I used my remote controlled hornets to chase Maggie Fiske into the winding tunnels. It took a little time to convince her that there was nothing in the basement and that she should go down the stairs on her own. Once she did, I slammed the door and shined the light in her face and interrogated her until she confessed…um…answered my questions. So without further ado, here’s this year’s Wicked Women Writer Challenge Winner…
Why writing? What drew you to it? Why do you continue?
Blame reading. Mom read to me every day. This sparked my imagination. So many wonderful hours were spent as a lonely only child with my cherished storybooks. When I figured out that I could make my own books, I was hooked. Even if I couldn’t write yet, I could staple together crayon drawings of my favorite fairy tales and songs into “kid books” to read to the teddy bears. As an “only adult,” I still feel the need to create stories to combat a solitary life.
If you were freezing to death and the only thing left to burn were the books in your library, what 5 books would you burn last? (And yes, everything else burnable has been burnt.)
- “A Confederacy of Dunces”—John Kennedy O’Toole
- “The Fermi Solution”—Hans Christian von Baeyer
- “When Harry Met Sally”—screenplay by Nora Ephron
- “Little Big Man”—Thomas Berger
- “The Martian Chronicles”—Ray Bradbury
What’s the most challenging thing you’ve done (in life or in writing (your choice))?
Here’s both. In life, it was consenting to shut-off my Dad’s life support systems. I never want to go through hell like that again. In writing, definitely the 2013 Wicked Women Writers Challenge, with its random assigned elements and the foreignness of podcasting. It was a real ass-kicker.
What’s one word or phrase that drives you nuts? Why?
“He’s just not that into you.” Ga-duh! How is that even remotely comforting?
Do you have a favorite character you’ve created? If so, who is it and why?
Jaxyn Garr, a female techie in my science fiction series, “Breeders.” She was the first character that I envisioned as part of the last surviving remnants of the human race. Jaxyn became so real to me that I dreamed she took me for a cruise in her space-rod when I was under anesthesia for dental surgery. That was some good shit!
Creepiest place you’ve ever been? Has it appeared in your fiction? Why or Why not?
Creepiest place, hands down, is the basement in the house on Emmet Street where I grew up. It was a tidy, finished basement, but something lurked there, watched me play as a child, and later produced some aural manifestations which still make my skin crawl remembering them. I was nearly three when we moved to Emmet, still sleeping in a drop-side crib and unable to escape. The first week there, my parents were awakened by my hysterical screams in the middle of the night. They found me unharmed at the bottom of the wooden steps in that pitch black basement. I have a vague memory of being carried there. The very next day Dad had the stairs carpeted. I’ve never written about this before. It just may pop up in some future story!
What’s the best rejection you’ve ever received?
It wasn’t so much a rejection as a failed acceptance. Years ago I sold a piece on the near-death experience to OMNI for their “Last Word” humor column. I got a nice check in the mail and ecstatically looked forward to publication my favorite magazine. They waited to run it, and in the interim, OMNI folded. Jilted by the press!
How did you get that scar?
Fleeing hornets in dairy barn in Idaho.
What song would precede your entrance into a room if we all had personal soundtracks?
“Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)”—Jimi Hendrix
Promote yourself and/or your writing
Alas, I have bupkis to promote. Watch for “Breeders” and an untitled Steampunk series in the future. Or stop by Nifty Bar in Omaha to hear The Potholders on the patio when the weather gets warmer. If we don’t know it, we’ll fake it.
Final thoughts before you run screaming for your life?
Always take a little bit of time every day to do what makes your soul happy.
Thank you, Ms. Fiske for that enlightening interview. The door is unlocked. you can leave whenever you’d like. The direction you take is up to you. If you hear anything following you, it’s just the resident blood-sucking stalker. But don’t worry, he’s just not that into you.