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Interview Repost

Patrick Zircher: Into the Shadows, Man | Q&A

Note: this is a re-posting of an interview I had published nearly five years ago on a different website (that web archive is no longer available, making this re-post necessary for posterity, if nothing else). The following Q&A session was drafted October 17, 2012.


3364296-patrickzircherPatrick “Patch” Zircher [pronounced: zer-ker] is the artist and co-writer of Valiant’s all-new SHADOWMAN series, launching November 7, 2012 from the resurging publisher. Co-written with Justin Jordan (THE STRANGE TALENT OF LUTHER STRODE), the new Shadowman series is about New Orleans’ worst nightmare coming true. As these dark forces begin to claim the Big Easy as their own, Jack Boniface must embrace the dark legacy he was born to uphold as Shadowman. He will become the only thing that stands between his city and the legions of unspeakable monstrosities. Zircher, Jordan and Shadowman are poised to not only occupy the darkest corners of the revised Valiant Universe, but perhaps shine some light and hope there as well.

Zircher, In Passing

Earlier this year I met Patch Zircher somewhat in-passing at my local comic shop. I didn’t know who he was at the time until an old former colleague at the store informed me. He was there mainly to purchase comics for his preteen daughter (trade paperbacks of Marvel’s Runaways, I recall), but was also there searching through the back issue bins for some oldies-but-goodies. He, the store staff and I geeked out in a brief conversation about when exactly the transition from the Silver Age to the Bronze Age of comics supposedly occurred. As we departed the store I was left with the impression that Zircher’s a humble, laidback and rather approachable fellow (the kind I suspect would talk with you forever should you meet him in Artists Alley at a comic con someday), and was jazzed that this awesome artist is a fellow citizen living locally in a suburb neighboring mine. A few Twitter conversations eventually led to the following interview you are about to read.

Hey Kids, Meet Patrick Zircher!

z9h6pcdfBRANDON RUCKER: Are you a native of our ‘great state’ of Indiana? If so, where did you grow up?

PATRICK ZIRCHER: I grew up in Ohio and Arizona, but moved to Indiana when my kids were born.  I actually missed fall and winter.

RUCKER: How did you get your start as an illustrator of comics? How were you finally discovered?

ZIRCHER: That’s hard to answer because there were a lot of stops and starts. Right out of high school I was published in paper-and-pencil role-playing games, then inked, wrote, and drew comics for smaller comic companies like Eclipse, Blackthorne, and Caliber. Art became a full-time job when I started drawing Green Hornet for Now Comics.  Back then, I sent art samples (photocopies) in the mail.  I would draw on the envelope to get the submissions editor’s to notice. A few years later I was hired by DC at the San Diego Comic Con and a short time after that by Marvel for New Warriors. This is all in the ‘long ago and far away.’

RUCKER: I’ve seen your early pages for this new series, and Patrick, I have to say that I’m blown away. Admittedly I’m a latecomer to your work having discovered it at Marvel the last couple of years. You’ve recently alluded that your work from 5-6 years ago is not worthy of your name. In what ways do you feel you’ve improved? Do you feel like you turned a certain corner when you went digital?

ZIRCHER: I was joking a little, but I do try to improve each year. I’ve never been satisfied with having a ‘set way’ of drawing.  As far as improvements, I think my storytelling and panel compositions are stronger, as well as anatomy and gesture, spotting blacks and contrast.  Ha, everything I guess.  To be honest, improvement came when I began inking my own work.  It isn’t that other inkers aren’t talented, but inking is, to some extent, redrawing for me – a second chance to improve on the pencils and layout.

RUCKER: Since I’m a follower of your Twitter feed, I’ve come to realize that you are a kindred spirit when it comes to music. What positive affects does music have on your artwork?

ZIRCHER: I’m a music geek, as a listener – I can’t play at all – and tailor what I listen to with what I’m drawing.  Drawing involves long hours at the board so I’ve been putting together a ‘mix tape’ with hundreds of songs that keep me in the zone when working on Shadowman.  It’s how I justify my passion for “Daemon Lover” by Shocking Blue.

RUCKER: Do you have any favorite artists among your peers?

ZIRCHER: Many.  But listing them only makes me regret the ones I left out.  I will say the overly-flashy art, the absurdly detailed art, the no-attention span- jumbo-figures-on-every-page kind of guys usually leave me cold.  I’ll take a great storyteller who can frame and compose panels, pages, and sequences over the loud guy every time.

RUCKER: You recently said on Twitter: “Never say never, but that’s my last Marvel piece [AVX Consequences #1] for a very, very, very long time.” I assume that this, well, one: refers to your exclusive contract with Valiant, and two: you’re as happy as a fat kid in a candy store at Valiant.

ZIRCHER: I love working at Valiant.  I was unhappy at Marvel.  It happens.  As far as exclusives, as I said, I love working at Valiant, but I just don’t sign exclusives anymore.  I’m working exclusively for Valiant because I want to – not out of a contractual obligation.

RUCKER: There’s a huge boom in creator-owned comics these days, perhaps the most ever in the history of the medium. Do you have any interest in possibly doing something creator-owned in the future?

ZIRCHER: Yes, but co-writing and illustrating Shadowman is a full plate.  And the plate’s full of good food.  There are so many projects at Valiant I’d be happy to be a part of that making a creator-owned book isn’t a priority right now.

RUCKER: What was it about the Shadowman character that attracted you? Were you a fan of the 1990s version as well?

ZIRCHER: I was a fan.  Like a lot of fans though, sometimes you’re as much in love with a character’s potential as you are their actuality.

RUCKER: With all due respect to all the previous creators who worked on the character, what is it about this new iteration of Shadowman that you think makes it just as good as, if not better than the original?

ZIRCHER: Well, first, I admire the talents of the book’s previous creators.  Bob Hall wrote and drew quite a few issues and you can see he put a tremendous amount of energy into the work.  Comics have evolved a different style of storytelling since then and the work Justin Jordan, myself, and colorist Brian Reber are doing on the book reflects that.

RUCKER: The return of Valiant Comics is obviously great for fans of the characters and the industry overall. What was the main aspect about the all-new Valiant that attracted you to the point where you decided to stop working for Marvel?

ZIRCHER: I’m very attracted to working at a company that’s really in touch with its talent.  Everyone at Valiant is excited and enthusiastic and I wanted to work with people who felt that way.

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RUCKER: The Valiant re-launch has been executed very methodically and with great care and precision. Given your relationship with Warren Simons, were you (and writer Justin Jordan) hand-picked for the Shadowman series, or did you two have to pitch against other creators in consideration/contention?

ZIRCHER: I was under contract with Marvel at the time Valiant was putting together its initial titles so we didn’t get together until later.  Fortunately several of my favorite Valiant characters were in the early (re-) developmental stage.  Warren and I wanted to work together on something with equal enthusiasm so we discussed a variety of characters.  Comics is a business, but I think it’s a key element, an often neglected one, to match talent with titles and characters they want to work on.  As far as Justin, he’s a writer both Warren and I really wanted.  We had read Luther Strode and both saw a personality in Justin’s work that would enliven Shadowman.  When Warren told me Justin had pitched for Shadowman, I couldn’t believe the serendipity of it.

RUCKER: Did you, along with Justin, have a lot of freedom to revamp and re-design the character and his world according to your shared vision?

ZIRCHER: I think so. It’s a team effort that includes editorial.  Valiant is building a cohesive universe and an editorial perspective is part of that.  Personally, it’s thrilling to be in the early stages of comics universe-building.  Co-writing is a fascinating process because, in many ways, a third writer is born, with a style that is different from the individuals and yet, not.

RUCKER: Have you had to do any specific research for this new series, perhaps research on New Orleans, or jazz culture or what have you?

ZIRCHER: A lot of comic creators research and I’ve been doing that for years.  With New Orleans, so many clichés are used in comics based in the Big Easy that we’re purposely taking it easy on the New Orleans-specific references.  They’ll come, you just won’t have Mardi Gras, the French Quarter, jazz, the bayou, voodoo queens, and above-ground vaults all thrown at you in the first issue.

RUCKER: In your own words, how would you pitch the new Shadowman series to prospective new readers – the on-the-fence fan or the naysayer?

ZIRCHER: Shadowman is about a guy named Jack who is bonded to a supernatural spirit.  After that, everything in his life changes.  I’m having a crazy, good time making the book and that DOES show in the pages.  If you’re on the fence after seeing the previews there probably isn’t a whole lot I can say.  Justin’s dialogue could charm a cat out of a tree.  Brian’s colors are gorgeous.  If you want a very good comic, you’ll find it here.

RUCKER: For those unfamiliar with your work, what of your previous work would you recommend people check out prior to Shadowman’s release –something you’re proudest of?

ZIRCHER: Captain America Vol. 3 [trade paperback of Ed Brubaker’s recent run], or Batman: The Man Who Laughs with Brubaker.  Terror Inc. with David Lapham; Mystery Men with David Liss; Hulk of Arabia with Jeff Parker. Or pick up Thor: Ages of Thunder with Matt Fraction. Warren [Simons] gave a copy of the Thor book to Valiant’s publisher, but his son took it so he had to get another one.  That’s as strong a recommendation as I can think of.


UPDATE: Currently Patrick Zircher’s work can be found on the DC Rebirth Action Comics series from DC Comics where you can find him having a ball drawing Superman and Lex Luthor-Superman, plus a dastardly host of supporting characters and villains.

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It’s the Dreaded End of All Things for INVINCIBLE (video)

Robert Kirkman (Co-creator/writer), Cory Walker (Co-creator/artist) and Ryan Ottley (artist) discuss the humble beginnings and the inevitable end of their cult-favorite indie superhero series Invincible.

The final storyline “The End of All Things” to close out the long-running series is currently being published by Skybound Entertainment/Image Comics.

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Author Q&A with Jennifer Macaire – Part 3

cropped-mesite1Jennifer Macaire is an expat wife, mother and novelist living in France. The following is Part Three of a trilogy of weekly Q&As that lead up to today’s re-release of her novel The Road to Alexander, Book One of the epic Time for Alexander series of novels. A separate post with an excerpt of the novel follows this sessions as well (link below).


Q: So this book deals with time-travel, typically a device of science-fiction, but that aspect is rather low-key here. For those curious, and without giving too much away, can you describe your creative use of the concept?

Time-travel fascinates me – and not only for this book, but for everyday things. When I drop a glass and it smashes on the floor, I try to imagine it floating back up and coming together like one of those slow-motion films played backward. I wish I could go back and see people I’ve known, redo certain things differently . . . it’s sort of a constant background noise to my life. So it wasn’t a surprise that I made it the backbone of the story. As for the science, I used quartz for the time transmission and lightning for the power. It’s not all that farfetched. Something has to move fast, and our bodies are frail things. In order to time travel, they have to be unraveled and recomposed – my heroine wonders briefly about arriving with her head on backwards, but even our DNA is programmed so that everything will go back to its correct place. Hopefully. Luckily for me, time-travel hasn’t been invented yet, so I can pretty much do as I like. And as the time-sender scientist says dryly to Ashley, “You wouldn’t understand anyway.” My heroine is a journalist, not a scientist, so she has to trust that everything will turn out all right.

Q: I’ve counted over two dozen books published in your oeuvre. All in roughly, what 15 years? And that’s with so many more to come! That’s quite prolific. What’s your secret to staying on task – do you have a daily routine or specific writing regimen when working on a project?

I wish I had a regular writing routine, but I don’t. However, when I get the seed of a story and it germinates, nothing can stop me from writing it. I can write anywhere, anytime. Nothing bothers me – television blaring, kids fighting, dog barking, dinner burning . . . I’ve written through all that and worse to finish a story.

Q: What’s your next project after the release of all seven books in the Time for Alexander series?

I have two or three ideas I’d like to explore. One is a YA book, with as a hero a boy in a wheelchair. I have lots of research to do in order to start writing it, however. Another idea I had is another time-travel book, this time with a male protagonist who finds himself in the Asian steppes with a Scythian princess. I’m counting on an archeologist/anthropologist friend of mine to help out with it.

Q: I’ll let you go with this last question about the novel you’re releasing TODAY. Book One ends with a scene between our heroine Ashley and the man himself, Alexander The Great, on a quiet yet ominous note, a kind of calm before a coming storm. Can you give us a tease of the first sequel in the series after The Road to Alexander?

In Book Two: Legends of Persia, Alexander is on the most dangerous and difficult part of his fight to recapture the crown. It was a hard book to write, because I tried as much as possible to keep the timetable of his actual battles and travels around Persia. I did, however, take liberties with history. His time-travelling wife, Ashley, knows when he will die, but she doesn’t dare do anything to change things. She hasn’t yet made the decision to save him, so she just tries to savor each instant and live her life with Alexander to the fullest. The book takes Alexander’s army across the mountains and rivers of ancient Bactria. One of my favorite parts is just when the army reaches the top of the pass through the mountains:

Some men were afraid to venture over the rise, believing that the ends of the earth were right there. Even Alexander, whose unquenchable enthusiasm for adventure had led him this far, seemed unsure of himself. He wrapped his arm around his stallion’s neck, and together they walked towards the summit. We stood back. It seemed fitting.

The two figures stood silhouetted against the monstrous sky. The sun was just starting to set, and the rising moon shone on the opposite horizon. It seemed as if he were alone on the top of the earth with only his horse, the sun, and the moon for company. Then he turned to face us, and he raised both arms in triumph. The way was clear. He’d gotten through. The road to Bactria was open. We poured through the pass in a trickle, then a rush as the men hurried to see the marvels that were beyond the mountains.

I was disappointed. It looked like the same road we’d taken, only downhill – but it was downhill, and the rest of the march was made singing. We sang although we were starving. No one had eaten in two days. The meat was gone, the grain and bread were gone, the onions and garlic were gone, and the soldiers chewed whatever edible plants they could find to assuage their hunger. We had no more water, and our pack animals groaned and staggered, but none fell. Perhaps they scented the grass in the fertile valleys around the Kunduz.

We made camp by nightfall. We were ankle-deep in grass. The next day we were knee-deep, and by evening there were fires, and a real camp was being built on the banks of a fast moving mountain brook.

~ (bonus excerpt from Book Two: Legends of Persia, out later this year) ~

And there you have it. This concludes the author Q&A leading up to today’s release of The Road to Alexander from Accent PressNow read the third and final excerpt here. And be sure to check the book out via these handy links: (US) (UK).


new-release


~ About the Author ~

Jennifer Macaire is an American living in Paris. She likes to read, eat chocolate, and plays a mean game of golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St Peter and Paul High School in St Thomas and moved to NYC where she modeled for five years for Elite. She went to France and met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories. Her short stories have been published by Three Rivers Press, Nothing But Red, The Bear Deluxe, and The Vestal Review, among others. One of her short stories was nominated for the Push Cart Prize (Honey on Your Skin) and is now being made into a film. Her short story ‘There be Gheckos’ won the Harper Collins /3 AM flash fiction prize.


ICYMI

Author Q&A with Jennifer Macaire – Part 1

The Road to Alexander – 1st Excerpt | Jennifer Macaire

Author Q&A with Jennifer Macaire – Part 2

The Road to Alexander – 2nd Excerpt | Jennifer Macaire

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Blog Guest Blog Interview Q&A Question Them

Author Q&A with Jennifer Macaire – Part 2

cropped-mesite1Jennifer Macaire is an expat wife, mother and novelist living in France. The following is Part Two of a trilogy of weekly Q&As leading up to the March 9th re-release of her novel The Road to Alexander, Book One of the epic Time for Alexander series of novels. A separate post with an excerpt of the novel will follow each of these sessions as well.


Q: For this book you use a first-person viewpoint. What narrative advantages as well as challenges did that present you with this particular story?

I started this as a short story – otherwise I’m not sure I would have used first person viewpoint, but once I got started, and the story started to develop, it made sense to continue. It gave a more personal touch to the story. I think it connects the reader to the main character in a way that is coherent with the theme of the tale – that of an outsider looking in. Since Ashley is so far removed from the mindset of the people at the time, it gave me a little more freedom to be creative. I didn’t have to worry about justifying or explaining something that I (as a modern woman) could not possibly understand. Ashley has a hard time with slavery, with war (no Geneva conventions in those days) and religion, for example, so it was more fun to be in her head looking out than trying to pretend to be someone from ancient Persia or Greece.

Q: I know you’re a voracious reader. Can you tell us what authors have had the biggest influence on you in recent years?

In recent years, I’d have to say Neil Gaiman – I was a latecomer to his books; my daughter actually got hooked on him first. Also Diana Norman, both her books and the ones she wrote as Ariana Franklin. She was an amazing historical fiction writer.  But I’m not sure my writing style has changed much because of them. I think my style is pretty much set. The writers who I feel truly influenced me were: (in chronological order, no less!) Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, and Dorothy Dunnett.

Q: Does being an expatriated American residing for so many years in France give you a unique perspective as a story-maker and writer?

Maybe for writing history, lol. I feel surrounded by it here, it’s all over. I go downtown, and there are ruins and towers from the middle ages, and there are even Roman ruins, traces of the Gauls, museums and such everywhere. It’s nice. It was also fun to go to Rome, see the places where I’d set some of the story in my books. And there is an ancient Greek nymphorium near my town, where the people of the time worshipped at a sacred spring. My spellcheck keeps telling me nymphorium doesn’t exist – but I hesitate to call it a temple, since I don’t think nymphs were worshipped in temples. Ah well, there I go being pedantic again. But if you want, you can see a picture of it here:

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Q&A to be continued next Thursday, March 9th . . . and now read the second (of three) excerpts of The Road to Alexander here.


~ About the Author ~

Jennifer Macaire is an American living in Paris. She likes to read, eat chocolate, and plays a mean game of golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St Peter and Paul High School in St Thomas and moved to NYC where she modeled for five years for Elite. She went to France and met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories. Her short stories have been published by Three Rivers Press, Nothing But Red, The Bear Deluxe, and The Vestal Review, among others. One of her short stories was nominated for the Push Cart Prize (Honey on Your Skin) and is now being made into a film. Her short story ‘There be Gheckos’ won the Harper Collins /3 AM flash fiction prize.


ICYMI

Author Q&A with Jennifer Macaire – Part 1

The Road to Alexander – 1st Excerpt | Jennifer Macaire

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Blog Interview Q&A Question Me

Question Me – Part 2

square-smashwords-logoSo over at Smashwords they have this built-in interview mechanism where they encourage authors to participate in a Q&A that posts on their profile page and gives interested readers a means to learn a little something about the author in question. Since I’m probably as unknown as they come, I figure it’d be a good idea to do an updated version of that 2015 Q&A here on the ol’ blogsite. Here’s the next weekly installment of the 2017 edition of who the heck am I?, if you will. One question at a time.


Q: What motivated you to become an indie author?

A: In terms of prose books, necessity, more than anything, I suppose.  An avoidance to the odds that are insurmountably stacked against a no-name author.  But also a kind of D-i-Y punk rock mindset of doing things yourself with little reliance on the establishment because they’re not going to go out of their way to make it easy on the un-agented and under-represented, those with a sparse resume—nor would you expect them to.  I was just getting my feet wet publishing in the Small Press when I discovered Smashwords as a viable partner and helpful tool for D-i-Y publishing.  Not that I’m currently in this for the money (ha!), but in terms of the monetary breakdown, self-publishing via digital partners like Smashwords and others, the distribution of earnings from sales is flip-flopped compared to traditional commercial publishing.  I’m a musician as well so the D-i-Y ethos is in my blood.  I suppose the overriding aspect is a sense of control.

As for comic books, well, you’re an indie author by simple default of how one can typically break into that particular industry. At this point it’s a more difficult path than publishing prose fiction. For starters, you have to rely on the contributions of an artist—editors want to see how an artist breaksdown and executes your written script visually. This is I’m told is regardless of the skill of the artist as a basic draftsman and storyteller. 9.9 times out of 10, the route you take there is to self-publish a comic you’ve created via print or the web and have that to kind of shop around to any willing eyes. In fact you have to do that multiple times, either a series of self-financed print publications or a series of webcomics, something visibly there to show that “Hey, I’m pretty good at this and can endure the hardships.” It’s far easier for an illustrator than a writer because they can simply send in or personally show their visual artwork and it’s more immediately reviewable by an industry professional. For writers, like any other industry for writers aside from indie books, it’s a situation of climbing a huge mountain and then once you get to the top of said mountain you find you also have to slay a dragon in order to get that chance to make a first impression.

To be continued . . .


Tune in Thursday for another Q&A with friend and author Jennifer Macaire!


ICYMI

Question Me – Part 1

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Blog Guest Blog Interview Q&A Question Them

Author Q&A with Jennifer Macaire – Part 1

cropped-mesite1Jennifer Macaire is an expat wife, mother and novelist living in France. The following is Part One of a trilogy of weekly Q&As leading up to the March 9th re-release of her novel The Road to Alexander, Book One of the epic Time for Alexander series of novels. A separate post with an excerpt of the novel will follow each of these sessions as well.


Hello, Jennifer! I suppose in introducing you I should start with the fact that I have known you, my fellow scribe, for over fifteen years now and I’m amazed at the literary trail you’ve blazed the last decade-and-a-half in rather prolific fashion with more than two dozen novels (and countless short stories) published. And so here I welcome you, my dear friend abroad, to chat about your latest publishing event. 

Hi Brandon, thank you for having me as a guest blogger to talk about my upcoming book The Road to Alexander, the first in a series about a time traveler who is sent back to interview Alexander the Great. He mistakes her for Persephone, goddess of the dead, and kidnaps her, stranding her in his time.

Q: First question for you – What inspired you to write this epic story about Alexander the Great?

A: It started out as a short story – I had been writing and selling short stories to magazines, and I just had an idea of a sort of alternate history short story where Alexander the Great is never bitten by the mosquito that caused his fatal malaria. I wrote it from the viewpoint of a woman time-traveler/journalist, but when I came to the part where she slaps the mosquito away…I just kept going. In fact, I kept going for seven novels which became the Time for Alexander series. In the first book, The Road to Alexander, I even left the part about the mosquito, and you can catch it if you’re paying attention although it’s no longer important to the plot. I ended up shifting everything around, because he dies in Babylon and I needed to introduce the time-traveling character at the beginning of his great adventure.

Q: What type of research did you have to do for your book?

A: I researched extensively. I used several books on Alexander the Great, including In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great, by Michael Wood, which was produced by the BBC. It was extremely helpful, because the author literally took the path Alexander’s army took across Persia and Bactria on foot. The book was indispensable for calculating how long it took to get from one place to another. More research was done on the army, how it moved, who was in it, and how Alexander fought his battles. Still more was for daily rituals: food, medicine, clothes, money, toothpaste, and religious ceremonies. I researched constantly – every time I had a question I’d either write to an expert or hit the library and search out books. I’m not big on Internet research, it’s too hard to verify facts, but I did use the Internet to put myself in touch with authors and historians. Everyone was very helpful, and I learned a great deal about ancient Greece and Rome!

Q: Do you prefer to plot your story or just go with the flow?

A: I am a plotter and use outlines. I’ve written a couple books just “going with the flow”, but they took forever to finish because I kept getting distracted. I much prefer a chapter-by-chapter outline. This book had to be plotted out using existing people and historical events, the army’s movements, and take into account the seasons and weather, so it was vital to have a strong outline. Within that framework I took many liberties. One of the tricks of writing historical fiction is to keep real events pinned to their place and time. I had to move some of the characters around – I had one of Alexander’s generals interacting directly with Alexander when most historians agree he was back in Macedonia – but I needed him there, so thanks to the wonders of fiction, there he was! It is a work of fiction, after all!

Q&A to be continued next Thursday, March 2nd . . . and now read the first (of three) excerpts here.


new-release


~ About the Author ~

Jennifer Macaire is an American living in Paris. She likes to read, eat chocolate, and plays a mean game of golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St Peter and Paul High School in St Thomas and moved to NYC where she modeled for five years for Elite. She went to France and met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories. Her short stories have been published by Three Rivers Press, Nothing But Red, The Bear Deluxe, and The Vestal Review, among others. One of her short stories was nominated for the Push Cart Prize (Honey on Your Skin) and is now being made into a film. Her short story ‘There be Gheckos’ won the Harper Collins /3 AM flash fiction prize.


ICYMI

Jennifer Macaire on Patience + Writing

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Blog Interview Q&A Question Me

Question Me – Part 1

square-smashwords-logoSo over at Smashwords they have this built-in interview mechanism where they encourage authors to participate in a Q&A that posts on their profile page and gives interested readers a means to learn a little something about the author in question. Since I’m probably as unknown as they come, I figure it’d be a good idea to do an updated version of that 2015 Q&A here on the ol’ blogsite. So what follows is the first weekly installment of the 2017 edition of who the heck am I?, if you will. One question at a time.


Q: When did you first start writing?

A: I’ll answer this with when I first started writing prose seriously. And that was in the winter or spring of 1993 when after reading my mom’s paperback copy of Dean Koontz’s Watchers (1987) novel in late 1992 (which I still have)  and being deeply influenced by that reading experience and thinking I wanted to
be as imaginative and accomplished someday in deftly telling suspenseful stories in a very accessible way.

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I’d dabbled a little before that (the oldest story I remember writing was in 1989 or so), but at the time I still wanted to be a comic book writer since I’d been reading them for about seven years prior to getting bit by the novel and short story writing bug.  So fast-forward to 2017 and I’ve been writing seriously for about 24 years, with a few breaks here and there.

As for journalism writing, I lit the wick in high school as the school paper’s editorial editor, which suited me well because even though I had the title of editor, I was the only writer for that section of the paper and thus was free to write on whatever subject I wanted. The editor part of it was being the decision-maker as to what I would write about and of course staying on top of things in terms of deadlines and such.

Prior to discovering prose writing, though, I’d been wanting to be a comic book writer ever since I started reading comics in the mid-1980s. I used to draw my own little mini-comics and eventually started writing these dialogue-only scripts because as a kid I had no idea how you wrote them. Yet, all these years my dream to someday be writing them professionally has never waned. If you read comics regularly, you love them, and if you love them you want to create them yourself. It’s no different than reading prose books in that sense. The desire to create is fed by the consumption.

To be continued . . .


Tune in Thursday for my Q&A with friend and author Jennifer Macaire!


ICYMI

Three Questions with Brandon Rucker

2-Minute Drill Q&A with Brandon Rucker