1. On a scale of one to ten, rank your current level of insanity–where ten is belongs-in-lunatic-asylum insane–and tell us why.
Since I’m currently writing, it’s about… 8. Not quite needing drugs. Usually it’s more like 6-7: “charmingly nuts” to “a bit on the bizarre side.” I get pretty isolated while I’m in the intense writing mode and the combination of living in the characters’ heads, trying to problem-solve on the fly, getting grumpy from lack of human contact, and hating to have to do all the other chores on top of that makes me snappish and unpredictable–with bouts of paranoia and neediness punctuated with babbling. Not to mention “teh lazy.”
2. Is it just me or is Seattle looking like a popular place to set urban fantasy fiction?
Not just you. I saw a couple of reviewers note the trend and I think there’s something to it–the same thing that kind of kicked off my own thought processes to create the “Harperverse”: this place is nuts. Let’s face it, the combination of odd, cold, often misty weather with weird streets, old to eclectic architecture, funky history, and a population that tends to the… umm… eccentric set among geography that tends to isolate people into contained populations is bound to breed some weirdness. I think the local writers just expand on the natural surreality of the place. Gotta love a town with a troll under the Highway 99 overpass. Must have some affection for a state with towns called Cosmopolis, Moxee, Sequim (pronounced “skwim”), and Vader.
3. Many authors choose to create their own supernatural creatures. Others stick to the tried and true. Last but not least, there are those who mix it all up. Where do Greywalkers come in?
That’s all right. I’m a mixer-upper. I made up the Grey and Greywalkers, but there’s always been stories about people with the ability to talk to the dead or see what others can’t, so it’s not totally original core material. It’s just the spin I chose to put on it that’s different–I hope. I like to look at legends and myths and extrapolate out from there, but I do “just make it up” sometimes, too.
Hey, I’m an author–”making it up” is my bread and butter. You know what Lawrence Block said: “Telling Lies for Fun and Profit!”
4. It’s a little urban fantasy, it’s a little science fiction, and why not throw a little mystery as well?
I read everything and I don’t see a point in trying to keep all my faves separated, so it wasn’t strange to me to blender them all up. Oddly, it was the mystery I really wanted in the first place. The rest snuck in while my back was turned and ran amok. I just started out to write about a detective who worked for ghosts and things just took off from there. I like mysteries–they have a nice structure that adapts to all kinds of settings, characters, genre conventions, flights of fancy and insanity, and whatever you have to throw in there. Good kitchen sink stuff.
5. What do you love and hate most about living on a boat?
I love the freedom to leave a place and take my home with me. I like going places and seeing stuff, but I don’t always want to live out of a suitcase. What I hate is the cold, wet conditions in the winter and the mildew. I’d love to spend the winter in Costa Rica or some place like that. With cabana boys and drinks with little paper hats!
6. Why is it that so many writers have cats?
I figure it’s so the writers have something to act as companion that doesn’t really demand a lot of their attention–and washes its own socks. Cats are independent cusses and though they may be affection fiends sometimes, it’s never for very long before they want to go lie in _that_ bit of sunshine over there and not be bothered with the silly human any more. Kind of like writers themselves.
Except for my cat who’s 19 this year and has become a loud, demanding old bastard. But that’s OK–the ferrets keep him in his place.
Now for something a little different. Kat’s giving away a copy of Poltergeist, or Greywalker if you haven’t read it. To enter the drawing, discuss:
It’s kind of amusing to me that when the topic of Urban Fantasy comes up the first name on people’s lips is Laurell K. Hamilton and everyone else is classed as an “emulator” or “imitator” of hers. That’s unfortunate since it not only assumes we all write like Hamilton–which we plainly don’t–but it doesn’t give due credit to the people who cracked the niche open ahead of Hamilton: Mercedes Lackey, Charles de Lint, Tanya Huff, Diane Duane, Will Shetterly, and Emma Bull. Urban Fantasy doesn’t require that the story feature a gun-totin grrl who has sex with vampires, only that there be a realistic modern setting in which fantasy–usually the darker parts–is a major element of plot with some mystery and or romantic threads to give the stories structure over a long arc.