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Monday, February 20, 2012

Author Interview - Phoebe Wray

 Please welcome Phoebe Wray to the Far Edge of Normal. Phoebe Wray is a long-time nonfiction writer now writing in the specfic field. Her novel, JEMMA7729, is in print and will be released soon on ebook. The sequel, J2, will be released (print and ebook) by Dark Quest Books before March, 2012. A thriller novel, IN ADAM’S FALL, is forth-coming from WolfSinger Productions. She has stories in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Mag, Farthing, Fables.org, chizine, The Garden, and in the anthologies “No Man’s Land” (2011), “All About Eve” (2010) and “Backless, Strapless and Slit to the Throat” (2009). She's the past president of Broad Universe, lives in a small town outside of Boston, and teaches in the Theatre Division of The Boston Conservatory.

How can we find you?

Phoebe Wray on Facebook and on LiveJournal. I'm an indifferent blogger, but I'm trying to mend my ways.

Tell us about your writing - What genre do you prefer to write? What books, stories, other publications that you've written are your personal favorites? Anything new coming up?

I like writing speculative things--and lately that's been mostly sci-fi. I do some fantasy, but nothing that wanders into fae or sets foot in a dungeon. I completed a thriller "In Adam's Fall" last year that will be published by WolfSinger Publications next year. I enjoyed writing it: exploring a small town upset and threatened by a racially prejudiced killer. Most of my "stuff" is dystopian and futuristic. I like to imagine what's coming next.

What about you as a person? What do you do to relax? Favorite movies or tv shows? Hobbies?

I'm a teacher at The Boston Conservatory, teaching History of Theatre to undergrads and Cultural History in the grad school. I LOVE history of all kinds, and it's a pleasure to work with talented young people. They're smart, highly motivated, and beautiful, too, so I like to go to work.

Relax? What's that? Actually, I'm an avid bird-watcher, which always brings me joy and a sense of wonder and peace, even if it's just squabbling blue jays. I read, of course, all the time. In season, I garden, passionately but not always successfully.

My television habit spins mostly around news programs, although I rarely miss "Criminal Minds" or re-runs of "Battlestar Galactica."

What gets your creative juices going? Do you write to a music?

I get gob-smacked by an idea and then it twists and turns in my head until I get the first sentence--then I'm off and running. I don't listen to music while I write. I like silence, because (I think) I'm listening to what the characters are saying and thinking. They talk and think; I write it down.

The one exception to that is if I'm writing non-fiction; then I like Mozart in the background. My non-fiction writing is generally about the environment, or theatre. My two major interests. I worked for ten years an an internationally-accredited environmentalist, focused mostly on endangered species. I still care passionately about sharing the planet.

"All writers must have cats, especially if they write fantasy or speculative fiction." Do you have a stand on this one? Any cute pictures of your kitty or other pet?

As of this year, I'm down to one beautiful cat: the calico Jenny, who was born in my basement 8+ years ago, one of a little of four female ferals. At one time I had a poodle and two huge cats, all males. I took Jenny in, and found homes for her sisters. Now my gallant lads have all gone to the Rainbow Bridge, so its just Jenny and me. The "boys" all made it to 14 years, so we had a lovely lives together.

Yes, writers seem to like cats...for their beauty? their odd wants and needs? their (mostly) silent companionship? their silliness? the fascination of the cat mind? All of the above.

I can't be without the companionship of a non-human. I think they make me know I'm human. And, they're loving in ways nothing else living is.

What organizations do you recommend for those wanting to become writers? Any advice you'd like to share about writing?

I was one of the founders of Broad Universe which supports and encourages women who write genre fiction, and I'm very proud of its growth and the good work it does. It's a crock that women can't write sci-fi, for instance, no matter what some of the boys say.

What writers inspired you to become an author?

I've been writing since I could. I was an early avid reader, and it never occurred to me that I couldn't write, too. My parents were happily supportive of that. I had a 10+ year career as a journalist/commercial writer, but I was also writing plays (some produced in NYC, Boston, LA) and poetry (published a number of place). My early reading was mostly fiction (animal books, such as "Lassie Come Home" and history).

Any special appearances or events coming up that you want to mention?

The e-book version of my first novel, "Jemma7729", will be out before the end of March, along with its sequel "J2" -- both from Dark Quest Books. I'll be hitting the convention trail: Boskone, FogCon, WisCon, Readercon, etc etc. And doing whatever is possible to draw attention to this saga. It's a futurist, dystopian, action/adventure tale. The heroine of "J2" is the clone of the heroine of "Jemma7729." That's fun to write, and a bit challenging. J2 isn't her "mother" (as she calls Jemma) but there are--similarities, attitudes, a sort of "ghost in the machine" that requires writing discipline.

Thanks for stopping by. It's always fun to see how other writers think.