Where Writers And Authors Meet Interviews:
Marian Allen was our Featured Spotlight author last week and visitors were encouraged to ask Marian some of their own questions! Here is a link to that Spotlight! Feel free to ask more questions, and we might just be able to get Marian back for a follow up interview!
Have you ever written a story with a beachcomber in it?
Tartarus, one of the characters in my fantasy series, SAGE, does a certain amount of beachcombing. I really haven’t, though. How remiss of me! I shouldn’t be so selfish. Just because I can’t do it, doesn’t mean I can’t let somebody else have some fun.
Stephen Ward asks:
Ever tell a close friend their husband was cheating on her?
Only my imaginary friends. They don’t take it well, and they behave very badly.
Are your characters based on people you know or just made up?
Some of each. None of my characters are entirely people I know, but bits of people I know often find themselves as parts of characters. What surprises me is when somebody I know asks how I knew such-and-such about them, when it’s something I invented that just happened to hit one of their nails on the head.
Does science fiction explain the government?
The government is too strange for science fiction. Only quantum mechanics could come close.
How simple or complex is your plot for any given story?
They all start out the same: There’s this person, and then a thing happens, and then it’s over. The rest is elaboration.
The simplicity or complexity depends, more than anything else, on number of characters. Each character is leading a life, and all the lives cross at various points, but they’re each the main character in their own stories. If they need to be in a certain place doing a certain thing as part of my main characters’ story, that has to make sense from the point of view of each character, not just the main ones. The more important the character, the more important those backstories are and the more complicated the plot gets.
When you have a nightmare do you shrug it off or scream holy hell and wake up everybody on your street?
I usually take charge of it and rewrite it so it isn’t a nightmare anymore. Truth.
How do you define fantasy in your stories?
That can be a blurry line. If a story is set in a world in which unicorns are members of the horse family, is that fantasy or science fiction or something else? I define fantasy by feel, I suppose; if it feels like fantasy, I call it fantasy. If anybody wants to disagree with a label on any of my work, I won’t argue.
Ever have an intimate encounter with a foreigner?
In real life, I have not, but I’ve had some interesting imaginary moments with Jean Reno.
You wake up and find yourself in a POW camp in WWII. Your fellow prisoners are involved with spying and ferreting people out of the country. The commandant and his sergeant are harmless buffoons. Do you get involved with the spy stuff or just take it easy until the war ends?
I distract the camp staff by organizing a weekly variety show featuring me doing a Marlena Dietrich impression. They never notice that people disappear from camp EVERY WEEK during the show.
Virginia Lori-Jennings accidentally sends you the manuscript to her latest book “Five Nights in Moscow”. Do you let her know she f–ked up or do you publish it your self?
I do a search-and-replace and change “Moscow” to “Llannonn” and publish it as a sequel to my sf/cop/comedy, FORCE OF HABIT.
Have you knowingly ever given the wrong directions to a lost motorist?
No, but one of my characters is going to do that now. I know just the one, too.
You get kidnapped in Bulgaria and are then sent to Pakistan to slave away in the poppy fields for the rest of your life. Back home your family ramsacks your possessions, Does it annoy the hell out of you?
Dude, I am knee-deep in POPPIES! I don’t even remember that I have possessions.
At what point do you pronounce your work complete?
When I cash the check.
A good looking person comes up to you at an airport and says they have read one of your books. Do you picture them naked?
I will, now. Thank you for that brainworm.
Jo Linsdell was on the cover of Vogue (America, Italian & Egyptian editions) True or False.
If it isn’t true, it should be!
What was the first thing you ever wrote and shared?
I think it was a heartfelt poem about Easter. My mother beamed and said, “That’s cute, honey!” I was crushed.
Do you write every day?
Everything is about writing. Even when I’m not actively typing words to form a story, I’m writing in some sense, because I’m storing incident, dialog, sensations, impressions, and interactions. It’s allwriting.
Will you ever publish a recipe book?
If I did, it would be the shortest recipe book ever.
Soup: boil stuff
Salad: don’t boil stuff
Can you write a 200 word bit of fanfic using Puff The Magic Dragon here?
Clouds of Witness
Tony strolled in, a goofy grin on his face, scanning the high ceiling. His colleagues, Tim McGee and Ziva David, exchanged glances.
Ziva was the one to ask, “What are you looking for, Tony?”
“I’m looking for McGeek. He was so high yesterday, I figured he was still up in the rafters.”
“I wasn’t high,” Tim said. “I was just … a little … elevated, maybe.”
“Ho-ho, yeah!” Tony unclipped his gun and stared at his weapon. “Is this a dagger I see before me?”
“Shakespeare, Tony?” Ziva sounded impressed.
“He probably got it from a Bugs Bunny cartoon,” said McGee.
“You tell me what this is about, Tim.”
“We went to investigate that cornfield where we thought the weapon in the Lattimer case might have been dumped and … it was on fire.”
“Who set it on fire?”
Tony drew in a deep breath. “Puff, the Magic Dragon.”
“Who the magic what?”
McGee answered. “It was full of marijuana. Growers sometimes plant pot in with the corn to hide it from aerial surveillance. Somebody must have heard we were coming, panicked, and decided to burn it before we found it.”
From the Admin: Oh my gosh Marian! You had me laughing so hard while putting this up! You took your questions and really ran with them! Awesome answers!
You can find Mandi‘s Book‘s on Amazon here