Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Rose Among the Pages

Part One of my "Cool People I Met at Imaginarium" series... 

Tell us a bit about your latest work.

In my first novel, The Bearkeeper, there is a troupe of Shakespearean actors who (due to an unnatural condition) have been alive since before the time of Shakespeare.  Some of them are more famous than they are letting on. The sequel, Children of Stone, deals with their backstory: who they are, how they came together, and how they learned to only pretend to kill each other, instead of for real.

What are the themes and subjects you tend to revisit in your work?

The theme of being an outsider comes up again and again, as does time, history, and the illusory quality of what we (as individuals and as a society) think we know.  There are also undercurrents of surrealism and absurdity in much of what I write, and how people actually deal with extraordinary circumstances.

What would be your dream project?

To invent a time machine so I can go talk about art, cats and guns with William S. Burroughs.  And then send a babbling, poorly-scrawled letter to my 1990's self, postmarked from his Kansas residence, just for the hilarious mindf*ck that would ensue.

If you have any former project to do over to make it better, which one would it be, and what would you do?

As with many, I would rewrite my first novel.  But not heavily.  My first novel isn't bad, you see; it's just that continuity is a harsh mistress, and I would like to make things easier on myself with the sequels.

What inspires you to write?

The unusual combination of reading non-fiction and having an overactive imagination.  It's weird.

What writers have influenced your style and technique?

I consider Ray Bradbury and Kurt Vonnegut the angel and devil on my shoulders, though I wasn't aware of their influence until it was too late.

Where would you rank writing on the "Is it an art or it is a science continuum?" Why?

I would put it in a different position on a sliding scale for each author.  But there has to be a balance.  Too far into Art, and it's a hot mess, and too far into Science, and it's got no soul.

Any other upcoming projects you would like to plug?

I've got a month to whip up something for Blackwyrm Publishing's Reel Dar anthology. I'll be riffing on my favorite film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. There's no guarantee it'll make the final cut, but their project looks fascinating, and people should keep and eye out for its release.