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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Interview Questions Meme

I discovered this meme through Tanaudel some time ago and she sent me a series of questions to answer. Before getting to those, however, I need to tell you the rules for this meme.

The Rules:
  1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me!”
  2. I will (probably, in my sole discretion, and reserving the right not to - can you tell I’m a lawyer?) respond by asking you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
  3. You will post the answers to the questions (and the questions themselves) on your blog or journal.
  4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
  5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions. And thus the endless cycle of the meme goes on and on and on and on…
If you're interested, let me know in the comments and, if your email isn't in your profile, provide me a way to contact you directly. And with that out of the way, on to my responses to Tanaudel's questions:
  1. With what philosophy do you meet rejections (and why and whence derived)?
    I learned long ago (like four years ago) that if you let things like rejections and failures get you down in a significant way, it will stop you from doing the things you actually love. With writing, I used to get depressed and upset at not doing well at it. There was a point where I didn't write for well over a year (compounded by the fact that I was fighting off cancer, which I beat the sh*t out of, by the way...that bastard cancer). This all probably had a lot to do with the fact that at the time I was a lonely teenager that hadn't come into his own, felt lost in the world, didn't have a purpose, etc. I didn't have a fun time as a teenager, generally speaking (as much as I hated Placerville, it was probably the best time of my High School life because I started to get a bit more of that "accepted" feel there than anywhere else, but I still left school and teenage-hood with the belief that women were, by definition, put on this Earth to torment me).
    So, there came a point where I started taking my writing really seriously (probably around the same time I started this blog, actually, with WISB and all that--chapters viewable on the left sidebar) and decided that if I was going to get butthurt over rejections and harsh critiques, I might as well stop being a writer altogether. I later learned that Jay Lake had hundreds upon hundreds of rejections before his writing really took off, and still gets rejections, further proving that getting butthurt over it is a bad way to go.
    So, my philosophy is much more about simply accepting that you can't win every time, that life throws you curveballs, and that learning from failure/rejection is better than mulling over it. It's okay to get upset, but don't let it control you. Right now I'm thinking of a silly quote from Mystery Men:
    Sphinx: Your temper is very quick, my friend. But until you can master your rage...
    Mr. Furious: ...your rage will be your master? That's what you were going to say. Right? Right?
    Sphinx: Not necessarily...
  2. You’ve talked about losing interest in a series between books. Do you find that you tend to enjoy reading books more when you know the whole series has been published?
    Not necessarily. Ha! I wrote that twice. Anywho.
    I can enjoy a series that hasn't been finished yet, I just find that knowing I don't have to wait 15 years for the final installment to be printed makes it easier on me. I hate waiting. Every week waiting for the next episode of BSG is murder. So, really, if a series is good, it's good regardless of how much of it is already published; a series that isn't all that good is going to be mediocre even if all twelve volumes are in the stores.
  3. Name five books you mercilessly inflict on everyone you meet (or would mercilessly inflict on people if you were that sort of person) - not necessarily your favourite books (although they might be) but the books you think people should read.
    Mercilessly inflict? To be honest, I don't think I've intentionally done this. I guess the books that I push people to read tend to be staples in the genre: 1984 by George Orwell, Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, and others. Newer books I suggest folks read are: Sly Mongoose by Tobias S. Buckell, The Innocent Mage/The Awakened Mage by Karen Miller, The Golden Cord by Paul Genesse, Spaceman Blues by Brian Francis Slattery, and dozens of others. It's hard to pick just one book I push on folks, since I push a lot of books. Then again, I try not to push books on people, because I know that irritates me.
  4. What do you try most to avoid in your own writing?
    Maybe preaching, or making mistakes, or I don't know. I'm still developing my craft. A lot of things I refused to do before I am now doing as experiments. Back then I didn't do those things because I hated them, but something about me is changing. I enjoy writing in first and third person present. I like trying to infuse literary elements into my fantasy and science fiction. There are a lot of things I'm trying now that I didn't try years ago. I still try to avoid writing stories that have nothing to say. That doesn't always mean I succeed, but I tend to hate my stories when they are just cliches. I still write cliches, obviously, but the ones that are literally cookie-cutter crap tend to end up in a "forget" folder somewhere.
  5. Which artist would you want to design a book cover for your work?
    Stephen Martiniere would be a knee-jerk reaction, however I've recently discovered Pavel Elagin, a wonderful water-color-ish artist who does work that I find intriguing in their minimalistic approach (or at least what I perceive to be minimalistic). I'd be happy if he were to do the covers for my books, because I think he is a great artist with a lot of potential. Then again, I am a sucker for the watercolor-to-scifi look.
And I think that's it from me. If you're interested in being "interviewed," leave a comment telling me so! Anywho :).

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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:37 PM

    Lovely soft paintings!

    I'm interested in the different ways people cope with rejection, and why they react that way (Peter M Ball said he likes rejection letters because they let him feel productive (by sending stories out again) without actually having to write anything :)

    Interesting, too, that you try not to write stories that have nothing to say, and yet avoid preaching. Do you ever find that a narrow line to walk?