- Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me!”
- 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.
- You will post the answers to the questions (and the questions themselves) on your blog or journal.
- You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
- 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…
- 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...
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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