Last Thursday (May 1), I met with Professor Donald Hassler's Honors Program students at Kent State University to discuss International Authors. This semester, Professor Hassler has students reading Emanations: Third Eye.
We covered a variety of topics, most of which had to do with writing. For the benefit of the students, here are my answers again, and links that might be helpful:
Q: What do you look for when choosing writing for Emanations?
A: From the Call for Submissions: "The editors are interested in recognizable genres—science fiction,
fantasy, horror, mystery, local color, romance, realism, surrealism,
postmodernism--but the idea is to make something new, and along these
lines the illusion of something new can be just as important. If a story
or poem makes someone say, 'Yes, but what is it?' then it's right for Emanations." Here is a link to the Call in its entirety: click here.
Q: Any advice for aspiring writers?
A: There are a lot of writers out there trying to write fiction professionally, and you have to be careful that you don't sacrifice other life priorities for pursuing a career in a filed that is very difficult to break into. I think it is important to pursue a meaningful career in the professions (medicine, law, education, architecture, science, business) and let the writing take care of itself. Write something that is meaningful--International Authors supports the projects of professionals who know a great deal about history, culture and literature, and they are more interested in producing something good than something that merely "sells" in the mass market. That said, a very helpful book on the subject of commercial writing (fiction and comics) is Michael Moorcock's Death is No Obstacle. In this book Mr. Moorcock describes and explains creative techniques that are useful (indeed necessary) for surviving in the marketplace. Also, here is a link to the wiki article on New Worlds.
Q: Who do you like to work with the most?
A: I like working with everybody. It is very important when working on a project like this to get along with people, and (just like any field) one has to learn about the professional cultures of writing, art, and so on. It is important to be flexible, professional, and "playful." The world of creative work is spontaneous, changing, and always amusing. Most importantly, don't take yourself too seriously. At the same time, keep an eye on the reason for the project--and that is to make books.
Also, here are links to the Michael Butterworth interviews I mentioned:
Michael Butterworth I
Michael Butterworth II
Kent State University Students at the Thursday meeting:
Last year's meeting at Kent State: Emanations: Second Sight in the University Classroom