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Ask An Author 3.0 #33



October is one of my favorite months, right behind November. While the temperatures are still high, I feel autumn coming. That crisp and chilly breeze, the layered fashion trends, and countless s'mores over a campfire... I can't wait! Then there's Halloween, which I thoroughly enjoy. It's the one day a year where I can blatantly ignore my job's dress code. The apron, appropriately dubbed "my little red dress" remains at home while I don some sort of wig or silly outfit. What will I be this year? I refuse to repeat myself, so I shall not be Austin Powers, Seth Rogen, or Johnny Cash[ier]. This may be the year where I shave my head and become Walter White from "Breaking Bad." 

But enough of my ridiculous ranting. You're here for questions and answers. Before y'all scroll down, I'd like to remind everyone to keep your eyeballs open. The anthology deadline has passed, which means they're going to post soon. From what I hear, the site proofing team has been sifting through some fantastic submissions. 

As for Ask An Author, I had the opportunity to sit down with resident author, @Refugium and give them the monthly anonymous questions. Let's see what they said:



29 Stories / 186,138 Words 


Regarding the series Stories from Old Photographs. Were you in search of inspiration and found the photographs, or did you come across the photographs and the inspiration took hold?

The photographs came first. My partner collects 19th-century photographs of men with interesting facial hair. I started collecting a little bit, too, and then the photographs activated my imagination. Sometimes it's the best compensation one can come up with for being born in the wrong century.


Several of your stories have a clear "tall tale" or folk story flair that is very enjoyable. Does that come from some place in particular?

It might be from a couple of sources. Some of my earliest sci-fi reading was Theodore Sturgeon's collection Beyond, in particular "Nightmare Island" and "Largo." Those are certainly in the tall tale genre. My interest in folktales increased through my Master's program in the Kodaly system, which uses folk songs as the first teaching material in elementary school. I also enjoyed Bruno Bettelheim's book The Uses of Enchantment, despite the great fall Bettelheim's reputation has suffered. Also, I cope better with fairy tales than with reality.


Do you have a beard?

I do have a beard. I have had a beard for most of my life since late high school. I have had a mustache for all of that period except for once when I shaved to appear as Edna St. Vincent de Paul singing my setting of Edna St. Vincent Millay's poem "The Singing Woman from the Wood's Edge."


Thanks for the interview, Refugium! See y'all next month!

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