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."