me a little bit about your super power.
Given the right circumstances, I can find an excellent analogy that explains exactly what I mean. I guess you can call me Analogy Girl!
Everyone says if they had the time, they’d write a book. If you had this special kind of magic time (other than writing) what would you do?
Ugh, it’s time and money and the list is endless, learn to play violin, draw, paint, sculpt, plant an epic garden, run a marathon, travel to the far corner of the world. The list does go on and on.
We love comments! For every comment on this blog post Mary Shelly will get a right hook in on Dickens.
But what if I don’t want Mary Shelley to land a right hook? Yes, she wrote one memorable work (though I found it stretched quite a bit), but what else? Nothing of any note. Dickens has a lot more famous books.
Oh, Martin, Them’s is fightin’ words. Prepare to do battle
I enjoyed the interview. I want Mary Shelly to win.
I love the idea about standing in front of the shelf in the bookstore and envisioning a book there with your name on it.
Woot!! Mary is in the lead!