Tag Archives: Emma Newman

Who’s Kevin McRealguy

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A while ago I had this conversation on Facebook:

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Me: Toying with the idea of a male pen name to publish under, but I keep getting the sillies. So far I’ve gotten Mann Riter, Duke Longcock, Dude Macho, Kevin Realguy, and Birk Totesman.
Replies:
1: Jock Manbro?
Me: Slab McRib
1: Stan McDudeguy
2: Chin McNads
Me: Harry Guymember
1: Brock Blokeyfist
Me: Stache Von Surham
1: Sir Male Mansome of the Muscle-upon-Hardbody Mansomes.
Me: Tor Ironbatch
3: Bob Johnson (oh wait.)

 

It was funny enough at first, and I got something like an unprecedented 65 responses, all in the vein of silly names. It was a lot of fun, but in the end it made me very depressed. I kept thinking about what might of happened if I HAD been a male writing Fantasy instead of a woman.

First of all, this discussion popped up after a fellow writer Emma Newman had done a large initiative towards Waterstones books after they published a sort of  “Dummy’s Guide to Fantasy Authors” which featured predominately white male authors. I’m usually pretty much in the dark about this kind of bias. I grew up with brothers, most of my friends growing up were guys, and so on, so I usually think of myself as “one of the guys.” I’d toyed with the idea of a pen name or doing the ‘initial thing’ early on, but decided not to because I naively thought that it wouldn’t matter. “No one is going to care, right?”

It’s only when I see the surprise on people’s face when I tell them I’m an author and the genre is NOT romance or erotica that it hits home. It hits home further when I see people stop at my table to look at my books or comics, only to see that I’m the author/artist and then put it down with a sneer (ouch).

It’s disheartening and annoying to think that people aren’t judging my books by what I wrote in them. Instead they’re judging me and something I can’t control.

I know, I know. Total pity-party time. “Cry me river. Ever think it’s because you just suck and it’s nothing to do with your gender?”

It’s possible. But thanks to the common myth that “women can’t/don’t write Fantasy,” I’m not sure I’ll ever know for sure which it is. I have no “control group.” Unless I were to engage in some rom-com worthy gender-bending disguise antic that would fool the world into thinking I’m a male writer only to have it backfire on me with hilarious results and teaching the world a lesson about gender equality. And then we all have pie and coffee.

Seriously, though, I’m half considering showing up at my next con looking like this:

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I’m out. Peace. 

 

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Liebster Award

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This week I was awarded the Liebster Award by the wonderful talented writer, Sabrina “Stabby” Zbasnik for my writing career.  With it is the condition that I have to nominate 3 other writers and ask them a series of 10 questions. Those three are:

Emma Newman, author of the awesome Split Worlds series.

Angela Capozello author of the awesome Nox and Grimm series.

Fellow Hunt Press author, Barrie J. Rosen . You should buy her books. And mine. Buy mine too.

Your 10 questions, ladies,  are as follows, and I’m going to pretend really hard that I’m not secretly asking for tips:

  1. Are you a planner or a pantser (as in seat-of-the-pants)?
  2. What’s your favorite stage of writing?
  3. What kind of tunes do you listen to while writing; do you have a favorite song?
  4. Do your characters ever “get away” from you and if so, how do you cope?
  5. How do you deal with writer’s block?
  6. Who’s your favorite character to write for and who’s your least?
  7. Who was your favorite character growing up?
  8. What’s the craziest real-life experience that wound up making it into your fiction?
  9. Why do you write?
  10. If you could spend a day at a theme park with your any of your characters, who would it be, what ride would you go on, what would you eat for lunch, and how would it end?

And now for my questions as asked by Stabby.  I’m thrilled to answer these.

  1. What’s your favorite character?
    My favorite character is definitely Linus Weedwhacker, who first appears in Must Love Dragons. There was some magic symbiosis between him and me. It was giving a name and a face to the cynical, sarcastic voice whispering into my ear, telling me to look at the monsters in life and laugh when I saw the strings. At the same time, there’s a lot of heart to Linus and a lot of strength to him. I find myself drawing from that strength and becoming inspired by it when I feel small and helpless.
    Or to phrase it in my brother’s words: deep down inside me is a chainsmoking, hardened, 52-year-old man.
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  1. Is there a character that you were going to kill/write off but something changed your mind?
    Vilori Reagan was never meant to be more than a cardboard background antagonist to Linus. He was just a rich snob and a financial facilitator to Linus in Runs in Good Condition and then somehow he started to have this unexpected depth, weaseling himself into more of the book than I had intended. He even upstaged Avery who was supposed to have a bigger role. Now he’s another favorite character to write for and I find myself wanting to learn more about this cold weird bastard. He’ll probably be showing up in more books of The Linus Saga.
  2. Are you more of a plot/character/idea/throw words against the wall like spaghetti author?
    Yes. I remember sending a query to a good friend that said, “Guys show up, stuff happens, good guys save the day.”
    I’m a conversationist writer. My usual method is to put several people in a room together and just have them talk and see what happenes. Some of my best scenes have come about by simply letting the personalities clash, but then sometimes it’s like herding cats to get these guys to stop talking and actually, ya know, DO something.  I call it “couch syndrome,” because it’s like trying to get your kids off the couch to go play outside. Lynald Winguard and Ev Kelly are the worst for that.
  3. What’s the stupidest idea you’ve ever had?
    I don’t think anything tops having a Regency-esque protagonist with the last name Weedwhacker. But that was just his name. There was nothing I could do about it. I’ve gotten used to it and it will occasionally take me by surprise when I suddenly re-realize, “That’s a really STUPID surname. I can’t believe I did that.”
  4. What’s the best idea you’ve ever had writingwise?
    I think my best idea was to ditch the epic adventure ideas of grandeur that I had earlier in my life. I wanted to be the next Tolkien and that’s just not who I am.  I’d rather write about life. Life isn’t always about going out and slaying a beastie or saving the world. Sometimes life is simply about living through it. It’s about the people you share a home with, work with, fight with and love.
  5. Out of all your settings, which would you most like to live in?
    I think it would be pretty cool to live in Burrowsborough, the Halfling village featured in the upcoming 3rd book of the Linus Saga, No Shoes, No Service (working title). Intimate, comfortable, and by the sea-shore, even if it does seem to rain every other day. And with lots of good food and beer. I wouldn’t go barefoot, though. I need to have my boot collection.
  6. What’s your biggest writing win? 
    The Linus Saga has been my bread and butter. I’m glad that people genuinely connect with it and keep asking me to do more. I couldn’t be more thrilled. I really have to credit my friends at Tangent Artists for getting me thinking about writing again. I never would have done it if it hadn’t been for them.
  7. Do you have a specific genre or do you like to bounce around freely?
    I tend to bounce between Fantasy genre and Urban Fantasy in my various works. I like anything with a lot of myth and legend to it no matter when or where it’s supposed to be set. I suppose that’s why I’ve never managed SciFi yet. My lens is firmly trained on the past; I’m a really history nut. I like looking back at what we believed, the drama and pathos of past struggles, and comparing how far we’ve come. And I like vampires. They’re like evil sexy Elves.
  1. Favorite spot to write?
    My favorite spot is in my living room around 8 am, when the kids have just got on the bus to school. I look at the sun shining on the kitchen and my wide picture window looking over pine trees. I usually think about going back to bed, but the laptop calls me and I forgo that extra hour of sleep, still holding that first cup of hot coffee. I get an adreneline rush and a warm fuzzy feeling as I switch on some Alan Parsons Project or Penguin Cafe Orchestra and just write.
  2. Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?
    Yes. It looked a bit like this:
    (copyright, Jim Henson Productions. I do not own this video clip.)~Ciao! :3