Dirty Dozen Author Interview T. M. Lakomy – Fantasy

I’m pleased to welcome back author Tamara Lakomy, who visited us in February and March with her new book.

Author name: T.M Lakomy (Tamara Lakomy)

 What first prompted you to publish your work? The characters have been germinating in my mind for years, I was always enamoured with ancient religions, specifically how they mirrored each other.  The insatiable desire of humanity for a messiah has influenced civilisation to a much larger extent than we believe. The desire to believe we are god’s children and precious souls is the core of our religious identity, and I wanted to challenge the blind dogma.

What have you found the most challenging part of the process? Not getting carried away with delving deep into the characters back stories and anecdotes, it is difficult not to fall so far in love with your characters that you could abandon the plot just to discover them further.

What are your views on authors commenting on reviews? I think it is very important for authors to support each other, because authors understand how hard the process is, and how much love and labour we have bled into the process.

Sort these into order of importance:

Great characters

Good plot

Awesome world-building

Technically perfect

How much research do you do for your work? What’s the wildest subject you’ve looked at? I have immersed myself since I was young in the old folklore and my academic archaeology studies merely furthered my curiosity.

At the wilder ends of my studies, the process of decomposition of a body, as in my second book I tackle necromancy magic.

How influential is storytelling to our culture? In my culture storytelling has been the backbone of our society.  It has been the passed down wisdom and storytelling that has kept the spirit of my people alive through conflict, colonialism and revolutions.  Stories bear the collective memory and moral code of a people.

If you could be any fantasy/mythical or legendary person/creature what would you be and why? Galadriel.  I would have done more to mitigate against Sauron in the early stages.  To be the voice of reason in Feanor’s life.

What is your writing space like? Cats lounging around happily, plenty of white wine, fluffy cushions and a view onto our garden. A desk littered with books and all sorts of random stuff.

Tell us about your latest piece? Sol Invictus – The power struggle between the Cult of the Sun King, seeking Apotheosis; man becoming God, aided by his faithful followers the Silver Brigade, to find his soul a vessel and the Shrine; the indigenous tribal magicians whose hoarded relics hold djinns powerful enough to thin the veil between life and death, holding the key to the forbidden necromantic Arts.

The impediment to the Sun King’s plan is the enigmatic Narya, a crime lord who forsook her guild education and the Shrine’s protection, shrouding her identity in mystery, and Maxilan the deadliest lieutenant called also the “White Devil”. Maxilan discovers his draw to Narya to be the fulfilment of his destiny; also his demise, resulting in him facing the reality of his purpose, the eugenics program that created him.

What’s your next writing adventure? Voice of the gods.  As a writer I have pushed myself to my limits.  I think it will be the most controversial work I have written.

Is there a message in your books? To encourage people to delve into their subconscious.  I am questioning the roots of people’s beliefs and the identities that are predicated on those dogmas.  Institutions and morality codes are built around creeds that have evolved from far more ancient sources.

How important is writing to you? It keeps my sanity in a world that does not make sense to me.

Bio

I am T. M Lakomy (Tamara Lakomy).  I was born in London, but grew up as a tribal girl in a North African repressive regime. I spent my childhood between the slums of Mellasine and the affluent neighbourhoods in Tunis.

I studied archaeology and became enamoured with the shamanistic practices of indigenous people.

I am an author and poet who seeks to challenge our notions of reality, and see life with a different perspective.

I work in East Africa with indigenous tribes studying the origins of mankind and the salient golden thread in the tapestry of humanity’s beliefs.

 

Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RedFernManor/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15558568.T_M_Lakomy

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Shadow_Crucible

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Crucible-Blind-God/dp/1590794141

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-shadow-crucible-t-m-lakomy/1124245404?ean=9781590794142

 

 

Fantasy, Science Fiction and Heroic Literature in our Society – Logan Judy

 Name:  Logan Judy

www.loganjudy.com

http://www.loganjudy.com/newsletter/

www.facebook.com/loganjudyauthor

http://twitter.com/loganrjudy


Location (as I am wondering if it is regional)?
:  Northern Indiana (Remington)

Bio: Logan Judy is a fantasy, science fiction, and dystopia author who began writing when he was 12 years old.  Nine years later, he published his first novel, Finding Sage, and the sequel a year later. He currently lives in Indiana with his wife Rebecca and her Don Quixote-esque guard dog, exploring new worlds and writing new stories.

How do YOU define fantasy/science fiction? Both science fiction and fantasy can be broadly defined as stories existing outside of our own present terms of reality.  Either you have science fiction, granting things plausible but not yet discovered or invented, or you have fantasy, existing outside of plausible reality altogether.  I love that definition because it leaves a great realm of possibilities open to us as writers.  So if I want to write fantasy, I don’t have to stick to wizards, elves, dragons, and vampires; I could create something entirely new!

If you’re a writer how do you portray heroism in your books? The hero as a literary construct has been given a very rigid definition by literary critics: a young person, usually male, who receives a call to action, rises through challenges with the help of a mentor, experiences a metaphorical (or literal) death and rebirth, then returns home to glory while having become a different person through self-knowledge.  It’s neat, clean, and defined.  I don’t like that about it.

When it comes to heroism in my books, I like to concentrate on one theme in particular: sacrifice.  There are many things that can make a hero, including bravery, strength, saving people, and conquering great things, but to me, a hero is someone who will sacrifice themselves for somebody else.  Beyond that, I like to leave it wide open.  So that might fit some or even a lot of those typical definitions, but it also leaves a lot of room open for stories that maybe haven’t been done before in quite the same way.  So you could have the aforementioned scenario, or you could have a young woman who sacrifices herself to save her little brother without the help of a mentor, and without a rebirth or return.  She’s every bit the hero that Frodo is.

It has been argued fantasy is full of ‘tropes’ – what are your views on this? It most definitely is . . . just like every other genre in fiction.  Nearly all romance has a formulaic progression to it, but that doesn’t keep A Walk to Remember from making me cry.  The book about small town wonders has been written scores of times, but that didn’t keep me from thoroughly enjoying Dandelion Wine.  There’s a logical fallacy in assuming that just because there are ‘tropes’ that there’s no originality within that.  Different writers can have different takes on the same ideas and concepts.  Dracula is nothing like Twilight which is nothing like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, yet all feature vampires, so that’s less a criticism than an acknowledgement of classic influences – or at least it should be.  In fact, some of the best and most exciting fantasy I’ve read in recent years have been interesting takes on classic tropes, as opposed to completely new inventions.

How important are ‘facts’ in fantasy/science fiction – does something need to be plausible to be believable? If you substitute the word ‘consistent’ with ‘plausible’ then absolutely it does.  But there’s a great deal of difference between the two.  In science fiction, for example, plausibility is a key part of the appeal.  Classic writers like Jules Verne and George Orwell were so successful because their stories were just close enough to reality to make us imagine that they could be prophetic.  But when it comes to fantasy, we have something different altogether.  That a dark lord could make magic rings and bind everyone to them in a land filled with elves, dwarves, halflings, and orcs is not plausible, and yet Lord of the Rings is enormously successful–because it is consistent.  The rules of the world make sense because of the willing suspension of disbelief.  So the premise of the world in science fiction and fantasy doesn’t necessarily have to be plausible, but internal consistency is non-negotiable.

What science fiction/fantasy has influenced you most?  What would you say the most influential writers/film-makers? I grew up on fantasy, particularly the Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings, as well as more contemporary works such as the Percy Jackson series, Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle, and the Star Wars saga.  But of those, I would only ascribe Lewis as a strong influence on my writing.  Since becoming a young adult, I have been progressively influenced by science fiction and dystopia writers, particularly George Orwell and Ray Bradbury (although the latter of those claims to have written only one science fiction novel, Fahrenheit 451, labeling his other works such as Something Wicked This Way Comes as fantasy).  I especially identify with Ray Bradbury; if you read interviews where he talks about his writing method, that’s exactly how I operate.

Fantasy, Science Fiction and Literary Heroes in Our Society Guest Post – Sharon Kae Reamer

Name: Sharon Kae Reamer

Location (as I am wondering if it is regional)? Expatriate American now living in Cologne, Germany.

How pervasive do you think fantasy/sci-fi is in our society today?  It is all-pervasive in the sense that most everyone has seen a SFF movie. But there are many people I meet who have never read a SF or fantasy book. For example, I know many people who’ve seen The Hobbit trilogy and LoTR films but have never read the books. I’ve encountered quite a few people who have told me, flat out, that they would like to read my books but that they don’t like fantasy. I don’t try to argue with them. To each his/her own.

Why do you think this is?  It suggests that genre literature, in particular, speculative fiction, is still not seen to be something ‘worthy’ as literature. Maybe in some sense it is still perceived as ‘pulp’ fiction or escapist literature. It is escapist literature, but I view ALL literature as escapist. Maybe because fantasy and SF are not perceived to have social relevance to the problems we face in today’s world (or even historically). But I think that’s a huge mistake in perception, at least from my point of view. If done right, the speculative genre can be a fantastic mirror to aspects of our culture on this planet.

Are these genres seen in a more acceptable light than they used to be? Yes, probably, but as stated above, mainly in the media of film and television rather than books. Although in YA, I think anything is possible these days. It seems to be the playground where speculative fiction is most highly tolerated.

What makes a ‘hero’? Would you say this definition is different within literature to real life? A hero is someone who has been forced to abandon his or her ‘normal’ life for a greater purpose, be it saving someone they love, a quest to retrieve a magical or scientific artefact for the force of good, or to battle against a negative force to save the world/universe, just to name a couple examples. There are many definitions of what heroism is or does. It can also be a small thing, like being faithful and waiting for someone to return even if there is no hope of it (Ulysses’ wife Penelope comes to mind here).

Ideally, I don’t see a lot of difference between real life and literature heroes, except that real life heroes do not have to deal with magical or science fictional type situations. Doctors Without Borders is a ‘hero’ in real life because they save people. Superheroes in fiction save people but on a much more extravagant scale. But DWB are superheroes to me in real life. J

If you’re a writer how do you portray heroism in your books? My heroine from The Schattenreich series, Caitlin Schwarzbach, will risk anything to save those she loves. To me, that is heroism. It’s a quiet kind of heroism. She doesn’t want to put herself in danger, but she does because she can’t stand the thought of anything bad happening to those she loves.

How important are ‘facts’ in fantasy/science fiction – does something need to be plausible to be believable? There are two famous quotes I think summarize the differences in how things work in fantasy and science fiction:

“Science fiction is something that could happen – but you usually wouldn’t want it to. Fantasy is something that couldn’t happen – though you often only wish that it could.” Arthur C. Clarke, 2000

“Fantasy is the impossible made probable. Science Fiction is the improbable made possible.” Rod Serling, 1962

In both SF and F, plausibility is a hugely important factor. Otherwise, we cannot take the reader with us. He/she will be left standing in the wizard’s laboratory/launch pad while we go merrily off alone (cackling madly and collecting cats) into the worlds we have built. As a reader, I have to believe that whatever is going on on the page is plausible, be it giant space worms or man-eating unicorns or intelligent slime mold. These things may or may not exist (i.e., they are not ‘facts’ in any sense in the world we live in at present), but if they are presented to be an integral and logical part of the world the author has built, in other words, plausible, then I will accept their existence in that world as ‘fact’ .

What science fiction/fantasy has influenced you most?  What would you say the most influential writers/film-makers? I came of age in relation to science fiction and fantasy reading in the early eighties. Many of those writers are ones that I still think of fondly. Isaac Asimov, Roger Zelazny, Ursula K. LeGuin, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Poul Anderson, Larry Niven, William Gibson, Lewis Carroll, Frank Herbert, Douglas Adams. Andre Norton, Marion Zimmer Bradley. I could go on for a long time. I don’t know if all their works would still hold up now if I read them again. But it doesn’t matter. They were influential in making me a reader of speculative fiction, and so remain very influential.

In relation to films, I’d guess T.O.S.S. that my parents let me watch (my younger brother was not allowed to watch it when the series first came out). I was riveted from the very first episode of Star Trek, and still love the concept. I instantly fell in love with the original Star Wars trilogy as well as the first three Indiana Jones films and simply could not wait for the sequels to come out. It was excruciating. There was also 2001, and a slew of others since then. There were also those weird fantasy/horror films, many or most of them black and white films, I remember from my childhood that influenced me a great deal (most of which I saw on television): The 5000 Fingers of Doctor T, The Haunting, all those monster movies, most of which I watched with my Dad – The Werewolf was probably the scariest to me – and Invaders From Mars, any Outer Limits or Twilight Zone episode, The Wizard of Oz, Godzilla and Mothra – these were all influential to me growing up. My Dad still enjoys trying to get me to watch films that will scare the crap out of me when I visit him. I’m usually a willing participant, but I sometimes regret it afterwards when I’m trying to get to sleep. The first film I ever saw in the movies was 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea with Kirk Douglas and James Mason which my grandfather took me to see. It made a huge impression on me.

Nowadays, the fantastical or science fictional movie has loads of special effects and is presented so realistically that if I were a kid growing up today, I’d be hooked on SFF all over again.

Fairy-tales, anthropomorphic personifications, mythical beasts and cultural fantastical persons are all about us – such as Santa Claus, St George, dragons and fairies – how vital are these for our identity? Are we who we are because of the myths our cultures hold? My Schattenreich series contains Celto-Germanic deities. Some of the deities portrayed and characterized are purely Celtic. Some have crossover status (i.e., they exist in both the Celtic and Germanic pantheons). My interpretations of these fantastical persons, as such, are vital to the identity and worldviews of the characters in my series. Because the religions I portray do not exist any longer in the modern world in their original form, I don’t really know how important they are to our identity. But because there are a large number of neopagan or modern pagan religions that use some of these divinities in their practice, I believe they have relevance to who we are, even if it is just in recognizing the god/goddess within us. Most of us who have some sort of northern European ancestry can probably relate to the fantastical portrayal of the Celtic and Germanic pantheon. This has continued from early historical times (i.e., during the late Iron Age) right up until the present. I don’t believe in any fantastical creatures, although I think they are important as they give us the means to learn something about ourselves and have formed the basis for our modern culture. In other parts of the world, ancient religions populated with one or more deities are still important to the identity of the cultures. And much of this representation is based on myths, even for the major religions (even those with only a monotheistic pantheon) of the modern world.

So I would say the answer to the second question is: yes, totally.

Here’s some links:

 

http://www.sharonreamer.com/ (website)

http://sharonreamer.blogspot.com (redirects to sharonreamer.blogspot.de)

https://www.facebook.com/sharon.k.reamer

https://twitter.com/sharonkae

http://www.pinterest.com/sharonkreamer/

 

The books in The Schattenreich series (published) are Primary Fault, Shaky Ground, Double Couple, and Shadow Zone. Forthcoming in summer, 2015: Triple Junction (final book)

Primary Fault has been honoured with a Indy B.R.A.G. medallion and Indie Book of the Day.

 

 

 

Fantasy, Science Fiction and Literary Heroes in Our Society – Guest Post Jacob Foxx

Name: Jacob Foxx

Location: Raleigh, North Carolina

How do YOU define fantasy/science fiction/heroism? I define science fiction as human experiences with the fantastic, where the fantastic has its roots in natural and physical laws. Something in our existing body of knowledge about the world provides the basis or explains the spectacular or fantastic thing in the story. To me, it doesn’t matter whether it is hard science, soft science, the future, the past, or an alternate reality, if it has roots in human knowledge, it is science fiction. Some things have a combination of science and fantasy, such as zombie and superhero stories. Both sit on the boundary of the genres. For those, you have to look at each on a case-by-case basis.

Fantasy is simply human experiences with the fantastic, where the fantastic is not rooted in natural or physical laws. It can be rooted in religious belief, mythology, spiritualism, or anything supernatural. There’s no need for an explanation of the fantastic, it simply exists. At the boundary are objects that might be real but are unproven or dismissed by mainstream science as fantasy. The writer might believe the object of their story is real. If the writer attempts to create a scientific explanation, no matter how improbable, it probably fits better in science fiction. If the author doesn’t make an attempt at a scientific explanation, I’d say its fantasy.

I use the word “root” as in foundation. The fantastic object or event must have its foundation in natural or physical laws, not its parts or some tangential relationship. A fictional dragon might obey the laws of aerodynamics or possess biological qualities similar to an actual reptile, but the creature itself is fantasy.

How pervasive do you think fantasy/sci-fi is in our society today?  Why do you think this is? Science fiction is extremely pervasive thanks to the increasing role of new technology in daily life, as well as advances in CGI and other special effects in movies. There are also an increasing number of people that work in the technology sector as opposed to factory floors or farms. Creativity and critical thinking are more highly valued in the new economy. From a societal standpoint, science fiction is a positive force because it encourages curiosity and open-mindedness. Most of all, science fiction makes us think about the future, whether just a few years or generations ahead. We could all do a little more long-term thinking.

Fantasy is enjoying a renaissance thanks to CGI. The biggest fantasy franchises are all classics from the 20th and 19th centuries that adapted to the big screen and television. A few decades ago this was largely impossible. Special effects just weren’t advanced enough for an epic like The Lord of the Rings. Modern filmmaking technology has given new life to fantasy stories, even ones as old as Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

I think fantasy is also growing rapidly due to increasing diversity of beliefs in the West. I’m not old enough to comment on society prior to the 1990s but my general impression is that older generations had a mild disdain towards the supernatural, pagan myths and fables. It was weird, and weird was shunned. There was a preference towards realism and relatable heroes of the day. Christianity was also the dominant source of allegorical tales and fables, which didn’t leave much room for others. American society has since grown much more diverse in thought and far more open to the fantastic. We live in fantastic times after all.

Fantasy and science fiction used to be seen as very male-oriented, do you think this is still the case. Do you have any experience of this? Science fiction is still male-oriented but not as extensive as before. Sadly, my favorite genre has been the slowest to adopt gender parity. Most science fiction authors are probably men, or at the very least an overwhelming majority of the bestselling authors. The gender breakdown among the readers is probably just as lopsided. Clearly science fiction is failing to appeal to half the audience. There are probably a few causes but it is something I hope changes very soon.

The imbalance has led to some other unfortunate trends in the literature itself. Many science fiction novels are somewhat misogynistic with male-dominated casts. Often there are only one or two female characters that aren’t portrayed in a positive or flattering light. They fulfil the limited role of the love interest. Many embody the adolescent male fantasy: doe-eyed nymphomaniac desperate for the affections of the hero. Such stories don’t appeal to female readers. As a result science fiction has yet to reach its full potential.

I am not as familiar with the fantasy genre but my impression is that it is far less male-oriented than science fiction. If anything, it has reached gender parity. There are plenty of female main characters that are quite compelling. A large number of fantasy authors are women, and probably a majority of fantasy readers. Some antiquated stereotypes remain but they are fading fast.

How important are ‘facts’ in fantasy/science fiction – does something need to be plausible to be believable? In fantasy, consistency is more important than plausibility. As long as a fantasy world has its own “facts” and adheres to them throughout the story, it works. Obviously, they don’t have to correspond with any real-world facts. Plausibility is rarely a factor. However, world-building is just as important to fantasy as it is to science fiction. The more fantastic the world, the greater thought needs to go into how everything fits together. Problems arise when the fantasy facts don’t seem to fit the world or don’t seem to give rise to the world the author created. If the world breaks down, the story breaks down.

In science fiction, plausibility is important but not essential. I used to think scientific plausibility was essential but often times a story is better served by playing a little loose with the science. Inaccuracies tend to drive hardcore fans nuts but I’ve become more tolerant of them as long as they aren’t blatant nonsense. My general rule is the closer a fact is to the central conflict in the story, the more plausible or grounded it has to be. Science fiction world-building also needs the same consistency as fantasy. Whatever new technologies or facts exist in the author’s universe, they need to have to fit within the overall setting. In other words, it has to be very clear how we got there. Here, science fiction has a smaller margin of error than fantasy.

How has science fiction changed from the days of Mary Shelley and Jules Verne? It is getting much harder to impress audiences these days. Mary Shelley and Jules Verne had almost no competition. Today, science fiction is a crowded genre. Theoretical technologies are now the norm, thanks to the maturation of the genre and advances in real-world technology. Shelley and Verne also used fantastic technologies to make social commentary. Sadly, fewer and fewer science fiction writers do this today. There seems to be a reluctance to challenge readers intellectually or to stimulate critical thinking on controversial issues. It may have to do with the reluctance to betray one’s own beliefs for fear of alienating readers. Shelley and Verne didn’t have mainstream ideas and certainly weren’t afraid to present unconventional perspectives.

Shelley and Verne also wrote about technologies that were truly out there. H.G. Wells was another that sought to see farther into the future than anyone had previously. Contemporary writers tend to utilize established sci-fi technologies already familiar to readers. There is also a strong preference towards familiar character archetypes and stories. Most movies are sequels or reboots of 20th century classics, or are adapted from old comic book heroes. This might be a temporary nostalgic phase, but as a whole, science fiction has lost some of its creative edge recently.

What science fiction/fantasy has influenced you most?  What would you say the most influential writers/film-makers? Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek has had the largest impact on me. It brought a positive and hopeful vision of the future but also presented the serious challenges we will face as well. Knowledge and critical thinking were essential to the success of Star Trek missions. In most conventional fiction, the protagonist triumphed through feats of physical prowess or tactical genius. Star Trek was about problem-solving and creativity. It much better resembled the major challenges of the real world. Most of all, Star Trek was about progress. It wasn’t about making the best of an imperfect world but finding ways to make it better. There were futuristic technologies of course but there were also new political, social, and cultural advances in Roddenberry’s future, many of which are those we aspire to today.

The ideals of Roddenberry were embodied in Captain Jean-Luc Picard. He was part commander, part statesman, part explorer, part scientist, and part philosopher. He is the ideal Starfleet citizen and a portrait of everything we could be in the future. The principles of the Federation, such as the Prime Directive were also impressive given that they applied to situations we have yet to face and probably won’t for centuries.

From a literary standpoint, Frank Herbert’s Dune is the best sci-fi novel I’ve ever read. The planet of Arrakis came alive in a way no other fictional world has for me. H.G. Wells and George Orwell have also been very influential. In terms of influencing the genre as a whole, I think the big three probably have had the greatest impact on science fiction: Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, and Arthur C. Clarke. More recent influences are Orson Scott Card, Michael Crichton, and William Gibson.

James Cameron is probably the most influential science fiction filmmaker of our time. Aliens, The Abyss, Terminator 2, and Avatar are classics that everyone should see. George Lucas, of course, inhabits a special place in science fiction.

 

Fantasy, Sci-fi and Literary Heroes in Our Society – Guest Post – Wade Garret

Welcome to Wade Garret, author of ‘extreme science fiction’ in the style of Dune. Today he talks about the influence and pervasiveness of science fiction and fantasy in our society.

At 33, Wade Garret is the youngest of three children (the only boy) born in NY, but raised in the southern United States. He’s married to a wonderful woman and has a convict for a dog. When not reading, writing or occasionally drinking at the pub, he can be found researching the latest comics or in the chair of his favorite tattoo shop.

Genesis is only the beginning for Mr. Garret’s epic Kingdom Come series.

@wadejgarret
WadeGarret@FB
Q) How pervasive do you think fantasy/sci-fi are in our society today? Why do you think this is?

A) They’re everywhere. As they should be. The people reading this can likely point to a dozen or more things in eyesight that have F/SF all over them: T-shirts, magazines, electronics, cereal boxes and so on. Honestly, lots of interests have learned to see $ where they didn’t before. The content has always been here, but with movies and TV driving it over the last few decades, it’s hit Warp Speed. Also, it’s cool to be a geek now.

Q) It has been argued fantasy is full of ‘tropes’ – what are your views on this?

A) So what? There are “tropes” in every genre. There’s common themes and archetypes in all fiction. The Hero’s Journey works for a reason. As a writer, you take those basics and make it interesting, worthwhile; the layers you build and the choices you make define how every story is unique and worth reading. Consider every epic fantasy you know. How different are they? How similar? Which one would you cast away because it came second, borrowing ideas or concepts from the first?

Q) Fantasy and science fiction used to be seen as very male-oriented, do you think this is still the case?

A) I could be wrong, but I don’t think so. I think the influx of YA stories have really impacted that model over the last decade. Anytime I walk into a bookstore I checkout the F/SF areas and discover a mixture of readers. In the YA areas, all female, all ages and the stories are F/SF. It’s great. I want my daughter to have a ton of options when choosing her next great adventure to read.

Q) How important are ‘facts’ in fantasy/science fiction – does something need to be plausible to be believable?

A) Most important. When you’re dealing with the Fantastic, believability is key. Once you build the framework for your world, the rules, you’ve got to stick to them. If you break or ignore your own rules, you better have a good reason, because if not, how is your reader going to 1) become a part of the amazing story you’re trying to tell and 2) feel w/e the emotion is you’re trying to impart to them as those rules come into conflict with the characters and the world?

Q) How has science fiction changed from the days of Mary Shelley and Jules Verne?

A) Only in that we have more material to work with which is now mundane, therefore, we must reach beyond the deep to inspire and mystify. Imagination is the real engine of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Considering what was once pulp content alone, separate from the flashy gadgets, odd gizmos or strange wizards with epic powers, I feel it’s now being taken seriously; the richness and depth is being respected. I love it, cause it means more people will experience it and pass it along.

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