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Monday, January 7, 2013

Author Interview - Voss Foster

Please welcome Voss Foster to the Far Edge of Normal. He's just released Tartaros and is giving away one copy to a lucky commenter. To enter, just leave a comment on any of the blog tour stops. Please include your email addy so we can find you.

January 2nd: Voss Foster :: Demon Hunting and Tenth Dimensional Physics
January 3rd: Frances Pauli :: Speculative Friction
January 4th: M. Pax :: Wistful Nebula
January 5th: B.B. Hartwich :: B.B. Hartwich Author Blog
January 6th: Adriane Ceallaigh :: Adriane Ceallaigh
January 8th: S. Evan Townsend :: Writer's Thoughts

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?

Fantasy. Fantasy fantasy fantasy. More specifically, what I call ‘light fantasy,’ since I don’t really have a better term for it (If anyone knows of an ‘official’ name for it, please tell me.). Fantasy that has no magic, or very little magic. Which I know sounds kind of insane and contradictory. But it’s what I like most of all. Not to say that’s all I write, of course.

Favorite? I don’t have a favorite. I don’t think I could.

Coming up? Well, for release, I have a short in ASIM coming either this month or next month and a story in Gears and Levers II (steampunk anthology). As for writing…well, I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ll say this: marionettes.

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

Relax…does reading count as relaxing if you’re a writer? I’m not sure if it does, but I do like to read. And I play online games like a fiend. And the singing. Ooooooh the singing.

I find that I don’t really watch my favorite movies much. They’re normally too heavy, like RENT or The Saddest Music in the World. But, for everyday watching, I like anything good. Although there’s a very soft spot in my heart for martial arts movies.

I actually do have a life outside of writing, which I realize makes me the oddity. I’m a part of the local Rocky Horror Picture Show cast and crew, I cook, I do photography, I belly dance, and, again, the singing. I’m always looking for singing partners.

What gets your creative juices going? Do you write to a music, and do you want to share your playlist?

It would be really hard to share my playlist. Each one is unique for the project, which is why I have about ten or eleven different playlists on the side of my player, with more being created.

"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?

Oh, I wish. Where I live now, pets are not allowed. Animalia non grata, if you will. But I used to have cats. Tons of cats. More than twenty. And I had a dachshund, Fritz. And I’ve sort of adopted dogs that aren’t mine. An ex’s dogs (and cats), and now my neighbor’s Peruvian Hairlesses…and this stray cat that sort of sits on my back porch.

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

I’d have to say make good use of the Internet, just in general. The Absolute Write Water Cooler, Preditors and Editors, and, one I’ve found recently, Piers Anthony’s listing of epublishers. As for keeping your spirits up, I have to recommend the Office of Letters and Light. All their resources for National Novel Writing Month and Camp NaNoWriMo, and even the Young Writers’ Program, are incredible.

Other than that, I’d just have to say to keep your eyes open, keep your mind open, and write. You’ll hear everyone say it, but only because it’s true. There are two things you really need to do to set yourself above the majority of aspiring writers (this isn’t my brilliance, mind you, this is advice I got, once): start something and finish something. You’ll be light years ahead of the vast majority of beginning authors.

What writers inspired you to become an author?

I never get this kind of question. Not once did I read something and think ‘I want to be like this.’ I had stories in my brain and started spewing them, and some of them started to stick.

But, if I had to guess which authors influenced me, that’s a little easier to answer. Early authors I read, like Rowling and D.J. Machale, and a lot of sort of ‘outdated’ books I’ve picked up in secondhand shops and tracked down in libraries: Phillip Pullman, Ursula K. Le Guin, Stanislaw Lem, Miyuke Miyabe…and movie/television writers as well. The first one that comes to mind there is Luc Besson, but I’ve definitely put some serious study into Ang Lee’s work and Robert Rodriguez’s work, too.

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

Well, there’s the release from a few days ago. And I will be at RADCon this year.

If you could travel to any time in history, when would you visit?

Either 1900s China or Mughal India. Or the height of German royalty, back when they were still building places like Neuschwanstein. Of course, this is assuming that they would be amazed by me rather than want to kill me.

If you could have dinner with any of your characters, which ones would you choose? What food would you serve?

I’m none too sure about eating with any of my characters. For the most part, they’re not nice people. Lots of killing and subterfuge and such.

If you could travel anywhere, on earth or off, where would you go?

I’m not great with picking. I’ve always wanted to travel the globe. The idea always appealed to me. It varies from day to day. The Hawkers’ Markets of Singapore, the castles of Germany, the temples of India, Thailand, Laos…basically anywhere in Asia, Russia for the architecture…it goes on and on and on.

What color would you wear if you had only one choice?

Grey. It works in business situations and casual, and it’s really hard to clash if you go out with somebody.

Describe your dream writing spot.

I’d need a really comfortable chair (not a couch) and an ottoman to rest my feet, plus a nice desk (I’ve always had a thing for rolltops). And the walls would be holographic. Actually, everything would be holographic, so I could change color at will. And there would be plenty of tea. And hot chocolate. Oh, and I’d have touch screen whiteboards for notes. And a door. With a big lock. And the walls would have to be soundproof, too.

I could go on, but you get the picture.
Excerpt from Tartaros:
Daniel rose to his feet and stared at Yolanda. Light shone from her eyes and mouth. Her muscles pushed against the skin. The blood from her cuts sizzled again as Daniel stared at her arm. The three slashes he made were already replaced with tiny scars.
Her muscles continued to bulge out. “Daniel?” Her voice, weak and scared, quivered from her throat. “Are you there?”
He heard sudden cracks coming from her body and saw her legs bend forward. Bits of bone fell from her shattered knees and floated around her. He rushed at her, but when he made contact, an electric pain raced up his arm. He flew back to the opposite wall and crashed into the window, sending glass shrapnel across the floor. He watched her body curl and tighten into a ball.
Rathbone crawled through the broken glass and threw a bottle into the fray. It shattered before it hit her and the contents, whatever they were, swirled around with the bone fragments. Yolanda’s blood crashed to the floor next and splashed into the whirling sphere in turn. Daniel couldn’t move, couldn’t even cry for terror. Panic paralyzed him as he looked on.
Yolanda’s form obscured behind the thin veil of blood and bone, soon disappearing all together. When he could finally move, Daniel dragged himself across the floor, pangs of agony sliding through him with every bit of glass that cut his body. He reached up to the ball of blood and pushed his hand through. A beam of light shot out of the puncture and bounced around the walls. He fell back to the floor as more light washed over his body. The sphere broke apart and blood spattered around the room, filling up the carved runes with bright red.
Then everything went blank and Daniel felt nothing
Voss Foster lives in the middle of the Eastern Washington desert, where he writes speculative fiction from inside a single-wide trailer. When he can be torn away from his keyboard, he can be found cooking, practicing photography, singing, playing trombone, and belly dancing, though rarely all at once. His first full length work, Tartaros, is out now through Prizm Books.

Twitter: @VossFoster
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