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

Thursday, 2 May 2013

MOAR ME: My interview with Dan O'Brien

Hello hello!

I thought I'd publish a stop off in my rambles around the internet. The marvellous Dan O'Brien interviewed me. After I had torn down the walls...this is what was left! The original is here.


Tell us about your most recent release.

It is a cross genre horror anthology called 'The Loved, The Lost, The Dreaming'. If you like madness, fairy tales, and regret, you will love this.

It includes a full length novel, 'The Underlighters' , and 11 stand alone short stories. Interested in worlds where a plague of nightmare-inducing Dust forces humanity underground? Where disembodied hands and cannibal fairies stalk the shadows? Where scifi dystopias overlap with The Brothers Grimm? Don't miss this one.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00B7MA9II I am also on Kobo, Nook, and the istore!

What else do you have coming out?

In May I hope to have a stand-alone released. ‘Synchronicity’ is another cross-genre book. It’s a sci-fi character struggle with fantasy and literary coming-of-age elements.

Six university students sign up for beta-testing a virtual reality game. They find themselves caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse. There’s a bit of everything in this adventure, and with smooth writing and rule-breaking plot twists, the wait for this release will be worth it.

Is there anything you want to make sure potential readers know?

I am going to hurt you. You will love me for it. I may also scare you. If you hate it—let me know! Everything I write is for you guys, and I put everything into crafting something beautifully written and compelling.

What's the most blatant lie you've ever told?

I try not to lie. I am struggling to think of a blatant lie. White lies are more my thing—wait. “Yes honey, I am washing the dishes with gloves on.” “I forgot to take the garbage out. Oops.” “Of course I fed the cat!”
I am secretly a horrible person.

What is the most demeaning thing said about you as a writer?

I used to have a problem with telling instead of showing. However, people love me because I tend to be kind, write beautiful prose, and keep a sense of humour about myself and others. I also take criticism well. Also, I am a hell of a lot more humble than I sound right now. I have yet to be really lambasted or criticized; I look forward to hearing some more on the negative side. That stuff is useful.

How do you react to a bad review of one of your books?

With grace and aplomb. I ask what they think about it and if they have any suggestions. Sangfroid rules the day.

When are you going to write your autobiography?

When I’ve done more interesting things. My current story is interesting but could use a lot more jazz. I’m too young to write an autobiography.

Are the names of the characters in your novels important?

If they are, you cannot write a damned character. I write people, not fancy names.

What about the titles of your novels?

I try to give them appropriate and thematic titles. They tend to fall on the poetic side of things. The most recent release is named after the themes that tie it together; I love the way it sounds out loud. My partner contributed it and I fell in love.

Are there any occupational hazards to being a novelist?

Cats are definitely dangerous. Oh, and your butt gets sore sometimes. Carpal tunnel is also a more serious hazard.

What's your favorite fruit?

Strawberries. OM NOM NOM.

How many people have you done away with over the course of your career?

People or characters? I have never killed a human, but my paper bodycount is high.

Ever dispatched someone and then regretted it?

I never kill a character unless it is utterly necessary. No. I respect my characters and have no regrets.

Have you ever been in trouble with the police?

ROOOOOXAAAAANE…Sometimes I sing it off key. Otherwise, I am a happy and law-abiding citizen.

So when were you last involved in a real-life punch-up?

Tae Kwon Do class in Grade 10, I guess. I usually slay them with my wit rather than my fists.

If you were going to commit the perfect murder, how would you go about it?

I would read a mystery novel and do the exact opposite.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
I already am what I want to be when I grow up. Otherwise, I want to be more of a kid.

What is your favorite bedtime drink?
I live on black tea. Mmmmm. Yum.

Do you ever wish that you had an entirely uncreative job, like data entry or working in a factory?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! This is the most hilarious question I’ve ever seen! Nope. I have gotten used to being weird and I prefer it, lumps and all. I am an admin assistant in the daytime and I love the opportunity to daydream.

Do you believe in a deity?

Does chocolate count? I believe in all deities and none. I’m an atheist, really, just fond of folklore. I’m the friendly sort, though.

Do you ever write naked?

Always. But only under my clothes.

Who would play you in a film of your life?

Anne Hathaway. I don’t know. Hollywood doesn’t have any plump actresses with kind smiles and Irish attitudes under the age of 40.

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?

Having a social life and getting away from the keyboard. And then spending lots of time in front of it. Determination is vital to sanity. Sanity itself is optional.

Have you ever read or seen yourself as a character in a book or a movie?

Welcome to my life.

What is the single most powerful challenge when it comes to writing a novel?

Writing it and finishing it. Serving your story rather than your ego. Showing rather than telling. You know, the stuff that makes it good.

What do you consider your biggest failure?

Not publishing sooner. I almost gave up on my dreams and then realized I was too old to waste time while I was still young.

Do you research your novels?

LIKE A BOSS. I try not to torture my readers with it, though. The research is to build a realistic world, not to show off how many hours I spent making it so.

How much impact did your childhood have on your writing?

It was significant. I’ll let you know precisely if I ever properly grow up.

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?

That charm will get you everything and that learning shit is awesome.

Do you laugh at your own jokes?

If they’re funny enough and I can’t help it.

Do you admire your own work?

If I didn’t, I wouldn’t publish it.

What are books for?

Fixing the world. Cheap holidays. Life education. Making one think. Making one feel things. Enriching life beyond comparison.

Are you fun to go on vacation with?

I’m always fun. As long as I’m not grumpy and overdrawn on ‘me time’ requirements, I enjoy whatever I’m doing.

How do you feel about being interviewed?

Everyone loves talking about themselves. I’m not exception there, but I hope to amuse and intrigue readers.

Why do you think what you do matters?

Why wouldn’t I?

Have you ever found true love?

He’s sitting next to me, playing Guildwars and listening to a game cast.

How many times a day do you think about death?

Depends on the day. Usually a couple. Death doesn’t bother me.

Are you jealous of other writers?

Sure. I don’t let it hold me back, though; I admire them honestly and try to emulate and appreciate their success.

What makes you cry?

Onions, sad shit, and heartbreak.

What makes you laugh?

Almost everything. A funny joke, remembering a funny line…I laugh pretty easily, though I try not to do so when it’s idiotic.

What are you ashamed of?

Taking so long to talk about what I love and what I’m good at. And, one time in eleventh grade, I insulted a guy for liking Steinbeck because hating Steinbeck was cool. I still feel awful about the crushed look on his face.

What's the loveliest thing you have ever seen?

…I don’t know. I have a precious collection of beautiful moments and it’s too varied to single out only one from. I savour beauty whenever I find it and hold onto the small moments.

That said, Banff National Park is pretty stunning, and I could stare at the Prairies for hours. I often do, on car rides.

Bio: I'm a published science fiction author with a love for talking about the end of the world, silver jewellery, nightmares, and chocolate. 
I came from a smallish town in Southern Alberta and now live in Calgary with my partner. When we're not saving the world from hipsters or riding our bear cavalry to work, we can be found on the internet or with our friends. 

My books: 

Michelle on Amazon

The Loved, The Lost, The Dreaming

The Stolen: Two Short Stories

And The Stars Will Sing


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. More interviews and witty commentaries are coming. Keep checking back to see those surprise posts, too. This is your darling SciFiMagpie, over and out! 


  1. Thanks for having this giveaway. I hope I win!

  2. Congratulations on your book being chosen as BOTM on Goodreads!

  3. Hey, this book sounds awesome! I'll try to say "hi" in the group, but I'm crazy busy right now...


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