B56 Mini Interview with Brett James, Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert & Kenneth Schneyer

Welcome back again to the Boskone 56 Mini Interviews! Hope you all had a great weekend! Let’s start off this week by hearing from Brett James, Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert, and Kenneth Schneyer!

Brett James

Brett James is the author of the popular novel The Drift Wars, as well as several others. He has worked various jobs in support of his writing career, some of which are interesting (Harpers Magazine), some of which are less so (programming). He recently released the second novel in his Tangent septology, Lies and Silence, and he will be releasing a new novel, Tunnel, in April. He crafts a handmade edition of all of his books and also makes pocket copies of his short stories, which he distributes at conventions such as Boskone (check the free table).

Visit Brett on his Facebook, and Website!

With many conventions to choose from and limited time in your schedule, what attracts you to Boskone?

As a writer, I find a lot at Boskone that is focused on the process of writing, as well as creativity and idea management. It’s pretty easy to find such panels at a beginner’s level, but Boskone definitely goes beyond. I think even the most experienced writer would have to work hard not to find something that excites them at Boskone.

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?”

The Once and Future King by T.H. White, without a doubt. It is, at times, shocking how irreverent he is to such exalted material, and yet in doing so, he transforms the classic tale in a way that makes it immediate and timeless.

They say you can find hints of creators in their work. Looking back at your work, which character, piece of art, song, poem, article, etc. most closely resembles you? Why?

While my major characters are always (hopefully) far more interesting than myself, I like include myself as a minor character, where I can, much like the classic muralists did. No hints, but for those who know me, I hear that those characters are easy to spot.

Who is your favorite literary character of all time? What is it about this character that you admire?

There are a lot, so don’t expect me to always pick the same one, but I’ll say Archie Goodwin of the Nero Wolfe series. The entire series, which is extensive, is basically a monologue by Archie. It’s beyond belief how entertaining this one character manages to be, over such a long period of time. For me, no living person could compete, and I imagine that even Rex Stout, his creator, was no match for him.

Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert

Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert writes science fiction, horror, dark fantasy, and the occasional poem. Her short fiction had appeared in the anthologies The Final Summons, Killing It Softly (Vol.1), and The Deep Dark Woods. Read her poetry in the anthology Wicked Witches, the websites Tales of the Zombie War and Eternal Haunted Summer, and in The Wayfarer: A Journal of Contemplative Literature. Suzanne is a freelance content creation expert, editor, and marketing consultant. She has degrees in Communication and Sociology. Find her on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter @SuzsMuses.

Visit Suzanne on her Facebook, Twitter, and Website!

In 10 words or less, how would you recommend Boskone to a friend or fan?

Boskone is THE convention for serious, Boston-area specfiction fans.

They say you can find hints of creators in their work. Looking back at your work, which character, piece of art, song, poem, article, etc. most closely resembles you? Why?

I recently wrote a horror short story, “Unafraid,” about an aspiring writer who wishes to be unafraid in her writing work. My inspiration for this character (unlike me in many ways, otherwise) was my own self-doubt and fear of putting my authentic voice out there. Writing this story helped exorcise some of my lingering fear. Unlike my character–for whom things end badly–I believe I’m headed in the right direction and getting past my apprehension.

What is your favorite memory of a fan interaction at a convention? It could be you as a pro interacting with one of your fans or you as a fan meeting someone you admire.

I still laugh thinking about this–it was at Readercon about nine years ago, and I had just started attending cons as an aspiring writer. I got into an elevator with Samuel Delany, and I realized who he was as soon as I stepped in. After a few seconds, I sputtered, “You’re Samuel Delany, aren’t you?” He confirmed that he was. “Oh my God, you’re so awesome!” I said. He was so gracious and kind. It was NOT my most articulate moment!

Can you share some details about upcoming projects or what you’re working on now? Do you have releases in 2019 that readers should look for?

My fantasy/horror short story “In Darkness, She Sheds” is part of the New England Speculative Writers premier anthology, “The Final Summons,” due February 5, 2019. I’m waiting to hear on the status of two other short stories. If all goes well, they will also be published in anthologies during 2019.

I also intend to self-publish a follow-up to my first poetry chapbook sometime in 2019. The first was titled, “Interview with the Faerie (Part One) and Other Poems of Darkness and Light.” The follow-up will be “Interview with the Faerie (Part Two) and Other Poems Fantastical and Mundane.” I don’t have a release date for that yet.

I also plan to try and teach myself how to write a novel! I have about 1/3 of it written already.

Who is your favorite literary character of all time? What is it about this character that you admire?

My favorite literary character is Lauren Oya Olamina from Octavia Butler’s “Parable of the Sower” and follow-up, “Parable of the Talents.” Lauren is far from perfect, but what makes her compelling is that she is incredibly smart, brave, resilient, and able to overcome the many shortcomings of her upbringing and the society in which she was raised (and which consequently falls apart around her.) She suffers terribly, yet comes out a survivor and a pioneer for a new way of thinking and being.

Kenneth Schneyer

Kenneth Schneyer received a Nebula nomination, and was a finalist for the Sturgeon Award, in 2014. His short fiction appears in Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, Analog, Uncanny, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Clockwork Phoenix 3 & 4, Daily Science Fiction, Escape Pod, PodCastle, Pseudopod, and elsewhere. In 2014, Stillpoint Digital Press released his first collection, The Law & the Heart. By day, he teaches law, logic, and literature to undergraduates in Providence, Rhode Island. Ken was born in Detroit, but has lived in southern New England for over 30 years. He’s interested in astronomy, politics, history, propositional logic, constitutive rhetoric, feminist theory, and practically everything else.

Visit Kenneth on his Facebook, Twitter, and Website!

In 10 words or less, how would you recommend Boskone to a friend or fan?

Boston-area SFF writers will have time to talk to you.

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?”

The 1978 film version of Superman. I was 18, and had been a fan of the comics as long as I could read. The opening credits came on, and the music began to build — then there was a fanfare, and the “S” symbol came on the screen. I swear the hairs stood up on the back of my neck; it was like seeing a ghost and having all your wildest dreams fulfilled at the same time. After that moment, it didn’t really matter how good the rest of the film was.

What is your favorite memory of a fan interaction at a convention? It could be you as a pro interacting with one of your fans or you as a fan meeting someone you admire.

As a new writer, I approached Michael Swanwick and asked him to sign a book for me. He complied, inscribing the following: “Next time, you give the autograph.” ❤

Can you share some details about upcoming projects or what you’re working on now? Do you have releases in 2019 that readers should look for?

I have a bunch of stories in process: a short story about making golems, a novel about people who can alter the desires of others, a crossover fanfic for my own entertainment, and a bunch of projects that are only speculative.


Register for Boskone 56 today!

About DJ (@MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape)

DJ is a year 2 medical student, who in his spare time, loves to interview authors about all the books that he has no time to read :)
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