Saturday, January 5, 2013

Imaginarium Author Profile: Claire Humphrey

CZP asked Imaginarium authors a few questions. See how they handle being on the spot, and how they handle The Hulk invading their stories! Between now and January 4th, 2013, CZP is running this special feature, and today’s author is Claire Humphrey, who appeared in Imaginarium 2012: The Best of Canadian Speculative Fiction with the story “Bleaker Collegiate Presents an All-Female Production of Waiting for Godot”.

When did you start writing creatively, and what was the first piece you remember working on?
When I was maybe three or four, I wrote a story called “The Fat Cat”, because those were the only words I knew how to write.  I have since learned more words.

What is the best advice you have ever been given from a publisher/fellow author/opinionated reader? 
In ninth grade, my English teacher, Dave Haskins, took a story of mine and crossed out all the adjectives and handed it back.  I don’t remember what he said exactly, but I remember how the story looked — lean and serious and a lot more grown up.

What is it about speculative fiction that appeals to you, as a reader and/or an author?
Powerful metaphor.  Realism doesn’t have much to say about my emotional life.  The things I’ve read that have felt most true are not concerned with literal, factual details — they’re massive metaphors that help me understand the world by looking at it through a different-coloured lens.

Aside from writing, what else are you passionate about?
I love to cook — it’s a kind of physical creativity with an immediate reward, quite unlike the long game of writing.  I love to work out, too, but really, that’s part of writing — my body has to be active in order for my brain to be active.  They don’t even feel separate.

Is there a book that you think would change the world (for better or worse) if every person was to read it?
Not Wanted on the Voyage, by Timothy Findley.  Deeply personal, political and painful.

The Hulk is now a character in your Imaginarium story: how would it change?
Hmm — I don’t think anything in “Bleaker Collegiate Presents an All-Female Production of Waiting for Godot” would trigger the Hulk’s temper.  I’m picturing him kind of sitting quietly in a corner of the black box theatre, trying like hell to figure out Beckett.  I wonder what he’d make of it.

Claire Humphrey writes novels and short stories, mainly about unhappy magicians. She works in the book trade as a buyer for Indigo Books, and she is the reviews editor at Ideomancer. In addition to all things literary, she likes boxing, photography, dark coffee, well-hopped beer, and frivolous shoes.

Can’t find Imaginarium 2012 in your book store? Order it directly from CZP

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