Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Chiseled in Rock

Today, I am interviewed by Chiseled in Rock, the Official Blog of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. We talk about science fiction and fantasy publishing, but also about film and television, and answer the all important question Star Trek or Star Wars. Here's a taste, but please check out the whole interview:

CIR: Is there a type or style of science fiction and fantasy that you would recommend aspiring writers pursue or avoid? For example, are there topics that are overdone or ones that you think need greater exploration?

LA: That’s a dangerous question. You can’t really write for what you perceive the market to be, because by the time you’ve put the year or two in that it takes to write a novel, spent the year or more it takes to sell it, and then gone through the year it takes to publish it, whatever you thought was the hot category is half a decade out of date. We have a husband-wife author team, Clay and Susan Griffith, who have a very hot vampire-steampunk novel. You’d think they were capitalizing on a trend, but the truth is that steampunk wasn’t hot when they started and they joke that they saw vampires fall in and out of fashion twice while they were working on the first manuscript. That being said, as long as Game of Thrones is on HBO, the industry will be looking for another gritty, epic fantasy, and I personally am curious to see someone bridge the gap between urban fantasy’s core female readership and classic sword & sorcery fiction. But don’t write to someone else’s expectation. Write what you are moved to write. If it doesn’t excite you, how can it excite anyone else?


Michael said...

I struggle with this. My experience of writing, once an expression of freedom and delight, has gotten lost in the obsession to become sale-able. Now the serial killer of self-recrimination has trapped me in a deep pit, forcing me to apply the lotion of doubt.

"It puts on the lotion or it gets the hose."

I just want to find satisfaction in the act of writing again, and hope that what intrigues me, is compelling to others.

You're a writer as well as an editor. Have you come up against this?

Lou Anders said...

What goes in informs what comes out. You can't write for the market. You have to write what you love. But if you feed yourself a steady diet of German expressionist film, performance art, and avant-garde poetry, you are unlikely to produce commercial fiction on the other end. Study what sells, find that intersection of what sells consistently that you also love and dwell in that headspace for a time.

Michael said...

German expressionism has never really been my thing, though I do love Poetry Slam.

Thank you for taking the time to advise me.

Lou Anders said...

De nada. Thanks for the interest.