Monthly Archives April 2010

Author Interview with Gerald Costlow

My name is Gerald Costlow, and I am a writer of fantasy and science fiction. Over the past five years or so, I have had short stories published in magazines such as Shimmer and Flytrap, various webzines and anthologies still available at Amazon.com, and this year Pill Hill Press published my first novel, The Weaving 

Author Interview with Gerald Costlow

It’s rare to find an author who does nothing but write for a living. Do you have a ‘real’ job other than writing, and if so, what is it? What are some other jobs you’ve had in your life?

Gerald Costlow: Nothing particularly notable. I am a field engineer for a cable company. I did join the Air Force right out of High School and spent a good part of my early life kicking around the world, so I got to experience other cultures and left a lot of friends behind. That might come through in my writing. 

What compelled you to write your first book?

Gerald Costlow: As a lifelong reader and lover of science fiction and fantasy, I’d set one of my goals in life to writing my own stories and being published. I took some creative writing courses, joined some online critique groups, started with short stories, kept trying to improve my writing and eventually began to see a few short stories published. Once I thought I’d learned the craft well enough, I began tackling the novel format. My writing career is still a work in progress, of course. 

Have you always wanted to be a w...

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Author Interview with Matthew Moses:

My name is Matthew Moses and I currently reside in Louisville, KY. I am a graduate of Indiana University and currently attend clinicals at Jewish Hospital. I am well traveled having lived throughout the United States as well as abroad in such countries as South Africa, Ireland, and the UK. I am an unabashed sci-fi fanatic and technophile (my geek credentials are extensive), though I am also partial to classical history and mythology. I am also the author of two novels, Anti-Christ: A Satirical End of Days and Proxies of Fate

Most people tend to label me an outsider. I prefer to sit back and simply observe the world around me. Human interaction and motivation greatly interest me (enough so that I minored in psychology) and one of the best thrills is writing and seeing a character develop throughout the story. Seeing how intricate a web human civilization and the importance of interaction and the ripples that flow from those moments…that is what largely drives my writing. To me, a story is a journey; for the characters on the page, for the readers poring over it, and for me writing it. If a story fails to make you stop and think, then what was the point?

Author Interview with Matthew Moses:

It’s rare today to find an author who does nothing but write for a living. Do you have a ‘real’ job other than writing, and if so, what is it? What are some other jobs you’ve had in your life?

Author Matthew Moses: I currently work in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, KY. As for my list of prior jobs, it can be extensive. I was an assistant librarian, a public relations officer, a cinematographer for various low budget productions, and an actor (good luck finding any of my work). 

What compelled you to write...

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My Dog Likes Giggles

When I laugh, especially when I giggle, my dog, Jake (he’s a Blue Heeler/German Shepard mix), gets excited. He jumps and comes over and licks my face, even when I’m laughing at something other than him. He knows giggles mean fun and play and that laughter is happy and good. He gets happy too, wagging his tail, his ears perked up, and his eyes sparkle with what I can only assume is his own laughter. Dogs can’t laugh out loud, but I think they do on the inside.

When I’m sad, my dog, Jake, comes and kisses me by licking my face. When I’m crying, he’s gentle to me, licks me softly, doesn’t jump up on me. He will look at me with sad eyes, his ears slicked back, his tail down. He knows when I’m sad, even when I try to smile and play with him, when I’m sad, he doesn’t perk up to play. He knows.

Emotions are palpable...

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You Are My Television

I don’t watch television. I know a lot of people say that, but it’s true. I don’t watch TV. There are a couple of shows that I’ll catch now and again, usually on late night reruns when I can’t sleep. Not being able to sleep comes less frequently now than it once did, so I don’t watch nearly as much television as I used to watch, before.

When I’m alone, the TV is noise. It’s background and filler. It’s an overhead conversation, eavesdropping on melodrama, commercial jingles that stick in my head and refuse to leave, “What would you do-o-o….” to get this song out of my head?

It’s comforting, because it fills the quiet when I am alone. I feel like someone is here with me, talking to me. It fills in the lonely gaps during the day. It makes me feel like I’m interacting with someone.

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A Little Bit of Ugly

I’ve recently read a few articles, on the internet, that talk about whether or not writers should join networking groups, critique groups, writers forums, etc. Since I own a writing forum, I am curious and interested in these things. I have begun to wonder some whether or not joining a writers forum, if I didn’t own one, would be the right thing for me to do. I think there are many who use forums as an escape from writing, rather than a place to learn about writing. I suppose that’s OK, if and only if the writer keeps writing.

Another thing I’ve noticed is this: there aren’t a lot of best selling authors on writers forums. Whether that is by design or intention, I do not know. I mean, if a writer makes it big, do they simple resign from all forums and their presence among the lowly unpublished or woefully underpublished amongst us becomes a bane? If you became a best-selling author, would you still participate in writing forums? I wonder if, perhaps, its tel...

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Taoism, Taoist Philosophy, and Michy

I am a writer, a dreamer, a seeker. I’m also a believer, but telling you that tells you nothing of who I am or what I believe. Words, no matter how beautifully put together, fail when trying to describe the mystic wonderousness of the universe.

I’m a Taoist, by philosophy. Many people think Taoism is a religion, and there was a short time in which it was. However, what has been the most long-lasting is the Taoist philosophy. I took a class on Western and Eastern Philosophy in college, and I’ve been hooked ever since. That was over 20 years ago now. Taoism feels right to me.

Since it’s not a religion, perhaps you’ll indulge me a moment to explain what Taoism is to me.

Taoism is about balance...

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I Eat Potato Chips

I try to eat healthy foods—organic, mostly vegetarian, low-sodium, so on and so forth—aspiring to be a health nut but not quite there yet, but I do have one guilty vice. I don’t smoke. I don’t drink. I don’t really eat junk food.

So what’s the vice? Potato chips.

I don’t know why I like them. I’ve never really sat down and questioned it. I’m addicted, though, in the way a crack whore peddles her body to get more rock, I sell my soul for potato chips. It’s really quite embarrassing and completely melodramatic, but there you have it.

I cannot move past potato chips in the store without buying at least one bag.

Which wouldn’t be too bad, except, I take that ...

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Public Shame

So here I am, revealing in a blog that I’m pretty sure no one is reading yet, since most don’t even know I’ve created this blog yet, that I am entering contests and submitting things to some pretty lofty goal-ish places, like the New Yorker, Asimov’s and Fantasy Magazine. Hell, I plan to win a Nebula. There, I said it. It’s true.

Of course, we know if I don’t win, since I’ve put it out here on my blog, my shame will be public. Then again, that means the success will be public too.

I’ve submitted my novel WHAT BROTHERS DO to a few agents. The responses have been lukewarm to stock to nonexistent. I can’t say I’m not a little disappointed. I mean, I’ve read the book and I like it. That should be enough, right? Seriously, though, the people I have shared the polished version of the book with have been left speechless. One person started reading it, intent on reading a few chapters and then going to bed. I woke to an IM from her that she sent at five in the morning, reading, “Damn you, Michy.” She had intended to go to bed, but instead, had to stay up to finish reading my book. She cried. She said, also in the same offline IM, “I don’t now cry at books.” Then she damned me again.

So far, of the small circle of people I’ve let read this book, and they are my harshest critics...

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Faulkner-Wisdom Contest

I was informed today when the admins for the Faulkner-Wisdom contest confirmed my entry that the deadline had been extended until May 1st. This both bothers and pleases me. It bothers me because that means I will have to wait longer for the results of the short story, entitled Fated Family, to be announced; it pleases me because that gives me time to consider if I want to submit my novel-in-progress that I had originally planned to submit but hadn’t found the time to finish by the deadline.

For the novel-in-progress, they want an outline and synopsis and the first 50 or so pages, up to 12,500 total words, including the outline and synopsis. I had not finished the synopsis, because I haven’t finished the book, and I usually only write the synopsis once the book is finished. The reason? With characters like mine, anything goes. They never seem to do what I tell them to. I sort of consider myself an observer, not a writer, really. I create these people in my head, or else they come to me from some unknown universe or expanse, and then they start living their lives, and I, like the voyeur I know myself to be, begin writing their stories.

Along the w...

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Guest Blogger: Author Daniel Dinges

Why I Wrote Get Out of the Way
by Daniel Dinges

Get Out of the Way has to do with the passage of time. At sixty-three, the idea of writing stories about the Vietnam era became more and more attractive to me.

My motivation to write also came from my personal experiences in public high school classrooms several years ago. It is amazing what educators have done to contort the history of the Vietnam War and Sixties culture, with much of its value and relevance relegated to a few dry paragraphs.

The students in these classrooms, however, showed intense interest in what actually went on in the “old days.” We had some great conversations, and giving them primary source insights was a delight. This work attempts to provide an accurate, and close up view of what it was like to be a young adult in the Sixties and early ‘70s.

Perhaps the most important and simplest reason I wrote my first historical novel was to entertain. This story informs, makes you laugh, and perhaps brings you to tears.

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