Archive for the ‘Interview’ Category
If you’re familiar with Smart Rhino’s anthologies (and we certainly hope you are!), you may remember his stories “The Wellmaster’s Daughter” in UNCOMMON ASSASSINS, and “Labyrinth” in INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS. His story “Golden Age” will be published in ZIPPERED FLESH 3, now in production. So marks the start of Monday’s outing of Smart Rhino Press Editor/Publisher Weldon Burge’s blog, BULLETS AND BUTTERFLIES. Here you will find things concerning my collection THE TEARS OF ISIS and the lure of short stories, as well as my upcoming novel TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, though of the latter the publication date is now set for June (i.e. rather than “spring,” which only means things sometimes get out of date; also the poet Allan Poe may be better known as Edgar Allan, but typos can happen too). Also the blog itself may seem familiar, having also been published in Smart Rhino Publications’s own January NEWSLETTER (see January 18). But as Weldon himself says on his Facebook page: Just posted my interview with Bram Stoker nominee (and frequent writer for Smart Rhino Publications) James Dorr. His story “Golden Age,” will appear in the upcoming ZIPPERED FLESH 3. He has some great advice for writers from his own experience. So maybe it will be worth reading anew.
Or in any event for those new to this blog it can be found here.
Saturday brings us news that THE BOOK OF BLASPHEMOUS WORDS (cf. January 27, et. al) has been released on Kindle with, according to publisher A Murder of Storytellers, the paperback version hopefully to be available soon. More here as it becomes known. This is the one about people’s relationships with their gods, not always as lovely as one might hope, with my “burnt” offering about a lad who apparently couldn’t get to hell, with a cautionary note to preachers. Titled “Tit for Tat,” it’s a poem in the class sometimes called “Little Willies,” humorous quasi-Victorian takes on boys who cause, or have caused to them dire things.
Then one more quick note: Word came last night from Heidi Angell, who we may recall from her interview of me last month (see January 10), that she plans to use an essay by me on her blog sometime next week. Again, more here as it becomes known. The essay is titled “What is a Novel-In-Stories?” and explains why that form may be superior to more straightforward narrative for some applications, with special reference to my own upcoming TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH (due in June from Elder Signs Press, for more information on which click its picture in the center column).
So the first answer starts with a citation to “Allan Poe.” That’s Edgar Allan Poe, of course, but what’s in a word — I still stand by the answer. And thus the promised interview by Weldon Burge for Smart Rhino Publications (cf. January 11, 8), in conjunction with a Kickstarter campaign for their upcoming ZIPPERED FLESH 3 anthology, is now live. A mention is made at the very beginning about my Smart Rhino story appearances, “The Wellmaster’s Daughter” in UNCOMMON ASSASSINS, “Labyrinth” in INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS, and “Golden Age” in the upcoming ZIPPERED FLESH volume, but that’s not what the interview is about. Rather, with reference to Poe as well as my Stoker(R) nominated collection THE TEARS OF ISIS, we talk about short story writing in general and why, as a writer, I find short forms more interesting than novels. But then novels come up too with reference to TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH (expected in June this year, not really “spring,” but that’s because of a change in schedule after my original biographical notes were in) and what is, exactly, a novel-in-stories, also known as a “mosaic novel”? And, more importantly, why TOMBS is put together in that style.
The Poe citation, incidentally, is to his essay “The Poetic Principle,” which I believe he meant to apply to prose fiction as well. But to read the whole interview, including some things on the challenges and joys of writing, and what to expect once one has written, why not press here?
Just a quick note, that Weldon Burge has announced a Kickstarter campaign for for the upcoming Smart Rhino Publications anthology ZIPPERED FLESH 3: YET MORE TALES OF BODY ENHANCEMENTS GONE BAD, scheduled for launch next Tuesday, January 17. In conjunction with this will be his interview with me (cf. January 8, below) with remarks on short stories, novels-in-stories, structure of novels, and TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH: “I’ll be sending out the e-letter once the campaign has started, so you should see your interview posted next week as well!” Also mentioned in the interview are THE TEARS OF ISIS and “The Poetic Principle” by Edgar Allan Poe.
As for ZIPPERED FLESH 3, my part in this is a strangely muted (given the promise of some of its stories) science fiction tale called “Golden Age,” reflecting a future history of worn out, or otherwise damaged body replacements (see September 9), a reprint originally published in MINDSPARKS in Spring 1994.
No, this is a different one, not the Smart Rhino interview-to-come noted just below, but one completed in a flurry of activities the week before Christmas with Heidi Angell. This one includes such questions as what director I’d choose were TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH optioned for a movie (my answer suggests three, the third of whom may come as a surprise but whose work has been reviewed on this blog) and what is one great lesson I may have learned through being an author? I might mention, too, that I may have some other posts on Ms. Angell’s blog in the months to come in anticipation of TOMBS’s planned June release, as well as possibly some reviews of books of mine by her. And then later this month as well, perhaps we will see the “other,” Smart Rhino Publications’s interview of me by Weldon Burge.
For this one, however, on Heidi Angell’s late Monday MEET THE AUTHOR feature, please to press here.
Another interview lurks in our future. Completed just now, this one was rather a quickie as well, the contact coming from Smart Rhino Publications Editor Weldon Burge just last week: James, would you be open to a short interview for the January Smart Rhino newsletter? It would only be three or four questions, short and sweet. But I’d need a pretty fast turnaround, if possible. Please let me know. Thanks! My connection here is having stories in two Smart Rhino anthologies thus far, UNCOMMON ASSASSINS and INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS, and in a third to be coming out soon, ZIPPERED FLESH 3 (cf. September 9, et al.). So, “sure,” I sent back, and we set things up to be done this weekend.
More, such as a tentative date, will be noted here when it is known, but I will say now that, while short, it’s one of the heavier ones I’ve done in terms of writing and writing theory, even including a quote from Poe from his essay “The Poetic Principle.” Why that essay? Because I think Poe intended it to apply to fiction in prose as well, perhaps then explaining his own predilection for the short story form, and hence, by extension, mine. This is for a question having to do with my own short story collection, THE TEARS OF ISIS. But then, from there, a question on TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH brings up a discussion of form, in addition to content, and novels-in-stories or “mosiac” novels (see also, October 20), and why that form might be chosen over traditional narrative for telling certain kinds of stories. And also, why the mosiac form might answer Poe’s dictum that effective “poetic” writing be kept short.
What drew me to writing? What (if any) are recurring themes in my work? How do I get in my characters’ minds? All good questions — and, of course, a chance to say something about my new book, TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH. These are a part of my latest interview, by Carrie Ann Golden, which is now live on her A WRITER & HER ADOLESCENT MUSE blog (cf. November 10). What was the inspiration behind TOMBS?
To find out all, one need but press here.
Thus the holiday weekend has ended, and a mystery has been solved as well. One may recall November 4, in a post about Elder Signs Press’s just published anthology DARK HORIZONS, the mystery about the not-about-me biography under my name in the “About the Authors” section at the end of the book. Sunday the secret was exposed, the man behind the biography is actually James C. Simpson (thus one “James” stands in for another, get it?) who has a story, “Branded for Hell,” in Elder Signs’s other anthology scheduled for this month, STREET MAGICK (September 18, January 22, et al.). “Branded in Hell” appears in the contents, in fact, just after my own story, “Bottles,” to be in there too. So the question now is if our bios will be reversed, or remain where they should be, or if a third or a fourth James will be found to substitute for one or the other.
The January 22 post also gives the full contents for STREET MAGICK for those who wish an early sneak peek, while those who check out my November 4 post can scroll down to “Comments” to see James Simpson’s mystery solution just as he sent it.
Speaking of fast work, Tuesday, while skipping some of the slow, slow reports of election results, I was finishing up questions for a new interview by Carrie Ann Golden. No ducks walking into bars or early crushes in this one (cf. October 24), but good writerly questions still, seven in all, including a few on my upcoming novel-in-stories, TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH. And even a comment on THE TEARS OF ISIS. But here’s the thing: We were looking toward a publication date prior to Thanksgiving, just a couple of weeks down the pike, but when I sent my copy in Wednesday early afternoon, Carrie was back to me by that evening. “These [the answers] are wonderful . . . am planning to post your interview on Monday, November 14.”
But wait. That’s this Monday, the one coming up. Four days from today, today being Thursday. Talk about quick work! So anyway, just around the (as it were) calendar corner, I’ll be there on Carrie Golden’s A WRITER & HER ADOLESCENT MUSE blog, more on which, with link, we will see here on the 14th.
On a far-future, exhausted Earth a ghoul — an eater of corpses — explores the ruins of one of its greatest cities in hopes of discovering the one thing that made its inhabitants truly human. This is the premise, the quest. . . . And so starts the first answer to British blogger Sonnet O’Dell’s questions on DUSTY PAGES (see also just below, et al.) for October 24, exactly one week prior to Halloween. Other topics include if the glass is half full or empty, motivations, appearing in public, and my first crush — at least that I’ll admit to. And at the end, we’re back to my upcoming TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH with a quote from the book for the start of a final blurb: “The city had once lived, blazing with light. The books all described this. The Ghoul-Poet sat in the midst of a heap of them, pages torn, rotting, spread out all about him. This was a library, the pride of New City, or rather a square that had faced the library, that had received this avalanche of thought — words embossed on parchment — that cascaded down when the library burst, its walls weakened with age. . . .” For more, one may press here.
Then Sunday evening, at downtown Bloomington’s Buskirk-Chumley theatre, I was to read the same quote and a little bit more as an introduction to the flavor of TOMBS, followed by one of the book’s story-chapters, “Raising the Dead.” This was an entr’acte of sorts between screenings of THE EXORCIST and a new Korean film, THE WAILING, as part of a three-film Halloween festival sponsored by local magazine THE RYDER (cf. October 17 — the other film, screened first, was ARSENIC AND OLD LACE followed by a live mini-dramatization of Angela Carter’s short story “The Company of Wolves” by Cricket’s Bone Caravan), billed in THE RYDER’s calendar as “a tale of necromancy, dark fantasy, airships, and doomed love.” But a funny thing happened on the way from the 1 p.m. sound check to the actual screenings having to do with, live stage sound okayed, a glitch in the sound for the films themselves. This took about 40 minutes to work out, which was okay for the first two films and the “Wolves” presentation, but by the time THE EXORCIST ended, it was already a bit past 8 p.m. As a result, including a significant audience drop-off (it being Sunday night, meaning many had to be up early for Monday), we decided to postpone my reading to get THE WAILING back on only-slightly-delayed schedule.
So, tentatively, but more if/when it actually comes to pass, “Raising the Dead” will be read by me at the Ryder Film Festival’s continuation next Sunday, October 30 (yes, All Hallows Eve Eve) at local Bloomington drinkery Bear’s Place at probably a bit after 7 p.m., sandwiched between HORROR OF DRACULA at 5:30 p.m. and an 8 p.m. reprise of THE WAILING. And, oh yes, for this one you must be over 21.
Just a reminder, my interview with Sonnet O’Dell on her DUSTY PAGES blog (see July 5, et al.) is still scheduled for Monday, October 24 — just one week before HALLOWEEN! — at 7 a.m. GMT. That’s British time, so night owls on this side of the Atlantic might be able to get a sneak peek before bedtime (depending, of course, on how late bedtime is, as well as for those in the vampiric trade). In the meantime, alas, one of the local cave computers died last night, the one that takes care of bloggie business here, so I probably won’t be able to post until Monday afternoon, EDT, on a library computer. Whatever works, yes?
But for early risers, one can get to Sonnet’s open blog (for whatever might be the post of the moment), as well as the latest on TOMBS when it’s time, by pressing here.