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Writer, blogger, and winner of this year's Meager Puddle of Limelight Award for Best Book Title, Christine Lucas (aka silverwerecat), answers some probing questions about herself and her work, including her winning title, The Geometry of Time.

Congratulations on your recent victory. Which came first, the book title or the story idea?
In this case, the story, then the title. It also marks the last known appearance of my Title Muse. (Reward offered for any info leading to the capture for the AWOL Muse).

How many times did you change the title before you settled on the one you use now?
None. The story was still a vague outline in my head when the title hit me. Literally. It draws inspiration from a Babylon 5 episode, The Geometry of Shadows. An old VHS tape fell on my head while I was tidying up my bookcase. Since my story deals with a form of time-traveling, everything clicked in place then and there.

Tell us a little about The Geometry of Time. Is it finished/published?
Well, a rough blurb is finished, along with the outlines of the major characters, key scenes and the resolution. Knowing those characters, since they already feature in many of my short stories (some of them even *gasp!* finished and sold), I know they’ll go their own way once I start typing.

As a reader, does a good book title make a difference to you?
Yes, and no. A bad and/or cheesy title won’t win me over, that’s for sure.

What’s your preferred genre/wordcount?
Historical genres: Alt His, Historical Fantasy, Sword & Sandal, and everything in between. As for w/c, well, I can’t write flash. My stories won’t remain below 1000 words, but they also rarely go over 7000. Novels excluded.

What’s your current WIP?
Aside from the poor, neglected, Geometry of Time, I’m currently wrestling with an ancient Egypt steampunk story. Yeah…

Are you a pantser or an outliner?
I’m an outliner, but my characters are pantsers. Whatever I outline, they’ll go the other way. Especially the cats (duh).

What are your long term goals as a writer?
Win WOTF, become a full SFWA member, and finally finish the frakking novel. I wonder why the cats are ROLFing as I type this…

Tell us about your very first sale.
HELLCAT, sold to the now RIP UK magazine, Ballista. (Guess what it’s about. No, really). Inspired from my kitty Spitha, it follows an unfortunate monk’s adventure in Hell, where he’s forced to cat-sit for a demon. It doesn’t end well for him, but then again, he should have read the fine print before making deals with demons.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever heard?
Set goals. And then forgive yourself when you fail to meet them.

What’s the worst?
Adverbs/passive voice/present tense/whatever is EVIL and should be avoided at all costs.

What was the last story/novel you pitched/submitted?
MAKE NONE TO WEEP. In ancient Egypt, the High Priest of Anubis and his faithful (sort of) cat investigate a haunted house, where they learn the cost of innocence, faith, and forgiveness. Sold to Hadley Rille Books for their Quiet Shelter There anthology (profits go to the Friends of Homeless Animals shelter).

What was the last story/novel you read?
The Triangulation: Last Contact anthology.

Do you belong to a writing/critique group? Why?/Why not?
Yes, OWW and Liberty Hall. Also to Critique Circle, a while ago, but it was a huge disappointment.
I’ve found my regulars critiquers priceless, because, since I mostly write in historical setting, they offer me a valuable reality check when the setting details are overwhelming the story. And many of them are quite quick with (still) excellent feedback, especially when the submission deadline is OMG! in three days…

Where can readers find your work?
I have a list of my most notable publications in my blog/website, under “Short Fiction”.

Where on the web can you be found?
Here: http://www.christinlucas.com

What do you know now, that you wish you'd known when you first started writing?
That writing a cover letter in Standard Lolcat is probably a bad idea. Some editors are d*g people.
Also, developing your voice takes time. That story that looks like a masterpiece today, will probably look as though it slouched out of the cat’s litterbox in a year.

Is there’s anything I didn’t ask you, that you want to answer anyway?
Yes. English is my second language, and writing in a non-native language can be tricky. Not only because you have to think in a foreign language, but because during the polishing/critiquing phase, there are certain ‘helpful’ people out there who’ll rush in with their ‘advice’, because native English speakers are always right and ESL writers are always wrong. Tru Fax.

And, this year, I’m thinking of writing my NaNo novel in Standard Lolcat. Yeah, that’s my native language. Just ask my kitty Spitha and she’ll verify everything.

Who do you think would win in a fight, astronauts or cavemen?
The sabertooth tiger who’ll eat them all. Duh.

                                                  

Christine Lucas lives in Greece with an assortment of spoiled cats. A retired Air Force officer and mostly self-taught in English, she likes to explore through her writing overlooked parts of fantasy worlds, especially the lives of the animals that dwell in them. Her work has appeared is several print and online magazines, including Daily Science Fiction, Cabinet des Fées, the Aether Age and Footprints anthologies, Necrotic Tissue, and Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. Her short story DOMINION appears in Ellen Datlow’s anthology Tails of Wonder and Imagination from Night Shade Books. She is currently working on her first novel.


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Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
bogwitch64
Oct. 13th, 2011 08:23 pm (UTC)
Christine! Congratulations on your Puddle! You and I share a publisher in Hadley Rille Books.

Great interview, Jon! I didn't notice either one of your accents. :-P
jongibbs
Oct. 13th, 2011 10:01 pm (UTC)
Jolly decent of you to say so :)
silverwerecat
Oct. 14th, 2011 04:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Eric (from HRB) should have known that once you feed (or publish) a cat, they keep coming back. ;)
bogwitch64
Oct. 14th, 2011 04:38 pm (UTC)
Eric is always feeding strays. That's how he ended up with ME!
silverwerecat
Oct. 14th, 2011 04:40 pm (UTC)
And me, obviously. And my editor-on-lap too (see icon). ;)
msstacy13
Oct. 13th, 2011 09:19 pm (UTC)
The only Greek lolcats I could find.
jongibbs
Oct. 13th, 2011 10:01 pm (UTC)
Re: The only Greek lolcats I could find.
:)
silverwerecat
Oct. 14th, 2011 04:38 pm (UTC)
Re: The only Greek lolcats I could find.
Lol. That's awesome! *steals and runs*

In case anyone's wondering, "trikabalo" is slang for "three people mounting a motorbike". Of course, it has many interpretations... :p
just_ann_now
Oct. 13th, 2011 10:17 pm (UTC)
Excellent interview! Great picture!
silverwerecat
Oct. 16th, 2011 03:15 pm (UTC)
Thank you! And *sigh* that's me ten years ago...
silverwerecat
Oct. 14th, 2011 04:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you! And *sigh* that's me ten years ago...
celestialgldfsh
Oct. 14th, 2011 10:36 pm (UTC)
Great interview. I love that the title was inspired by an old Babylon 5 tape bonking you on the head. I've had B5 inspire some of my own work as well, though not in such a physical way.
silverwerecat
Oct. 16th, 2011 03:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you! (And may I applaud you for your, um, tasteful icon. :p

And B5 has been a great inspiration for me too.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

Things What I Wrote and Other Stuff

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there


No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there















 











THE MEAGER PUDDLE OF LIMELIGHT AWARDS


Books by my writer friends - compressed

NJ Writing groups - compressed

NJ writing conference - compressed

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