B55 Mini Interviews with Janet Catherine Johnston, Steve Davidson, Toni Kelner (Leigh Perry) & Daniel M. Kimmel

Janet Catherine Johnston

jjohnstonJanet Catherine Johnston is a scientist, engineer, master costume designer and choreographer, playwright, dance teacher, singer, martial artist, private pilot, and science fiction author. She is a co-author on numerous scientific journal articles on space experiments as well as on geophysics. She has traveled to 50 countries, including Outer Mongolia, Svalbard and East Germany. She has lived in New York, Alexandria (VA), London and Moscow, but always returns to her Plum Island home. Her hard science fiction stories have appeared in Analog Science Fiction and Fact (Of Night; Lune Bleue) and her one act plays have been produced n Boston. She has lead space experiments from concept through Critical Design Review, tests and integration, launch, checkout and data analysis, been an invited participant at NASA Mission Design Laboratory, and published multiple scientific/technical reports. She holds four science/engineering degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Currently she is finishing a screen adaptation of her novella, Lune Bleue.

There are a number of conventions that you could attend. What is it about Boskone that makes you want to attend this convention?

People at Boskone have read a variety of sub genres of science fiction I always learn something when I come!

If you could relive your first experience with any book or film, which one would you pick? What is it about this book or film that you want to experience again for the “first time?”

Definitely The Ring Trilogy. I first read it in college and never wanted it to end. It created a world that seemed like home and part of it is with me all the time.

In the realm of “truth is stranger than fiction,” what experience from your past would people never believe if it were written into a story?

Almost all of my life qualifies for this. Buy me a coke sometime and I’ll tell you some amazing tales of travels to far off lands (Svalbard to Outer Mongolia), ghosts, and psychic phenomena. It’s been a long strange path.

oqWJ__127281When was the last time you dressed up for Halloween? What costume did you wear?

I think I was born in costume. I can remember wearing my mothers high heels, her black slip and putting a long lace chapel veil over my hair and I was a Spanish lady when I was very small.

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

I have adapted my novella Lune Bleue (Analog, Oct 2013) to a full length screenplay titled Blue Moon. It’s an adventure story about three people in the wrong place at the wrong time and their struggle to survive on the Moon. I think the story makes a better film than written story.

If you were building a team of 3 (super)heroes to save the world from this trio of (super)villains: The Night King (GOT), the Emperor (Star Wars), and The Master/Missy (Doctor Who), who would you pick? The only catch is that you can’t pick characters from the GOT, Star Wars, or Doctor Who universes. Share why you chose your 3 (super)heroes.

Mighty Mouse, Wonder Woman and Batman. Among them I think any foe could be felled!

 

Steve Davidson

sdavidsonSteve Davidson is learning how to be a widower. As he does that, he continues to helm the Amazing Stories website. Visit his website, find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @AmazingStories0.

There are a number of conventions that you could attend. What is it about Boskone that makes you want to attend this convention?

Well, Boskone is local, making it easier on the budget, but if it weren’t a great convention, I’d be going elsewhere. Boskone has managed to strike a good balance between the needs of the “modern” convention and maintaining fannish traditions.

What is your favorite Boskone memory or experience?

Sadly, I think it was the tremendous out-pouring of sympathy, gratitude, condolence and community surrounding the memorial for David Hartwell. Everyone really came together and shared each other’s memories and pain. It was a true expression of the idea that fandom is a family.

If you could relive your first experience with any book or film, which one would you pick? What is it about this book or film that you want to experience again for the “first time?”

Picking up Starman Jones in the bookmobile. (John) Berkey’s cover just blew my ten year old head completely off. I teased myself with that read, finishing up a handful of Wells, Verne, Shelley & Stoker first, all the while staring at that cover with tremendous anticipation. It was like someone opened the door to the golden kingdom, and I was about to step through.

In the realm of “truth is stranger than fiction,” what experience from your past would people never believe if it were written into a story?

That if I had not managed to obtain the trademarks for Amazing Stories, the name would have ended up being used as the title for a series of Canadian travel books.

If you were building a team of 3 (super)heroes to save the world from this trio of (super)villains: The Night King (GOT), the Emperor (Star Wars), and The Master/Missy (Doctor Who), who would you pick? The only catch is that you can’t pick characters from the GOT, Star Wars, or Doctor Who universes.  Share why you chose your 3 (super)heroes.

James Bolivar “Slippery Jim” diGriz, Ellen Ripley and the hacked T1000.

Toni Kelner (Leigh Perry)

lperryLeigh Perry writes the Family Skeleton mysteries featuring adjunct English professor Georgia Thackery and her best friend, an ambulatory skeleton named Sid. The Skeleton Paints a Picture is the fourth, and most recent. As Toni L.P. Kelner, she’s the co-editor of paranormal fiction anthologies with Charlaine Harris; the author of eleven mystery novels; and an Agatha Award winner and multiple award nominee for short fiction. No matter what you call her, she lives north of Boston with her husband, two daughters, one guinea pig, and an ever-increasing number of books. Visit her website, find her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @Family_Skeleton.

What is your favorite Boskone memory or experience?

It was at Boskone that I met with Ginjer Buchanan to pitch some series ideas, and she picked the pitch that became my Family Skeleton mysteries right there in the lobby bar. The second runner up is at a Boskone when I was talking Dungeons & Dragons with Myke Cole, and he mentioned the limericks that used to run in DRAGON Magazine, and proceeded to quote one. As it happens, I wrote that limerick–it was one of my early publications. So that somebody remembered it mumble-mumble years later astonished and gratified me.

In the realm of “truth is stranger than fiction,” what experience from your past would people never believe if it were written into a story?

This is embarrassing for a mystery writer, but here goes. My sister and niece Amanda were visiting, and my niece wanted to explore the area behind our house which contains several detached garages. Our own garage isn’t visible from the house, and we never use it. Amanda came running back and asked why there was a car in our garage. It turns out two guys who lived in a kind of boarding house that opened onto that same area were running a chop shop. They’d steal cars from Boston, bring ’em back to behind our house, and strip ’em. And they broke into our garage to store one of the stripped, stolen cars. The best part? When my husband Steve was talking to the police officer who came to check out the situation, Steve mentioned, “You know, this is supposed to be where they caught Albert DeSalvo.” (DeSalvo is widely believed to be the Boston Strangler.) And the officer said, “I know. He’s my uncle.” Now how could I put that into a book?

When was the last time you dressed up for Halloween? What costume did you wear?

My family and I went to Disney World for Halloween activities several years ago, and I did a simplified Mrs. Potts. In human form, I hasten to add. I kept it simple so I could still enjoy the rides, but I had the apron and cap, and a group of French students were much impressed and wanted to take a picture with me. In subsequent years, I wear skeleton shirts or my Jack Skellington dress, but that’s the last full-blown Halloween costume.

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

I’m working on the fifth in the Family Skeleton series. This far into the series, the challenge is to retain the elements that worked in previous books while keeping the story fresh. So

If you were building a team of 3 (super)heroes to save the world from this trio of (super)villains: The Night King (GOT), the Emperor (Star Wars), and The Master/Missy (Doctor Who), who would you pick? The only catch is that you can’t pick characters from the GOT, Star Wars, or Doctor Who universes. Share why you chose your 3 (super)heroes.

Wonder Woman–because she’s Wonder Woman. The Flash–the Barry Allen version from the TV show. Because he’s an awesome cinnamon bun and if anybody could reform those three, it’s Barry. And Sherlock Holmes–either the original or the version from Elementary, because he’s smart enough to figure out all their plans.

Daniel M. Kimmel

dkimmelDaniel M. Kimmel’s reviews appeared in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette for 25 years and can now be found at Northshoremovies.net. He writes on classic SF films for Space and Time Magazine. His book on the history of FOX TV, The Fourth Network, received the Cable Center Book Award. His other books include a history of DreamWorks, The Dream Team, I’ll Have What She’s Having: Behind the Scenes of the Great Romantic Comedies, and Jar Jar Binks Must Die… and other observations about science fiction movies which was shortlisted for the Hugo Award for “Best Related Work.” His first novel, Shh! It’s a Secret, a novel about Aliens, Hollywood, and the Bartender’s Guide, was a finalist for the Compton Crook Award. His latest book is Time on My Hands: My Misadventures in Time Travel. He is a past president of the Boston Society of Film Critics and past co-chair of the Boston Online Film Critics Association. Visit his website, find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @dkimmel.

There are a number of conventions that you could attend. What is it about Boskone that makes you want to attend this convention?

This year is a special Boskone for me as the media guest of honor is my good friend Nat Segaloff, the author of A Lit Fuse, the biography of Harlan Ellison. It’s a superb book, possibly the best Nat has done, and anything that brings him back east and let’s us get together is good. Plus, although I know him for more than three decades, this will be the first time we’ll be sharing at least one programming item together.

Looking back at your work, which character, piece of art, song, poem, article, etc. stands out as an all-time favorite? What is it about this piece that makes it stand out for you?

It’s hard to pick out a single “favorite,” but I suppose I have to have a special place for the essay that gave the title to my Hugo-nominated collection of essays on science fiction films, Jar Jar Binks Must Die. It put me on the map in the science fiction world, and I could always tell who the audience for the book was. When I announced it at conventions, it would be greeted with laughter, cheers, and applause. When I got what what I referred to as “my mother’s reaction” (“Very nice, dear. What does it mean?”) I knew that person wasn’t the audience for the book.

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

Coming out next year, my third novel, Father of the Bride of Frankenstein, allows me to draw on a number of interests to create a comic romp that includes reanimated bodies, wedding plans, legal proceedings, and religion. I’m hoping that readers will be entertained and surprised reading it as much as I was writing it. It reminded me that inspiration is a mysterious thing: there are things that happen in the story that I didn’t plan on but my characters led me there. I kept at it because *I* wanted to know what happened next.

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 B55 Mini Interviews with Janet Catherine Johnston, Steve Davidson, Toni Kelner (Leigh Perry) & Daniel M. Kimmel

  1. Pingback: BOSKONE APPEARANCES CONFIRMED - Amazing Stories

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