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Author of queer, wry sci fi/fantasy books. On Amazon.
Editor of all fiction genres.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Xena 2.0: An Interview with Shannon McRoberts

Hello hello!

This week, I have an interview with Shannon McRoberts. Her books are pure fun, Raimi-esque romps through a mixed up mythology pastiche world. We had a pretty thought-provoking interview, so let's get to it. Please welcome Shannon!

Q: Describe yourself in 20 words or less.

Willful, artist, mother, hard worker, intelligent, charitable, loving, cautious, fun, believes in doing things for the principle of the reason.  

Q: Tell us about your novels.

My main series is called The Daughter of Ares Chronicles and features a mythological world that I have revamped to my liking.  It has some old favorites like Zeus and Odin, but it places them in situations that are unique to my story and my characters that I have created.

Q: Why did you choose a mix of Greek, Norse, Celtic, and invented mythology for Athine?

I have always been interested in mythology of all kinds and often what was available to read about certain deities was limited in scope; it was like none of these larger than life characters had back stories.  I always wanted to know more.  I think subconsciously that is why I have all of these mythologies mixed in with my Athine character.  I wanted back stories and interconnections between the characters that were not available; so, I took them and wrote them into my stories.  

Picture supplied by the author. You know you're up for some slightly campy fun from the get-go with this kind of cover. 

Q: Your writing is very friendly and lends itself to a kid audience surprisingly well. Are you going to write for YA audiences in future?

 I have been told my stuff is "young adult" in a few reviews and I am fine with that. I enjoy a lot of young adult novels as well.  I just don't know that I could write specifically for that audience.  I know back in the day when I first saw Red Sonja it was rated "R" and my mom freaked out about me having the movie.  Times have changed as far as what is acceptable for a child or young adult to read/see and I recently re-watched that movie on Amazon PRIME and was like hum pretty tame compared to what is around these days!
My problem with "YA" is that I want the freedom to write the story the way it needs to be written; the way I envision it.  I don't know that I could do that if I kept in the back of my mind that it is "young adult" because to me that would include very little violence and noooo love story of any kind that involved more than simple kissing.  I don't think that is what it means in this day and age, but that is what it meant when I WAS a young adult!  So, for now I think I'll just write the story and classify it as speculative fantasy/mythology/origins and let others tell me if it is safe for a "YA" audience.  I would use the "would you let your child read this meter", but my baby is only 4 and so that doesn't help me out!    

Q: Your female characters tend to be very beautiful. Do you think female characters who kick ass become beautiful incidentally, or do you write them as beautiful on purpose? 

I think I write my characters beautiful because I am so influenced by fantasy art/comic book art and when I think of my characters I see them in those terms.  I also write them beautiful because it's that kind of ethereal beauty I enjoy seeing personally in fantasy works.  Don't get me wrong, you don't have to be skinny or 7 foot tall to be beautiful in real life, but I think for fantasy it just kind of lends itself to be like that.  I guess I'm not good at breaking that "Hollywood" standard of beauty either.  Truthfully I wish I could be seven foot tall and lift a 150 pound weapon; sadly I am not so I make my characters that way :)

Q: You have mentioned video games as a big influence. Do you intend to work more with game themes in future or move away from them? 

I don't think I can ever move away from them.  I am really into back stories of video game characters as well.  I like to read the walk through guides for the history and lore.  I have been told by more than one person that I write in a video game style or in a script style.  I think between all the Shakespeare, SYFY channel series, comic books, and MMORPGs I have played they all have just imprinted parts of their style into my writing.   

Q: Feminism and egalitarianism in fantasy books--vitally important to add, an irritating hindrance, or not really relevant?

I don't think it is a vital element to add.  I am just attracted to strong female leads and for me I want to write what I would enjoy.  For myself I often write in tones of feminism and egalitarianism because of my real life experiences.  I was the tom boy that knew my way around a car better than many men, but I was also very girly in some respects and embraced my female traits and never fit into that "tom boy mold".  I constantly fought the whole....well she's a girl what does she know about this car or she's a blonde girl she must be dumb..etc etc. stereotype.  I also am a big supporter of soup kitchens and charities that help make sure people get basic items that they need right where I live...so it's no wonder that a tad bit of egalitarianism pours through into my worlds.  

Photo supplied by author. No-one has ever seen her face!  

Q: What do you plan to write or publish next?

Currently I am writing "Cursed Bloods".  It is a continuation from The Blood Sisters and Worlds Collide story.  I hope to get it completed by the beginning of 2014, but one never knows how these things will go.  I am also working on some short stories that go with an expanded universe that may have additional back stories or new stories that link in.  There are two up on daughterofares.com right now.  I plan on distributing on Smashwords soon.

Q: Which foods do you absolutely hate?

 I don't like pork chops and boiled chicken.  My husband loves them.  Dinner time is sometimes strenuous at home LOL!

Q: Which type of mythological creature would you kill to have as a pet?

A winged unicorn or maybe a dragon....I currently have a lot of my own pets so knowing me I'd have both :)

And, in case you want to pick up some light spring reading, here's her buy links: 

Thanks for dropping by the nest once again. Don't miss any of the good kind of crazy. Find me on TwitterFacebook, and on Tumblr. For March and April, expect more interviews with fantasy authors, content related to fantasy films and reviews, and some political commentary--the phuquerie you've come to expect from me. Keep checking back to see those surprise posts, too. This is your darling SciFiMagpie, over and out! 


As always, be excellent unto others, and don't be a dick.