lilacfield (lilacfield) wrote in imaginarybeasts,
lilacfield
lilacfield
imaginarybeasts

Interview with Recent Contributors

We've been reading their stories and viewing their art for the past year or so. Now it's time to know them a little bit better. The Book of Imaginary Beasts presents *drumroll* its first ever interview with contributors. And a couple more people besides.

Contributors



Brat Farrar

1. Please introduce yourself and tell us what you write.

Hi! I'm Brat (named for the titular character in Josephine Tey's novel Brat Farrar). I've been writing fantastical fiction of one kind or another since the age of four, although I didn't start sharing it online until I got to college. I've dabbled a little in SF, but mostly what comes out of my head is fantasy. Ever since I read The Lord of the Rings in early high school, my goal has been to someday create a world as convincing and engrossing as Tolkien's Middle Earth, and that's in the back of my mind for pretty much everything I write.

2. Where do you publish your writings? Share any links that you're comfortable with.

Every story I've shared online (which is a good bit more than the few I've published through imaginarybeasts) is collected at thebratfarrar.wordpress.com, as well as being originally posted on my livejournal (bratfarrar), and all of my fanfiction is up at archiveofourown.org/users/bratfarrar.

3. To you, what's the best thing about writing?

The best thing? That feeling when I finally finish a story and it feels complete in itself, almost like I wasn't the one who wrote it, just the one who copied it down.

4. In the future, where do you see yourself as a writer?

Published and paid? Though likely not for a long while yet. I have a sizable novel in the works, but there's so much world-building required that it's still almost entirely in outline form. If nothing else, I want to finish that--mostly because I want to be able to read it, and the accompanying short stories and novellas that I have sketched out. (Some of those will likely turn up here, as I can fit them into the theme for each issue.)

But mostly, published and paid or not, still writing. It's definitely an intrinsic part of who I am.



DMJewelle

1. Please introduce yourself and tell us what you write.

Hi, this is DMJewelle. I'm a hospital lab rat by day, and mild-mannered writer/gamer/consumer by night. I have a large number of original characters in original universes jostling for space in my head, all of which demand fleshing out through any means possible. Notable universes include:
- The Vaticanny Place, located at the center of universe where everyone can now be a god,
- A high fantasy world populated by racist dragons,
- A magic-filled alternate Malaysia (that won me some money in a writing contest),
- Lovecraftian giant robots and the unfortunate people who pilot them, and
- An antichrist named Neji.

So I guess I just write whichever universe fits the theme best.

2. Where do you publish your writings? Share any links that you're comfortable with.

The bulk of my writing stays in Imaginary Beasts, but I post some up at my Deviantart: http://j-ko.deviantart.com/

There's also a Tumblr blog where I post flash fiction about the antichrist Neji: http://projectneji.tumblr.com/

3. To you, what's the best thing about writing?

Finishing.

I had very little to show before contributing to Imaginary Beasts; now I have a portfolio.

There's also the moment when I reread some of my older work, and sometimes there'll be a gem - a line, a description - that will make me go, "I wrote that?" and it keeps me writing because it's proof I'm not as bad as I think I am.

4. In the future, where do you see yourself as a writer?

Honestly...I don't see anything.

I sometimes dream about finishing a critically-acclaimed novel or winning the Booker Prize, but that means honing my technique, or having a story that CAN be contained in one novel. Maybe someday it'll happen, but until then I'll just keep writing, improving, and dreaming.



Magi

1. Please introduce yourself and tell us about your art.

Hi, there! My name is Magi (quite surprisingly a shortened version of my real name) and from time to time I get a chance to draw covers for the Book of Imaginary Beasts. I'm not good at talking about myself or things I do, but I promise to do my best.
If anything, I'm just a self-taught artist, who has a job not related to drawing and who used to be the reason of many tears of all my art teachers. And no, they didn't cry, because I was such an awesome artist, believe me; quite the contrary. I achieved a tolerable level of drawing skills long after graduating from primary school, which was the last time I took proper art classes.
My arts and I have a very complicated relationship which often goes from love to hate and back to love again. I draw fanarts and original arts. I tend to use different techniques and different media (digital and traditional ones), depending on my mood. I don't think that my style does have this something that makes it be easily identifiable (unless you count messy linearts); something that makes you look at a piece of art and say, "Hey, I know who drew it. I recognize the style." It's more like my arts follow certain schemes in terms of themes, colour schemes, techniques (e.g. using square brushes only) or play of light and shadow (my favourite part). And then I can completely surprise you and create something using just three colours: white, black and red. I think that the two covers I've drawn so far can prove quite well how much my drawing style might differ between two pieces.

2. Where do you publish your art? Share any links that you're comfortable with.

My deviantART account (http://gavrieel.deviantart.com) and my LJ account (helike) are the places where I publish almost everything I've drawn. Save for that, there is a website I keep (http://kaleidoscope.x10host.com) where I post my art, too, but I don't update it on a regular basis, just a few times a year.

3. To you, what's the best thing about being an artist?

I would list four things actually.
1. The act of creation. Say what you want, but there really is something magical in seeing how you "build" something piece by piece. I have a bit of a manic personality, so maybe it gets to me a bit more than to most people. Usually it all ends with me switching off from the world around for a few hours and focusing on drawing only.
2. Challenges. I like them in general, so it shouldn't be a surprise. And just imagine this satisfaction when after millions of tries you manage to get some difficult pose right.
3. Fighting characters you draw and getting them to cooperate. Yes, I know it sounds funny, but sometimes they decide they don't like the poses I make them take and decide they would look so much better if they did all in their own day. And sometimes they are right. When I know they are, I usually let them do what they want.
4. Surprises. By which I mean the concept changing while drawing. Sometimes the initial idea I have changes so much during the drawing process that the final result is nothing like I imagined. I found it frustrating at first, but I've learnt to enjoy it. At least now I might be as much surprised by my own arts as others might be.

4. In the future, where do you see yourself as an artist?

Definitely not as a professional artist. I might design something for good friends if they ask, but it won't make me a professional. I do plan on keeping drawing as my hobby, though. Plus, it's quite a good stress reliever... unless you hit an art block or are stuck on some unusually difficult pose. Or the character you draw refuses to cooperate.



Kara Lee

1. Please introduce yourself and tell us what you write.

Hi! My name is Kara Lee and I write SF/F.

To refine the point: I've been known to write most flavors of SF, ranging from space opera to making long extended jokes about a single piece of technology. I don't write a lot of hard SF yet - though I think that's because my day job is as a research scientist, and I don't quite want to bring it home. My F writing is split between magical realism and urban fantasy, preferably with a liberal helping of post-modern-magik (if you will).

My published works are both SF - in fact, one space opera (still in press) and one long joke about technology. :) As for WIPs, I'm currently working on a magical realism flavored Sherlock Holmes retelling, a soft SF story about memory erasure technology, and an urban fantasy story about the gods of elementary particles. Four years of very expensive science training at a university, and this is what I use it for ... ahahaha.

2. Where do you publish your writings? Share any links that you're comfortable with.

2. You can peek at my past and future published pieces at my website, Windupdreams. You can follow me at my wordpress blog (Sputnik Hearts), or my Livejournal / Dreamwidth journals, which are mirrors.

Or if you just wanna skip ahead to a piece, you can read And Now, A Message From A Future Sponsor Of This Fine Publication at Eggplant Literary Productions.

3. To you, what's the best thing about writing?

Haha, you picked a good time to ask this, as I wrangle with the revisions on my latest piece.

On the most primal level, like many writers, I got into writing because I love reading, and I want to recapture the happiest and saddest and most thoughtful that other pieces have made me feel. So the best thing about writing is reaching inside my (and my readers', hopefully, but it should start with my) ~~FEELINGS~~ and deconvoluting the emotional circuits therein, and then of course punching them as hard as I can. It takes a lot of time and coffee and writhing on the couch, but there's nothing comparable to the rush of realizing that I've found the exact story thread to tug on.

... and on a crafting level, I also love that I get to describe pretty things and write cinematic apotheosis scenes! (Say what you like - I like my climaxes to present as climaxes.) (I think all writers are drama queens on some level. Maybe not in person, but on paper. XD)

4. In the future, where do you see yourself as a writer?

This is going to be a really boring answer ... but I have a list of all the venues that I'd like to be published in, of course. I also have several ideas for novels, and after I meet some of my short story goals, I'll probably start on one of them. I'd certainly like writing to be a larger percentage of my time (and income), so, working steadily towards that.

<3 for the interview!



Fe

1. Please introduce yourself and tell us about your art.

Hi my name is Fe. I was under the pseudonym "Ferrum" for quite a long time until someone at a con approached me saying, "I have been wanting to greet you and talk to you for a while, but I didn't know how to say your name."
I like to draw androgynous men. Naked androgynous men. Half naked androgynous men. Naked androgynous men doing things. But I like to draw them in a sensual way, as opposed to in a sexual way. At least that's what I enjoy to do.

2. Where do you publish your art? Share any links that you're comfortable with.

I mainly post it in my tumblr: http://-fe.tumblr.com/ and twitter for wips: @festinate
I also have pixiv (id: 879052) that I rarely update nowadays.

3. To you, what's the best thing about being an artist?

The joy of drawing what you want to draw. Most of my lives, I only draw what I want to draw, I am not a professional artist, (because I have full time job in another industry; although I have done design jobs too as freelance). So when I draw, I am completely freed from the pressure to please other people's tastes, or to make it to be as "beautiful" as possible, or as "artistic" as possible; because it's not what I am trying to strive for.

4. In the future, where do you see yourself as an artist?

I just want to draw more. It makes me happy.



V

1. Please introduce yourself and tell us about your art.

Hi, I'm V, and I've been drawing since I was able to hold a crayon in my hand. Because I grew up in that online era of Never Reveal Your Real Anything online, I'm a serial username changer which has become a problem because every time I try to talk to someone these days, I am no longer certain if they actually know me or are just confusing me for someone else. (Haha, my life is a sad one.) Also that sort of behavior really doesn't help when it comes to self-branding as an artist so I've been trying to correct myself.

Anyway, off the top of my head, some of the names I've called myself: krum, redplasticglass, speedtribes and roboluvsunicorn. I'm trying to be more consistent these days, though, and haven't changed my name the last three-four years. That's good right?

My art... I tend to like grabbing extremely disparate or even opposite concepts and trying to mash them together just to see if I can. I think that's probably a hit-or-miss quality with my overall concept or aesthetic. I work mainly with comics or illustrated story work simply because I like telling stories and if I'm not writing prose, then those two formats are the easiest for me to create.

2. Where do you publish your art? Share any links that you're comfortable with.

I have a deviantart: speedtribes.deviantart.com

Though these days, due to time issues and other projects I'm working, most of my fannish posting goes to my sketch/scribble blog: roboluvsunicorn.tumblr.com

I also post progress sketches and other scraps on my twitter: roboluvsunicorn

I still periodically make updates to my lj: redplasticglass and dw: speedtribes.dreamwidth.org but it's become less frequent as my flist shrinks.

3. To you, what's the best thing about being an artist?

I'm going to get analogy heavy here, because this is a question that has been plaguing me for some time, but I have always found it difficult to quantify in specific words. It's more of a feeling or sensation for me than saying, "Ah, this is the good thing about art."

Art for me has always been an exercise in masochism. Sort of an internal drive that I can't avoid... It hurts to make, hurts to not make. Kind of have to do it despite years of bad luck, anxiety and the usual general angst that accompanies an artist's life. I find art to be very exposing. Like... losing your pants somehow without being drunk enough to justify having done so. Eventually you roll with it, but until you get to that point where you've got the social skill to own that pantlessness, you're just trying to stand behind a bush and pretend you're totally cool but you just have no pants.

But you know, that moment you can grasp that coolness and be like, "Fuck yeah, I've got no pants!" And everyone is totally onboard with it and even start taking theirs off too... That's that one moment your hand syncs with your mind and emotion and somehow it all snaps together. That moment is when you look at what you've made and it's like, "This is my vision!! LOOK AT THIS, WORLD!" It's a dizzying feeling. That's what makes all those years of practice worth it.

I know I'm not alone in this feeling, though it's not exactly a popular way to view things unless you're like... the mangaka for Gintama... except I think he compared art to showing the world his anus. I'm not quite sure it's that intrusive, but I do share the sentiment. Art has a certain deliberate, exhibitionist quality that's hard to escape.

4. In the future, where do you see yourself as an artist?

It took me awhile, but I have discovered that what drives my art the most is the desire to tell stories. I mean, I always knew that, but it took me years before I finally realized that what I really wanted was to tell my own stories.

So in the future, I want to find the artistic part of my self that I felt was sacrificed to the commercial art gods and really focus on what sorts of things lie inside my head. I want to develop the skill to be able to express these things consistently and coherently and in an interesting manner.

Then maybe I'll take my pants off.

Honestly...I don't see anything.

I sometimes dream about finishing a critically-acclaimed novel or winning the Booker Prize, but that means honing my technique, or having a story that CAN be contained in one novel. Maybe someday it'll happen, but until then I'll just keep writing, improving, and dreaming.



Stephanie Folse

1. Please introduce yourself and tell us about your art.

My name is Stephanie Folse, and my art swings between realism and cartoony, in part because I love life drawing as well as drawing manga and comics. I tend to gravitate towards fantasy subjects. I also occasionally get a mad urge to take photographs, although the vast majority of them are awful and never see the light of the intartubes.

In general, I tend to use oil painting techniques in the digital medium, because I'm at heart an oil painter, but I don't have the budget, studio, or storage space to do proper oils!

I haven't done much in the past year or so because an old repetitive stress injury in my wrist flared up, badly enough that I went to physical therapy for it, and as I have to use my hands in my day job (I sit at a computer all day), the stuff I did with my hands in my off time had to be scaled back quite a bit. My wrist is stronger now, and I hope to be increasing my artwork in the near future. So remember: take good care of your joints, kids! Don't be me!

2. Where do you publish your art? Share any links that you're comfortable with.

telophase.deviantart.com is mostly my fanart and and sfolse.deviantart.com is for original works, although my earlier originals are still on the telophase account. You can see my progress over a period of a decade or so or taking life drawing and oil painting classes here and there!

3. To you, what's the best thing about being an artist?

I can't pin down one specific thing. Being able to satisfy a creative impulse, meeting like-minded people, and experiencing the state of flow (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_%28psychology%29) when immersed in a piece. Also, the act of creating art is, for me, an exercise in applied problem-solving, which I find satisfying on its own. And that also explains why I don't find myself really able to crank out piece after piece with the exact same style: because I've already solved those problems to some extent, so I need to find new ones to work on.

4. In the future, where do you see yourself as an artist?

Probably doing much the same as I am now--producing the occasional piece as I feel the urge--only, with luck and care of my wrist, much more frequently. In the past I've made a few attempts to turn my art into a more lucrative hobby by selling at art conventions and taking commissions, but in all honesty as soon as I'm taking money for it, it's no longer as fun because it's now a job and an obligation. I'll probably still take the occasional commission, but overall I think I'm going to keep this as a hobby I love to pursue, and keep taking more classes to explore different media and styles and to push myself.



Martyna

1. Please introduce yourself and tell us what you write.

My real name's Martyna, but around the internet I'm mostly known as either M% or exmachinarium. I live smack in the middle of Europe and spend my days attempting to become a writer and translator at the same time, which doesn't work as well as it should so far, but let's not complain about such trifles. Constantly sleep-deprived and covered in cat hair, courtesy of my companion cat of unusual size, I run on tea, good music and witty books, writing somewhere in-between chores - mostly (urban) fantasy or very light horror/mystery, and almost exclusively short stories. Funnily enough, they're all mostly music-inspired; sometimes it's a line in the lyrics, sometimes the melody or just the general feel of that song or other... Needless to say, figuring original titles becomes a complicated deal afterwards (especially when I'm translating them from English later on).

2. Where do you publish your writings? Share any links that you're comfortable with.

At this point, The Book of Imaginary Beasts is pretty much the only place I've ever published in. I do have my own writing blog/archive for both original fiction and fanfics - http://alwaysfiction.wordpress.com - but I'm planning to move the original stories somewhere else this year, so they don't mix up; besides, all the fanfics end up on AO3 sooner or later, so why lump them with my other stuff.

3. To you, what's the best thing about writing?

Being able to create stories I want to read, I suppose. The ideas I work into stories usually start their life somewhere along the lines of: "Ah, this thing's perfect, why isn't there a story based on that song/name/line in the lyrics? Oh well, I'll make one of my own then.", so you could say my writing is an act of extreme self-indulgence. Of course, if someone else likes the end result of that tinkering, it's pretty exhilarating in its own right. And when they feel inspired by it? It's like all possible holidays rolled into one. Still, I write to please myself first and foremost.

4. In the future, where do you see yourself as a writer?

Published and on everyone's bookshelves would be a dream come true, but that's pretty long-range (and pretty hypothetical) planning. So instead, I'd like to see my future self still running around the city with a handy notebook and staying up all night, polishing the dialogues to make them sound just right. Which of course doesn't mean I don't intend to storm every possible publishing house and literary magazine in attempt to send my stories out into the world; after all, one of these days I might just make someone's day brighter with my words - that's enough of an incentive for me.



Bernice

1. Please introduce yourself and tell us what you write.

My name is Bernice, and on LJ I'm untrainedviolin. Currently I'm something of a psych major and I'm about to start my senior year of college in July. I write stories and poems and fic, when the mood strikes. But I don't have any formal training in writing - I've been made editor of school papers a few times, but nothing beyond that. I don't really want to identify with any one genre since I'd love to experiment with all of them, but what I write is predominantly fantasy and slice-of-life stories, and a lot of love poetry. I know, I'm a sap. I'm owning it now.

2. Where do you publish your writings? Share any links that you're comfortable with.

On Tumblr I'm cities-in-flight, and you can find my writing here: http://cities-in-flight.tumblr.com/tagged/mine

And if you'd care to wade through the mess that is the Literary section of my university's official online publication, I'm published under Bernice Caña: http://tomasinoweb.org/section/literary

3. To you, what's the best thing about writing?

The best thing about writing is probably the process itself. I love it when I get an idea and I play it out in the story, because then it's like a rush. Writing is like a drug, except I'm (pretty) sure there aren't any negative side effects like withdrawal or shaking or texting your ex or your mom. Maybe.

Anyway, it seems cliche, but for me the process is absolutely the best part of writing.

4. In the future, where do you see yourself as a writer?

Oh man, this is kind of a tricky question. I've wanted to be a writer ever since I was a kid, but then more recent dreams are getting in the way of that, so now I'm conflicted. I really really want to pursue law but at the same time I'd love to write for a living. My dad says there's no reason I can't do both, or combine the two, but I love fiction and I really don't want to be John Grisham II. So in short, there are two ways I see myself as a writer in the future: one as a career writer who writes for a living and is hugely successful for some reason, and the second as someone who writes as a hobby but also makes it her second job or something like that. I want to incorporate writing in my life somehow. I can't imagine living without it.

(One of the persons in the) Management



Eve

1. Please introduce yourself and tell us what you write.

Hi, I'm Eve, a full-time writer. The stories I've published in IB are from the wuxia, fantasy, and horror/supernatural genres, so that pretty much describes what I write.

2. Where do you publish your writings? Share any links that you're comfortable with.

So far I've had two YA horror/supernatural novels out, and another is on the way. Another novel that's also YA and on the way is about idols (the sort that perform on stage). I haven't published a wuxia novel yet, but the road is hopefully still long. If you live in Indonesia and can read Bahasa Indonesia, I'd appreciate it if you check out my novels at the bookstore. (cough)

3. To you, what's the best thing about writing?

Creating worlds and characters that I want to see in fiction. Interacting with fellow writers! Learning what people think about my writing.

4. In the future, where do you see yourself as a writer?

A genre writer who makes a living from her novels.

Last but not least: Founder



Pei Yi

1. What first gave you the idea to set up The Book of Imaginary Beasts?

Basically, at the time BB_S had been running for a couple of years, and I really enjoyed reading their issues. But I am the worst at writing porn, so I never submitted, and then I started thinking that it'd be great to also have a zine that encouraged original fiction with a broader/more gen focus, rather than focusing on romance. When I suggested the idea to people, everyone was really enthusiastic, and then the idea of being able to basically make people write the things I wanted to read lured me in. XD;

2. On themes: do you prefer them to be genre-based, free-association words, or something else?

I like genre themes, it's interesting to see people twist them in interesting ways. But a lot of the free-association themes have also produced really fun stories

3. What was the best thing about running IB?

Having an excuse to shamelessly force people to write me stories, so to speak. Also, having lots of cool stories to read and coming across great writers I wouldn't have known about otherwise.

4. Have you got any favorite issues?
Probably Wuxia and Crossdressing because these 2 themes were essentially my, uh, driving motivation for setting up IB in the first place /cough hack ahem But Fairy Tales was also a really great issue!

---

Thank you for reading, and thank you to everyone who replied to the interview :)

Tags: interviews
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