Research is a lot more fun than writing. I could go on looking things up forever, and sometimes that’s a problem.
Posts Tagged ‘interviews’
I’ve written too many stories and books now to not notice patterns of theme, image, character type, etc, emerge over and over. It can be a bit disconcerting to see ones own obsessions so clearly after a while. But the upside is that you can then take possession of those obsessions consciously, and mold them in ways that you might not have when you hadn’t realized they were there in the first place.
Basically, genre is a very useful guideline for grouping together novels that share certain characteristics, but I think it can also be a trap–what Ursula Le Guin and many others referred to as the ghetto. It tends to create books that are in dialogue with nothing else but genre: and, again, dialogue is a good thing, and a terrific way to create new literature; but it’s not the only one.
Vylar Kaftan writes speculative fiction of all genres, including science fiction, fantasy, horror, and slipstream. She was nominated for a 2010 Nebula Award for her short story “I’m Alive, I Love You, I’ll See You in Reno.”
The research is simple. I pick up phone and call a physicist. Or whomever. I don’t trust myself to do my own research because I don’t have the background. I should mention that, across thirty years, I’ve made countless calls, often to strangers who just happened to be at the office, say, in the Lowell Observatory.
Gender issues are an abiding interest of mine. I’m fascinated with how gender is constructed and how different people negotiate the spaces in between societal definitions, or morph them to fit their own reality.
In my opinion the best way to learn to write stories is to write them as well as you can and then take them apart again, and since I am still learning to write, I’m an admitted workshop junkie.
What’s special about the Norton shortlist is the company I’m in! I’m a lifelong reader of sf and fantasy, so seeing my work on the same list as Paolo Bacigalupi, Holly Black, Scott Westerfield, and others — Terry Pratchett, for God’s sake! Terry Freaking Pratchett!
I worked for thirteen years, failed to sell four novels, wrote short stories for a while after I gave up on novels, and eventually got up the guts to write more novels. My fifth and sixth novels were the ones that sold. The common thread through all of that is that I like the act of writing.
I am often fascinated by the process of bodies becoming things which they were not initially; The Honey Month is full of stories and poems where the colour of people’s skin and the scent of their hair becomes food for the bees, or where the dawn becomes bread, or where flesh becomes salt.