I’ve decided to try something new on my site. This was loosely inspired by what Downright Dystopian started doing with her interviews earlier this spring. I’m hoping I’ll be able to tap into a new audience since I’m focusing my questions on people who like speculative fiction and have multiple social circles that don’t seem to overlap much with Krystianna’s sphere of influence at all.
What do I mean by speculative fiction? Well, if you read about, watch, listen to, or write about:
Fables, Fairy Tales, and/or Folklore
Or any combination of these types of stories, I want to hear from you.
Yes, this includes people who prefer, say, paranormal romances that only have the slightest touch of fantasy added to them or mysteries that are pretty hardboiled until the final scene when the audience discovers the killer was an 900-year-old vampire. TV shows and films count, too, especially if they are in any way tied to a book or graphic novel.
Everyone is welcome.
If you’re interested in being interviewed, I’ll need the following things from you:
Answers to the Following Questions
What was the first speculative story you ever remember reading?
Who is your favourite author? Why?
What do you like most about the genre(s) you read?
More and more authors seem to be writing cross-genre stories these days. How do you feel about this trend?
If you could name a pet after one character, which character would you choose? Why?
What fictional world would you never want to visit?
What fictional world would you want to visit?
Sharing spoilers with people who haven’t read the book or seen the film/show is a hot topic on Twitter and across many fandoms. How do you feel about sharing or overhearing spoilers?
Which series do you think should be made into a TV show or film next?
Which TV show or film do you think should be turned into a book?
If you are an author or other creative person, feel free to substitute some of these questions for a few of the ones above or answer them all for extra credit:
What is the most unusual or interesting way you’ve come up with an idea for one of your creative works?
Sometimes characters don’t do what their creators want them to do. If this has ever happened to you, how did you deal with it?
What is your favourite trope?
What tropes do you try to avoid in your stories?
A Short Biography
Tell us who you are in a few sentences. Feel free to drop links to your website/blog, social media accounts, or similar pages if you’d like to.
Send a photo of yourself, the cover of a book you’ve written (if applicable), the logo from your site, or any other bookish subject matter.
This post was edited on September 24, 2019 to change the submission instructions. The email address I had originally provided for this purpose has been inundated by spammers and shady marketers, so I’m trying a different approach now.
There is no time limit on this offer. I will share your submissions once they begin to arrive and continue on for as long as there continues to be interest in this project.
These interviews have tentatively been assigned to Thursdays, although this may change depending on how many of them are sent in.
I’m looking forward to seeing what you all come up with!
Lately, I’ve been taking a break from my normal interests like reading science fiction and exercising outdoors in order to try other stuff. One of the consequences of this has been that I haven’t come up with as many blog post ideas related to those topics as I’d normally be playing around with.
I suspect this will be changing pretty soon, but in the meantime I thought it would be amusing to share some of the questions that have been rattling around in my head that aren’t quite weighty enough to warrant full posts on their own.
1. Why do my library holds so often arrive simultaneously?
I borrow e-books from my local library. This means that the next person on the list will receive a copy of a popular book moments after the previous borrower gave it back. Because of this system, I know I’m not receiving several books in the same day due to them arriving in batches based on the library’s business hours or anything like that. There have been instances when I’ve received an e-copy of a novel I was waiting on in the middle of the night if that’s when the last patron returned it.
Theoretically, I should be able to time it so that I have a steady stream of new stuff to read throughout the month since I can always see how many copies of an e-book the library has and what number I am on the list of people waiting to read it.
So it comes as a surprise to me to see how often I end up deluged in books anyway! Sometimes I’ll go a week without getting notifications for any new arrivals on my account only to end up with quite a few of them becoming available a few days later. It’s as thought there are little elves running around in the library’s database purposefully causing mischief.
2. Why do people review books they haven’t finished reading?
I keep running into people who talk about writing reviews for books they’ve only partially read, and I’m not talking about reviewers who found something so objectionable or triggering in the plot that they couldn’t bear to follow the storyline to the end. That is something I’ve had to do once or twice myself, but I’m always honest about why I refused to finish a particular story.
Some of them genuinely seemed to enjoy what they were reading, and yet they still posted reviews before finishing it. I am so confused by this.
3. Why do people get so competitive over their diet and exercise routines?
Okay, so technically the answer to this one is that they enjoy competition and that I’m missing a big piece of the picture since I don’t get the same satisfaction from that sort of thing.
Still, It boggles my mind to see folks arguing over which diet or exercise routine is superior. I’ve seen friends thrive on a wide variety of healthy living plans, for lack of a better term. Many of them contradict each other’s advice, and yet all of these friends are doing well on the paths they’ve chosen.
4. When will all of the holiday treats arrive at the grocery store?
My local grocery store stocks an unbelievable array of special chocolates, cookies, beverages, snacks, and other food items for holidays ranging from Hanukkah to Christmas. They start putting this stuff out before Halloween, and every year they fill nooks and crannies that I barely even noticed with displays with all sorts of sugary things.
There are several tasty, dairy-free products I’m still waiting for them to begin selling for the holiday season. I can’t help but to wonder if or when those items might show up on the shelves again.
I should warn you all that this isn’t the kind of cartoon that was meant for children. The jokes in it are adult-oriented and occasionally pretty dark.
But I loved the writers’ intelligent sense of humour in this show. They knew exactly how to take a current social issue, stretch it a thousand years in the future, and show how the characters in that time period would react to that idea in their society.
What is your favourite song right now?
Sia’s “The Greatest.”
I love the message in it about the importance of persistence no matter what you’re trying to accomplish. The beat is catchy, too.
What could you do for hours that isn’t reading?
I took swimming lessons so early in life that I barely remember anything about them or what it’s like to not be able to swim. I’m not particularly fast in the water, but I do enjoy this kind of exercise quite a bit. There’s nothing like feeling your body glide through a still, cool body of water or flipping over to float and stare up at the clouds (or ceiling, if you’re indoors).
What is something you love to do that your followers would be surprised at?
Organize small things like coins, rubber bands, buttons, paper clips, etc.
I find it soothing to stack everything up neatly and maybe even arrange it by some pre-determined system. For example: colour; the year it was printed (for coins); how often one can expect to use it.
What is your favourite, unnecessarily specific thing to learn about?
The symptoms of vaccine-preventable diseases that are either rare or unheard of in Canada.
No, it’s not an anxiety thing. I’ve only had one vaccine-preventable disease in my entire life. Since I caught it a year or two before the vaccine for it became available, it technically wasn’t even vaccine-preventable when it made me sick.
I simply find it interesting to see how quickly someone could become dangerously ill back before vaccines were invented for diphtheria, smallpox, and other horrors of previous generations.
Although I totally reserve the right to tell mildly alarming stories about life in the twentieth century to impressionable children when I’m old and more of these diseases have hopefully been eradicated for good.
What is something unusual you know how to do?
Befriend pets who are normally quite afraid of new people.
It’s not something I consciously try to do at all. I’m allergic to a lot of common animals, so I try to avoid contact with them when I’m out and about. Wheezing and sneezing are not my idea of a good time!
For some reason, this makes shy dogs and cats in general much more interested in getting close to me . Maybe it’s because they sense that I won’t reach down to pet them or otherwise invade their personal space?
Name something you have made in the last year.
I’ve started so many of them, but I’m having trouble finishing them. I really need to work my editing and rewriting of them this summer.
What is your most recent personal project?
Figuring out when to throw out old, stained clothes and replace them.
You see, I’m frugal, minimalistic, and an ardent disliker of shopping in general. If I can get a few more months or years out of a piece of clothing, I’ll gladly do that instead of look for a replacement for it.
For now I have more than enough clothing, but I can also see certain pieces of my current wardrobe steadily wearing out past the point of overlooking it. I suspect I’ll need to start paring my options down and replacing them with new stuff at some point this year.
This process always irritates me a little, but I get even more annoyed when I put it off so long that I have to buy many pieces of clothing at once. So I’m trying to decide if it’s less vexing to do several shorter shopping trips over the next six months or one or two big ones.
I suspect I’ll pick the former option, but I’m also guessing that I’ll wait until something actually wears out before I start this process.
Tell us something that you think of often
What other people think about when they’re doing something mundane like waiting in line, tying their shoes, or combing their hair in a public washroom. Some people wear their emotions on their sleeves in those situations, but others are hard to read.
I wish it were possible to hear the thoughts of people in that situation.
Tell us something that is your favourite but make it oddly specific.
I have an affinity for trees. They’re beautiful, and I find it soothing to listen to their leaves rustle during the warm parts of the year.
The temperature difference between standing in direct sunlight a large, mature tree can be huge during the summer. I’m always grateful for that shade and shelter from the sun when the weather warms up.
None of this is oddly specific so far, but that’s about to change.
You see, I’m literally a tree hugger. It makes me so happy to finally see green leaves after the long, cold winters we have in Ontario that I’ve occasionally been known to hug trees whose leaves pop out early in the season.
Instead of choosing specific people to tag to keep this meme going, I’m going to leave it open-ended. I believe it’s better to give people the freedom to opt-in than it is to potentially make them feel weird about opting-out.
Consider yourself tagged if you want to play along. Do leave a link to your post or let me know in some other way that you’re playing along, though. I’d love to know how you answer these questions.