Posts Tagged ‘Interview’
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the latter the publication date is now set for June (i.e. rather than “spring,” which only means things sometimes get out of date; also the poet Allan Poe may be better known as Edgar Allan, but typos can happen too).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.
We have a go for our DUSTY PAGES interview (see July 1, June 28), conducted by British Blogger and generally neat question maker-upper Sonnet O’Dell, and a tentative date of Monday, October 24. My answers got in in time to be scheduled even earlier but, with Halloween in the offing, I’d wondered if that date might be available instead. Well . . . no. Not surprisingly Sonnet likes to do something special herself on All Hallows E’en, but how about a week earlier? And so, Halloween being on Monday as well, look for an announcement here just before the last week in October, that interview time will be in the near future.
As for neat questions, I’ve already mentioned the one about the duck and the bar. For another, I quote verbatim: “Glass half full or half empty?” The answer is kind of obvious, actually, if you think about it, but in order to see for yourself, well, check back here on October 24. And it’s not just for that one but for the important questions too, the ones about my new novel-in-stories, TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, such as “Why did you want to write this book?” And of course the opening, “Tell me about your upcoming. . . .”
All these and more will be unveiled a week before the end of October — including a brand new blurb for the novel, complete with a quote, composed especially for the occasion (but possibly sneak previewed on these pages a little bit earlier, possibly in the dog days of August when temperatures rise high, higher than summers remembered before, as they might well do on a dying, exhausted planet as well, even the sun growing red in its old age . . . as in, that is . . . the world of the TOMBS).
And as for the novel itself, it’s expected to follow from Elder Signs Press next spring.
Actually they’ve already met, thank you, in the person of actor John Astin — Gomez Addams in the macabre 1960s TV sitcom THE ADDAMS FAMILY — a fan and somewhat scholar of Poe who has also starred in the one-man play EDGAR ALLAN POE: ONCE UPON A MIDNIGHT. In fact just a few days before Poe’s birthday (as celebrated here just a few posts below, January 19), THE BALTIMORE SUN published this article/interview updating some of Astin’s recent doings.
This is also a lesson of sorts in why it sometimes pays to comment on blogs (e.g. this one) or at least skim the comments of others, in this case one on the 19th by Marge Simon pointing out a fairly in-depth piece on Poe by Marilynne Robinson in THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS. This in turn made me search for a copy I had of Poe’s relatively little-known work EUREKA, which came back to John Astin who wrote the introduction to it.
Then finally, back to Astin’s characterization of Poe, a sampler of some of the reviews of EDGAR ALLAN POE: ONCE UPON A MIDNIGHT can be found here (and, after skimming, be sure to press the link for the full review from THE LOS ANGELES TIMES).
So now, for something (almost) completely different: Word came this afternoon from British blogger Sonnet O’Dell that I have an interview scheduled for her “Meet A Writer Monday” feature on DUSTY PAGES, but not for a while yet. So look for a bit more nitty on me and THE TEARS OF ISIS from the horse’s mouth as it were, but not until Monday August 17 — which one may be sure I’ll remind people of when the time comes closer.
Widows, [curator Harold] Koda points out, were “a destabilizing force in pre–World War I society, because they’re sexually knowing, and they’re out on the market.”
Saturday was the day of my writers group’s monthly meeting in which my story up for critique was a spinoff from my “Casket Girls,” published in DAILY SCIENCE FICTION last April (cf. April 17, 10, et al.). The heroine, as it were, is a young-looking New Orleanian named “Lo,” recently widowed — because the women of her persuasion don’t age or die (or, more properly speaking, may have done the latter already), while their husbands do and eventually will (at which point the women may find an excuse to return to France, only to be “replaced” by a younger cousin or niece or alleged daughter who had been sent overseas as a young girl for her education, and has now returned). So, speaking of widows. . . .
Well, by pure coincidence, courtesy of Scott M. Goriscak via The Horror Society on Facebook, here is a piece on a just-opened exhibit at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, “The Met’s New Exhibit, ‘Death Becomes Her,’ will Thrill Your Inner Goth” by Véronique Hyland. And, yes, while there is a gothy element to all this, the fashions, accessories, customs, and expectations are real for the period from 1815 to 1915, including the note I’ve quoted above, more on which can be found here.
Looking at the styles on display, the crossover with contemporary goth and gothic Lolita style was obvious. When asked about the continuing appeal of this style of dress, Koda became pensive. “I have a personal theory. I think we’re a generation where death is at such a remove, not for all of us, but the young people who embrace it, there’s a kind of ability to fantasize about what death means.”
So that’s for the inner goth, but while on the subject of fashion, what of the “outer goth” as well? For a humorous and interesting treatment of (more-or-less) here-and-now goth “types” by Megan Balanck, press here.
Then one curious addition, re. my previous post, that while I may have no offering this year in the Horror Writers Association “Halloween Haunts” page itself, my presence is not entirely missing. Well, maybe I’ve commented on some of the other entries there too, but if you were to go to the main HWA blog site and look to the left, in the column with headings like “HWA News,” then scroll down just a bit, you will find a button for my video interview conducted in Portland at last May’s World Horror Convention (see also, July 24). This is the one that says I’m a sculptor, though really I’m not — in the interview itself I was actually talking about two characters in THE TEARS OF ISIS. But see for yourself by pressing here.
Another month and, for its opening Monday, another interview of me for those interested. This one is by British writer Sonnet O’Dell, who we’ve met before (cf. March 14; July 29, 22 2013, et al.), on her blog DUSTY PAGES. So get the straight tip on: the inspiration for THE TEARS OF ISIS (but of course. . . ); my biggest putdown (that is, a putdown of me as a writer — it goes a way back); the literary perils of having a tooth capped; the ever important “Would you rather be trampled by one elephant sized mouse or one hundred mice sized elephants?”; and a hint about why Poe’s name is on ISIS’s dedication page.
What more could one ask for? Well, there are about sixteen questions in all, plus a couple of blurbs and a sample passage, all of which can be found by pressing here.