Complementing my interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the four hundred and fifth, is of fantasy novelist S E Zbasnik. If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, take a look at author-spotlights.
You can find her on twitter as well as facebook, and hopefully not standing right behind you.
She has a degree in genetics, which means there may or may not be a horde of monkeoctopi doing her bidding to take over the world.
Bringing that scientific approach to the fantasy world is her game, trying to put some common sense into magic and magic into common sense.
She spends nearly of all her time in Nebraska but that’s because it is impossible to leave without finding the lamppost.
She lives in a house that has at least four walls and there are some other souls wandering forlornly calling to their lost lives within.
She loves and hates writing as she both loves and hates herself.
And now from the author herself:
I use fantasy a bit differently than others. For some, it’s an excuse to make a world where up is down and birds are our masters and overlords. I like to tweak an expectation, a norm in culture and see what havoc that wreaks on my characters. It’s all about messing with the characters. I love making some twisted and complicated characters.
Human foibles fascinate me. I want to know why people do what they do, what drives them. And if I can throw a dragon or two in while they’re having an existential crisis about accepting the unforgiving role of hero or fallen savior, all the better. (Note, I will never actually write a dragon story. To me, sending in a few soldiers to fight a dragon is comparable to five people armed with sticks attacking an aircraft carrier. I don’t see anyone getting out of that alive.)
Fantasy and sci-fi have a strange habit of dropping the little things that make up humanity. Sci-fi particularly tends to ignore religion unless that’s the entire point of the plotline. It seems strange to think just because humanity figured out how to travel to the stars, it would lose something that’s been around since we sat down and hammered out an alphabet. And fantasy treats its characters as paragons of virtues or sins who fell out of a renaissance fair. When all one is concerned with is claiming the crown it leaves little room for the foibles of humanity, apparently.
How does my writing process work? Let’s see, I begin with an idea. Usually it’s a small scene of two people having a conversation, reaction, or fight. I do a lot of action scenes in my head because, when in doubt, stab someone. That idealet blooms as I chase after why someone would act that way, what would push someone to make that choice, what consequences are there for the actions.
Then I start to fill in those pesky plot details, find the beats for action and respite, pick a setting; all the dressing for the side of the character salad.
Trolling baby name websites is one of the important stages. I suck at naming things; characters will go through multiple options before I pick something. Even then, names can change on a dime. Originally, Aldrin from The King’s Blood was named Andrin – a real name – but it took maybe a chapter before his name altered in my brain. It has to zing, to flow from the tongue. I’m very much in favor of you need to be able to pronounce whatever crazy fantasy names you make up for something, unless that’s the joke.
After that, it’s just scooping out all the ideas in my brain and ladling them across the page. Maybe then I’ll make a gravy to go with.
You can find more about S.E. and her writing via…
- Dwarves in Space website: http://dwarvesinspace.blogspot.com
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/introvertedwife
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sezbasnik
- Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/Sabrina-Zbasnik/e/B005DBF28Q
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