1. How long have you been writing and what got you started?
I think I was 11 or 12 when my adventures with Mary Sue-ism started, though I have a picture book I did for a Grade 2 assignment that is a pretty clear bellwether for what my writing style would become. I have no idea why I thought I could get away with writing (and illustrating!) a story about a young boy who is compelled to eat dead, rotting things in the forest before being himself eaten by a dragon, or why my teacher never had a quiet word with my parents, but there you go! Probably I was being bullied and writing was an effective way of venting.
2. What is the best piece of advice you have for new writers?
Grow a thick skin, not a thick head. If everyone is rejecting your stories for different reasons, you’re probably fine keeping things they way they are. If everyone is rejecting your stories for the same reason, you should probably look into that.
3. Are there any writing resources, such as books or websites, you’d like to recommend?
A writer friend recently introduced me to http://www.writingexcuses.com/, which has fun and informative 15 minute podcasts about everything to do with the writing process. I’ve used Deadly Doses, A Writer’s Guide to Poisons by Serita Deborah Stevens and Anne Klarner several times. And I love https://duotrope.com.
4. What is your favorite type of fiction and who are your favorite authors?
Horror, fantasy and Golden Age sci-fi, when cellphones were THE FUTURE! Many of my favourite authors have been stated by other people, so I’ll include a few that might have been overlooked: Peter S. Beagle, Theodore Sturgeon, Stephen Leacock (a Canadian humourist from the early 1900s) and Daniel MacIvor (a Canadian playwright who I have fangirled at and he probably doesn’t remember it and that is fine).
5. What tips do you have for finding time to write?
Give yourself an arbitrary deadline. Going to a show? Get there early with your notebook. Meeting friends at a coffee shop? Get there early with your notebook. It’s a really nice day and you should go inside and do laundry and clean the fridge and OH LOOK YOU HAVE YOUR NOTEBOOK SORRY CHORES GOTTA WRITE.
6. Do you prefer to outline a story in advance or write on the fly? Why?
I tend to write short enough fiction that I don’t find an outline necessary. Also if I outline a story densely enough, I find it hard to get motivated to write down the rest. If I know how it ends and how to get there, what else is left?
7. How do you deal with rejections?
Pretty well! Given how long it takes for the average story to get read and replied to, not to mention the interminable wait between acceptance and publication (and pay), getting any response is exciting.
8. What are your writing goals for the next twelve months?
Get as many publishing credits as possible so I can convince publishers that a one-author chronologically-told anthology of maturing mashed-up fairy tales is definitely what they want to buy.
9. For the next five years?
Haha, finishing the fairy tales.
10. Is there anything you’d like to plug? Feel free to share a link.
Since I don’t have anything particular of my own to share, I’m going to use this opportunity to plug my sister’s webcomic, http://www.waywardmartian.com/. It’s called “Harbourmaster” and it ‘has spaceships and genetic engineering and aliens, but mostly it’s about evolution and love.’ Hard to beat that.