B55 Mini Interviews with William Hayashi, Jen Gunnels, Auston Habershaw & Elaine Isaak (E.C. Ambrose)

 

William Hayashi

whayashiWilliam Hayashi is an author, screen writer and radio personality who hosts the Genesis Science Fiction Radio Show Friday evenings. His Darkside Trilogy tells the story of what happens in the U.S. when it is discovered that African Americans have been secretly living on the backside of the moon since before Neil Armstrong arrived. He is currently preparing a second trilogy in his Darkside Universe, which will culminate with a seventh volume that winds up the whole saga. Visit his website, find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @WmHayashi.

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

The program committee makes the event very welcoming and provides a well-run convention.

What is your favorite Boskone memory or experience?

Meeting so many like-minded attendees.

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?”

My first viewing of 2001: A Space Odyssey in the theater was majestic and awe inspiring, nothing else had ever looked like this movie.

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?

The second installment of my Darkside Trilogy, Conception, is my favorite of the series because it is populated with such extraordinary/ordinary characters.

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?
The story of how I began in the IT industry, a story I only tell, not commit to paper at this time.

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

I dressed up this last Halloween. I wore my normal street clothes and went as a Serial Killer; they look like everyone else.

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

I am working on the second trilogy in my Darkside Universe. I just completed the second installment and will be starting on the third shortly. I plan to release all three volumes at the same time in late 2018. What excites me most about the second trilogy is extending the scope of my creative universe.

Jen Gunnels

jgunnelsJen Gunnels is an editor at Tor Books, where her authors include L. E. Modesitt, Jr., Richard Baker, Kit Reed, Emily Davenport, and F. Paul Wilson. Before coming to Tor she served as dramatic critic and Theater Editor for the Hugo nominated New York Review of Science Fiction and a contributing editor for performance for the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction online. She contributed book reviews to Foundation and Science Fiction Studies and she has written essays for the collections Practicing Science Fiction and Popular Entertainment in Theater, Film & Television. She has also edited a special edition on performance for the Journal for the Fantastic in the Arts and contributed articles on fandom to the online journal Transformative Works and Cultures. In 2014, she co-edited with Erin Underwood, Geek Theater, a collection of science fiction and fantasy plays. Visit her website, find her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @jengunnels.

What is your favorite Boskone memory or experience?

I had a great panel on writing fight scenes moderated by Myke Cole that was honestly one of the best panels I’ve ever been on. The give-and-take with all the panelists was phenomenal, and Myke kept it rolling with a cohesive through-line.

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?”

I actually got to in a very weird way. I remember seeing Star Wars–the first one, the good one, the ORIGINAL one–when I was in 4th grade. Everything changed after that–that good guys can shoot first was HUGE, or that the mentor can sacrifice and die for the pupil, that a princess can rescue herself and shoot. It was just amazing. Then Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out. I took my son, who was in 4th grade, and watched him as those opening credits rolled, and had a really emotional experience realizing that my look of excitement and awe must have been similar.

oqBP__127855When was the last time you dressed up for Halloween? What costume did you wear?

I was Phryne Fisher. With the hair and my usual clothes, I tend to look like her anyway. I had this great cloche hat, a chiffon dress, and stadium-style maryjane high heels. With a long scarf and drop earrings, it looked awesome.

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

I’m working on a translation of a German fantasy novel titled, Drachenjaeger. It’s essentially Moby Dick with dragons. Pretty much awesome in all regards. Working with a translator has been amazing, and we’ve looped in the author as well. The result is a dynamic three-way creation that’s energizing and keeps me excited.

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.

So John Wyk. Because. John. Wyck. Is he a superhero? Maybe not, but I need a guy who gets it right the first time with no need to double tap. River Tam because she can kill you with her brain. My final pick would be John Constantine from Hellblazer. It’s like getting a competent version of the Winchesters, but in one body. I retain the rights to any film or tv or fanfic that comes of this.

 

Auston Habershaw

ahavershawOn the day Auston Habershaw was born, Skylab fell from the heavens. This foretold two possible fates: supervillain or science fiction and fantasy author. Fortunately he chose the latter, and spends his time imagining the could-be and the never-was rather than disintegrating the moon with his volcano laser. He is a winner of the Writers of the Future Contest and has published short stories in F&SF, Analog, and Galaxy’s Edge among other places. His fantasy series, The Saga of the Redeemed, is published through Harper Voyager–Book 3, Dead But Once, will be released in March of 2018. He lives and works in Boston, MA. Visit his website, find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @AustonHab.

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

Well, the obvious answer is that it is held in Boston and I live in Boston–it’s convenient that way. Beyond that, however, is the fact that Boskone, despite being a fairly small convention, attracts some of the best talent and biggest names to it, most notably from England and Europe. Every time I’ve been to Boskone, I’ve been very impressed with the kind of people they get to do panels and participate in Kaffeeklatsches and so on. It’s some of the best bang for your buck!

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?”

Seeing the Return of the Jedi in the theater for the first time was a seminal experience for me. It really opened my mind to the limitless scope of the human imagination. There was something about how Lucas build the aesthetics of the movie that has stuck with me to this day–the set pieces, the size of the world, the variety of its inhabitants. I loved it, and even now–for all Jedi’s flaws–it still inspires. It’s that kind of storytelling experience I want to duplicate in my own work, because I want to crack open the imaginations of people just like me.

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?

I have a special place in my heart for all of my work, of course, but if I had to pick one, I’d pick “The Masochist’s Apprentice”–a novelette I published in F&SF in the July/August 2017 issue. It’s one of those stories that just felt right the whole time I wrote it–I felt like I was doing something kind of new, kind of a special blend of humor and very serious discussions about cultural divides. That is currently reigning as my favorite. That’s subject to change, of course.

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?

I used to work for a person who used profanity in its truest sense–to be truly profane. Everybody swears, but when he used all the f-bombs, there was a real venom to it that I don’t think I can wholly describe. He made you feel dirty by listening to him, and I don’t know that I could make that believable in a story. It was too nuanced–something in his tone, something in his posture–that made you realize how much hate he had for the world around him.

As you can well imagine, it was *not* a good job.

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

I’m currently working on the fourth and final book in my epic fantasy series The Saga of the Redeemed. It’s very exciting coming to the end of a long story arc like this, and seeing these characters I love off in grand fashion, but there are real challenges in that, too. I’m worried that I’m not doing them justice, that I’m not reaching that emotional payoff I’ve always imagined would be there when I got this far. Am I going to convey that same sense of epic wonder that encompasses the end of Return of the Jedi, or is it going to read like The Matrix: Revolutions, you know? I’m on a tight deadline, the pressure’s on, so I’m hoping it works out. I think this is a common feeling for all authors, but as this is my last book in the series, it’s especially potent.

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.

I feel that Gandalf would settle The Night King in fairly short order and, while not perfectly in-tune with the Doctor Who universe, I’m betting Thor could take care of the Master pretty easily. The Emperor Palpatine is a harder nut to crack–he does have a galaxy-spanning empire to back him up. For that heady task, I’m going to go with Baru Cormorant (from Seth Dickinson’s novel)–if anyone could out-plot a Sith Lord, it would be her.

Elaine Isaak (E.C. Ambrose)

EIsaakE. C. Ambrose writes adventure-based historical fantasy series the Dark Apostle, about medieval surgery, from DAW Books, which began with Elisha Barber, and concludes with volume 5, Elisha Daemon in 2018. Her most recent release was international thriller novel Bone Guard One: The Mongol’s Coffin. As Elaine Isaak, she also wrote The Singer’s Crown and its sequels. In the process of researching her books, Elaine learned how to hunt with a falcon, clear a building of possible assailants, pull traction on a broken limb, and fire an AR-15. The author is a graduate of and an instructor for the Odyssey Writing workshop. In addition to writing, Elaine works as a guide, teaching rock climbing and leading outdoor adventure camps. Visit her website, find her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @ecambrose.

What is your favorite Boskone memory or experience?

This amazing late-night conversation I had in the consuite with Ian Randall Strock and Allen Steele. . .I don’t know if I’m allowed to say what we talked about. But that kind of conversation is one of the reasons I keep coming back!

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?

I have an inordinate fondness for Wolfram, the protagonist of my second novel, The Eunuch’s Heir. He’s so misunderstood and beaten down, yet he keeps trying to find his moral compass and redeem himself. He’s so resourceful he was a blast to write about–especially because he doesn’t care what anybody thinks!

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

About three years ago, we hosted a Halloween party for my teenager’s friends. In order to direct them to the house, I dressed as the fairy of dark and light, wearing my wedding gown, and a pair of gorgeous black wings I bought at the Goodwill store. I waited at the end of the driveway and was illuminated by each vehicle as it arrived.

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 William Hayashi, Jen Gunnels, Auston Habershaw & Elaine Isaak (E.C. Ambrose)

  1. Bob Devney says:

    Brenda, This whole series of personality sketches has been really awesome. I’ve read through them all as they come out — a couple of dozen by now? Learned about some newbies I want to catch on panels, and gotten a fresh slant on some favorite oldies. Thanks so much for all the good work! Only downside: left me feeling horribly Halloween-costume-deficient.

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