October 2nd 2009
3 Questions with Mindy Klasky
On October 1, I celebrated the release of my tenth novel, HOW NOT TO MAKE A WISH (10? Ack! There’s no way I’ve been doing this for that long!) I also celebrated turning in the manuscript for my twelfth novel, and the outline and worldbuilding summary for my thirteenth novel. Then, I slept. A lot. Here’s the cover of the new book – it makes me smile.
Now, I’m feeling chatty, and I wanted to answer a handful of the questions that I get most frequently from readers. This isn’t a straight Q&A, though. I want to ask you some questions in return! I hope that you’ll answer them in comments.
Question: Which SF conventions do you attend, and how do you choose them?
Answer: In the past, I’ve always tried to attend World Fantasy, Worldcon, and my local relaxicon, Capclave. Lately, though, I’ve found that my interest is drifting. World Fantasy no longer aligns with the commercial material that I write – its emphasis on literary speculative fiction feeds some of my interest as a reader, but almost none as a writer. Worldcon is even further from the commercial world my books inhabit; traditional fandom doesn’t stretch far enough across the romance aisle to find me. I still love Capclave – it’s a great chance to catch up with friends and writer-colleagues.
Question-in-return: Which conventions do you attend, and why?
Question: Are there really genies in your current As You Wish Series? Why genies?
Answer: Yep – in fact, the main genie is the character who continues from book to book, carrying the weight of the series. Each individual novel completely resolves the story of the specific wisher who finds the genie’s lamp. I’ve always been fascinated by genies – ever since I realized that a shrewd wisher would simply wish for “three more wishes.” (And yes, there are brakes in my magical system, so that wishers can’t do that!) I love writing about unintended consequences – that’s what the entire Glasswrights Series was about (Rani Trader tries to warn a prince about an assassination attempt and enables the murderer to work his evil, resulting in complete upheaval of Rani’s life), along with most of the Jane Madison series (librarian-witch works spells to simplify her life, only to find that each individual spell makes things much more complicated than she ever imagined.) Genies are a tool to explore unintended consequences.
Question-to-you: What magical beings would you like to see more of in speculative fiction?
Question: You always say “speculative fiction.” Aren’t you writing romance, these days?
Answer: While I recognize the value of having a genre printed on the spine of a book – booksellers know where to shelve it; readers know where to find it – that genre labeling is extremely confining. My books involve relationships between individuals who may or may not love each other, so I guess they’re romances. They also involve imaginary magical creatures that do not exist in the reality of our time-space continuum, so I guess they’re fantasy. HOW NOT TO MAKE A WISH is set in Minneapolis and is flavored extensively by my former hometown, so I guess it’s regional fiction. The current series explores theater, and the strength of on-stage myth-making as a way for humanity to work out its greatest social issues, so I guess it’s literature. ::shrug:: “Speculative fiction” lets me communicate the sense of wonder in the books, so I’ll stick with it as a general catch-all. But I’ll still answer, when people call me under some other name.
Question-for-you: Do you find genre labels helpful? Harmful? Are there any that you’d like to see abolished forever?
Thanks, everyone, for checking in on SFNovelists. I hope to read your comments below!
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Mindy Klasky is the author of eleven novels, including WHEN GOOD WISHES GO BAD and HOW NOT TO MAKE A WISH in the As You Wish Series. She also wrote GIRL'S GUIDE TO WITCHCRAFT, SORCERY AND THE SINGLE GIRL, and MAGIC AND THE MODERN GIRL, about a librarian who finds out she's a witch. Mindy also wrote the award-winning, best-selling Glasswrights series and the stand-alone fantasy novel, SEASON OF SACRIFICE. Visit site.
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