by Will Viharo
First, an announcement: I’ll be wrapping up this series at year’s end. I’ve had the honor and pleasure of interviewing dozens of fantastic writers with varying voices, backgrounds, and agendas. It’s been a real education for me and hopefully for you.
I’m especially proud that I’ve been able to virtually chat with writers like J. David Osborne, whom I’ve never met in person, like most of this series’ subjects. I know him a lot better now, and I’m better for it.
It’s very instructive for writers to interact with one another and to feel a part of a broader community, whether online or in person or both. This way one doesn’t feel completely isolated from society, even if the act of writing itself is often like being stranded on a desert island, waiting for one's ship to come in.
Especially illuminating are the perspectives of those whose ship has sailed, but with them at the helm. They cast a beacon of hope for all of us left behind.
But then you discover that even popular authors like Canada’s Owen Laukkanen feel like they remain far, far from their desired destinations…
I wish I interviewed more female writers for this blog. I just don’t have as many in my social media circles, but I am working to change that. I feel it’s important to be inclusive when it comes to gender and racial identity in a world with such complex, eclectic demographics. But particularly in the arts, since that’s my ‘hood.
Lisa Brackmann did me the honor of answering a few questions. I say I’m honored because she is a true literary success and inspiration. She does her kind proud, and no, I don’t mean “women,” though she’s an emblem of strength in that department, too.
The link between academia and art has a lengthy, complicated history. While the literary establishment tends to elevate and reward those who “play by the rules” by formally studying before commercially practicing their craft, the fringe elements of the industry often praise and promote the independent rebels.
Then you have writers like Anthony Neil Smith, who keeps a foot planted firmly in both camps while doing his own thing his own way, earning respect from both publishers and peers.
Writers draw upon a variety of sources to fuel their fiction, whether it’s their real life experiences or popular culture or both.
For Canadian author/editor/publisher/all-around-good-guy Axel Howerton, it might be a combination, as it is in my case, or maybe he fully inhabits the creative worlds on both sides of his brilliant brain’s border between reality and fantasy.
In any case, we’re the beneficiaries of his boundless imagination.