Today, we welcome fantasy/spec fic author, Bruce Blake, to the hot seat of interrogation.
1. Is your writing influenced at all by the soda preferences of your neighbor? What about Chuck Norris?
My neighbor doesn't drink soda, only hard liquor. This only influences my writing when he invites me over for a few. Strangely enough, when I get home afterward, I write better, although most of the words are either spelled incorrectly or completely made up. As for Chuck Norris: he gets whatever he wants.
2. A very long time ago on the island of Clod?
King Claude of Clod plucked a clod of sod and threw it into the sea. The clod of sod plucked by King Claude of Clod landed on the shores of Tripoli. The sodden clod of sod plucked by Claude, the king of clod, was found by a clod who couldn't rhyme as well as you.
3. I just made up this word: sonzibrort. What does it mean? Use it in a sentence, please.
Sonzibrort is an expression commonly used by a small tribe of nomads separated from the rest of civilization as they wander the untamed wilds of Liechtenstein. Hopelessly lost for generations, and with too much time on their hands, they developed their own language, much like J.R.R. Tolkien. Sonzibrort is used when you have stepped on the back of the sandal of the nomad walking in front of you; it is loosely translated as “sorry for stepping on the back of your sandal”. Example: “Lucius, you just stepped on the back of my sandal, aren't you going to say sonzibrort?”
4. You write speculative fiction, mostly fantasy. Did you fantasize about this interview? If no, why not? If yes, did these fantasies disrupt your regular daily routine? How have you dealt with the excitement and distraction?
Are you kidding? I haven't slept in a week! This actually has nothing to do with the interview, I've just had a touch of insomnia, but it gave me plenty of time to fantasize about the interview. Fantasizing about interviews is actually a big part of my regular routine, so it wasn't very disruptive at all. What changes from fantasy to fantasy is who is interviewing me and what we are wearing. Most commonly, it is Salma Hayek doing the interviewing and she is only wearing the snake from her movie From Dusk to Dawn. By the way, what were you wearing when you put these questions together? (A raincoat, spelunker’s helmet, goggles, clown shoes, a pair of overalls & a plaid apron. Thanks for asking. No one ever asks. -K)
5. How many times has Gilbert called you for advice and what was the main theme during these conversations?
Gilbert has never called me for advice. Does he call you? What do you talk about? Does he ever mention me? I knew I shouldn't have told him I had a crush on Snooki, his goldfish, now he's cut me completely out of his life. I wasn't serious about it, I mean not totally, Snooki's a goldfish, right. Can you even tell if a goldfish is male or female? It could never have worked between us; I'd take back telling Gilbert if I could so he'd talk to me again. I couldn't help it though, Snooki has those lips...
6. What’s the fourth sentence on page 79 of your first novel? If it’s really short, please include the next sentence as well.
Shyn shifted, the rope holding his hands creaked with the movement.
7. You have published a pair of short stories in a book entitled Beyond the Raging Moon. What did you do to make the moon so angry? Did you insult the moon, provoke it? How dare you? Are you now remorseful?
It's not my fault, the moon started it. The moon's the one who gets up every night without fail; how's a man supposed to deal with the pressure of living up to that kind of example? All I did was suggest he was self-medicating to achieve such impressive results. I think the fact he got so angry proves my hypothesis and takes some of the pressure off the rest of us. We're only mortals. I'm glad he's angry, maybe he'll reconsider the next time he picks up the phone to call 1-800-CIALIS. Now I have to do something about the sun; at least the moon is only half full some nights.
8. Which is better: a pair of working headphones or a carrying case for your refrigerator magnet collection? Explain your reasoning and how this concept is intricately related to your writing.
The carrying case, without a doubt. I can still hear without the headphones, but without the carrying case, my refrigerator magnet collection would be in dire jeopardy! What if I dropped one? What if they fell under the front seat of my car and attached themselves to the seat frame where I couldn't reach them? Those magnets are imperative to my writing because I use them to affix my notes to the refrigerator so when I go in to set myself up with my traditional writing meal of head cheese and leftover haggis, I'm reminded of what I will be writing about for the day. Can working headphones hold your notes to the fridge? I think not!
9. Do you really think it was proper to sell my great-aunt’s tattered bloomers to Piers Anthony? Go ahead, defend your actions. More importantly, how much did you get for them? Was it worth the bitter negotiations over price? Are there hard feelings?
When a great writer like Piers Anthony needs a pair of bloomers,
you don't hesitate to provide them, no matter what you have to do to get them.
I'm not proud of taking advantage of an old woman, but I'd do it again in a
second. Piers promised to write me into a sequel to the Apprentice Adept
series, how could I refuse? And I don't know what your great-aunt told you, but
it's not the whole truth; there were no bitter negotiations over price. I'll
put it to you this way: you should be asking me how I talked your great-aunt
out of her bloomers, if you know what I mean. No hard feelings; there was only
one thing that was feeling hard...her goiter.
10. Would you rather shimmer, sparkle, flicker, twinkle, ooze or glisten? You can only choose one. Explain your answer.
That's a tough question. Ooze is the only one that sounds very
manly, but it also sounds kind of disgusting. I'm not a Twilight fan, so
twinkling is out, and aren't shimmer and sparkle just different forms of
twinkling? I guess that leaves glisten. It's too bad you didn't have 'bulge' as
an option, I think I'd rather bulge.
11. My unemployed step-cousin Junior needs a place to stay. (He requires near-constant shaving and a nightly lecture on foot hygiene) How will you welcome him to your home? Will he be sharing your room?
We would welcome Junior with a party of course. All the neighborhood Sasquatches and Yeti would be invited so that he would feel a part of the community and know that he is among friends. Junior would certainly share my room, supplanting my much more attractive, less hairy wife who has clean, well-kept feet in favor of keeping junior close so I can shave him as needed through the night without having to get out of bed.. Perhaps the issue he has with foot hygiene will be of benefit to me by keeping the monsters cowering in the closet. That would be nice, then I could sleep and I wouldn't have to spend my nights sitting up fantasizing about interviews with you and Salma Hayek. (Junior is very excited about staying with you. I think he’s packing right now. -K)
12. Your name is very similar to Keith Baker. Are you two related? Do you have any common interests outside of writing? Are your family reunions crazy or what?
Keith Baker is my sister; at least he was before the operation. We share many passions and interests outside of writing, including butterfly collecting, dog polishing, and the deadly accuracy of professional kielbasa tossing. While I respect his love of antique gym sneaker restoration, it is a pastime in which I do not indulge as much of my free time is taken up by my ultimate passion: assembling my photo book of interesting scabs from around the world. Now that you know all that, do I really need to explain how awesome our family reunions are? Besides the great activities, if I showed up with my refrigerator magnet collection and your step-cousin junior...well, let's just say it wouldn't be safe for anyone who can't hold their own with a kielbasa. Hmm, I wonder if your great-aunt is available that day. She knew her way around a kielbasa. (I’d ask her about it, but she hasn’t stopped giggling since the bloomer incident. -K)
12. Do you realize this question is numbered inaccurately? What do you make of that?
That's just f---d up. I'm not sure I can continue.
12. Your first name and last name are both first names. What is your gut reaction to this statement?
Hey! That's another question #12! What are you trying to do to me?
My first name and last name are also both last names. Where would I be if Blake Lively had married Lenny Bruce? The world would likely end.
Bruce Blake lives on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. When pressing issues like shoveling snow and building igloos don't take up his spare time, Bruce can be found taking the dog sled to the nearest coffee shop to work on his short stories and novels.
Actually, Victoria, B.C. is only a couple hours north of Seattle, Wash., where more rain is seen than snow. Since snow isn't really a pressing issue, Bruce spends more time trying to remember to leave the "u" out of words like "colour" and "neighbour" then he does shoveling. The father of two, Bruce is also the trophy husband of burlesque diva Miss Rosie Bitts, who doesn't find him all that funny.
Bruce has been writing since grade school but it wasn't until five years ago he set his sights on becoming a full-time writer. Since then, his first short story, "Another Man's Shoes" was published in the Winter 2008 edition of Cemetery Moon, another short, "Yardwork", was made into a podcast in Oct., 2011 by Pseudopod and his first Icarus Fell novel, "On Unfaithful Wings", was published to Kindle in Dec., 2011. The second Icarus Fell novel, “All Who Wander Are Lost”, was released in July, 2012, and “Blood of the King”, the first book in the two-part “Khirro's Journey” epic fantasy, will be released on Sept. 30. He has plans for at least three more Icarus novels, several stand alones, and a possible YA fantasy co-written with his eleven-year-old daughter.
On Unfaithful Wings
I was alive, then I was dead, now I’m stuck somewhere in between.
My name is Icarus Fell. I am a harvester.
The archangel Michael brought me back to collect souls and help them on their way to Heaven--that’s what a harvester does. If I get enough of them before the bad guys do--if I do a good job--I can have my life back. Now people I knew in life are dying, killed by a murderer’s knife, their bodies defiled, and the cops think I’m the killer.
I’m not, but I think I know who is.
But how does a dead man, a man who no longer exists, stop a psycho? I’m not sure, but I’m going to stop him before everyone I know is dead.
I have to stop him before he gets to my son.
In : Author Interviews
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