Tag Archives: Interviews

An Exclusive Interview with Spring

It isn’t every day that a blogger nabs a chance to interview any of the seasons, much less one as highly sought-after as spring! I hope you enjoy our conversation.

Spring: Sorry for running a few weeks late there. I lost track of time.

Lydia: Welcome! It’s nice to finally meet you. I was wondering where you’d gone. How was your trip?

Spring: Oh, traffic was backed up like it usually is.  I did take notes while reading your rain review, so I wanted to make a few last-minute changes to this year’s itinerary.  I hope you’ll like those extra thunderstorms I squeezed into Ontario’s schedule this month. They’re fussier recipes than regular rainstorms, but I wanted to give you something special this time.

Lydia: Thank you. They look perfect. So let’s talk about your role as spring. What’s it like to awaken the northern hemisphere again every year?

Spring: Well, every season needs to prepare for transitional periods. You can’t exactly switch from winter to spring in one afternoon! My work is especially interesting because it involves waking up all of the plants and animals that slept their way through the cold season, and that’s not something any of the other seasons need to think about. Winter and I have had to learn how to coordinate that process so that no one wakes up too early or too late. It’s a balancing act, and every year I learn a little bit more about what does and doesn’t work in various climates.

Lydia: Speaking of winter, what is your relationship with them like?

Spring: Frosty. Yes, I’m totally joking there. We have a good working relationship. The world wouldn’t be the same place without a period of rest, and I appreciate all that winter does while the rest of us are asleep. The plants sure do appreciate it, and the insects are learning to see the bright side of it as well. Honestly, sometimes I wish my hibernation period lasted longer than it does.

Lydia: A hibernation period? Interesting! I was just about to ask what the seasons do when they’re not currently in use. What is that process like?

Spring: It’s like flopping into a warm, soft bed after a hard day’s work. Occasionally, I might wake up to take over for winter or summer for an afternoon, but I generally like to sleep through my full rest period if possible. Of course, that hasn’t been happening as often as it used to these days.

Lydia: I hear you there. On a somewhat related note, what are your relationships like with summer and autumn?

Spring: Summer and I get along really well. We have such similar goals that sometimes it’s hard to tell where their work ends and mine begins. We’re not technically supposed to have favourite months, but this is why I like June so much. The busiest weeks of my assignment are finished by then and the humans have started to harvest a few early crops like asparagus and strawberries.  I’ve heard nothing but good things about autumn’s work, but I can’t remember the last time we actually met. Our schedules are simply too different from each other for either of us to stay awake long enough to collaborate. I’d love to see what they do with leaves someday, though.

Lydia: Oh, autumn leaves are beautiful. Have you really never seen them change colour?

Spring: No, I fall asleep long before that happens.

Lydia: What a shame. I know you’re currently in your busiest time of the year, so I won’t keep you much longer. One final question before you go – what are your plans for this year? Is there anything special we should be looking forward to other than those thunderstorms you whipped up for me?

Spring: I was feeling extra creative this year, so you’ll probably see cherry trees blooming earlier than usual. I hope you like them.

Lydia: That’s wonderful. Well, thank you for stopping by, and good luck.

Spring: Thank you!

 

 

My Interview at Downright Dystopian

I was recently interviewed about books, blogging, and other bookish things by Krystianna at her blog, Downright Dystopian. Click here to read it.

If any of my followers would like to be one of her future interviewees, this post of hers will give you all of the information you need to sign up for that process. I highly recommend doing so if you’re a bookish person! It’s been a wonderful experience for me so far.

Interview with Apex Magazine Editor Lesley Conner

This post is part of the subscription drive for my all-time favourite science fiction and fantasy magazine, Apex Magazine. Lesley Conner is one of the editors who works there, and she was kind enough to stop by here today and answer a few questions. I hope you’ll check out the other interviews in this drive as well!

What would you like to see more of in the submissions to Apex Magazine?

Ooo, great question! I would love to see more sci-fi stories in the slush. We get some, but I seem to read a lot more magical realism or fantasy stories than I do science fiction. And we’re not looking for straight up sci-fi, something-is-wrong-with-the-ship, oh-no-we’re-going-down! stories. I read a LOT of those. Give me something more than that, more than man/woman in space in peril. I’d love see more stories like “The Laura Ingalls Experience” by Andrew Neil Gray, “Soursop” by Chikodili Emelumadu, or “1957” by Stephen Cox.

What have been a few of your favourite stories that were published here so far?

Well, I’m a big fan of all three stories I mentioned in the first question. In addition to those, I absolutely love “She Gave Her Heart, He Took Her Marrow” by Sam Fleming, “The Gentleman of Chaos” by A. Merc Rustad, and “Next Station, Shibuya” by Iori Kusano. Each of those moved me as a reader and excited me as an editor.

Oh, and “Blood on Beacon Hill” by Russell Nichols! That story is so much fun to read!

Little bit of a sneak peek: we have a story coming out in the May issue by Evan Dicken called “How Lovely is the Silence of Growing Things.” Read it! You do not want to miss that story! It is amazing!

 Have you ever had a dream about one of the stories that was submitted to you? If so, which one was it? If not, which story do you think would provide the most interesting fodder for a dream?

I don’t think I’ve ever had a dream about any of the stories submitted to us. If I have, I’m not remembering them now, but a lot of the stories have realities that would be make interesting—if not terrifying—dreamscapes. Immediately “Screaming Without a Mouth” by Travis Heermann and “Aishiteru Means I Love You” by Troy Tang come to mind. *shudders* Both of those stories stuck with me long after I finished reading them and I could see them causing a few nightmares.

By the way, Troy Tang wrote this absolutely horrifying story about abuse and self-loathing that questions whether or not doing horrific things to an artificial intelligence is it still wrong and loathsome—after all, they aren’t living—and he is one of the sweetest individuals I have ever worked with. Working with him was a lovely experience and I’m so glad we were able to bring his story to the world, even if it does continue to haunt me to this day. Just goes to show that stories a person writes do not reflect who they are.

How often do you and Jason disagree on whether or not to accept a story? How do you resolve those conflicts when they occur?

Honestly, Jason and I don’t disagree on stories very often. I think that’s one of the things that makes us a good editing team—we have the same vision for what types of stories we want to see in Apex Magazine, so we don’t spend a lot of time arguing over one story or another. We do discuss a lot of stories before deciding one way or the other on it, but that’s usually to talk through one or more aspects that may not be sitting quite right with us. Jason passes on stories that I like all the time, but most of the time if I’m absolutely in love with a story, he likes it too, and you end up reading it in a future issue of Apex Magazine. If he doesn’t, well then, Jason will pass on it. He’s the editor-in-chief, so when it comes right down to it, he makes the final call.

Lesley Conner is a writer/editor, managing editor of Apex Publications and Apex Magazine, and a Girl Scout leader. When she isn’t handling her editorial or Girl Scout leader responsibilities, she’s researching fascinating historical figures, rare demons, and new ways to dispose of bodies, interweaving the three into strange and horrifying tales. Her short fiction can be found in Mountain Dead, Dark Tales of Terror, A Hacked-Up Holiday Massacre, as well as other places. Her first novel The Weight of Chains was published by Sinister Grin Press in September, 2015. Best of Apex Magazine: Volume 1 marks her debut experience in anthology editing. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters, and is currently working on a new novel. To find out all her secrets, you can follow her on Twitter at @LesleyConner.