I have a guest today — Well, two guests, actually. Author/Editor Sarah Glenn and Not Nathan Fillion.
Sarah’s Bio: Sarah E. Glenn, a product of the suburbs, has a B.S. in Journalism, which is redundant if you think about it. She loves writing mystery and horror stories, often with a sidecar of funny. Several have appeared in mystery and paranormal anthologies, including G.W. Thomas’ Ghostbreakers series, Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine, and Fish Tales: The Guppy Anthology. She belongs to Sisters in Crime, SinC Guppies, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and the Historical Novel Society.
Sarah edited two different newsletters and was a first round judge in Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine’s 2003 “Slesar’s Twist Contest”. More recently, she has been a judge for the 2011 and 2012 Derringers. Interesting fact: Sarah worked the Reports Desk for her local police department, and criminals are dumb.
The interview commences:
I tried to arrange for Nathan Fillion to do this interview with me, but he was unavailable. Instead, Elaine Dysart, one of the characters from my story, is going to ask the questions. She’d rather that Nathan Fillion were here, too.
ED: I’ll start with a basic question: Why did you decide to become a writer?
SG: Every writer loves talking about that, don’t they? Their disappointed relatives keep asking them why they’re crazy, so they’ve worked hard on giving a good answer. In my case: I loved reading from a very early age. More than one person I know had to keep me from walking into traffic with a book when I was young. Reading took me to wonderful places; everything from the jungles of Tarzan to the city of Amber. I grew up wanting to create something just as cool (we said ‘cool’ unironically in that decade). I can think of nothing nobler than transporting others the same way.
ED: With funny stories involving vampires, gargoyles, and at least one naked chicken?
SG: Who says you can’t be noble and funny at the same time? My own story focuses on an old-school writer struggling to catch up to the new technology. I’m sure it resonates with everyone of a certain age.
ED: A certain age indeed. Why did you make the hero a smoker?
SG: I didn’t ‘make’ him smoker. My hero just happens to smoke. Characters often develop traits ‘on their own’. As an author yourself, you know that happens.
ED: But you know how I died!
SG: You’re ethereal now; it can’t hurt you.
ED: I’m allergic.
SG: Not beyond the grave. And you’re wandering off-topic.
ED: Back to business, then. You decided to order the stories alphabetically by author. That’s a bit of a cop-out, isn’t it?
SG: Perhaps. A common practice is to put the ‘strongest’ stories at the beginning and end of the collection, then put the ‘weakest’ story in the middle. I didn’t want to do that level of editorializing, plus the collection has a great amount of variety in characters used and their dilemmas. There’s also the approach of putting the longest stories at the end, but that just meant that people like me would only bother with the first half of the book. I toyed with categorizing the stories under the subheadings of ‘Vampires’, ‘Zombies’, ‘Other Paranormal Creatures’ and ‘Critters I Tried to Google’, but even that wouldn’t have covered everyone. So I looked at the list of stories alphabetized by author and decided that it made for a better blend of so-called ‘strength’ and length. It also put my story in the middle, but I decided to be humble.
ED: On to the next topic. You’re a putative writer. What do you enjoy reading?
SG: I mostly read mysteries these days. I love the Gamache series by Louise Penny, and I’m hoping the CBC movie for Still Life will become available on TV or on Netflix. Currently reading A Test of Wills by Charles Todd, who is actually the team of Charles and Caroline Todd. I also enjoy reading Marian Allen, whose novels and stories are often… Strangely Funny.
I thank you for the shout-out, Sarah, and for this happy-making interview. I’d love to see Elaine in a cage match with Bud Blossom, but they might decide to tag-team us, and that would be so terrible we’d have to call in Uncle Phineas and the telescope from your ALL THIS AND FAMILY, TOO to help us.
Links to Strangely Funny:
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: A supernatural person or thing IS allergic to something.