– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘The Bridge’ blogtour, organized by Meerkat Press.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
About the Author :
J.S. Breukelaar is the author of Collision: Stories, a 2019 Shirley Jackson Award finalist, and winner of the 2019 Aurealis and Ditmar Awards. Previous novels include Aletheia and American Monster. Her short fiction has appeared in the Dark Magazine, Tiny Nightmares, Black Static, Gamut, Unnerving, Lightspeed, Lamplight, Juked, in Year’s Best Horror and Fantasy 2019 and elsewhere. She currently lives in Sydney, Australia, where she teaches writing and literature, and is at work on a new collection of short stories and a novella.
Meera and her twin sister Kai are Mades—part human and part not—bred in the Blood Temple cult, which only the teenage Meera will survive. Racked with grief and guilt, she lives in hiding with her mysterious rescuer, Narn—part witch and part not—who has lost a sister too, a connection that follows them to Meera’s enrollment years later in a college Redress Program. There she is recruited by Regulars for a starring role in a notorious reading series and is soon the darling of the lit set, finally whole, finally free of the idea that she should have died so Kai could have lived. Maybe Meera can be re-made after all, her life redressed. But the Regulars are not all they seem and there is a price to pay for belonging to something that you don’t understand. Time is closing in on all Meera holds dear—she stands afraid, not just for but of herself, on the bridge between worlds—fearful of what waits on the other side and of the cost of knowing what she truly is.
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I’m an American-Australian author living in Sydney Australia with my family. I was always a writer and I became an author, writing feature articles, around the time of the birth of my daughter, and then took a long break to concentrate on whatever it took to pay the bills, returning to it when my kids were in high school. I began to write stories and poetry, some of which were published, and got a PhD. I practiced and did online writing class and went to writers workshops and began to get stories picked up soon after that, after 2010. “Union Falls,” picked up by Fantasy Magazine was my break-through story.
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
So many. Poe and Ray Bradbury and Ursula LeGuin and Shirley Jackson and the Brontes and fairy tales and Joe Landsdale growing up and pretty much the same now. I’m loving the diversity of directions people are taking dark fantasy and weird fiction–Brian Evenson, Sarah Read, Kaaron Warren, Angela Slatter, Helen Marshall, John Langan, Nathan Ballingrud, Laird Barron. These are some of the books I love to read and I look forward to catching up with new works by these authors and more.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Is there? So many! Let’s just go with Ray Bradbury for now. Because he did three things brilliantly and I want to know how: quality, quantity and variety. And a fourth thing, maybe the most important. He seemed to be enjoying himself while he did it.
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Don Quixote. Because… Don Quixote.
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Coffee of course. That’s pretty much it.
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried?
Everywhere – my head is teeming with them. The world is teeming with stories. The people in my life are worried.
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I plot and I pants. And then I plot some more and then pants again. It’s exhausting. I go through a lot of pants.
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Practice really works.
What are your futureplans as an author?
To keep getting better at what I do.
Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
No one sees me lurk weeping at the edge of the playground where a little girl waits behind the bins, a girl I never see in the bunkroom or in class. She is lank-haired and red-eyed. I watch her lick her lips like I am what she’s waiting for. She has a snake around her neck and another around her waist and holds a bunch of them in her hands like a bouquet (or a cat-o’-nine-tails) and she smiles as one by one, she bites their heads off—blood running down her chin. Chew, swallow, repeat.
She speaks to me, this headless snake girl, and I am lonely enough to listen. Of course it’s not a hiss. That would be something that someone with no imagination would come up with. By now I am tortured by the guilty secret that my brain does not work within the same constraints as the other Mades. I have imagination to spare. The headless snake girl smiles a pointed-toothed smile at me and she says in a baby-raven voice, “Truth or dead.”
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Keith Rosson.
$50 Book Shopping Spree!
The Magic of Wor(l)ds
P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!