Sunday, April 10, 2005


1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your livejournal/website with the answers to the questions and leave the answers as comments here (or at least provide a pointer to your site).
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Them's the rules, so here are the answers to the 3 interviews I've given so far:

From Grant Watson:

1. Hollywood reverses the truckful of money up to your house and signs you to write a remake of any existing film you want. Which film? Why?

Oh good, start with the easy ones.... shit. Um, gee, buggered if I know. I'm so against remakes. They make me ill. You know that, you bugger. All right. How about Angels with Dirty Faces? I think we've got some actors that could do it justice. Or The Cabinet of Dr Caligari? Mmm, now that could be fun.

2. Which is honestly harder: being a single parent or being two parents of five kids?

Being a single parent of one kid, I think, given the emotional circumstances. I was thrown into the deep end of teenager parenting when I met Lyn, but then, I had Lyn, and that's the big difference: someone around to support, help, guide, and second-guess me makes all the difference. I still suffer enormous doubts about my ability as a parent: I see all the problems with Erin and what I did wrong, but Lyn knows what she's doing.

3. What single publication would you must like to have a story published in?

Year's Best Fantasy & Horror by Ellen Datlow and whoever's replacing Terri Windling. It's kind of a barometer, I guess. I've copped recommended reading list mentions in a couple of previous volumes, and became very depressed this year when I put out some damn good stories (at least, for me) and didn't cop one. Especially given some of the stories that did get mentioned, which I thought weren't up to much at all. But it seems to me that to get the story printed up, well, that would be a sign that I can compete with the big boys.

4. If someone was going to make a movie based on one of your stories, which one would you most like to see?

Easy. The Father Muerte stories. Two have seen print, the third's been sold to Aurealis, and the fourth's in the drafting process. Plus I'm putting ideas away for a novel. It's my favourite stuff to work on, and I have such a visual sense of it all. That's the one, definitely.

5. You have to erase an entire author's work from existence. Which author's body of work do you reluctantly erase?

Reluctantly? Brian Aldiss. One or two fantastic things in the 60s doesn't forgive the tripe he's turned out in the last 20 years. But there are many, many who I'd erase gleefully. Matthew Reilly, Andrew M Greeley, Michael Crichton...

From Martin Livings:

1. You guys host "good movie nights", though it has to be said that one's value of "good" may vary. What's the worst film you've ever seen on recommendation from someone else claiming it was good, and who recommended it?

I refuse to accept any sneering about my definition of 'good' from a guy who hates The Rocky Horror Picture Show! :) However, to answer the question, easily the worst film I've seen on recommendation would be Uurotsakaai (or however the hell you spell it): Legend Of The Overfiend. So bad I didn't watch manga for over another decade. In fact, it wasn't until I became Bonus-Dad to a couple of manga-obsessed boys that I watched some more, and found out what I'd been missing.

2. Your collection The Divergence Tree will be coming up startlingly soon. Which story in it is your favourite, and why?

Gee, that's a hard one. Obviously they're all my favourites, or they wouldn't have made the collection. But of those that are included, Silk would go close, mainly because it was written for a weird market (All-Star Zeppelin Adventure Stories), and in less than a week, and yet is still probably one of my best three stories. And, you know, you don't often get to use the phrase 'haunted time-travelling barrage balloon' in normal conversation...

3. Have you ever published a story that, in retrospect, you've regretted having your name next to? If so, which one, and why?

Off the top of my head, no, although Lyn has a couple she wishes I'd never sold :) But I've learnt a lot about the business each time I've ventured out the front door, and each sale has a story behind it, so no regrets, not really. There are a few I think I've undersold, and a few I think I've placed in the wrong market, but that's a different thing.

4. You're given a Buffy/Faith-style body-swap bracelet, and twenty-four hours in which to use it. Who do you shake hands with?

That depends: If Lyn's around, I shake her hand. If she isn't, I shake Angelina Jolie's hand and then take a very long shower...

5. Some say that loneliness and suffering are essential ingredients in the writing process. Most of the great writers were depressed, miserable and lonely. You, on the other hand, are now happily newlywed, and surrounded by more kids than is really feasible. Is loneliness and suffering necessary for art? Or is this a whole new kind of suffering? ;)

I don't buy that you have to be lonely, miserable, and suffering, no more than I buy the idea that you have to have been on another planet in order to describe it. You do have to be able to tap into the mental space well enough to be able to describe it with enough verisimilitude that the readers understand it. Experience helps, and I have had the black dog periods, but that only enables me, now that I have happiness in my life, to tap into those emotions with some realism on the page.

From Mynxii:

1. What alcoholic cocktail do you enjoy the most (must be a cocktail of some description) and why?

I created one in the 80s called 'The Foetus': vodka, Creme de Menthe and Creme de Cacao, then suspend both red and yellow Advocaat (the thick stuff, not the clear). The two advocaat hang together in a lump, hence the name, and the effect is like being hit with a choc-mint tasting Volvo

2. If you were to have a dinner party with 7 people you wanted to get to know better, that you don't already consider to know well, whom would you invite and why?

Oooh, that's tuff. Howard Waldrop, to get inside the man's talent. Billy Connolly, to get to know on a personal basis someone who's words I've been enjoying most of my life. Rob Hoge and Kate Eltham, because Brisbane is just too damn far away to catch up as often as we should. Danny Oz, because Melbourne etc etc. Chris Lawson, because I have such damn respect for the man's work. And Tim Powers, because I've enjoyed his company each time we've met, find him a thoroughly engaging person, and have lost his forged Virgil Findlay signature :)

I've not included anybody local, coz, you know, I could always just pick up the phone...

3. What is your favourite line in the story you least expected to like and why?

Gee, I don't know. There's an aspiring poet at one of Lyn's writing groups who specialises in writing horrible, unreadable, tetchy little pieces about people she knows. But a wee while ago she wrote something called Kneeling in Dry Grass, with Roses which was an attempt to get inside the mind of one of the victims of the Claremont Serial killer, just before she died. It blew me away: surreal, dangerous, and hard. I can't remember any individual line, but I do remember sitting there thinking "fuuuuucccckkkkk..."

4. If you ended up in a drag club as a drag queen doing a performance - what diva would you impersonate and why?

Based on body shape, I think I could only get away with Divine :) But for comedy purposes, I'd go with Gwyneth Paltrow's performance in Duets. Because she's a crap actress, and deserves it :)

5. If you were to take over the world as an evil dictator, aside from purging the stupid people, what would your following three acts of power be?

Geez, there'd be so few of us left! Abolish organised religion, I think. If there's been anything more consistently evil over the course of human history, I've yet to discover it.

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