Tag Archives: rochita loenen-ruiz

Blog hop: on writing

I am doing a blog hop thing! I was invited to do it by Shannon Phillips, who has a story in a new anthology from World Weaver Press. It is like a promotional meme — you answer a bunch of questions about writing and then you link to other writers and tell people about them — so here goes.

This is Shannon Phillips:

Shannon Phillips lives in Oakland, where she keeps chickens, a dog, three boys, and a husband. Her first novel, The Millennial Sword, tells the story of the modern-day Lady of the Lake. Her short fiction has been featured in Dragon magazine, Rose Red Review, and the upcoming anthology Fae from World Weaver Press.

And these are the questions she sent me!

 

1) What am I working on?

I’m working on yet another revision of my Regency fantasy of manners about England’s first black Sorcerer Royal. This has been my main writing project since late 2012, but in intervals between working on it I’ve also been working on Space Villette (not its real title), a novella based on Charlotte Bronte’s Villette, but with a space opera setting influenced by the early kingdoms (or should I say mandalas?) of maritime Southeast Asia.

Well, I say it is a novella, but it’s almost 30k words in and the Lucy Snowe character hasn’t even started to make googly eyes at the M. Paul equivalent. That said, I plan to rewrite the whole thing from scratch once I’ve got the first draft done, so pretty much everything I say about it now should be discounted!

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

All of my stories are about colonialism. I guess the most obvious point of difference is that the main characters are usually non-white. To the extent that I can, even when I am playing with very Western/Eurocentric genres or tropes, I try to infuse my stories with a non-Western sensibility, to refocus the narrative around characters who aren’t as often in the spotlight in English-language fiction. I don’t know how successful I am at doing that, but I keep trying.

Of course, when I am actually writing my main goal is not to make some big political point or other. My main goal is to write as many long rambling conversations and dumb jokes as people will let me get away with.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I remain profoundly shaped by my childhood reading and am processing it the best way I know how. I got told a lot of stories by my mom that I want other people to hear. I like reading long rambling conversations and dumb jokes myself. I think comfort reading shouldn’t come in just one flavour, or have just one kind of character as the focus. I’ve got a niche and I might as well keep going with it. History is interesting. I can’t write other stuff — I mean, in theory I could write a baseball economics book instead, but I don’t understand baseball or economics.

Lots of reasons!

4) How does my writing process work?

(i) Do anything except writing for as long as I can.

(ii) Bash out some hasty words just before bedtime, when I can no longer put it off.

(iii) Repeat the next day.

I generally take off one day a week, and don’t tend to write on holidays or if I’m travelling.

 

I’ve tagged the following authors, who will be posting the meme next week:

Alexandra Singer graduated from SUNY Purchase with a B.A. in Creative Writing. The is the author of the ongoing independent comic, Sfeer Theory. An avid fan of historical fantasy and fairy tales, her short stories have been featured in publications such as Chamberton Publishing’s Spotlight anthology and Crossed Genres Magazine. Her blog is at http://moonsheen.dreamwidth.org.

Eve Shi is an Indonesian writer. Her YA supernatural/horror novels are available in Indonesian bookstores. She’s working on more books of the same genre, as well as planning to write books in other genres.

End of the Road ebook

End of the Road, an anthology of weird road trip stories (click on the title for the full Table of Contents), is now available as an ebook from the Rebellion Store:

End of the Road ebook

Features writers like Philip Reeve, Lavie Tidhar, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, Vandana Singh, and me! I understand the print version (which is v. pretty!) will be available in December — you can pre-order it from Amazon or Amazon UK. But if you prefer ebooks you can buy and read it now!

My story is about a ghost who balik kampung for the Hungry Ghost Festival, and in the process unwillingly solves the mystery of her death.

Hungry ghosts were the spirits of the unfortunate, unlamented dead: those who were killed violently; who died burdened by unfulfilled longings; who had been greedy or ungenerous in life; who were forgotten by their living. It was obvious to Lydia which category she fell into.

The story features Kampar curry chicken bread in a cameo role. It’s more melancholy than funny, but hopefully it’s a bit funny. Lydia travels northwards to get to her kampung, of course. One of these days I should have a protagonist from Muar. I don’t know anything about Muar, but there’s always Google!

I still want to write a humorous mystery novel with this premise. You could have a whole series about a hungry ghost detective solving crimes both supernatural and mundane! Only problem is, how do you write detective novels???

Short story sales

End of the Road

I sold a couple of short stories!

Balik Kampung will be appearing in Solaris Books’ End of the Road, edited by Jonathan Oliver. It’s a New Weird road trip anthology, and (I gather from Twitter) will feature stories by Lavie Tidhar, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz and Benjanun Sriduangkaew, among others. My story is about a ghost who, while heading home during the Hungry Ghost Festival, a) discovers things she didn’t know about her life, and b) eats Kampar curry chicken bread.

(I haven’t had Kampar curry chicken bread — I put it in just because it sounded intriguing. Nice ah?)

And The Fish Bowl will be in The Alchemy Press Book of  Urban Mythic, edited by Jan Edwards and Jenny Barber — an urban fantasy anthology “blending modern life with the traditions of folklore from around the world”. The Fish Bowl is a grim story about maths tuition and being sixteen.

I think both anthologies are due out in autumn 2013. I will post when they are available for purchase!