Monthly Archives: May 2018

Author Interview: Stephen Zimmer

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Today I am interviewing Stephen Zimmer, author of the new sword and sorcery/dark fantasy novella, Depths of Night, first book of a new novella series of stand-alone tales following the adventures of Ragnar Stormbringer.

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DJ: Hi Stephen! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Stephen Zimmer:  Great to be back with you and your readers!  For those that don’t know me or what I do just yet, I am a writer/filmmaker based in the heart of Kentucky.  I write primarily speculative fiction, with published works in fantasy, epic fantasy, sword and sorcery, cross-genre fiction, steampunk, horror, and, very soon, young adult!  

Among other things, I enjoy broadcasting and am a regular podcast host on the Star Chamber Show on Blog Talk Radio.  I also founded the Imaginarium Convention, an annual convention that takes place in Louisville, KY themed on all-genres of creative writing.  

My interests are wide and varied, ranging from martial arts, to good Kentucky bourbons, to film, reading, travel, music, and cats such as the wonderful Dubious, who is a member of my immediate family (he even has his own Facebook and Instagram pages!).  

Above all, I’m a laid-back guy who puts 150% into my work and gets up each day with the goal of taking another step forward, no matter if that step might be large or small.

DJ: What is Depths of Night about?

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Stephen:  Depths of Night is the first published Ragnar Stormbringer Tale.   It is about Ragnar going on a sea raid to the lands of the Petranni, who are inspired by ancient Celtic cultures.  When Ragnar goes ashore, they find that the tribal people have abandoned their homes and taken refuge in a large fortress.  The story is about Ragnar’s discovery of the reason for the tribe’s abandonment of their homes, and his response to it, which brings him up against fearsome adversaries.  This is a tale that involves lots of action, supernatural elements, and plot twists.

DJ: What were some of your influences Depths of Night and the series?

Stephen:  Depths of Night and the other Ragnar Stormbringer tales bring out influences of mine such as Robert E. Howard and David Gemmell, both of whom are masters of heroic fantasy fiction.  I have a lot of influences as a writer, but these tales are definitely centered around an iconic, heroic figure, and as such they reflect my love of Howard, Gemmell, and perhaps even a little R.A. Salvatore too!

I should also mention that my readers were another influence for the decision to go forward with this series, as I wanted to be able to bring more stories to them in between my larger novel releases. Continue reading

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Author Interview: David Keck

2040D016-DE0C-4F3D-94DE-CFB3ECA53A64Lisa (@ Over the Effing Rainbow), Jorie (@ Jorie Loves a Story) and imyril (@ One More) are delighted to bring you WYRD AND WONDER, where they plan to celebrate all things fantastical throughout the month of May!


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Today I am interviewing David Keck, author of the new fantasy novel, In the Eye of Heaven, first book in the Tales of Durand series.

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DJ: Hi David! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

David Keck: Big picture, I’m a prairie Canadian. Winnipeg is where I grew up, and it’s still the place I think of when someone asks about “home” although I’ve been living in New York City for fourteen years. Somewhere along the line I got hooked on science fiction and fantasy. I remember watching Star Trek reruns after school, and playing Hoth in the snow drifts. I will also confess to playing Dungeons and Dragons too much at high school.

I did a degree in writing at the University of Sussex and snuck off to climb around castles and henges as often as I could. I am not sure how many tombs and towers and mossy stones I’ve seen. (An Ordnance Survey map can be your best friend). Now, I’m a teacher in a Washington Heights middle school. Life can be astonishing. Oh, and, when I grow up, I also want to be a cartoonist! (I love drawing monsters and things, and a few have appeared in professional spots over the years).

DJ: What is In the Eye of Heaven about?

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David: In the Eye of Heaven is the story of a real, rust-and-muscle knight who backs into the center of a civil war full of mad dukes and sorcerous horrors. It’s the first book in a trilogy, and it sees our hero, Durand Col, miss out on an inheritance and make some terrible mistakes as he tries to find his own way. Without giving away too much, Durand earns a place in the retinue of a young man who hopes to prove himself as a tournament hero. Before the end of the novel, the half-war of those early tournaments leads Durand and his friends deep into the politics that tear their nation to pieces.

DJ: What were some of your influences In the Eye of Heaven and the series?

David: I’m a huge reader of actual history and folklore. I’m deeply interested in how people actually lived and died–and what they believed while doing it. My bookshelves are crammed with the stuff. So, when I turned to writing In the Eye of Heaven, I brought with me all of the eerie folktales and grim histories I’d been reading. In some ways, what you get is an antidote to an Arthurian romance. You will find uncanny places and ancient sorceries, but the men and women you meet must deal with broken bones, grumpy horses, and at least one scrape with medieval dentistry. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Nancy Springer

2040D016-DE0C-4F3D-94DE-CFB3ECA53A64Lisa (@ Over the Effing Rainbow), Jorie (@ Jorie Loves a Story) and imyril (@ One More) are delighted to bring you WYRD AND WONDER, where they plan to celebrate all things fantastical throughout the month of May!


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Today I am interviewing Nancy Springer, “legendary fantasy writer” according to Publishers Weekly, author of long-awaited mythic fantasy novel The Oddling Prince .

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DJ: Hi Nancy! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Nancy Springer: Well, I’m almost seventy years old, but some things haven’t changed since I was a child. I get a lot more pleasure out of seeing a giant swallowtail butterfly than having a new bracelet. My idea of a good time is wading up a creek, especially if I find a salamander. I like to go off by myself on foot or a bike or a horse to explore the backwoods. I’m contrary; for instance, a lot of people loathe snakes, but I like them. I’ve always been an oddball. Being a social misfit gave me a difficult childhood, but now it works very much to my advantage as a writer, which has been my profession for my entire adult life. There are times when I am lonely because, as a self-employed individual, I don’t have co-workers, but thank Mothergod for my family – two brothers, two grown children, and my husband, who is my rock.

DJ: What is The Oddling Prince about?

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Nancy: Two heroes and the bond between them, which should surprise none of my longtime readers, because just this sort of thing has been a frequent theme in my writing. Why? Because vivid, compelling, almost frightening daydreams along those lines have obsessed me most of my life since I was fifteen. The first fantasies I wrote, which were also my first novels, always had two noble heroes, faithful comrades, one dark, moody, poetic and visionary, the other sunny and prosaic, gallant and steadfast. In hindsight, I can see I was working out profound psychological problems — but interestingly, the compulsion to fantasize ceased sometime after I met my second husband, the love of my life. Still, a good while later, I wrote THE ODDLING PRINCE because of one last daydream I’d kept in memory, a tale of a seemingly ordinary prince and his oddling double. This time, however, neither of my heroes is dark and moody. Devoted to each other, both are tall and fair-haired, looking nearly as alike as twins. This time the grim, stormy element comes from someone with authority over them, the king. The result is a fraught triangle of turbulent loyalties. This book is about a love worthy of legend, valor in battle, fealty threatened by jealousy and suspicion, a seemingly doomed quest for the sake of brotherhood, and the dangers come in so many forms…forgive me for being so vague. I don’t want to let go a spoiler. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Bethany C. Morrow

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Today I am interviewing Bethany C. Morrow, author of the new science-fiction novel,  MEM.

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DJ: Hi Bethany! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Bethany C. Morrow: I’m a speculative literary writer, writing both adult and YA market fiction; I’m a recovering expatriate originally from Northern California, but I’m not particularly invested in recovering so I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if it doesn’t take.

DJ: What is MEM about?

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Bethany: MEM is about an imagined past in which scientists were able to extract unwanted memories, and those extractions resulted in…beings identical to the people who had the memories taken out. Typically those extractions simply housed the memories, but then along came one Mem who was a lot more. MEM is about what it would be like to be her.

DJ: What were some of your influences for MEM?

Bethany: I don’t know if there are influences for MEM, other than my recollection of the spectacle of Dolly the Sheep. Once I know my character, my desire is to follow their trajectory in the world in which I’ve both placed them but which also has to inform them. In the sense that none of us are born or formed in a vacuum, what doesn’t influence us? Continue reading

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Author Interview: Deborah A. Wolf

2040D016-DE0C-4F3D-94DE-CFB3ECA53A64Lisa (@ Over the Effing Rainbow), Jorie (@ Jorie Loves a Story) and imyril (@ One More) are delighted to bring you WYRD AND WONDER, where they plan to celebrate all things fantastical throughout the month of May!


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Today I am interviewing Deborah A. Wolf, author of the new fantasy novel, The Forbidden City, second book in The Dragon’s Legacy series.

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DJ: Hi Deborah! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

Deborah A. Wolf: My pleasure! Thanks for having me back.

DJ: For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Deborah A. Wolf: Aw, I’m just your run of the mill ex military, martial arts studying, horseback riding, single momming, fishing, adrenaline junkie fantasy nerd.  😉

DJ: What is The Forbidden City and then The Dragon’s Legacy series about?

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Deborah: It’s about young people coming of age and having to correct the mistakes of their elders, while fucking the world up anew. It’s about friendship and love in the face of disaster. It’s about power imbalance and abuse, the absolute absurdity of war, gender norms… and, most especially, it’s about dragons.

DJ: What were some of your influences for the The Dragon’s Legacy series?

Deborah: Growing up in a mostly Athabascan village in the middle of Alaska, immersion in the Arabic language and cultures, and a passion for Tolkien make for a very potent brew. Also, George R. R. Martin basically gave me permission to really fuck my characters up, so blame him.

DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers with sympathize with them? 

Deborah: I love all my characters. Each of them is imperfect, and flailing through life as best they can. Sometimes they fuck up, and those fuckups can have terrible, irreparable consequences, but they keep trying. Jian, for instance, lives in a slave empire and is constrained by his half-dae heritage to become a member of Sindan’s elite military force, but he tries to create a small bubble of safety and normalcy for those he loves. Sulema is dragged into politics when all she wants to do is ride her horse and be a warrior for her people, but she tries her best to live up to her new responsibilities. And Hafsa Azeina really is trying to kill fewer people. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Tyler Whitesides

2040D016-DE0C-4F3D-94DE-CFB3ECA53A64Lisa (@ Over the Effing Rainbow), Jorie (@ Jorie Loves a Story) and imyril (@ One More) are delighted to bring you WYRD AND WONDER, where they plan to celebrate all things fantastical throughout the month of May!


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Today I am interviewing Tyler Whitesides, author of the new fantasy novel, The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn, first book in the Kingdom of Grit trilogy.

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DJ: Hi Tyler! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Tyler Whitesides: Hi! Thanks for interviewing me! I live in northern Utah with my wife and son. I’m the author of two fantasy series for young readers, JANITORS, and THE WISHMAKERS. ARDOR BENN is my first venture into fantasy for adults. I’m so excited!  

When I’m not writing, I love to get out into the mountains near my house and enjoy hiking, skiing, and fly fishing. I studied music in college (specifically percussion) and I still try to play as often as I can. I’ve always been cursed with an overabundance of interests, and you know what they say about a jack of all trades…

DJ: What is The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn about?

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Tyler: The story centers around a con man, Ardor Benn, who calls himself a “ruse artist extraordinaire.” After years of successful heists, he’s hired by a priest for his biggest job yet – to steal the king’s coat and crown. To do it right, Ard needs to play the long game, consulting with expert criminals as he and his team infiltrates high society to gain access to the king.

DJ: What were some of your influences The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn and the series?

Tyler: I love smart heist movies and tv shows such as Leverage, and White Collar. I wanted to capture a similar feeling in a fantasy world. I also love the complexity and unique nature of the magic systems in Brandon Sanderson’s books, so I definitely found some inspiration there as well. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Jason Mott

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Today I am interviewing Jason Mott, author of the new dystopian novel, The Crossing.

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DJ: Hi Jason! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Jason Mott:  Hi, DJ! First off, thank you so much for taking time out to interview me. It’s pretty exciting! So…as for telling you a little bit about myself, well, I’m never really sure where to start. I’m actually a huge introvert and kinda hate talking about myself. Haha! But I’ll do what I can.

I live in Southeastern North Carolina in a little town called Bolton. I like movies, racing, video games, and writing. Writing is what I love both. I’ve been doing it for a long time now. I’ve got a Bachelor’s degree in fiction and a Master’s degree in poetry. Back in 2013 my first novel, “The Returned,” was published and became a bestseller. (Still one of the greatest moments of my life!) That novel was also turned into a television series called “Resurrection.” The very next year I wrote another novel called “The Wonder of All Things.” That one has been optioned by Lionsgate and, hopefully, will become a movie.

And now my third novel is about to come out. It’s called “The Crossing” and is due out in a few weeks. I’m really excited about it!

DJ: What is The Crossing about?

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Jason:  The Crossing is the story of a pair of twin siblings, Tommy and Virginia, as they make their way across America in the hopes of viewing a rocket launch in Cape Canaveral. But this isn’t America as we know it. Not anymore. In this world there is a mysterious disease that’s quickly wiping out the population and, as a result, there’s essentially a third world war happening. Tommy has been drafted into the military and this trip with his sister is the last time the two of them will get to be together. So, in addition to dealing with the disease and the war, Tommy and Virginia are struggling to understand what it will mean to be apart from one another for the first time–especially when they know that they’ll likely never see each other again.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Crossing?

Jason:  Hmmm. That’s a tough one. Honestly, a lot of the influence has been the news. That may sound dark, but it’s the truth. The news cycles have become so sad, scary, and depressing that I think we’re all struggling to process it. I turn on the news each day and I just feel overwhelmed by it all. And when I get that feeling, I immediately try to think of what I can do to help ease it. For me, that’s writing. So I wrote a novel that helped me process things and, at the same time, I hope will help readers do something similar. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Kathryn Troy

2040D016-DE0C-4F3D-94DE-CFB3ECA53A64Lisa (@ Over the Effing Rainbow), Jorie (@ Jorie Loves a Story) and imyril (@ One More) are delighted to bring you WYRD AND WONDER, where they plan to celebrate all things fantastical throughout the month of May!


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Today I am interviewing Kathryn Troy, author of the new fantasy novel, Dreams of Ice and Shadow, second book in the Frostbite series.

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DJ: Hi Kathryn! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Kathryn: Hi DJ! Thanks again for having me back! For people who don’t know me, here’s the run-on version: I have a B.A. in history even though I love literature and cinema too but when I went to law school I didn’t like that so I got two more degrees in history and wrote a nonfiction book about ghosts but when I decided to become a baker I realized that what I really wanted to do was write romantic fantasy. I still have day jobs (a few of them), but I’ve been writing fiction for a few years now, and can’t seem to stop producing more of my favorite things, which include dark fantasy, romance, horror, and a smattering of historical fiction.

DJ: What is Dreams of Ice and Shadow and then the Frostbite series about?

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Kathryn: Dreams of Ice and Shadow picks up right where the first book, A Vision in Crimson, left off. Luca is on the outs with the love of his life, Katelyn, because he’s decided he needs to track down his father alone, so that Kate won’t do something impulsive with her magic that will end up hurting her. To keep herself from going crazy, Katelyn decides to join Alaric over in Likhan and help him start a revolution, but there’s just as much danger there. Twice as much if you consider that Alaric has the hots for Katelyn, always has, and now she’s hiding out in his room.

As far as the series as a whole is concerned, it’s a lot of things, genre-wise. It’s undoubtedly romantic fantasy, but there are also hefty doses of Gothicism and adventure, with some slight horror and weird fiction undertones. The series’ trajectory will take it into more solid fantasy territory, and deal more with mysticism and origins for the world, the source of Katelyn’s powers, etc. If I had to define the arc of the Frostbite series in a nutshell, it would be the perils of Icarya told through the eyes of a couple in love. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Stephen R. Lawhead

2040D016-DE0C-4F3D-94DE-CFB3ECA53A64Lisa (@ Over the Effing Rainbow), Jorie (@ Jorie Loves a Story) and imyril (@ One More) are delighted to bring you WYRD AND WONDER, where they plan to celebrate all things fantastical throughout the month of May!


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Today I am interviewing Stephen R. Lawhead, author of the new fantasy novel, In the Region of the Summer Stars, first book in his latest series: Eirlandia.

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DJ: Hi Stephen! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Stephen R. Lawhead: Hi, DJ. It’s a pleasure to be here. I’ve been writing professionally for over 30 years, so many readers will already know that most of my books tend to be placed on the fantasy and science-fiction shelves of the various bookstores. For anyone curious about the more mundane details, I usually direct them to my official website: http://www.stephenlawhead.com, or my Facebook page.

DJ: The title of this new book, In the Region of the Summer Stars …. I think I remember a book by that name, and it’s about King Arthur. What gives?

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SRJ: Actually, I think maybe your book is called Taliessin Through Logres and The Region of the Summer Stars. I have it, too, in fact. (As well as an old vinyl LP by an Irish group called The Enid.) These are two brilliant epic poems by the genius writer Charles Williams. For me, that phrase conjured up the sort of Otherworld feel I wanted for Eirlandia and, fortunately, there is no copyright or trademarking of book titles, so I felt free to use simply because it’s such a beautiful and evocative phrase, and one I repurpose and put to good use in the story.

Eirlandia is set in the great golden age of Ireland’s mystical past—part history, part fantasy, but totally inspiring. It is loosely based on the kinds of events, characters, culture, and life you find recorded in Ireland’s legendary Lebor Gabála Érenn, or more often called, The Book of Invasions which records a seeminly never-ending series of invasions of the island by various tribes and races—including faéries, and the Tuatha Dé Danann. Both of these folk come to the forefront in my tale. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Ryan Habermeyer

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Today I am interviewing Ryan Habermeyer, author of the new short-fiction collection, The Science of Lost Futures.

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DJ: Hi Ryan! Welcome back again for another interview

For readers who aren’t familiar with you or may have missed our previous chat, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Ryan: I’m a professor at Salisbury University. I did the academic route in becoming a writer. MFA from UMass-Amherst and PhD from the University of Missouri. Scholar and fiction writer. As a scholar, my academic interests are in transnational fairy-tales and comparative mythology. I teach courses on folklore, myths, monsters, grotesques, etc. My fiction traverses some of that same territory, exploring that which is weird, bizarre, strange, otherworldly, cryptic, absurd, uncanny, spectral or otherwise inexplicable. A rather mundane personal life story, I’m afraid. Which probably explains why my fiction is so attracted to the surreal.

DJ: What is The Science of Lost Futures about?

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Ryan: The book is a series of short stories I wrote over a thirteen-year period. Predominantly what we would call literary fiction, though the stories certainly have porous boundaries with genre fiction. There’s a lot of strangeness in these pages. Townspeople who discover a gigantic severed foot washed ashore on their beach. A woman collapsing inside the black hole growing on her shoulder. A former Nazi adopted as a household pet. I think of my characters on the fringes of experience: confronting circumstances alien and quotidian, absurd and grotesquely heart-wrenching; characters haunted by the pasts they can’t escape and longing for uncertain futures just beyond their grasp. That sounds eloquent, so let’s go with that description.

DJ: What were some of your influences when writing The Science of Lost Futures?

Ryan: There’s a kind of reciprocal influence between what I teach as an academic and what I write. So obviously cross-cultural fairy-tales and mythologies influence my work, albeit in indirect ways. I don’t write revisionist adaptations of oral narratives—like, say, Angela Carter (whose work is wonderful!)—but oral storytelling influences my writing style. It’s more of trying to capture that mood, that affect, that ambience of the folkloric tradition. Often there are allusions to old tales. Like stories within stories. With more contemporary fiction—my tastes tend to skew international. Kafka, Borges, Calvino, Bruno Schulz, Bohumil Hrabal, China Miéville, Nalo Hopkinson. And lots of Russians. I love the Russians. Bulgakov, Nabokov, Ludmila Petrushevskaya. Those writers challenge me, surprise me, provoke me. I suppose my brain has had an orgy with all those writers and my collection is their illegitimate love child.

DJ: What kinds of stories can readers expect in the anthology?

Ryan: I write my stories hoping they rest uneasily between genres. So there are echoes of science fiction, echoes of mystery (I think); elements of domestic realism mingling with fantasy. There are some pretty horrifying things that happen to characters, but not “horror” as a genre, per se. I’ve been told my stories are magical realist, but I like to classify my stories as fabulist, which I think is a more encompassing term as they evoke more antiquated modes of storytelling like I said before. Readers can expect a lot of absurdity, a lot of sudden and fantastical metamorphoses, but also trying to interrogate the reality of these intrusions of fantasy on everyday life. I suppose I’m trying to find the human moments within the absurd, the grotesque, the weird. I want to make you laugh, I want to make you cringe, I want to punch you in the heart. Continue reading

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