One of everyone's favorite blogs, back again!! It's the first Wednesday of the month, which can only mean one thing. It's time for another Ask An Author feature provided to us by Dark. If you have questions you want to ask your favorite authors, but don't want to ask the questions yourself, you can always send your questions to Dark for inclusion in the Ask An Author feature.
Ask an Author #41
Welcome back to another quirky question and answer session with your favorite authors!
In AtA #40, we had questions for authors Cole Matthews, M.A. Church, Riley Jericho, and Carlos Hazday
In AtA #41 we hear from authors Headstall, Mikiesboy, Sammy Blue, and Sasha Distan.
Promising Author and Canadian Headstall kicks off the blog this week. If I understand the story correctly, this author name comes from a particular piece of tack (for horses, oh ye whose minds went elsewhere… ). Not as spry as he used to be, Headstall has had some recent health setbacks, but there are many glad to see his return. Hopefully, the words will start flowing once more with the grace and fluidity that readers have become used to. In the two years Headstall has been with us, he has posted almost a dozen stories, most of them the multi-chapter kind. He’s also a poet; you can see his responses to the weekly prompts among his collection of works, as well as Headstall’s Reflections, a collection of random musings about life, the universe, and everything. Or, you know, a blog of sorts. If you’ve enjoyed this author’s work, have you tried Morningstar: The Malaise? This is Headstall’s first story about werewolves, and in his version, the pack is dying out due to a mysterious … malaise. The main characters must find a way to not only save the pack, but themselves. Is there a way to be happy together given the desperate need the pack has for more matings and pups? I leave you with these words from editor Timothy M: “Being a sifter is complicated, even without the malaise, and sorting out your feelings is difficult, especially when they are new ….”
To Headstall: How did it feel to have your first story take off the way it has?
When I first posted, I didn't know what to expect, from the readers or myself. The response was immediate and somewhat overwhelming, and I honestly expected the support would die down quickly. But it didn't, and to this day I'm still surprised, and now I feel honored and encouraged to improve with every single sentence I write. It's given me the confidence to try new things, like my songs, poetry, an anthology story and a story contest. I've written two other stories posted as serials since the debut of "Cards on the Table," and that is because of the support I received initially, and continually. I'm not quite sure why it took off the way it did, but I am thankful for it everyday, and I feel I owe the readers and
GA my very best effort every time I touch the keyboard. Cheers.
A big welcome to Author Mikiesboy, making his first appearance in this blog – but not the last, I assure you! He calls himself an ”abecedarian poet.” You’ll have to ask him what it means. Another Canadian, Mikiesboy hails from Ontario and is a big fan of fellow Canadian Headstall. I have learned to stay away from his GA gallery, because just looking at all that wonderful food makes me hungry, lol. Michael is one lucky guy. Read more about their real-life love story in Michael and Me. I’m not sure about that tomato soup cake, though, dunno if I’m adventurous enough to try it. This past April, Mikiesboy tried his hand at NaPoWriMo, which is the poet’s version of writing one whole story in only a month. It’s a daunting task, no matter how you look at it. Mikiesboy is very upfront with his past and you can see some of that in his written works. They’re gritty and real and will make you rethink parts of your own life. Having a huge sweet tooth, however, I find that my favorite story remains Dessert. David gets a second chance at finding love with a man from his past. They meet by chance, eat and talk, and some of his inner musings and realizations will give you a punch to the gut. Of course the sex scene is pretty hot, too!
To Mikiesboy: What inspired the characters you've created? Do people you know make you think of them, or is it situations you encounter?
I've been inspired by situations and people I know. I guess it depends which characters you mean. In my latest story Tait's experience is partly based on my mental health struggles, and some abuse I suffered when I was much younger, but once I know the character I can figure out how he'll react or act. Two of my characters came to me when I was using a prompt, but Faris and James, have a few traits borrowed from me and my husband. So I guess I'd have to say that my characters are one part imagination, one part experience, and a dash or more of me.
Youngster and Author Sammy Blue writes from Braunschweig, Germany. Recently, Sammy decided to translate one of his German stories into English. In the forums, Sammy explains some of the finer details making their way into his stories to give us non-Germans a better understanding of the culture belonging to his characters. It’s nice to have that background to ask questions about without the author feeling the need to write it all in the story itself. Sci-Fi writers are well-known for this. High Fantasy, too, can get bogged down with the details, not that you or I would ever do that, of course! LOL. But Sammy is perhaps best known for his work with Gemini. This is a story about teenage Josh and his crazy public school life. With 25 chapters now, we’ve really seen Josh grow into himself. And Jacob? That boy is amazing.
To Sammy Blue: Do you have a character that you've put more of yourself into than any others, and what qualities do you see yourself as sharing with that character?
Not particularly, at least not in Gemini. That might change with future stories, though.
However, I do share some sort of connection with all of my major characters. The reason is simple, really. When I am writing, I am usually using one of two methods, mostly even both in combination. The first is to 'envision' the scene I am writing, almost like a movie. If I'm unsure about something, I even 'replay' it a number of times with small changes to see what fits. This also helps me to narrate in a realistic way.
The other I mostly use when I write thoughts or some of the conversations. I try to really get into the 'skin' of the character I'm writing, to feel their feelings and think their thoughts. It takes some time to get psyched up enough for that, but it's usually worth it. Anyway, because I do this, I do have a pretty good understanding of what my characters feel, and I guess that is what I 'put' into them, and the connection I share with them.
Today’s 4th and final author is Author Sasha Distan. We last saw Sasha in ATA #36, about six months ago. Next month it will be a year since Sasha's profile was active, which makes the last status post more ironic: Apparently I’ve been offline long enough for my avatar picture to vanish… But for those of you who need your Sasha fix, you should know that I horded one last question and answer. I, too, have my fingers crossed that Sasha will soon return with more of that British snark we’ve come to enjoy, as well as a conclusion to Sanctuary, the fantasy story where the persecuted find hope and, perhaps, love.
To Sasha Distan: How do you keep all of your storylines from bleeding together when you have more than one story going at a time?
I have a great filing system!
My brain is a very compartmentalized place, and a bit like the filing system on my laptop, I'm very good at keeping the separate part of my life, and separate parts of my stories, very much apart from each other. Characters who exist in different worlds don't even talk, so for example I'd never have problems with Kurt and Tahryn having a chat and exchanging plot lines with Oli and Boris. The characters who do live in the same world, Kieran, Robin, Bay, Issac, and Zupan for example, are generally so self obsessed (or romantically obsessed) that they don't tend to interfere with each other. Generally writing two stories at once doesn't cause me many issues, but three or four can be more problematic.
That’s it for now! For more info on these authors, go check out their stories, post in their forums, and/or catch them in chat!
See you next time, with authors AQG, Nephylim, SkinnyDragon, and W_L.
I’m always in the market for new questions! Simply PM me (Dark).
Until next time!