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Friday, December 21, 2012

From The Next BIg Thing To The End of The World

For me, the week that was supposed to conclude with the end of the world began with The Next Big Thing. I'm featured on Tracie McBride's blog, which she calls Exquisite Corpse. Fitting in a cosmic sort of way.  I'm a fantasy writer so them ghosts, zombies and vamps don't scare me none. An apocalypse is just another opportunity for a story. 

If it really does occur, nothing will matter anyway. Nothing. Not how many stories you've written or if you are traditionally or self-published. Or if the novel is done or it isn't. But my belief is you have to keep moving forward because, as the tragic events of last week point out, you never know when your number is going to come up and some lunatic is going to turn your workplace into just another live violent video game. For the families and friends of the victims of all of this year's senseless tragedies, the world came to an end  a long before today.

I live on the edge, always too busy, too stressed, and too close to neighborhoods where gun and gang violence is so routine the shooting at one NYC Public High School last week didn't even make the news because no one died. Even though none of those I know and love in Newtown were hurt, my Christmas spirit is near death.

Last Wednesday, a rare sunny day, the fact I got to go to the bathroom and eat lunch at work, and that I avoided all measure of parking and traffic gridlock nightmares lulled me into a sense of  hope. I began this post in Starbucks on East 9th Street in Greenwich Village, sipping a tall skinny vanilla latte, nibbling a tomato and mozzarella panini, before heading to Fantastic Fiction at the KGB Bar.

I should have gone home to do homework, and paid for it with two almost all-nighters to hand in my assignments due before the world ended. There is a lot of holiday work still to be done but it seems a waste of energy to bake cookies and wrap all those gifts (bought online and still in the boxes) if no one will be in any condition to eat them or open them

The future seems grim, well with massacres every couple of months, catastrophic flooding on a regular basis, blizzarding in October and pouring rain in December, and people still arguing that violent images and games have nothing to do with this and climate change is a myth. So why should I not enjoy Mary Robinette Kowal reading and puppeteering? 

I don't scare easy. So, if the end does come it will have to be absent my older son since I don't want to die in traffic going to pick him up from school in the middle of yet another flooding rain and windstorm. Getting the Noah's Arc analogy yet? My middle son got home early, not wanting to met the end of the world on a Megabus speeding along the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Like in Pompeii, if it happens in NYC today, those Amazon boxes piled in a corner will be mini time capsules of a civilization who ignored the warnings and blissfully bought new iPads and iPods, and paper books, and pretty clothes for their little daughters instead of repenting or running for their lives.. Depending on the time of day disaster strikes, I might die doing my life's work-- taking care of kids in a New York City public high school with scanners and metal detectors and an average of three ambulance calls a day. Because most of the kids are great and appreciate the care and service and maybe I've left my imprint in time by helping a few out along the way. Would like to think so. But I'd rather be with my husband and pretty daughter and son # 2--if he's not out celebrating the apocalypse with his friends.
If we're all still here Saturday, we'll go food shopping, get the last few gifts, bake those cookies, make the gingerbread house, wrap the presents, and put up the tree.

Apocalypse or not there isn't anything you can do, nowhere you can run. Just gotta keep moving forward. In the end, if it comes in one big bang, a shower of bullets, an accident, or simply dying of "natural causes" how much money you have or how many fancy toys or baubles you possess won't mean a thing. Nothing but what you did with your life, no matter how long or short, will ever matter. Nothing else. Nothing..

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Next Big Thing

Thanks to Rayne Hall  for inviting me to participate in The Next Big Thing. This week, I'm swapping with Tracie McBride, a fellow Ten Tales author. 

Welcome, Tracie!

I must confess, I’ve done this before, but with a focus on a different WIP, and on my own blog. Speaking of which, thanks also  for kindly offering to host me on your blog. I look forward to returning the favour.

What is the working title of your next story?
In my “Under Construction” file, it’s called “Into Darkness”. I promise to come up with something more interesting for the final version.

Where did the idea for the story come from?
The inspiration for this story came from the Maori myth of Hine-nui-te-po, the Maori goddess of night and death.

What genre does your story fall under?
Dark urban fantasy shading into horror.  Or perhaps it’s the other way around.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Johnny Depp for The Husband (‘cos, you know, he’s Johnny Depp).  It would probably be someone relatively unknown for The Wife. I’m thinking a young and innocent Morticia Addams.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of the story?
Love, sex and death; that’s all there is, all there was, all there ever will be. (OK, I know, that’s not so much a synopsis as an oblique teaser.)

Will your story be self-published or represented by an agency?
This story has been solicited by Crystal Lake Publishing for inclusion in their debut anthology, “For the Night is Dark.”

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your masterpiece?
Still working on it. Impossible for me to say what the actual time spent on it will be. Some stories take a day, some a week, some a month, or some, like this one, might percolate for half a year.

What other stories would you compare this story to within your genre?
I’ll tell you when I’m finished it! ;-)

What else about your story might pique the reader's interest?
It’s going to be in fine company in “For the Night is Dark”, alongside stories by fellow Australian authors G.N. Braun and Daniel I. Russell, respected British authors Gary McMahon and William Meikle, king of bizarro Jeremy C. Shipp, and a whole heap of other great horror writers.

Who’s next to answer to be interviewed?
It would only make sense if I invited the aforementioned authors –

G.N. Braun
Daniel I. Russell
Gary McMahon
William Meikle
Jeremy C. Shipp
And a bonus invitee, Joe Myrnhardt, who is the head honcho at Crystal Lake.

* * * *

Tracie McBride is a New Zealander who lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and three children.  Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in over 80 print and electronic publications, including Horror Library Vols 4 and 5, Dead Red Heart, Phobophobia and Horror for Good. Her debut collection Ghosts Can Bleed contains much of the work that earned her a Sir Julius Vogel Award in 2008.  She helps to wrangle slush for Dark Moon Digest and is the vice president of Dark Continents Publishing.  She welcomes visitors to her blog at