B57 Mini Interviews with Steven Popkes, Clea Simon, and Sarah Morrison

Good morning! Hope everyone is having an amazing day! Today we are interviewing Steven Popkes, Clea Simon, and Sarah Morrison!

Steven Popkes

Steven Popkes is mainly known for his short fiction and novellas. That said, there are three novels out there for people to read: Caliban Landing, Slow Lightning and Welcome to Witchlandia. He has been collected several times in various “Best of…” anthologies. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife. Together they have a dog, a cat, forty turtles and twenty three chickens. The turkeys just visit. His son just visits.

Visit Steven on their website.

What is it about Boskone that makes this the convention you choose to attend each year?

Or if this is your first Boskone, what attracted you most to Boskone this year?

Boskone and Readercon are the conventions that seem to have the most investment in the written word as opposed to media, costume, etc. I have nothing against these other things but my personal investment is in the written word.

What topics are you most looking forward to talking about at Boskone?

The process of writing. The nature of world building. The experience of character exploration.

Bonus: Up for a challenge? Give us a haiku or limerick about Boskone!

Boston in Winter
Miserable weather here
Boskone is like spring

If you could be a fly on the wall during any scene or event in literature of film, which scene would it be and why? 

If we’re viewing the film as reality, I would have liked to be in the discussion between the elves before they decided they needed a grand council. There must have been some really vitriolic interchanges about what Elrond was going to do.

If we’re looking it as film making, I would like to have watched the Hayden scene on the space station in 2001.

Authors: Fans often ask authors to talk about their favorite main characters, but what about the side characters? Who is one of your favorite sidekicks or secondary/tertiary characters who have had a lesser role in your work?

There’s a side character that keeps showing up in my fiction. He is a man born in ancient Sumer but who is still living. His name is Fred Hibbert. He first showed up as the boss of a character in my story This Old Man. But he’s shown up in different places since.

Looking back, what was the first piece of work (whether it be from literature, cinema, art, music, video game, toy, or whatever it may be) that first made you love science-fiction and fantasy?

Scanners live in Vain, Cordwainer Smith

What was your first book event or literary convention? Tell us about it! Perhaps you even have a photo to share?

A convention in Chicago in winter of 1978. Both Gene Wolfe and Algys Budrys was there. Gene Wolfe said to cling to that which everyone you knew said should be eliminated: that was yours.

What will you be working on in 2020? Any new releases or dates that fans should be looking forward to hearing about?

The print version of my novel Welcome to Witchlandia has now been released. My short story collection, Simple Things, will be out in December. Next year my novel, God’s Country, will be released.

If you could bring any object or device into the real world from fiction or film, and it would work perfectly, what would you choose? Why would you choose that item?

Anti-gravity belts– they’ve been around since the pulps. With them one could fly under their own power like Heinlein’s The Menace from Earth.

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Clea Simon

The author of more than two dozen mysteries featuring cats, three nonfiction books, and one punk rock urban noir, World Enough (Severn House), Clea Simon likes to keep busy. The Boston Globe best-selling author’s most recent mysteries range from the dystopian black-cat narrated Cross My Path (Severn House) (the third Blackie & Care mystery) and the snarky pet noir Fear on Four Paws (Poisoned Pen) (Pru Marlowe #7) to the cozy A Spell of Murder, the first Witch Cats of Cambridge mystery, which Polis Books will publish in December. Clea lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, with her husband and one (1) cat. She can be reached at http://www.cleasimon.com

Visit Clea on their Twitter or website.

What is it about Boskone that makes this the convention you choose to attend each year?

Or if this is your first Boskone, what attracted you most to Boskone this year?

The level of engagement! Seriously, I go to a lot of cons and what struck memost last year (my first year) was not only how much people had read but how engaged they were in the topics. Serious discussionis rare these days. Serious discussion of the ethics of paranormal cats even more so – and at a con? Just love how committed everyone is, and really want to bring it myself.

Looking back, what was the first piece of work (whether it be from literature, cinema, art, music, video game, toy, or whatever it may be) that first made you love science-fiction and fantasy?

“The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” I wish I could say something more esoteric, but I lived in Narnia for so many years (I was quite sure the woods between the worlds – from “The Magician’s Nephew” – was the beech forest behind my house). Possibly, Robert Graves'”The Big Green Book” might come close, with those wonderful Sendak illustrations and that big, floppy dog (who never chased rabbits again…)

What will you be working on in 2020? Any new releases or dates that fans should be looking forward to hearing about?

“An Incantation of Cats,” my second Witch Cats of Cambridge, came out in January). Once again, three littermates must help their human, and in this second outing has the magical feline sisters learning to work together. I love my quirky witch cats. I hope readers do too! (I’m going to be setting up events but don’t have anything yet).

If you could bring any object or device into the real world from fiction or film, and it would work perfectly, what would you choose? Why would you choose that item?

I have often thought the elven rope that Galadriel gives Sam would be useful. Especially as I am crap at knots.

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Sarah Morrison

Sarah Morrison is a fantasy illustrator who costumes in her spare time. You can find her work at http://sarahmorrisonillustration.com

Visit Sarah on their Facebook or website.

What is it about Boskone that makes this the convention you choose to attend each year?

Or if this is your first Boskone, what attracted you most to Boskone this year?

I enjoy the mix of things and people I can find at Boskone. Personally, I’m mostly here for the art, especially hearing and watching professional artists talk about art and their techniques. The art show is always amazing, and Boskone is a welcoming place for aspiring artists to get to meet and chat with professionals. I also occasionally listen to authors read from their works, and I like to take part in the whimsical magic behind NarniaCon (the coat check).

Artists: Fans love looking at the portfolio of artwork and asking artists about some of their most well known images. Which of your images, that receives less attention from fans, do you hold dear? What is it about the creation of that piece that makes it so special for you?

Maybe not relevant to one specific piece, but I, like many artists, end up painting my friends and family in my artwork. Sometimes another friend will comment “Oh! I really love that painting you did of so-and-so, but I think it would be so weird to have a painting of them hanging on my wall.” It’s a lot of fun painting my friends, though, and often more fun to do a preparatory photoshoot with them than with a hired model who I don’t know. I personally love recognizing some of the people in the paintings of illustrators I admire. I’d hang them on my wall.

Looking back, what was the first piece of work (whether it be from literature, cinema, art, music, video game, toy, or whatever it may be) that first made you love science-fiction and fantasy?

I’ve always loved a variety of things in the science fiction and fantasy realm (growing up on Astroboy, the usual childrens’ fairy tales, and Star Trek TNG of course), but it wasn’t until a friend lent me a bunch of Dragonlance books in High School that I finally really discovered the depths of the genre. Dragons and magic everywhere, that was the best, and I’d never seen art like Larry Elmore’s covers before. The world of fantasy illustration was suddenly open to me and I loved it.

If you could bring any object or device into the real world from fiction or film, and it would work perfectly, what would you choose? Why would you choose that item?

Hey, can we get Niven’s stepping discs please?Seriously. I’d be making so much use out of them. The internet helps us keep in touch with people far away but it’s just not the same – plus it takes at least an hour to get anywhere local by public transit.

Register for Boskone 57!
Register for Boskone 57 today!

About DJ (@MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape)

DJ is a year 3 medical student in his clinical rotations, who in his spare time, loves to interview authors about all the books that he has no time to read :)
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