Sunday, January 13, 2013

Imaginarium Author Profile: Gemma Files

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 Gemma Files, who appeared in Imaginarium 2012: The Best of Canadian Speculative Fiction with the story “Signal to Noise” and the poem “Lie-Father”.

When did you start writing creatively, and what was the first piece you remember working on?
I started writing creatively before I could write physically, in that I would dictate stories to my dad and he would write them down for me. We would also illustrate these stories, though his illustrations were a lot better than mine. I seem to recall them all being variations on The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe or The Secret World of Og by Pierre Berton.

What is the best advice you have ever been given from a publisher/fellow author/opinionated reader? 
Keep going, no matter how much you start to hate what you're doing: you can fix a bad draft, you can’t fix a blank page. Though I can’t remember who I heard that from last, I’ve heard it from a hundred  people at least, and said it to a hundred more.

What is it about speculative fiction that appeals to you, as a reader and/or an author?
Speculative fiction is magic, myth, poetry. It’s infinite possibility. As a reader, I don’t want to inhabit something just like my real life, or even reflective of it — it’s annoying enough to have to do that on my own time. For my leisure and pleasure, I want to go elsewhere and be other. Speculative fiction provides that.

What do you do when you’re not writing? 
Look after my son and attempt not to disappoint, either him or anybody else. You would think both would get easier as he and you get older, but they really don’t.

Is there a book that you think would change the world (for better or worse) if every person was to read it?
I think everybody potentially has a book like that in their life, a book that either did or might put everything in perspective for them, but I couldn’t possibly presume that what worked for me would work for everyone. For me, it might have been Randall Jarrett’s The Animal Family, a “children’”s book about nature and the cycles of time, told beautifully.

The Hulk is now a character in your Imaginarium story “Signal to Noise”: how would it change?
There’d probably be a lot less emailing and phone-work, and a lot more SMASH!ing.

Gemma Files was born in London, Enlgand and raised in Toronto. Her short story 'The Emperor's Old Bones', won the 1999 International Horror Guild Award for Best Short Fiction. She has published two collections of short work (Kissing Carrion and The Worm in Every Heart, both Prime Books) and two chapbooks of poetry (Bent Under Night, from Sinnersphere Production, and Dust Radio, from Kelp Queen Press). A Book of Tongues: Volume One in the Hexslinger Series (ChiZine Publications) was released in April, 2010, and will be followed by two sequels, A Rope of Thorns (2011) and A Tree of Bones (2012).

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

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