Sunday, January 20, 2013

Speculative Fiction Anthology

My first publication of 2013 came early, with the release of a new anthology of speculative fiction from StoneThread Publishing, entitled Things You Can Create. As part of the promotional effort for the anthology, I’ve been asked to participate in a “blog hop,” where I’ll join other authors featured in the anthology in answering questions about my work and linking you to their sites. Things You Can Create is available exclusively in electronic form. Before we get to the questions, let me direct you all to where you can buy the anthology. While it’s also available on Amazon, I encourage you to purchase it at a lower price director from StoneThread, using the coupon code LL29S for a 1/3 discount off the cover price.

Without further ado, the questions:

1. What is the title of your story?
“Clown Faces”

2. Describe your story in 1 sentence.
Two young women go to college to learn and love and grow and drink--only it’s clown college, and one of them might be a sociopath.

3. Where did you get the idea for this story?
I work in the kind of office that has committees for everything, including planning department birthday celebrations. One day, we each wrote words on strips of paper, crumpled them and threw them into the middle of the table. We drew random pairings of words to generate party themes. The words “clown prom” got me thinking about clowns in an academic setting. While the characters in “Clown Faces” don’t get to prom (at least within the confines of this story) those words nonetheless served as the seeds for Shanaran, Arabullonia, and the rest of the crew at Spiddledy Clown College.

And for those who might have wondered, we never did have a Clown Prom party. But Dinosaur Christmas and The Robot Fiesta were excellent.

4. If your story were optioned for film, what actors would play the main characters and why?
I hadn’t had these folks in mind when I wrote, but to approximate some Hollywood folks in the role, let’s say Jennifer Lawrence for Shanaran, Brittany Snow (as a redhead a la Pitch Perfect) for Arabullonia, Zachary Quinto as Galoofus, and Michael Caine as Professor Herumpumpum.

Excluding the faculty, it has to be a pretty youthful cast to pass for college students. I think the type of vulnerability Lawrence demonstrated in Silver Linings Playbook would be just right here. Snow is more of a gamble, but she'd certainly handle playful side of this role, and it would be intersting to see what she could do with the edgier part. Quinto could add some layers to a character that's, by design, on the "white bread" side of things. And, besides his professorial aura, come on--if I ever get to cast a film based on one of my stories, how can I not find a role for Michael friggin' Caine?

5. Who are your favorite writers? Why?
Recently, I’ve really enjoyed catching up on the works of Philip Roth and John Updike. Other favorites include John Irving, Michael Chabon, Jeanette Winterson, and Joe Hill.

6. What else about this story will enthrall readers?
Arabullonia studies at Spiddledy with a concentration in magic, and much of the story hinges on her legerdemain and disappearing acts. While Shanaran’s the character with whom I imagine most readers would rather be friends, as I wrote and rewrote the piece, it became increasingly clear that the story really belonged to Arabullonia and her magic.

There's also a lot to be said about characters who never see each other's faces without a coat of paint--what faces they choose to show one another and how those faces change over the course of the story.

7. What are you working on, now?
I’m working on a collection of interlocking stories about circus performers. The one I’m drafting now focuses on The Bearded Lady.

I encourage you all to follow the Things You Can Create blog hop.

Other contributors posting today:
Dawn Knox, BE Seidl

Contributors posting next week:
Diana Swift, Don Braden

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