Wednesday, August 14, 2013

5 Questions with Catherine Lundoff

Catherine Lundoff is an award-winning author who lives in Minneapolis. I see her at conventions every once in a while (and even sat on a panel with her, once!) and she's always willing to chat and share her advice. I am quite jealous of her past careers, since she was once an archaeologist as well as a bookstore owner - things I've dreamed about doing in the past. Ahhhh, well... Anyway, thank you Catherine for answering my five questions!

1 – What’s your latest book about?

My latest book is called Silver Moon (Lethe Press, 2012) and it's about menopausal werewolves. It's also about coming out on multiple levels, being middle-aged and dealing with drastic change. And sympathetic female monsters, because I love me some monsters. On the ground level, it's the story of a woman named Becca Thornton, who finds herself turning into a werewolf right after she enters menopause. She joins the local pack, which is composed of women of “a certain age,” and ends up helping them fight off some self-appointed werewolf hunters. Book 2 is in progress.

2 – Who's your favorite author and/or what's your favorite book?

You know, that varies from month to month. A random sample of favorite authors: Jane Austen, Lois McMaster Bujold, P.C. Hodgell, Elizabeth Peters and Alexander Dumas. Since Barbara Michaels/Elizabeth Peters passed away this week, I'll pick The Golden One in her honor. I do so enjoy her Amelia Peabody novels, with their not quite fantasy elements and Amelia's parasol.

3 – What's your favorite aspect of writing?

I love most aspects of writing: the rush of inspiration, gradual development of a story, finishing a story, the first couple of rewrites. Okay, the last few rewrites, maybe not so much favorites. But it’s a huge thrill to see the completed story emerge from the mass of verbiage around it.

4 – Any good anecdotes about being a writer?

Back when I started out, I wrote a fantasy story and sent it to a prominent editor who had a series that I admired. I got a form letter back that informed me that said editor "did not accept stories that made me want to lose my lunch." Four months later, I submitted a version of that same story for a residency application and it got me a three-week long writing residency with sf legend Samuel Delany. So all that stuff that people tell you about editorial tastes varying greatly from one editor to another? It's all true.

5 – What was the most helpful writing advice you've ever received?

"Dial it back on the commas and adverbs." Or possibly "You have a fair number of semicolons in the story. This is not a semicolon story." Or "Kill your darling children."

But from writing as career standpoint, "Pick a day job that you like because you'll spend most of your time there, and it will leave you more energy for writing if you're not miserable."

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