B54 Mini Interviews with EC Ambrose, Ken Schneyer and Jeremy Flagg

Happy Friday, Boskone fans! Ease into your weekend with the latest installment of our mini-interview series. If you like heroes you definitely do not want to be, dystopian super heroes or strange voicing in your novels, you’ll want to learn more about these program participants.

 

EC Ambrose (Elaine Isaak)

e-c-ambrose_114Elaine Isaak is the author of The Singer’s Crown (Eos, 2005), and its sequels, as well as the Tales of Bladesend epic novellas comprising Joenna’s Ax in full-length, and Winning the Gallows Field. As E. C. Ambrose, she writes The Dark Apostle historical fantasy novels about medieval surgery, which began with Elisha Barber (DAW 2013), and continue with Elisha Magus (2014), Elisha Rex (2015), and two forthcoming volumes.

Her short fiction has won the Tenebris Press Flash Fiction contest and appeared in the New Hampshire Pulp Fiction series, Fireside magazine and Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader. She had now edited three volumes of genuine New Hampshire Pulp Fiction. A graduate of the Odyssey Speculative Fiction workshop, she has returned to teach there as well. In addition to writing and teaching about writing, Elaine works part time as an adventure guide and rock climbing instructor. In spite of her Wilderness First Aid training, you still do NOT want to be her hero. Find her online at her website, Facebook and Twitter.

How would you describe your work to people who might be unfamiliar with you?

I am deeply invested in character exploration, using fantasy elements to heighten the conflicts and choices the characters have to make. My tagline is “you do NOT want to be my hero” because the process of facing those conflicts and making those choices is not very kind, but I hope it creates a gripping and though-provoking experience for the reader.

What are you working on now? What excites or challenges you about this project?

Right now, I am tackling an epic secondary world fantasy, with much wilder world-building than my previous work (even my previous secondary world books). Sometimes, I get to go off on amazing flights of fantasy where I invent all sorts of elements of new cultures or creatures–then I realize I also have to embed them into an ecology and geography that maintains coherence, and I get a tad bit worried. I’m trying to think of it in the way I do my historical fantasy–rather than overload the text, what are the small details that will convey my vision to the reader?

Who is your all-time favorite fictional character? What is it about this character that you love?

The Golux. The only Golux in the World, and Not a Mere Device. from James Thurber’s The Thirteen Clocks. He is warm, witty and mysterious all in one, and not afraid to speak his truth, however strange, poetic or convoluted it might be.

 

Ken Schneyer

kennethschneyer_47Kenneth Schneyer was a finalist for both the Nebula and Sturgeon awards in 2014. His stories appear in Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, Analog, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, the Clockwork Phoenix anthologies, the Escape Artists podcasts, and elsewhere. He attended the Clarion Writers Workshop in 2009, and now works with the Cambridge Science Fiction Workshop and Codex Writers. By day he is Professor of Humanities and Legal Studies at Johnson & Wales University.

Born in Detroit, he now lives in Rhode Island with one singer, one dancer, one actor, and something with fangs. Find him online at his website, Facebook and Twitter.

How would you describe your work to people who might be unfamiliar with you?

A lot of my work employs strange voicing: documents, letters, radically unreliable narrators, voices that don’t understand the story they’re telling, etc. I think of myself as a science fiction writer, but my fantasy’s more widely known.

From a fan perspective, what new book, film, TV show, or comic are you most looking forward to seeing/reading?

The second book in N. K. Jemisin’s The Broken Earth series. The first one shattered me.

What are you looking forward to at Boskone?

Introducing my son to Brandon Sanderson. Renewing ties with old friends I see only at cons.

Jeremy Flagg

Jeremy Flagg is the author of the Nighthawks and Night Shadows in the dystopian superhero series, Children of Nostradamus. He also has recently been published in Wicked Witches: An Anthology of New England Horror Writers and the Horror Writers of Maine’s Northern Frights. Find him online at his website, Facebook and Twitter.

How would you describe your work to people who might be unfamiliar with you?

“I like to work with common concepts, such as superheroes and put a dark spin on them. I tend to treat my characters like real people and put them in positions where they either push forward or find themselves broken. Not all characters survive. I think this creates situations where the reader can ask themselves, “”Would I be able to make it through this?”” I like pushing limits in unique worlds with flawed characters.

The other side of my writing tends to be sarcastic and filled with sass. I balance the darkness in one series by playing up the lighthearted components in the other. Still applying real world scenarios, I think a protagonist with a sharp wit and a sharper mouth makes for good reading.”

 

What are you working on now? What excites or challenges you about this project?

Currently I’m engrossed in books three and four of a dystopian superhero series. The challenges have been imagining a flawed future that doesn’t rely on science fiction but has elements that helps build the world. Writing superheroes in prose has its own problems, namely avoiding the typical overpowered hero. Setting limitations has been a big part of the writing and forcing them to confront problems that having powers can’t solve. I think the exciting part is it lets the reader see what might really happen if powered people existed and not the standard utopia or the “heroes always win” scenarios popular in most comics.

Who is your all-time favorite fictional character? What is it about this character that you love?

Bastion Balthazar Bux. Michael Ende’s The Never Ending Story is one of my favorite books, primarily because of the main character. He starts out as an absent minded, terrified, bystander in his own story. Later, he embraces his story, becomes drunk with power, delves into villain-hood and later redeems himself. This heroes journey was so convincing and poignant to my own life, I found myself rooting for his redemption.

About Brenda Noiseux

Product Owner by day/Sci-fi geek and community builder by night. Using my super hero powers for the good of all kind. I'm the organizer several groups, including the League of Extraordinary Gentlewomen, a women's comics discussion group and a writer for Women Write About Comics.
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One Response to B54 Mini Interviews with EC Ambrose, Ken Schneyer and Jeremy Flagg

  1. Pingback: AMAZING NEWS: 1-29-2017 - Amazing Stories

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